Whenever shopping is involved, the word “custom” tends to make people’s eye twitch. Custom-fitted and custom-made are words reserved for people who are usually showing-off. But for the savvy, custom can also mean being able to avoid huge mark-ups. If you are, or know someone who’s ever done their own home improvement, or built their own PC, you know exactly what we’re talking about. So how do you apply those wise, D.I.Y principles to shopping for an engagement ring?
- Custom does not have to mean opulent
A custom ring can be as simple as a center stone –the diamond –placed onto a band (or shank). You may really like the diamonds and engravings on one piece, but feel they go better with a different band. This is technically custom work, and it can be simple and cost-effective or absurdly expensive depending on who you’re dealing with –that’s the real trick. Which leads us into our next point.
- Avoid the big names
DeBeers and Macy’s to name the most obvious. The big name jewelers and suppliers will skyrocket the price for any custom work. Avoid at all costs.
- Utilize private jewelers and online stores
A mom and pop run jewelry store is going to be much more inclined to work with you and your budget over simple modifications, like fitting the centerpiece onto a different band. Likewise, you can search online and find businesses that specialize in making custom, hand-crafted jewelry. Gemvara comes highly recommended by personal friends and associates, and they are only one example to start you off on your search.
So if you have a personal design in mind, or have browsed rings upon rings and thought, “those are nice, buy x would be so nice with y”, that line of thinking does not have to end with, “but custom jewelry is so expensive!” It takes some time and cross-referencing, yes. But you’d be surprised what today’s digital market can offer.
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