Custom Jewelry Design

Custom Jewelry Design

Author: Marc Choyt | Monday, May 23, 2022

SPECIAL NOTE: WITH DECADES OF EXPERIENCE, OUR SKILLED ARTISANS CAN CREATE ANYTHING YOU WISH — from custom wedding and engagement rings, to reusing your old or inherited gold and gems in new designs.

Looking to work with an awesome small artisan studio with excellent cred? Call our shop at 888-733-5238 or email info (at) for a FREE, no-pressure consultation.  —Marc Choyt, co-owner

One recent customer's experience led to this five star review for Reflective Jewelry.


If you are looking for custom handmade jewelry designs made by an artisanal designer studio, you’ve found the right place!  


We can literally create any design that you want: from one-of-a-kind pendants and earrings, to classic comfort fit personalized wedding rings, to unique engagement ring sets with over one hundred pavé diamonds. We’re makers — a business of just six people, established in 1995.


It gets better: 


We are affordable, and amazing at making extraordinary one-of-a-kind jewelry designs while providing an exceptional collaborative experience.

Want to verify that? Just read through our 150+ Five-star Google reviews!


You can reset your diamond (or gemstones) in a custom designed engagement ring. Or, ask us about our ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones!

Setting a ring in our studio…We’ll set your diamond and gems in our designs, or use one of our ethical sources.


Between our master goldsmiths and designers, we have over one hundred years of combined custom one-of-a-kind jewelry making experience.


The Reflective Jewelry gallery is located in the Baca Street Arts District of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The perfect place for custom jewelry and custom engagement rings in Albuquerque and Santa Fe NM.

Our studio and gallery are in the same building in Santa Fe, NM — not downtown, but in the Baca Street Arts District.


Our gallery is a favorite for locals — for our custom designs and extremely fair “off the plaza” prices. If you are in Albuquerque or anywhere else in New Mexico, the best thing is to visit us. But if you are outside of our area, you might be wondering: 


Can I work long distance on a one-of-a-kind jewelry process?


The answer is YES! Over a third of our business is from outside New Mexico. Through Zoom, emails, and drawings, we’ve perfected the ability to make exactly what you want.


What’s really great is the personal service you’ll receive:


As one of the owners of Reflective Jewelry, I handle most custom jobs. Contact me at info (at), call me at 1-888-733-5238, or fill out our Custom Design Form.  


Want to know one more great reason to work with us?


If you make a one-of-a-kind engagement ring with us, you actually can wear your commitment to a more sustainable future:


Fairtrade Gold is the ideal choice for your Santa Fe NM or Albuquerque custom wedding rings or custom engagement ring.

You may know this symbol from chocolate and coffee. There are over 300 Fairtrade Gold jewelers in the UK alone.

I’m the only jeweler in the US that can put the FLOCert Fairtrade symbol on their wall.   


We believe the sourcing should match the symbolism of your unique gold rings or one-of-a-kind jewelry. We are one of North America’s top ethical jewelers, and the only Fairtrade Gold jeweler in the entire USA. Fairtrade Gold works to uplift communities from poverty and reduces global mercury contamination.   


There’s more good news: 


We can reuse your old or inherited gold and jewels to create your personalized wedding ring set or one-of-a-kind engagement rings. Using the gold and diamonds from your grandmother’s ring to make unique engagement ring sets allows you to wear your connection to your beloved ancestors!

To get an idea of what we mean, check out this photo below which shows how we transformed the material to the left into one of our designs, the Liana, on the right:

We will transform your old gold and gems into a brand new custom jewelry design — even turning a necklace or pendant into a diamond wedding ring or engagement ring.


This also saves you money, which is really great because the spot price of gold is so high these days. And, if you have extra gold, we’ll buy it at 93% of spot price — which can offset or even fully cover the cost of your jewelry redesign. 


Need diamonds or gems?


You can purchase diamonds from us that are traced directly back their actual source. Choose from our databases of Canadian diamonds and lab grown diamonds, or check out our selection of gemstones traced back to their source.  


