Every customer that wants a custom design comes in with an idea of what they are trying to accomplish—from the simplest hint like, “I want it to look like something my Grandma would wear” to elaborate and detailed descriptions of exactly what they envision. Sometimes, customers see something they like in a magazine and want Roman Jewelers to recreate it with different touches or different stones. In the end, they choose custom because only a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry will do.
“Custom design starts with the customer,” says Allyson Quaglia, jewelry design expert and Director of Sales at Roman Jewelers. Allyson, along with co-owner and 4th generation jewelry designer Lucy Zimmerman, carry on the tradition of custom design at Roman Jewelers in Bridgewater and Flemington, NJ. Allyson describes a recent situation where a customer wanted to use colored stones from several family heirlooms. She also wanted to match an existing pair of earrings. It may sound challenging, but the customer worked with Allyson from start to finish and together they brought the idea to life.
Allyson starts the process by getting an idea of the customer’s style. She will walk with the customer around Roman Jewelers and look at pieces in the cases, gathering information from the customer on what they like—traditional or modern looks or even something a bit art deco. Often, they discuss techniques incorporated into certain jewelry pieces, like engraving, versus millgrain and the type of finish or polish the prefer.
The next step is to do a quick sketch. The designers at Roman Jewelers are experts at putting the pencil to paper right in front of the customer and showing them looks within minutes. Once the customer likes what they see, the sketch will be created as a 3D CAD drawing and approved by the customer. At this stage, the sketch has much more life to it. After approval of the CAD drawing, an actual wax is made of the jewelry piece and the customer comes in to see the model. Time and care are given every step of the way so that there are no surprises, only amazement. Once the wax is approved a mold is created and the jewelry is cast.
After a piece of jewelry is cast, the final finishing touches are done by our in house bench jeweler. The piece is cleaned, pre-polished and the stones are set, if applicable. The fine, detail finishing work then continues depending upon the level of detail. Customers often enjoy coming in again to see the final setting or polishing of their custom designed work of art.
“That is precisely what it is: a work of art,” adds Allyson. “It is something that is cherished, memorable and personal; a piece that can be worn and enjoyed for a lifetime, and beyond” she says.
More information about custom design at Roman Jewelers can be found at https://www.romanjewelers.com/custom-jewelry/