Jewelry Design Series – Breaking Down Homework for Your Design Idea


An examples of some sketches Calla did for a client.

Custom Jewelry Design: You Deserve Your Dream Ring

In this article I'll share with you the most read blog posts I've written to help people design their dream ring.

Don't let this admittedly long round-up of custom jewelry design blog posts freak you out. When I called this post 'homework' I didn't mean you had to do it all.

I've been asked at various steps of the jewelry design process to point my client to blog posts to explain certain aspects of their custom design. Everyone is different in their desire for knowledge.

Jewelry Design

From Drawing to Finished Ring

This 'homework' blog is more of a collection in one place, following a step by step path, toward successfully designing and receiving your dream ring.

I’ve broken it down into categories so you can focus on what you want to focus on.  For your first step I recommend reading "The Sixteen Steps to Your Custom Jewelry Design." By reading the sixteen steps first, you'll get a sense of what you might like help with.

Picking Your Jeweler

Personal Jeweler showing client to use a loupe

Personal Jeweler Going Over Details With Lisa.

If you want to be part of the design for your ring, it’s very important to choose a jeweler that is a designer as opposed to a jewelry sales person. A jewelry salesperson may prefer to just show you what they have in their displays today. And 'sell' you on that.

If you want your ring to be unique and have a story, you really want a custom designing jeweler.  Read these blogs to help isolate and find the right jeweler for you.

If you don’t feel ready to look for your jeweler, skip down and do the homework steps you need to do to help figure out design styles you like.  This will make your eventual appointment with your jeweler fruitful and successful.

  1. How to Choose Your Jeweler – The Eight Types of Jewelers
  2. How to Choose a Jeweler – 16 Questions to Ask Yourself

Finding Your Inspiration

Most of the clients I've worked with over the years have said things like, "I'm not sure what I want," "I don't know how to design jewelry," or "I'm not ready to get together with a jeweler, because I don't know what I want."

You might enjoy reading What's Your Jewelry Personality? Are you more Beyonce or Tesla? It talks about how the shape of ordinary things can tell you what you'd like in a piece of jewelry.

I've noticed that most people I've worked with know what they like when they see it. That is why Pinterest is such a powerful tool to start with. With Pinterest you are given all these visual choices. You can find pictures that show elements of style that you really like. Pinterest is just great for finding inspiration!

Once I know the details, and styles that you love, I can draw ideas for you. The design process can be easier with a trip to Pinterest.

  1. Why Your Fiancé Should Be Part of Her Engagement Ring Design Process
  2. How to Use Pinterest to Design Your Engagement Ring

Design Elements to Consider

Bezel Setting Used on Wedding Band in Platinum

Will Hand Engraving be Part of Your Design?

Heart Pink Sapphire Ring with Special Finishes, Calla Gold Jewelry

This Fabulous Multi-Sapphire Ring Shows Off Matte, Hammering and Antiquing Finishes

In this section I've added blog posts that bring up important considerations to take into account when designing a wedding ring.

For example, in #5, the post addresses the strength needed for a daily wear ring. In #7 we address whether you'd want to choose four prongs or six prongs to set your center gemstone. In #8 we address the pros and cons of white gold vs. platinum.

  1. Wedding Jewelry vs. Occasional Jewelry: Four Pillars of a Daily Wear Ring
  2. Thin Engagement Rings or Thick Engagement Rings: What Looks Best?
  3. Four Prongs vs Six Prongs, How Best to Protect and Set Your Engagement Diamond
  4. White Gold vs Platinum – For Wedding Rings – What’s the Difference?
  5. Why You Should Engrave Your Wedding Rings: And What to Engrave
  6. Engraved Rings – Five Things You Need to Know
  7. Milgrain Engraving Explained – Could this be Your Killer Design Detail?
  8. Matte Finish, The Straight Man in Jewelry Design

Explore these options and mentally fill in the details that you like. This will set your ring apart from the ordinary, to the uniquely yours.

Gemstone Choices

Asscher cut loose diamond

Asscher Cut Diamond Goes Well in Vintage Designs
Image-Serendipity Designs

The question of which gemstones can be used in engagement rings and other custom jewelry designs comes up quite a bit. I've rounded up for you a number of blog posts I've written to answer questions about gemstone choices.

  1. What about Moissanite for Your Engagement Ring?
  2. CZ vs Diamond for Your Engagement Ring
  3. White Sapphires vs Diamonds for Wedding and Engagement Rings
  4. Diamonds vs. Forbidden Wedding Ring Gemstones
  5. Good Diamonds vs. Bad Diamonds, Emphasis on Cut
  6. White Topaz vs Diamond for Your Engagement Ring
  7. What You Might Like to Know About Diamonds

Textural and Finish Choices


Will Black Rhodium be One of Your Design Choices? Trinity Ring - Calla Gold Jewelry

20.  Jewelry Designing with a Stipple Finish Feature
21.  Black Rhodium Plating, Adding that “Pop” to your Jewelry
22.  The Kiss of Night for Your Jewelry – Using Oxidation, Black Rhodium and Black Enamel
23.  Hammer Finish. It's a small part in this blog but the pictures show you how nice it looks.

Computer Aided Design and Wax Carvings

One out of three clients of mine have worried that their ring would not be great looking when they saw the CAD image for their design.

CAD of Engagement ring and finished ring. Jewelry Design

Scary CAD, Gorgeous Ring.

Some of you will get a CAD image to look at of your design and some of you will have your design hand carved in wax. These two posts are must reads for those of you interested in the process steps of your custom design.

24.  Ring CADs Can Look Ugly – Ring Design and Your CAD
25.  Wax Carving Explained in Jewelry Design-The Three Types of Wax Model Making for Jewelry Now that you've been given these sections and details within them, pick and choose what interests you the most. May your ring be fantastic!
Custom Making Jeweler,
Calla Gold

0 0 votes
Article Rating

About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

Great post, Calla! All of these links to your other blog posts are so helpful. I like having all these questions answered about custom jewelry design in one place. It’s fantastic!

custom jewelry @calgary
custom jewelry @calgary
8 years ago

My sister follows your blog regularly. As my wedding bell is ringing, she suggested me this post. Not to mention that it is of great help for me to decide on the ring design. Thanks a lot.

Tracey B
Tracey B
8 years ago

How long did it take for you to come up with this list of categories that people might want to explore in custom design creation?
Did you have to write any more blogs before you could write this blog?
Just curious, as you have provided quite a lot of guidance here.