Now, you might be wondering:


How much does custom jewelry design cost? 


Well, it depends upon the work and material. If you want to dig deeper, here’s what you need to know:


Our custom, one-of-a-kind jewelry design projects can be broken down into three categories:

1) Simple Custom, 2) Moderate Custom, and 3) Fully Custom.


1) Simple Custom involves minor modifications to a product within our existing line of jewelry. For example, we can generally set any gemstone you like into one of our pieces.


Take our best-selling Mountain Lion pendant:

Our Mountain Lion pendant, created by Helen Chantler, features 24K fair trade gold accents.

Our Mountain Lion collection was created by our Lead Designer and co-owner, Helen Chantler.


You know what would look really great set in those eyes? A pair of diamonds!

Our Mountain Lion pendant with fair trade gold is pictured here with diamonds for eyes. We could create a similar custom pendant using any other gemstone as well!


Or, perhaps you’re a fan of our Flores Classic Wedding Ring:

Our Flores Classic Wedding Ring is a two tone wedding ring with comfort fit. It's a beautiful floral wedding ring for men or women, and is available in Fairtrade Gold.

Our Flores rings are a very popular selection, and come in an array of designs as both wedding rings and engagement rings.


But instead of a yellow gold motif over a white gold base, you’d prefer a rose gold motif over a white gold base. Or, even a white gold motif over a rose gold base.

That’s not a problem for us! Because our rings are made by hand and to order by our artisan jewelers, details such as gold choice or even adding accent stones are never a problem.

Other examples of Simple Custom projects include swapping a gemstone in one of our pendants for something else. This can be a great way to customize with a special someone’s birthstone, for example.

Choose from any of the jewelry we’ve made over the past twenty-five years and make it your own.


2) Moderate Custom involves modifying a particular pattern by making it wider or thinner, or otherwise creating something slightly new. These projects are a bit more labor intensive than Simple Custom projects, and may involve additional materials. We may need to make drawings. 


Take for example this variation of our Cascade Earrings. In place of the garnets we typically use, we substituted a customer's own diamonds — and changed the setting.

These custom diamond earrings are a variation on our Cascade Earrings. Here we simply traded out the garnets we typically use for diamonds, and build custom mounts for them.

As another example, consider our signature Open mount, which is not only gorgeous but makes perfect engagement rings for active lifestyles:

Our open mount style makes the perfect engagement ring for active lifestyles.

Our Open engagement ring mount allows the stone to be set low into the band. It’s the ideal engagement ring choice for an active lifestyle. Browse our many variations of our open mount style here.


We can modify any of our wedding rings or engagement rings to incorporate this mount. For example, here’s our Laura ring modified with this low set diamond mount:

Looking for a low set diamond engagement ring, the perfect engagement ring for an active lifestyle? Consider our open mount — which can be designed into any of our engagement rings or wedding rings.

Caption: Over the past 26 years, we’ve come up with many unique engagement rings and wedding rings that incorporate our Laura motif! Take a look here.


Here’s what you need to know:

Some Moderate Custom jewelry projects will require us to make new drawings. If this is the case, we require small down payment — which will be applied to the cost of the piece.


3) Fully Custom jewelry projects are entirely original. We’ll work from your drawing, or simply discuss your concept — going back and forth, and creating drawings for you until we come up with just what you’re looking for.

Here’s a quick example: 

With custom engagement ring, custom wedding ring, and custom jewelry design, we can work from your drawing!

Check out this video of the couple receiving their ring!



We built this unique engagement ring design entirely by hand!


In the photo below, we made a more classic-looking engagement ring from our customer’s own material. 

Consider a jewelry transformation! We will redesign old wedding rings and jewelry into a brand new wedding ring or diamond ring, as shown here.

If you’d like to reuse old or inherited gold, gems, or diamonds in a new engagement ring or piece of custom jewelry, you might want to check out details on that process here as well!


How much does a custom engagement ring cost? 


