engagement rings

Any places a must check for finding neeto “designer” engagement rings?

This is strictly business related research of course… :smiley:

Of course…

I got one a few years back at http://www.dimendscaasi.com - They’re downtown in the jewelry district. They had a few styles I liked and they worked with me to do a totally custom one. I (and my wife) loved the way it came out…

Good luck!

My Mom used to work retail at a great jewelry store so I had the benefit of her knowledge when I got to that point.

Most better jewelry stores have a guy they go to to do custom work. I drew up a design and brought it to several respected local shops and asked to speak with their jeweler. After interviewing several I selected the one I had the most confidence in (ironically my Mom’s competitor…) Even though it was the holiday season and he was back logged with work, he got it done in about two weeks because he was so excited to be working on something modern. It took him about a week to sculpt the wax, which I reviewed and made some minor revisions too by giving him better cross sections…

The metal part (even when totally custom) is the cheapest part and should cost under 1k… the rest is the rock! Thats were they make the doe on you!

Good luck, and congrats man!


A couple of tips, you can get a rock with microscopic inclusions (they are microscopic so who cares) and spend more money on a stone with better color and clarity. The shop will most likely try to sell you on a stone with less inclusions but less color perfection (more yellow) or less clarity (not as brilliant), because they want to off load it. Cut, color and clarity are more important than microscopic inclusions… Also make sure it is and “ideal cut”, there is a reason it is named ideal, it refracts the light in a more brilliant way. Don’t get soled on other cuts even if they have great little nicknames. They might also have some “near ideal cuts”… this is a screwed up ideal cut and won’t reflect the light as well. It probably has less surfaces on the underside from a clumsly chissel job.

And that is ice 101 from Mrs DiTullo… from what I remember when I did my shopping 6 years ago!

You guys are great! Thanks for all the tips… now to find a jeweler who takes Alias files…

I got a friend in Ohio who’s doing cad work for his uncle’s jewelry shop…PM if you any details…I’m sure they can work with whatever images you have to offer…

Turn your own on a metal lathe for unique message. My ID friend spun his out of titanium… says something about dedication… Ti barely is scratched even with sharp tip

I made my own.

I found a great jeweler who does a lot of custom work and explained that i was a designer and wanted to make my own ring but had no idea where to start. I searched for a while before i found someone that seemed at all interested in holding my hand through the process, but the search was well worth it, because the guy i ended up working with was an amazing and passionate guy who seemed excited that i wanted to learn from him.

I designed the ring in solidworks and took some images over to him and he showed me how he would make it by carving a wax blank by hand. I then showed him how i could carve the wax with my little cnc machine. After my wax positive was cut he showed me how to prepare it for the stone.

The next step was to make a silicone mold of the wax positive in case there were any problems later in the process we could easily recast the wax instead of starting all over.

When we had the final wax positive he took over and made the plaster mold to actually cast the platinum.

When the cast was done he took me through the steps of polishing and finishing as well as setting the stone.

The whole process was great i learned a ton and i think maybe the jeweler learned a bit too. He has contacted me a few times since to do a few things for him that were too intricate to carve by hand.

I have since worked with him on a few more pieces and just recently got a kiln set up so i could make my own stuff with PMC.


I do not wear jewelry

I have severe metal allergies.

I have reactions whenever i am working on this stuff.

But after making that first ring i can’t seem to stop, i really enjoy it I have been giving away jewelry to all my family and friends.

be careful what you get yourself into

I have since worked with him on a few more pieces and just recently got a kiln set up so i could make my own stuff with PMC.

Pardon my ignorance, but what’s PMC? Its a TLA I am not familiar with.

oh sorry,

it’s Precious Metal Clay

gold or silver suspended in clay or slurry you can mold or shape it and then kiln fire it. The clay burns off and you are left with 99.9% pure metal.

I like to take a design into a CAD system and output it to my CNC then use SKP to make an RTV mold that i can pack the clay into. Once it dries i fire up the old EF3 and bake that PMC until the LED display flashes CMP



What desktop CNC do you use?

I have often thought that would be a cool tool to have. I have a Zcorp 3D printer, but I find the resolution not the best.

We have a dimension printer and have the same issues

the cnc is the roland MDX-20
it has a 2"x6"x8" work area and also comes with a scanning attatchment (although i have never used it).

I have cut everything from wax and foam to exotic hardwoods and alluminum.

It’s a lot of fun.
The roland software is the best, there are little cartoons of elephants that help you orient your piece in the work area, everytime i use i feel like i am back in elementary school playing stickybear math on the appleII.

Ok I was totally going to just go out and buy a ring but after reading all these comments about designing my own… I just got fired up… been sketching a little bit. Might post a few for fun later since this is my first crack at jewelry… just like making a toaster, right?

Thanks again everyone for your comments / stories!!!

I have a friend in Ohio using a software called VX to design their rings…If you need to contact him…let me know…we also have a group website where we have posted some his own designs…let me know if you guys are interested…I know that I will be designing jewelry in the future we should def be keeping this discussion alive.

Studio Vincent in Minneapolis. Here

I don’t think they do web based shopping, but they make some really kick ass jewelry. I got my wife’s engagement ring and our wedding bands there. I chose the Damascus Steel ring. Pretty masculine for rings which is what I was trying to hang on to.

If you are ever in town, check it out.

Tiffany is forever!

Also gets more money back on eBay than generic, if you still have the box and papers.

Oh, eBay wouldn’t be a bad place to start, either. The resale on diamonds and gold is pretty shitty, and what like 75% of marriages end in divorce. Certainly a (second-hand) buyer’s market.

Oof, talk about designers. The Frank Gehry “5-fish” ring.

Check out ganoskin for info on DYI. Also Best Cast will cast a ring from your Rhino model.