A few months ago, I was getting ready to make dinner and when I looked down, the center stone in my engagement ring was gone. I panicked, and called my husband immediately. He arrived home and we scoured our home trying to find the precious stone that he picked out for me but it was no where to be found. We called our insurance company and thankfully the diamond in my ring was covered.
I went to my friends and asked who they’d recommend, after all, I’ve been married for almost 10 years, so I felt kind of out of the loop! I went to a few big name jewelers in the city that had a good reputation but I didn’t feel right about my experience. I felt as though I was being treated as just another “easy insurance sale”. No one was really listening to me. Then I met Stuart and Ellie from Artelle Designs, a custom jeweler in Plymouth, Minnesota. I was referred to them by some wedding planner friends of mine and I have to admit, I almost didn’t call them because I knew they were a custom jewelry design studio and quite honestly, I figured they would be more expensive . I’m so glad that I decided to call them because it turned out to be the best decision I made! After further inspecting my engagement ring there was some other damage to some of the diamonds in the channel setting. So I decided I wanted to have a whole new setting created, Something more modern and something more comfortable! Although I loved the ring my husband picked out for me, it was very thick and my fingers would often swell if I was wearing it over night or while editing all day. The main thing I told Stuart when designing my ring is that I wanted it to be beautiful and comfortable! Both aspects were really important to me, and he delivered!
I asked Stuart if it would be okay if we documented this process and he was all for it!! So first things first, Stuart ordered in some diamonds for me to look at that were similar to my old diamonds size, cut, color and clarity. I loved first of all that this appointment was just me and Stuart, I had his undivided attention, he answered all my questions and we looked at the diamonds in different angles, different light to pick the one out that really jumped out at me! After that we talked about design, Stuart got out his sketch pad and we got a simple drawing on paper of a Princess Halo ring. I also wanted the gold from my old ring used to create my new ring! Stuart was totally on board because he knew the sediment my old ring had for me. I totally trusted Stuart and told him to run with it! About a week Later, I got to come in the office and see the Computer CAD drawings!! I was flabbergasted and in LOVE with the computer model!
I loved the sleek design, and how the bottom was flattened slightly for comfort! It was absolutely perfect. Over the next several weeks, Stuart took photos of my ring in process! After the drawings are confirmed a wax model is created.
From the wax model, Stuart created the Casting of the ring and then the Casting is cut off from the bottom portion.
After the casting is cut off, Stuart polished the ring for the setting and it’s no longer a casting! It’s a Ring!! Finally the stones are set into the Ring and the final Polish is done!
And here are a few photos I took with my own camera 🙂 Of course I had to take just a few, thanks to my intern Katelyn for taking a few of me with the ring on! I’m so in love with my new ring, it couldn’t be more beautiful, comfortable or perfect!!!
I had a chance to speak with Stuart and his passion for making rings a lot during this process. This man was BORN to do this, just as I feel I was BORN to take photos! It’s that inner gut feeling that you just know you are doing what you were created to do! Here are some great words of wisdom from Stuart, of Artelle Designs:
You may be wondering Why would someone need a custom made jewelry piece? Because having something made means that it was made just for you. There is Intent, and energy involved in making it. Most stores just take something out of their case and size it for your finger. Most likely it was made in a factory in china or New York or L.A., by someone who is paid for getting as much done as possible. the quality of every component is cheated lower to maximize profit. If you want something truly special, that will really last, that you can actually pass down to your children, that fits you like comfy slippers, then have it custom made bay a local crafts person/goldsmith.
First, be aware of “combined experience”. It means nothing. If they have a staff of 5 with a combined 25 years of experience, then they have an average of 5 years each. You would be much better off with one person, with 25 years of experience.
Secondly, Time to go shopping! If you feel enough Jewelry, you will get to know what feels good, and what feels okay and what feels Great! When you get to great, then it is more than likely well made. Keep in mind without exception, all chain stores sell mass produced jewelry that is poor or mediocre in quality. Try to move to an independent jewelry store. The conception is that custom is “way” more but the reality is it may cost you the same or a little more to have a gorgeous custom heirloom created for you.
Finally, my best advice is to go with your gut! You need to feel good about the whole experience and who you are working with. Ask as many questions as you can. See if they are listening to you, or are they trying to sell you something. If everything feels right and promises are kept, then you chose well!
I have been designing and creating custom jewelry for 40 years. It is not only what I do, it is who I am. My only goal is to help people get a piece of jewelry they will love and cherish every time they wear it. My heart and soul goes into everything I make, and I hope it can be felt. Jewelry should please your eye, and touch your heart. You really do need to feel it. If you only have once piece of jewelry custom made, it should be your engagement ring. The ring you wear and look at everyday. It should fit you perfectly!
-Stuart J. Adelman, JD, International Award Winning Designer
Inventor/Wish Come Truer