We have an extensive in-store inventory from many of the jewelry world's most beautiful and innovative lines, but occasionally we may not have just what you're looking for. Not to worry - we can order any item that our designers make. Browse through their websites and find the ring or necklace that speaks to you, or come in to the store and we can go through their product catalogs with you. If you find something that is almost but not quite perfect, most of these designers are happy to make changes to give their rings a personal touch.
But if you want something truly unique and personal, we'll sit down with you and help design your own special creation. The process starts with a discussion about what you're looking for. Sometimes it's as simple as changing an existing design or piece of jewelry, giving it the small changes that make it the piece of your dreams. If you have a vision in your mind, we'll work with you to sketch it out on paper to create that perfect design.
Jewelers have been creating custom jewelry with wax for thousands of years. Using a casting process called "Lost Wax", an exact wax model is created before casting. We have hundreds of ring and pendant wax models in stock that can be easily changed if we need minor tweaking or even major changes are needed.
Wax is easy to work with and modify before casting the design into hard metal, and the wax model allows us to see exactly what the final product will look like. Changes are usually done the old-fashioned way, using hand tools like files and carving knives to remove material, or adding more wax to the model using an electric "wax pencil", which can also melt the wax and allow it to flow in organic shapes.
In the "old days", we created your wax design entirely by hand using hand tools and electric pencils. On occasion, we still do work that way - there's something undeniably satisfying in creating something from scratch with your hands. These days, however, if what you're looking for is something really unique, we turn to modern technology. Our talented and experienced artists will translate your design into a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file, and create a wax model using sophisticated milling or printing machines. These systems let us create complex designs that would have been extremely difficult if not impossible for most jewelers even ten years ago. It also makes it easy for you to see the design in detail and make any changes or tweaks before we cast in metal, when it becomes much harder to change.
Regardless of how we create your wax model, the rest of the process is the same as it has been for generations. Your wax model is placed into a metal
form which is then carefully filled with plaster. The mold is placed into a vacuum chamber to release any air bubble in the plaster, and then allowed to
harden for about an hour or so. After hardening, the plaster mold (with the wax model still inside) is put into a kiln upside down, and as the heat of
the kiln melts the wax model, it drips runs out of the mold - which is why the process is called "lost wax". In some cases, depending on the type of wax
used, the wax may actually burn up. The heating process can take up to eight hours to complete, and afterwards the plaster mold now has a void in the
shape of your jewelry, ready for precious metal to fill it.
Gold or silver is melted in a ceramic crucible and poured into the hollow mold. This usually happens on a centrifuge to make sure the molten metal gets
into all the nooks and crannies of the mold, although for a very simple design we may be able to simply pour the metal directly and rely on
gravity to fill the mold completely. A water bath cools the metal, the plaster is broken off the casting, and after some brushing to get rid of any remaining
plaster, your custom jewelry is seen for the very first time. The casting looks pretty unattractive at this point - rough and, but after the sprues are cut off and the casting is cleaned and
polished your jewelry will be ready for finishing work such as setting stones or engraving!
If you can dream it, we can do it!