Accessories and jewelry are a great way to individualize yourself and add something special to an outfit. Finding the perfect piece to finish your look is such a great feeling, especially if the piece is sentimental or unique. That being said, with many fast fashion brands creating a lot of the same things over and over, it can be hard to find something special and different.
If you want something truly perfect, custom jewelry is the best way to ensure you are getting the right design for your taste and purchasing something a little rarer. Let’s explore the world of custom jewelry and compare the costs to give you an idea of how much your dream piece may cost you.
On average, a piece of custom jewelry can cost you up to $2,000 to $3,000 at a high-end jeweler. This is due to the materials, time, craftsmanship, and specific attributes of the jeweler you hire. This is at the highest end of the jewelry customization range, with the average being closer to $500 per piece for something fully customized.
Some jewelers do basic work, like these stunning pieces from David Von that are predesigned for customization, for $250 and up, as well. Due to this, it is impossible to give a precise amount, as there is a lot of fluctuation in rate and a lot of factors that go into how much a unique piece will cost.
Things like the complexity of the piece, the amount of work to do, and the materials you want to be used in your jewelry will contribute to the cost. For example, if you want multiple diamonds set in white gold, you are going to pay more than a basic silver and cubic zirconia ring.
These are investment pieces, so you should expect to pay the investment price since the value of these types of jewelry items often increases as they age with the market rates and stylistic consumer desire.
Why Custom Jewelry Often Costs More
When considering the direct cost of a piece of custom jewelry, it is important to understand exactly what goes into making such a product. It is not as easy as just slipping beads onto string or connecting links of metal together; a lot more goes into the process than just physically assembling the jewelry products. This extra work, of course, factors into the price.
People who make custom jewelry are artisans. They are craftsmen who work with their materials to create pieces of art. Due to this, you are likely not going to find a fast fashion or even a retail jewelry store price tag. Custom jewelry can be expensive, but there is a good reason for the higher price.
When you purchase a piece of custom jewelry, you are paying for the artisan’s expertise, experience, time, and ability, along with the materials going into your piece. Due to this, quotes may vary widely across different jewelry stores. One jeweler may charge a flat rate minimum of $500 due to how busy they are; this celebrity factor contributes to the price because their time is valuable.
People are lining up to get jewelry from that specific person, so if they charge less than that minimum flat rate, they are actually potentially losing money since they would typically make more than what is below the minimum during that time.
Others will have no flat rate and will charge at slightly above the cost of materials. These are not “cheap” jewelers, but instead probably not experiencing the demand level of the other, more expensive shop. There is no right or wrong answer concerning who you should go with.
Working Within Your Budget
A lot of jewelers recognize that not everyone can afford to spend thousands on a custom piece of jewelry. Due to this, many will actually happily work with you on creating a design and material plan that will suit your budget. There is no shame at all in needing this, as many people go this route, and it is a wholly normal thing.
You’re spending a lot of money and trusting the jeweler with a very important task; they are definitely going to understand if you need help navigating the cost and design process.
Being upfront is a good way to ensure you are going to remain within your budget. Tell your jeweler during the consultation what type of design you have in mind and what budget you can work with early on so they can plan around that amount.
Just be sure it meets their minimum required amount and be respectful of their trade while talking about cost. That being said, the use of diamonds and other commonly desired stones and metals does not mean the cost will be thousands of dollars; there are plenty of quality products out there like these necklaces that fall into the lower range of price but still contain real gold and diamonds.
Likewise, this ring can be customized to suit your needs, but due to its premade design nature, the base cost is lower despite being made of real diamonds and gold.
Most jewelers will recommend simplifying the design if possible or offer alternative materials. For example, instead of diamonds, they may offer moissanite gems to cut down the cost or advise you to opt for silver instead of gold. These will give you the same aesthetic of jewelry but will drop the price a fair amount, giving more wiggle room for the design and work costs.
Being flexible when on a budget is key, as there are a lot of things a jeweler can do to help make your design happen within your budget. This may include things like removing some smaller details and cutting down on the number of individual stones if the current market price is more than you care to spend, but it will still create a stunning end result, just more suitable for what you are comfortable spending on a piece of jewelry.
The Premade Upgrade Cost
One thing that many people are doing instead of having an entirely new piece made is to bring an older piece and have it reworked and modernized. Things like a grandmother’s ring or an antique necklace can be deconstructed and updated to fit a modern taste while still utilizing much of the original materials.
This cuts down on the cost, as well, since there is already a good amount of available materials within the piece to be reworked.
Much like fully customized jewelry, the pricing for this type of work is a fairly expansive spectrum. On one end, things like resetting a stone in a ring can cost around $125. Reworking an entire piece of jewelry can be more expensive, easily reaching several hundred dollars as the detail and amount of work and additional materials needed to complete the job increases.
This is another situation where having a budget in mind can help you to ensure you are getting the work you want to be done without spending a small fortune that you cannot afford or do not want to invest.
Telling your jeweler what type of design you are hoping to achieve or showing them current trends you would like to mimic while expressing your budget is the best way to ensure your reset or upgrade goes smoothly and stays within your price range.
Jewelry that is made from high-quality materials can last a lifetime if cared for properly and dramatically increase in value. This is why purchasing a piece of custom fine jewelry is an investment worth making.
Regardless of if you want something entirely new created or want to bring in your great grandma’s ring to be updated and have the diamonds reset in a new band, you are creating something with value.
Be honest about your budget and work with your jeweler on changes and necessary design and material swaps, and you will likely end up with a stunning finished piece. Flexibility is key in getting a gorgeous custom piece on any budget.