The Custom Process
One of the first steps in our custom design process is to come up with a fairly accurate concept drawing or image. We have designers that are happy to sketch out ideas here at the store with customers or via email for long distance design. We are also able to have designs transferred into a CAD/CAM design for an extremely accurate representation of a concept drawing. Once a design is chosen we can move forward with defining details on proportions and stone options.
Choosing the center stone or accent stones for the piece is very important early on in the process. These choices will significantly impact the engineering aspects of the design. We have a gem expert here at Abracadabra that is happy to sit with our customers, talk about the stones and help view each stone with a microscope if requested.
We have well established relationships with our stone dealers all around the world and that can provide us with stones (conflict-free, fair trade and ethically mined) within 1 – 2 business days. We also have an excellent selection of stones in the store, however, depending on the rarity of the stone or the requirements of the customer, the search and selection process may take several weeks.
Wax Carving and Approval
After the concept design is completed and the stones are chosen, the jewelers will create a hand carved wax model of the piece. Once the wax design is initially completed we have our customer’s evaluate the wax and make any final changes if necessary to the piece before it is cast. The wax approval usually takes place in person, but can also be done via email.
Here at Abracadabra Jewelry we work in the lost wax method. This means each piece is hand carved and one of a kind; each specific wax is melted away before casting, leaving only the finished piece. We are able to make a mold out of the finished piece but only at the customer’s request to ensure future reproductions of their custom piece.
After the casting is cleaned up the jeweler will then set the stones in the piece. Once each stone is set we ensure setting tightness of each stone by soaking the piece in our ultrasonic to try and loosen the settings. After each soak the stones are checked and retightened accordingly. It should be noted that metal retains memory and stones should be checked after no more than three months of initial wearing (especially rings) to ensure there hasn’t been too much movement and stones are still tight. That being said, we are happy to clean and check your piece of jewelry free of charge and suggest having this done approximately two to three times per year.