How to Choose the Right Custom Jeweler – Reputable Jewelers Online
Choosing the right custom jeweler isn’t something you do on a whim. Think of it as the start of a new relationship and, like in most relationships, you should choose wisely. How can you really know you can trust the jeweler of your choice? Customized jewelry is a booming industry set to double in 2035. Because it’s becoming so popular, finding a quality custom jeweler or jewelry supplier at a great price can be difficult. Also, there are crooked dealers out there who will sell you a fake or poor-quality product to make some fast cash. Protect yourself from becoming a victim by doing your research and buying only from verified sources.
At Federal Way Custom Jewelers we have a reputation to maintain. We have been a family business since 1955 and we have always traded fairly, honestly and decently. And we still do to this very day. We pride ourselves on making our customers happy and this encourages them to return time and again.
Here are a few questions to ask when selecting a custom jeweler:
Are you an experienced, certified professional?
Would you trust an unlicensed real estate agent or an uncertified accountant? Probably not. You shouldn’t trust a custom jeweler without any certifications, either. As with many professions, there are certifications that custom jewelers should acquire to prove their validity in the industry. Ask if they trained at the American Gem Society, the Gemological Institute of America, or a similar institution.
Are you a member of a professional organization?
There are multiple jewelry associations in the US, including but not limited to:
- American Gem Trade Association
- Diamond Council of America
- Cultured Pearl Association of America
- American Gem Society
- Jewelers of America
- National Association of Jewelry Appraisers
Reputable jewelers are usually members of one or several of these organizations. If they aren’t, there may be a reason why.
Can I see a portfolio of your work?
When shopping around for a custom jewelry designer, you should research their work first. Every designer has his or her unique taste and aesthetic, so you should spend the extra time trying to find someone whose aesthetic is comparable to what you’re looking for. If you haven’t done your research before going to a jeweler, ask to see some of their designs.
Who is your supplier?
Even the best custom jewelers can be compromised if they’re working with a less-than-reputable supplier. If they fail to deliver quality materials, the end-product will leave a lot to be desired. Not every jeweler, however, will divulge who their suppliers are. You can ask nonetheless.
Is all of your custom work done in-house?
Choose a jeweler that does all of their work in-house. You may save money by having the jeweler hire a subcontractor to do some or all of the work for them. However, you’ll also have to hope that everything is being accurately conveyed to that subcontractor. Working with an in-house custom jeweler cuts out the middleman. While cutting out the middleman is important regarding costs etc., it is not as important as having your designated jewelry craftsman to communicate with to ensure that the finished result is exactly what you were hoping for.
Do you cast and/or hand fabricate your own custom jewelry?
Many custom jewelers can cast items, but hand fabrication requires someone with finer skill. If your piece needs to be hand fabricated, see if they’re up to the challenge.
Do you do your own computer-aided design (CAD) work?
If your piece is complex, a custom jeweler will usually use CAD software to ensure an accurate sketch. The design process often requires going through and making a lot of small changes. These changes need to be accurately conveyed in the CAD design. If this is all done in-house, you don’t have to worry about someone else disrupting the process.
Do you set your own stones?
Stone setting is an art. Your custom jeweler should be well-versed in setting all types of stones across many different designs – especially the one you’re hiring them for. Here are a few ways that gemstones are set.
Do you do hand engravings?
Custom jewelers who are proficient in hand engravings are usually also expert stone setters. While engraving is considered one of the basics in the custom jewelry world, it never hurts to ask if they’re skilled at it.
Why Choose Federal Way Custom Jewelers?
Naturally, we are going to toot our own horn a little on our own website. However, we do have some things to toot about. Federal Way Custom Jewelers has been around since 1951 and has always been a family owned company. To this end, we cannot afford to get things wrong, or advise clients incorrectly, or make claims that we cannot substantiate. Since 1951, all our work has had to be top notch and the best it can be. We believe we have some of the best craftsmen in the industry and are continually demonstrating this in the quality of our work. We don’t care how big or small the job is; all we care about is providing the very best quality and service to our customers.
Many so called “quality jewelers” do not really care too much about satisfying their customers’ needs; all they care about is their bottom line: profit and your money. At FWCJ we have learned that after 70 years in the Jewelry industry, the customer still comes first and always will with us. We always strive to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes and do everything we possibly can to take care of their needs at an affordable price. If you are not happy, then we are not happy, and we’ll do everything possible to make it right for you. Finally, we throw in a 12 months warranty on all our work and products. What’s not to like?
Why not contact us with any thoughts you have about customizing your jewelry. Our friendliness and knowledge will immediately show through to put you at ease.