5 Mistakes Most People Make Ordering Custom Jewelry


You want a custom piece for your wife, girlfriend, or yourself and now are taking to Google to find the best custom jewelry places in Calgary, Canada. Before you buy, take a look at these 5 Mistakes that people make when ordering custom jewelry so you can avoid them!

Ordering Custom Jewelry Calgary Canada

Ordering a custom piece of jewelry can be a wonderful experience. Not only do you get to be a part of the creative process, but you also get to create a deeply meaningful piece. If it is a gift, the jewelry that you get custom made will create a deeper connection between you and the wearer.

Custom jewelry can be a gift to yourself or a journey a couple takes together when designing wedding rings.

At Alora, we love working with people to give them an heirloom quality piece that is unique, meaningful, and stunning. If you are looking for custom jewelry then make sure you are prepared and...

Avoid these mistakes when ordering a custom piece!

  1. Expecting A Speedy Turnaround
  2. Forgetting To Make a Deposit
  3. Not Having Inspiration
  4. Having An Unrealistic Budget
  5. Forgetting to Iron Out The Details

Ordering a custom piece of jewelry calgary

1. Rushing: Forgetting Custom Jewelry Takes Time

Give yourself enough time to get a custom piece. If you know you need a piece for Christmas, start planning six to eight weeks in advance – sometimes more! If you know that you are asking for an exceptionally complex piece with rare stones or items, give yourself more time. Ordering custom cut pieces or rare jewels add time. For example, a customer once wanted a sapphire necklace for their sister. As you can imagine, finding the right size and carat took a little white on our end. Anything is possible with enough time!

Also, make sure that you take time to consider the consultation time. If you are a very particular person or if you don’t get around to answering e-mails for days, then the consultation could take weeks.


2. Deposit: Assuming You Don't Need One for Your Jewelry

In order to buy materials and start the work, jewelers in Calgary and Canada need a deposit. Typically, independent jewelry designers will ask for a 50% deposit to start your work. Don't ever assume that your custom project will be started without a deposit. Remember, the artisan needs the money to buy materials specific to your project.

Even if the person is your friend, you need to make a deposit.

Note: Some designers charge a consultation fee. If they are seasoned designers and you don’t come with a design, then this fee is worth it! The consultation fee is usually discounted from the final price of the order, so you don’t really lose anything by paying it.

This brings me to my next point


3. Inspiration = None

When you are looking for a custom piece of jewelry come prepared with inspiration. Don't expect the handmade jewelry designer to copy something you found online or from a magazine. Remember, they are artists, and you came to them because you like their taste. That being said, make sure you come with a little bit of inspiration like a snake design showing scale, color, pattern, etc. 

If you come to an artisan and say, "Make me an engagement ring" and you don't stipulate how many stones you want and it what color, then you will be in for a surprise. They could make you whatever they feel like making.

The general rule is this: if you give parameters (without stifling the artist's creativity) then you will get a great piece!

Types of parameters to give include

  • Size (keep reading for a size chart)
  • Metal color (keep reading for that too!)
  • Scale
    • Dainty
    • Statement
  • Style
    • Boho
    • Classic
    • Edgy
    • Art Deco etc
  • Photo Inspiration

Create a pinboard or a word collage with the type of jewelry and feel you are looking for.


4. Money: Not Having a Realistic Budget for Custom Work

Custom costs more. You may look at a piece that is priced for $130 on a website and feel that is in your price range. But wait a minute! That piece may be $130 because they made 10 similar pieces at a time or purchased the chain at a wholesale discount.

When it comes to custom pieces, the entire cost of materials and labor will be charged to you and typically at retail cost. That is because the artisan will have to buy small quantities at retail cost. They also have to spend considerably more time and effort on consultation and designing a piece for you, so be sure to factor that into your budget.

Always be prepared to go to a jewelry maker with a reasonable budget and don’t be afraid to shop around to find someone who can make a piece within your budget. 


