11C Aviles St.
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Ph. (904) 614-4706 · Email Us

So. You've finally arrived.

The Custom Jewelry Design Process

This drawing is a part of the process of the design of this particular custom ring.  The customer sees the development of the ring design every step of the way and then finally sees the finished ring in beautiful gold. The finished ring is a collaboration between the goldsmith and the client.  The ring may be in white gold, yellow gold, two-tone, rose gold or tri-color.  It may even be done in silver if the client wishes it.
No matter how exciting the first sketches of a custom gold ring are, the finished piece of artisan jewelry is always even more lovely.  Customers may decide on just a ring design or opt for a ring and matching earrings, pendant or bracelet.  With custom jewelry the customer decides. a beautiful gold and diamond ring created personally for you will bring delight for years to come.

Joel Bagnal Jewelry Sketch

It may be a special anniversary. It may be that you're marrying your Sweetheart. Maybe it's Christmas, or Hanukkah, or an important birthday. Or maybe it's just time for a "To-me-from-me-with-love" present. But it's time to commemorate something very personal in precious metal and maybe gemstones.

Here's what you need to know.

Custom designs are a very personal collaboration between you and me. We start by talking about your ideas and expectations. I'll develop sketches. Then if it's a cast object such as a wedding ring, or a fingerprint (yes, I do fingerprint jewelry (link).) There's even a wax model for you to see and approve. When we're both satisfied we're on the right track, I complete the design to your satisfaction.

If you live close enough to St. Augustine, we can work together in person. If you live elsewhere, we can work by phone, by fax, and send jpegs of sketches and photos of work in progress by email. But step by step it's a collaboration between the two of us.

Frequently Asked Questions

· What are your credentials?

Please refer to the About Me page for a good feel for my credentials. One interesting side note, I was one of 64 charter members of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) in the early 1970's. There are now over 3000 members of SNAG.

· How long does the custom design process take?

As long as it takes. The most important thing is that the design is executed properly. But we will work together to determine a timeframe that meets your needs.

Usually, if the piece is fabricated rather than cast, once we have determined the final design, it can be executed in no more than 4 weeks.

If the piece is cast, it becomes more of a piece of sculpture, first in wax, then in gold, plantinum, or silver. That means I sculpt the wax model, show it to you in person or digitally by email, get your approval, have it cast, then finish it with or without stone setting. The whole process can take six weeks. (By the way, I use a casting service in New York. It keeps my overhead and turnaround time down and guarantees top quality gold content every time.)

· Can you use old gold that I already own on the piece you're making for me?

No. If the design is cast, my casting service only uses new gold. That's to protect the quality of the casting. If it's fabricated, unless the design uses part of an existing piece, I need to use new gold for the same reason. But I can turn in your old gold for a scrap gold credit that can be applied toward to the overall price of your piece. You'll know the actual credit and cost in advance.

· I own diamonds and other stones in jewelry that I no longer wear. Can we incorporate them into something new?

We can incorporate your stones into the design as long as it is mutually agreeable to the integrity of the design itself. We'll decide that together.

· Do you do just rings?

Absolutely not. If it can be crafted in a precious metal I can be tempted to take it on. In addition to jewelry, I have designed and executed silver objects from an academic processional mace, to a commemorative of the 1 Millionth production run of a medical device for its inventor. For me, the pleasure is in the creative collaboration between client and craftsman.

· What happens if I'm not satisfied with your work?

You don't pay for it.

· How much does it cost up front?

Typically, after we have agreed on the design, I ask for a one third deposit on the total price up front. In order to keep my costs and thus my prices down, I purchase gold as I need it for a particular design. The one third deposit allows me to acquire materials as I need them.

· Do you do any work in silver or platinum or is it only gold?

Even though most of my work is in either 14 or 18 KT gold (Yellow or White) I am comfortable in working with Silver, Gold, or Platinum, or combinations of Silver and Gold.

· Is this pure gold or is it plated or coated?

Here's a quick primer on gold. The 24 in 24K gold is simply a proportion. So 24K is 24/24ths pure gold. 14K gold is 14/24ths pure gold, and depending on the color it's 10/24ths something else such as silver, copper and/or nickel. So 18K gold is thus 18/24ths pure gold and 6/24ths something else such as silver, copper and/or nickel. Pure 24K gold is too soft for making jewelry, thus the addition of copper, silver, and nickel to control the hardness and color.

· Do you sell diamonds and gemstones?

Yes. I have resources for purchase directly from suppliers, mostly in New York City. My prices are competitive, but I am not offended by your using your own sources for gemstones if it is to your advantage. In addition, JBG is the only authorized representative of Yehuda Charity Enhanced Diamonds. If you are looking for the most "band for your buck" you'll want to investigate Yehuda process (http://www.yehuda.com) and decide if it is the right alternative for you.

· If I see earrings and other designs in your "In Stock Gallery" I'd really like but I'd prefer a variation on the design,

can you do that?

Absolutely. Chances are that the variation might not even cost more than the In Stock piece itself. You'll just have to give me a bit of time to produce the special order.

· What's the method of payment?

By email, I will accept major credit cards (American Express, MasterCard, Visa or Discover), or I can ship COD. If you are near enough to pick up in person, In addition to credit cards, I will also accept personal checks or cash.

· How do I get in touch with you?

You can email me at jbagnal@joelbagnalgoldsmith.com, call me at 904-614-4706, we can get together by appointment at my studio in St. Augustine, or you can visit our Goldsmith's Shot and Gallery at 11 Aviles Street (the oldest continually used street in the nation).

· Why did you create this website?

At this point in my life, I am not interested in building a huge business. I wish to meet good people, enjoy the richness of relationship, and do good work that is both significant in the lives of my clients and of great pleasure to me.

That wonderful quote that says..."It's not the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away"...richly reduces the objectives of my creative efforts to its fullest essence.

Thanks so much for visiting my website. If you'd like to see some really gorgeous pictures please visit my wife's website at http://www.hookeyhamiltonphotography.com.