Josh Levkoff rings
All About Custom Wedding Jewelry Design
27 Feb 2014 •4 min read
Josh Levkoff is a New York-based private high-end jewelry designer specializing in custom-made jewelry. Using the latest technology, Josh offers his clients 3-D imaging of the design they create and offers consultations via phone, video chat, or in person in his NYC office. Josh is known in the diamond business for his keen eye for creating beautiful designs, his passion, and his honesty, which is we asked him for his advice on having an engagement or wedding ring custom made. Read on for his advice!
If you're thinking about buying an engagement ring or wedding jewelry but can't find your perfect piece, don't stress -- in the world of jewelry you can create anything! Whether you know exactly what you're looking for or you don't have a clue in the world, custom jewelry is a great solution that allows you and your jeweler to create your specific one-of-a-kind piece together. With the technology that exists today, custom jewelers can develop the most intricate details at amazingly high quality. Not only will you be thrilled with the end result, you will have fun in the process throughout. So, what exactly is the process that creates those exquisite sparkles draped over people everywhere today, you ask? Well, listen close, loverlies, and I'll tell you!
Step 1: Get inspired.
The first step to designing a custom ring is to determining exactly what you want. Anything you desire or dream up, no matter how simple or complex, can be done. And you can be as hands on-as you'd like; at Josh Levkoff Jewelry we see it all. You can find inspiration by pulling ideas and looks from magazines, searching on Lover.ly, bringing pictures of friends' and family members' rings, or just throwing out ideas and letting the design team run with them. And you can be as involved or removed from the process as you want. Some clients come in and hop in the driver's seat for the development of their special piece, while others take a back seat and let an experienced jeweler steer.
Step 2: Choose your bling.
We strive to provide a beautiful end result and to educate our customers along the way. The education part is a important when it comes to learning about and then choosing the perfect sone for your ring. It is important to us that our customers understand the nature of the components that will make up their custom jewelry, so we have our customers sit with our design team and go through all the shapes and sizes of diamonds and/or various other precious gemstones until they find the perfect stone(s). When custom designing a ring, you'll first pick out the center stone, and then you'll build the entire ring around it. The process is comparable to having a suit tailor-made to fit to your body.
Step 3: 3-D is the new 2-D.
Once done as hand drawings, now the design process is done by CAD (computer aided design) technology. We take the design concept with all it specifications (finger size, metal type, stone shape and size, stone placement, millimeter width of the shank, depth of the gallery, setting style, an so much more) and build the 3-D design on the latest jewelry software at use in the industry. The benefit of the software is that we're able to show the customer his piece, sometimes with several variations of the desired options, before it's completed and approved.
Step 4: Wax on/Wax off.
Next we send the approved computer file to our 3-D printer, a carving machine that builds the ring in wax, layer by layer until the full piece is complete. Before computers, a wax carver did all the work by hand! With the 3-D printer, you'll get greater details and sharper finishes.
Step 5: It's casting time.
The wax model is used to create a negative mold of the ring, and the negative mold is then used to cast the metal in the client’s metal of choice (white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, platinum). The ring returns from the casting in rough, unpolished form.
Step 6: Ready, SET!
The piece is now ready for setting. Diamonds and/or gemstones are carefully chosen to meet the right size, quality, color, and cut, and then are set in the ring by our master setters.
Step 7: Coming to life.
Expert polishers put the final touches on the ring by hand polishing and cleaning the piece to a perfect shine. The entire process for custom-designing a piece will depend on how intricate and involved the design is, but 2-3 weeks is a common time frame. As for the cost, it will vary depending on the piece created. Custom jewelry is often much less expensive than retail jewelry because you are paying for the quality and value of the jewelry and not the brand name. We say, why pay more for brand names when you can put your own name on your own creation and pay less? When customers see the final piece, they are mesmerized by it. After seeing it and being involved through the entire process, they feel a stronger appreciation for their unique piece. A custom design piece of jewelry always turns into an heirloom.
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