Again, it really depends on materials and time. This ring shown on the paper drawing was entirely made by hand with our gold and our customer’s diamonds. The cost was $2250. The modified halo design as shown more immediately above was $1500. We added a few of the diamonds and sapphires on the side of the band. 


So... How exactly do we create our custom jewelry designs?


The two illustrations above also are good examples of our two approaches: hand fabrication and CAD/CAM fabrication.  


Here’s a bit more information:


Hand Fabrication of One of a Kind Jewelry

What makes our company unusual is our mastery of old-style jewelry hand fabrications skills rooted in the Southwest jewelry traditions of the Native Americans and Spanish Conquistadors, coupled with our ability to use the most modern techniques available. 

We work from scratch with 24K gold, which we alloy out ourselves. This process begins with fire, and ends with a yawn from Delta, our shop dog!



Depending on your one-of-a-kind jewelry project, we may continue to fabricate entirely by hand.

This involves taking the ingot — which we created with fire above — and forming our own wire and sheet from which we cut, form, and fabricate new pieces. 

To create the wire for a wedding ring, we first roll the ingot through a mill — as shown to the left below. This wire forms the basis of many of our rings — including unique one-of-a kind rings of any sort. 


For our custom jewelry design and custom wedding rings, there are many steps involved in our custom jewelry design process.


What we create in house has a hand-honed look and feeling that is distinctly different than how almost all jewelry is made these days.

With our handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry, the soul of the maker’s love and excellence in craft is infused into piece itself, giving it a special feeling.

Here are a few examples:

A husband of a Unitarian minister requested a custom design that would incorporate the traditional symbols of the church: we came up with this design below. 

We sketched it out and then brought it to life in Fairtrade Gold and sterling silver. 

This Custom Chalice Pendant, created for a Unitarian Universalist Minister, is a custom pendant created in our Santa Fe NM studio and featuring fair trade gold.


With this next piece, a couple came into our studio and had a concept for a a unique engagement ring set: a snake design, using two metal colors.

This custom snake engagement ring is a truly unconventional engagement ring design!

Talk about an unconventional wedding ring! All this handwork is made in house by our amazing all-woman team of jewelers.


Creating Computer Rendered CAD/CAM Custom Jewelry Design Drawings

Most of what you see in the mainstream jewelry world are designs that are mass-produced from computer rendered drawings.  

We go to CAD/CAM creation when your one-of-a-kind jewelry design is more complex than what we can efficiently wax carve by hand, saving you money. 

Here’s an example of a ring wax, along with the finished ring in platinum — which features a lotus-style diamond setting. The inside of the ring features an engraving and inset gemstones.


We can create one-of-a-kind engagement rings on CAD/CAM, as well as entirely by hand.

We specialize in one-of-a-kind engagement rings in any precious metal choice. 


Obviously, this is an entirely different process from making pieces by hand.

The complex waxes are carved by machine as shown in this video:



Here’s another example:

This client lost her husband, and wanted to combine her engagement diamond with the metal from his ring.  

We worked through many different designs together. Which brings up one advantage of CAD/CAM: with this process, you have the opportunity to approve and modify the design of one-of-a-kind engagement rings before we go to production. 

We can then render your approved design in whatever metal color you’d like to see.


This custom diamond ring combined two rings into one. For this sort of wedding ring redesign, CAD/CAM allows you to see exactly what your custom diamond ring will look like before it's made.


We modified this design numerous times in the drawing stage.


Below is a photo of the gold from the old rings she used, next to the final design.

When we combined these two rings into one, we reset the diamond in a unique setting. Engagement ring redesign like this can be a deeply meaningful way to honor loved ones.

The small diamonds were purchased. This job cost $1600, and was paid in part with the excess gold.


How long does it take to make an engagement ring? 

It depends on the time of the year and how busy we are. In general, for personalized wedding rings made on CAD/CAM, we need about a month. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

Between our artisan handmaking skills and CAD/CAM, we can make any one-of-a-kind jewelry design that you can image: from unique engagement ring sets to a memorial pendant to your dog. 

