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Finding Your Own Style With Custom Jewelry
Back in the old days, every significant new piece of jewelry was custom jewelry: items were made by jewelers one at a time as they were ordered, and were considered bespoken for that particular client. Today, most people make do with jewelry that's mass-produced beforehand, and few even consider the possibility of ordering custom jewelry -- possibly because many of us are so busy with our lives that we can't be bothered waiting. However, there are still some jewelers out there who would be happy to provide you with the perfect custom piece. While you can be sure custom-made jewelry will be more expensive than cookie-cutter jewelry, it's also unique to you, and reflects the loving care of the jeweler in every line.
Made to your wishes
It's hard to create your own distinct style these days, and in fact a lot of people never try; but if you're interested in looking more like yourself and less like your average rap star, custom jewelry is a good way to start. You don't have to be a millionaire to afford it, either; though it's true that the rapper's bling and that starlet's six-carat pink diamond are certainly custom-made, there are more modest options open to the rest of us. Let's say you want a custom pin commemorating the 9/11 disaster in New York City. What you need to do is contact your chosen custom jeweler and tell them what you want. Being the artist that he or she is, you'll probably get back a sketch of what they intend to create. Once you approve the design, you'll negotiate a price and the jeweler will get to work.
On a more prosaic note, let's say you want a custom high school or college ring made. You don't have to take the mass-manufactured ring pushed on you by the school; you can go to a custom jeweler, tell them exactly what you want, and have it before everyone else gets theirs. Not bad, eh? Not only that, you're likely to have options no one else does; for example, you can get precious stones and metals that aren't offered by the big school ring companies. Some custom jewelers will even decorate with fossilized dinosaur bone, or make you a pendant with a hand-chipped arrowhead.
Where to go and what to pay
If you're in the market for a piece of custom jewelry, it won't do you any good to walk in the door of one of the big jewelry outlets at the mall. What you'll need is either a small-time local jeweler or a larger manufacturer where jewelry is still made by human hands. If you live in the boonies or otherwise can't find a brick-and-mortar jeweler who appeals to you, be sure to cruise the Internet. You'll find great options for custom jewelry scattered all over the world, just a click away.
As for price, expect to pay more than you would for a mass-produced piece of jewelry. Jewelers are highly educated professionals, artists really, and as such their time is expensive. Even if you want just a simple custom ring, expect to pay in excess of $250; simple pendants may cost as much as $150. The prices only go up from there, with an ornate class ring starting, if you're lucky, at $1,250. But hey -- only the best, right?