Custom Design Creative Process

Step 1: Design Ideas

Your free consultation is meant to give you a relaxing experience to help you narrow down an initial design and ask any questions you may have. You'll be collaborating with highly skilled designers, either in person in Bellevue, Seattle, or online, who will devote their attention to understanding your style, preferences, and budget.

The more information you can give us, the more accurate our designs will be. It really helps to know your general budget as well as the style you’re looking for so that we can recommend appropriate elements. We welcome all questions if you’re not sure just yet; we’re here to help.

At this point, if you have any inspiration pictures, previous sketches, Pinterest boards, or just some rings you like, you can show us these to help, as well. You can also use the “Favorite” feature on our website to bookmark your favorite pieces.

Our designers will then create sketches or computer-generated images to show you how your design might look.

All the communication and inspiration pieces will be noted on your dedicated design page, so that you can communicate directly with your designer and see any changes or updates in one place.

Your Free Quote

Once your choice of design, gemstones and metal type is determined we will be able to provide you with an estimate for the finished product. In most cases we can work within your budget by manipulating the grade of material.

Please be advised all estimates are applicable for two weeks’ time. If you do not decide to move forward within those two weeks, your quote may have to be adjusted. Prices are subject to change according to market prices of precious metal and gemstones. Once you move on to the next step, you will keep that original quote and it will not change.

When you decide to move forward past the first design stage, an initial non-refundable deposit is required to cover our 3D design labor as well as place a hold on any gems you may want to involve in your piece.

Step 2: 3D Modeling

After the down payment is received, a Joseph Jewelry artisan will begin creating a 3D CAD (computer-aided design) model of the design from step one. During this stage you can still make any changes or modifications to your design at no additional cost and having the 3D model allows us to visually confirm any changes made at this point.

Feel free to message us or call with any changes to your design. We are here for you and want to make sure it is exactly what you have been imagining.

Rendered images of your 3D model will be posted to your online design account or can be viewed in person by visiting the store. The computer-rendered images allow us to show you realistic views of your design as it will look when finished in the exact metal and gemstones you have chosen.

Keep in mind, the computer program cannot recreate hand engraving, laser engraving, or certain finishes. These are done when the piece is almost finished and is performed by our talented bench jewelers.

You can watch the status of your piece and see what stage it is in by going to your Messages in your Joseph Jewelry account and looking under "Order Status".

There will be no change to the original estimate as long as we are working on the original quoted project without adding gemstones or materials. If we are adding any substantial elements, an adjustment to the original quote will be made accordingly and we will notify you of the price difference. There are no hidden fees in this process.

Wax Molds

Upon request, we can use stereo lithography technology to "print" a complimentary wax version of your design. This technology allows us to create the most intricate and complex details possible in the jewelry industry, within an accuracy of two hundredths of a millimeter; this means you can literally expect perfection from our workmanship.

If you would like to see the wax prototype, you are welcome to stop by for viewing or we can mail it to you. This prototype is full-scale and will show you the exact detail and dimensions of your project. You are free to keep your wax; you don’t need to send it back to us.

The wax model and CAD design are built just slightly thicker to accommodate for shrinkage and polishing in production. We maintain time-tested build standards for every piece so that it will be strong through everyday wear and last a lifetime.

Our commitment to you is excellence in workmanship and service. If, after viewing the prototype, you approve the final design, we are then ready to start production. You are also welcome to make any changes at this stage; requesting the wax model is a great way to confirm your design if you are not sure.

After you have made any design adjustments, we will ask for your final approval of the 3D model and materials chosen. We will also ask for a payment in addition to your initial deposit to pay off a total of half your piece so far. This additional payment is necessary for the labor and materials involved in creating your piece with precious metal and gems.

Step 3: Production

In the final step, we create the piece, which usually takes about four weeks. Our highly skilled jewelers each possess at least 10 years of experience and are masters at what they do.

Fabricating a Piece of Jewelry

If your design requires stock metal fabrication, we start by tracing your design on stock metal of a type chosen by you. Then we cut out the traced section and begin to shape or forge it according to your design. In some cases multiple pieces must be cut and shaped then soldered together. Other detail-oriented techniques like filigree, repoussé, inlay and more may be required in order to form the finished product.

Casting Your 3D Design

Joseph Jewelry uses a state-of-the-art computerized casting machine that negatively vacuums all oxygen out of the casting chamber and replaces it with released argon gas to purify the environment for casting. This closed environment eliminates all porosity that would otherwise occur naturally due to oxidization. Porosity (tiny air bubbles in the metal) is a sign of an inferior casting and is normally seen on the surface of high-polished metal and will always occur during open-air casting. This is why our argon-gas vacuum chamber is so important.

After we have cast your design, our experienced jewelers will set your gemstones and finish your piece. Many styles of finishing can be applied to a piece of jewelry. The most common is a high-polish finish, but the options are endless. Some other finishes include matte finish with various grades of texture, hammered finish, vintage hand engraving, and milgrain.

We are extremely selective with the gemstones we source, and our on-site gemologist checks every gem to make sure they are perfect for your piece.

Finally, the last few stages include quality checks and an appraisal. You will be notified that your piece is done and ready to be picked up or shipped out, and the remaining balance will be due before it leaves our shop. We provide free 2-day shipping to clients within the United States and an adult signature will be required for delivery to the address you provide.

You will then receive your beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece of heirloom-quality jewelry that you can enjoy for generations!