Custom Engagement Ring and Necklace
April 21, 2012 8:00 PM   Subscribe

Please recommend a Los Angeles jeweler to design my engagement ring! General questions about custom jewelry as well.

I am very very happily newly engaged, and I have a very specific idea of what I would like in an engagement ring. My ideal ring is white gold, with a small (4-5mm) oval sapphire in the center, and a half-moon shaped moissanite stone on either side. So, sort of like a combination between this ring and this ring.

Our budget is $1000 for the ring, which seems very doable based on our research, but please let me know if you think we're being unrealistic. Less expensive is better, of course. A little bit more expensive is okay too.

Are jewelers willing to work with moissanite? I would really prefer not to have diamonds, but would consider diamonds in order to have a ring I love.

My girlfriend (both female) is planning to get an engagement necklace with a pendant that is the same as my ring, so we'd like it if the jeweler could design both. Will most jewelers be able to do this?

The linked ring is the only ring with the half moon shaped stones I have seen - is this unusual/difficult/expensive?

We're willing to go anywhere in the LA area or order online.

Thanks for any help you can give us!
posted by insectosaurus to Shopping (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Maytal Hannah does amazing work. I worked with her entirely via email, but would love to be able to do so in person. I highly recommend her.
posted by Addlepated at 8:28 PM on April 21, 2012

For information on custom jewelry, and jewelry in general, peruse the amazing answers of Peagood.

posted by SLC Mom at 9:32 PM on April 21, 2012

Any good custom design jeweler should be able to create a ring and pendant which go together. The real question about design will be whether what you want can be fabricated out of preexisting parts or will have to be carved in wax and cast. The price difference between the two may be significant.

My suggestion is that you try to sketch out exactly what you want for both the ring and the pendant as well as you can, and then try to find a designer who will work with you to refine your drawings into an actual design and then is willing to execute this. You may have to pay some money for the actual design to be made before you move forward into the creation of the physical object, similar to how having a tattoo designed can be a separate charge from having the tattoo actually done.

Don't expect the process to be something where you confer with the designer once and it's done. A good designer will consult with you a few times until both you and your fiance are happy with the design and the designer is also confident that it will be a successful physical object.

Half moon stones weren't in vogue when I was doing jewelry production 20 years ago, so I don't know much about how common they are or how expensive they might be as a custom cut. Having custom stones cut can be pretty expensive, but if the stones are readily available in the shape you want, they won't drain the pocketbook.

I know it's not in the LA area, but David Armstrong, who trained me in jewelry manufacturing and design all those years ago, is currently working at Charles Koll in the San Diego area. Based on what he was doing then, I could suggest him as a possible designer, as I can only assume his skill has continued to refine and improve over the years.
posted by hippybear at 10:10 PM on April 21, 2012

Best answer: As I mentioned in another thread, David Klass has done excellent work in Moissanite for me. He is a true class act. Menial me or contact info. He's based in LA. Congratulations on your new engagement! Yay!
posted by anonnymoose at 10:58 PM on April 21, 2012

P.S. David also has great prices and gives zero attitude about working with Moissanite or alternative stones, which was frankly refreshing.
posted by anonnymoose at 11:00 PM on April 21, 2012

While probably not the service you'd want to directly purchase from given the choice between a quality local jeweler, I highly recommend Gemvara for experimenting around with designs, then possibly take that design to a jeweler for a more exact match of what you had in mind, or order it off Gemvara. It's a nicely put together catalog. (Just for reference, my experience with Gemvara itself was also fairly positive and the prices were decent for a mail-order jewelry manufacturer)
posted by samsara at 5:02 AM on April 22, 2012

I had Phillip Press do some work years ago. They did a fantastic job.
posted by bongo_x at 12:12 PM on April 22, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks to all for your advice and congratulations, and thank you especially to anonnymoose - we ended up working with David Klass, and we LOVE our jewelry. I have a sapphire ring with moissanite on either side, and my fiancee has a matching necklace. She'll also be wearing a band after the wedding.


My ring. The ring and necklace together.
posted by insectosaurus at 12:54 PM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oops, the links aren't working - trying again:

Ring, both together.
posted by insectosaurus at 2:45 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

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