FAQs for Custom Design
If you want looking for a little more detail on our custom process, this is the page for you. Learn more about timelines, budgets, and more below.
|Step Description||Estimated Timelines|
|Step 1: Consultation and Non-Refundable Deposit||Project Start - Day 1|
|Step 2: Stone Sourcing||One week or more, depending on the stones we are sourcing|
|Step 3: Design Delivery||First round of custom designs: one to two weeks from initial design consultation, depending on the complexity of the design and how many other projects we have in the works.
Design revisions: one day to two weeks, depending on complexity and our current queue.
|Step 4: 3D Mockup||A few days to a week|
|Step 5: Production & Step 6: Final Delivery||Four to six weeks|
- Timelines are estimated as we are always juggling dozens of customers and projects at one time. Timelines are often shifting… sometimes earlier, sometimes later.
- When you have a firm deadline, like for a wedding, please let us know well in advance so we can plan accordingly. Please note that our timelines are based on the client making decisions within a day or two of designs being proposed. For example, taking a week or more to respond to each correspondence will delay the process and push out the timelines.
- We are not open every day and much of the Balefire team works part time as we are all artists and balance our time between Balefire and our personal studios. That means that not everyone is available every day and it may take us a few days to get back to you. That being said, every project we take on is important to us, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Budget + Financing
The budget for a custom piece of jewelry can vary widely depending on what materials we are using and the skillset and time needed to create your design. We have created tiers, seen above in our chart, to help break out where most projects start pricing-wise. However, these are just general guidelines and we can discuss your budget more robustly when we have your design consultation meeting.
Our custom projects start at $500 for silver and $1000 for gold and while the prices for custom work can vary widely, we can usually work with most budgets at that minimum and above, so talk to us about your budget and we will work together to create a piece you will love and can afford.
We do offer financing options through Affirm, so if you prefer that option, let us know and we can work with you to get that going.
Here are the usual payments steps in a custom project:
- Design deposits: $150 - 500 depending on your project.
- Stone purchase (if applicable): Usually starts at around $500
- 50% payment upon finalized design to start production
- 50% payment (minus deposit) at project completion
If we are sourcing stones for you, the process to create custom jewelry will often start with finding the right center stone or stones.
We will work with you to determine information about the ideal stone for your project, including material, color, cut, size, and budget. From there we will work with our stone vendors to find a few options for your review. We will email you information and photos/videos for a selection of stone options and from those, we will have you select a few stones that you may want to have us bring in for you to see in person.
Once we get stones in our gallery in person, we usually have a limited timeline for you to review those and make a selection, so we will try to get an appointment booked as soon as the stones have arrived.
When you have selected a stone, we will have you purchase the stone for your project and then we will get to work on your designs.
We strongly recommend that you insure your piece of jewelry. We can provide receipts and appraisals for your insurance company.
- We offer a one year guarantee against any manufacturer's defect in material or craftsmanship. We do not cover any replacement or repairs due to neglect, abuse, loss, theft, or normal wear and tear.
- We are happy to replace a small stone (melee stones under 0.05ct) within the first year. However, we do not offer replacement of a stone if it is lost due to bent or damaged prongs.
- Proper care and maintenance is paramount to the longevity of your jewelry. If you have questions about caring for your jewelry, we are happy to help.
Below are some tips that will improve your experience both during the process of working on custom jewelry and after your pieces is created.
Wedding, Engagement, Commitment Rings and Other Everyday Pieces
We fully believe that any style of ring can be a wedding or engagement ring. However, not all rings and materials are a good choice for everyday wear. Diamonds, sapphires, gold, platinum, and some alternative metals like steel are our recommended materials to wear as engagement or wedding rings because they are the most durable. Opal, emeralds, inlay stones and many other materials are beautiful accents, but should not be considered for everyday wear. Additionally, some designs are more delicate than others and are best reserved for less regular wear.
If you are looking to have a more delicate ring or use softer materials, that is totally fine! We just recommend that you work with us to find ways to incorporate these materials in a more durable way or have a secondary ring that is for everyday wear and reserve your delicate ring for more special occasions.
Trust Our Recommendations
More than just individuals that know how to make pretty jewelry, the team at Balefire are skilled craftspeople. We have decades of knowledge from creating jewelry that is not only wearable but also structurally solid and long-lasting. When we suggest minimum ring widths or certain setting styles, that is because we have years of experience seeing what holds up and what doesn’t.
Jewelry Artist vs Rote Manufacturer
We love to work with clients to create something new and unique using a diversity of inspiration and ideas. Bringing inspirational photographs for us to consider as part of our creative process can be very helpful, as long as they are truly intended to be used for inspiration. Please note that if you bring another artist's design that you want reproduced exactly, we will recommend you buy directly from that artist. Think of the design project as a collaboration. We are artists and creatives and want to work with you to create a truly unique piece. Part of that process is sharing our expertise and aesthetics with you. If you know exactly what you want and are looking for a technician to create your vision without input, we are not the best fit for your project.
Eye the Internet with Some Wariness
The internet is both a positive and a negative for our industry. One one hand, it allows for greater exposure for our work and for our industry as a whole. Additionally, it can be a great place to find inspiration and see more unique approaches to jewelry. However, not all jewelry designers are actual makers and many don’t know (or don’t care) about creating high quality lasting pieces. Additionally, many pieces sold online are not as advertised or may even be cheap knock-offs of copyrighted material.
We don’t expect you to know it all! We love educating our clients about jewelry making, metal, stones, and believe that element can be one of the best parts of the process. If you are curious about why or how we do something, just ask us, as being able to shed light onto our process can create a more fulfilling collaboration for all involved.
We hate that we have to say this, but being rude or inappropriate with our team is unacceptable. If we terminate a project due to your treatment of our staff, your design deposit will be forfeited and you will be asked to find another partner for your project.
Jewelry Requires Care and Maintenance
Additionally, all jewelry requires care and maintenance. Jewelry should be taken off before bathing, swimming, gardening, working out, doing the dishes, etc. Some jewelry, especially rings with prongs, should also be checked by a jeweler regularly to ensure everything is in good shape. Please check out our education section on our site, or ask us, to learn more about caring for your jewelry.