5. Not On The Same Page: Agree on the Jewelry Design Upfront

The best way to avoid misunderstandings for your custom jewelry piece is to agree on the design and cost upfront. Most reputable custom jewelry designers will give you an invoice with details about the materials that will be used, the timeline, and other important details. 

Once you and the jewelry designer are on the same page, you won't experience many misunderstandings!

Here are a few things that you should agree on with the jewelry maker and how you can decide on these finer points before you put down a deposit.


Agree on Size: Know your size and length

If you are ordering a custom piece and talking to the jewelry via email or on the phone, make sure that you know your ring size or ideal necklace length. Just assuming you are a size 6.5 in a ring because it is a popular size can lead to problems down the road. Remember getting revisions will likely add more to the cost, so be sure to get the size right the first time!

Here is a handy guide for necklace length and measuring your ring size at home!

Custom Necklace Length Chart



Custom Ring Size Chart


Agree on Metal

Agree on the types of metal to use. Different metals range in price and durability and you want to choose a color that compliments your skin tone or gift recipient’s skin tone.

custom jewelry calgary canada metal choice

Things to Consider When Choosing a Metal: Skin Tone Match

If you don’t already have a ‘go-to’ color, check out this handy guide on the best metal color for your skin tone: Get it here!

Things to Consider When Choosing a Metal: Durability - Types of Metal For Custom Jewelry

Platinum Jewelry

Platinum is the best metal if you are looking for durability. It is the densest metal that is used in jewelry and if you are setting stones, this metal will hold them the best. Not only that, but platinum is a white metal that doesn’t require plating AND it is hypoallergenic. This can be a good alternative to silver which some people have an allergy to.

Don’t forget to budget for platinum when ordering a custom jewelry piece since it is a rare metal.

custom jewelry calgary canada

Gold Jewelry

Gold is a classic metal to use in custom jewelry. However pure gold on its own is too soft to wear every day. Many different alloys will make up the different types of gold.

Yellow Gold

Pure, 24k Gold is a very yellow gold. 24k gold is 100% pure gold and you can select this metal color if you don’t plan on wearing your piece every day.

18K gold is also yellow, but it is a softer yellow. It is mixed with 25% (6k) other metals to make it more durable. 18k gold is mixed with copper, silver, and nickel, zinc to give it a warmer yellow color.

 custom jewelry calgary canada

Rose Gold

The rose color of this type of gold comes from a mix of copper and gold. You can get rose gold ranging from soft blush to reddish tones. Careful, since rose gold contains copper, it may not be the best for those with metal allergies.

custom jewelry calgary canada rose gold

White Gold

White Gold is created by blending gold with copper, silver, nickel, and palladium. This expert and trendy metal blend gives the metal a certain warmth. White gold is more expensive than yellow gold, but luckily, less expensive than platinum. It is very common for white gold to be plated with rhodium to achieve a ‘platinum’ look.

Sterling Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver is a classic choice of metal and one of the most affordable on the list. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. At Alora, after custom brass jewelry, sterling silver is the most popular metal choice for custom jewelry Calgary pieces because it is stunning, affordable, high-quality and durable.

custom jewelry calgary canada sterling silver

Brass Jewelry

Brass jewelry is a popular choice for a twist on a trendy style. Brass is nickel free and doesn’t tarnish easily. It is also a perfect for statement pieces and everyday wear. Today, 90% of brass is recycled.


Now that you know you have to

  • Have a realistic timeline
  • Set a reasonable budget
  • Come with inspiration
  • Be prepared to pay a consultation fee
  • Agree on the design up front

You are ready to commission the perfect piece of jewelry as a gift or for yourself!

If you are looking for a custom jewelry piece in Calgary, Canada, then head over to our contact us form and fill out your details. We will be sure you make you the perfect piece! Remember, we do simple custom pieces from stretch gemstone bracelets and mala beads to sapphire necklaces and gold signet rings. No job is too big or small for us 😊.







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