One of our long-time customers mailed us a piece of paper with her dog’s muddy paw print on it, along with an assortment of diamonds and gems.

Working from just this print, we made this piece: 

We can create a custom pendant design out of anything you can imagine. We'll even immortalize your beloved four-legged friend, recreating their paw print in a pendant.

Here’s the bottom line:

When it comes to custom jewelry: if you can dream it, we can create it! Just bring us your idea — and we’ll work with you every step of the way, giving your creation the personal attention only a small team of custom jewelry experts can provide.

Even if you do not yet have a fully thought out concept for your one-of-a-kind jewelry design, we can help you develop it!

Ready to get started? 

Just email me at info (at) with your ideas. Or, give us a call at 1-888-733-5238 during our business hours. Or, fill out our custom jewelry design form!


PS: Looking for further custom jewelry design ideas? Check out our Pinterest board!


As artisan makers, we at Reflective Jewelry lover bringing your custom jewelry, custom wedding ring, and custom engagement ring ideas to life! We're the ideal Santa Fe NM or Albuquerque custom wedding rings and custom engagement rings shop.

The making of a Custom Engagement Ring from Reflective Jewelry.


Marc Choyt is president of Reflective Jewelry, a designer jewelry company founded in 1995. He pioneered the ethical sourcing movement in North America and is also the only certified Fairtrade Gold jeweler in the United States. Choyt’s company was named Santa Fe New Mexico’s Green Business of the Year in 2019, and he has been honored with several awards for his efforts to support ethical jewelry. His ebook, Ethical Jewelry Exposé: Lies, Damn Lies and Conflict Free Diamonds, is available online. Choyt can be reached on Twitter at @Circlemanifesto or by email at marc(at)

Add Comments

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Comments ( 35)

Posted by: Trip Branham on Nov 03, 2019
Want to discuss a custom design . Trip 210.913.3366
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Nov 04, 2019
Definitely-- looking forward to talking!
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Aug 08, 2020
Happy to have made your ring, Trip!
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Aug 08, 2020
Hi Keith, Possibly. It really depends upon what design you want. Feel free to email me at Marc (at)
Posted by: Keith Cordaro on Aug 08, 2020
Hi I have vintage silver coin concho belt I want to make a necklace and bracelet is that possible?
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Aug 14, 2020
We might be able to do it. I just have to see what you have and what you'd like us to make.
Posted by: Keith Cordaro on Aug 13, 2020
Hello I have a silver coin concho belt I'd like made into a necklace and bracelet is that possible?
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Aug 14, 2020
Please contact me and we can determine what options are available.
Posted by: Lorilee Faulkner on Dec 26, 2020
Hello, I'd like to weld my wedding band (10K) and engagement ring (14K) so they can be one ring. They're yellow gold. I would like to keep the design of the engagement ring exactly the same.
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Mar 16, 2021
We can make it however you'd like!
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Mar 16, 2021
Thanks for your kind words, Rebecca!
Posted by: Rebecca Pott Fitton on Mar 16, 2021
Reflective jewelry created a custom piece of the wind horse design. I am thrilled with its beauty and elegance. This is the second custom piece that I have commissioned. It is rewarding to be part of the design process and knowing that the piece is uniquely yours.
Posted by: deepa vn on Jul 04, 2021
test blog comment
Posted by: Sam Vest on Jul 30, 2021
Hello! My name is Sam and I was wandering if I could hire you to craft a Custom 9mm Threaded 18k Yellow Gold Sun Earring for me? I have designed it to compliment my Anatometal 18kt Yellow Gold “Crescent Moon” Threaded End 18 gauge Earring. For the specs: 1) The Sun Earring should measure 9mm from the tip of one the rays to the furthest tip of the opposite ray. 2) The earring would be be 1mm thick. 3) I'd like for the Shaft that goes through the ear to be 18g with a 1/4" Inner Length 4) 3/16" Threaded Disk Flat Back End. I can send you a preview image and 3D model of my Sun design. Please let me know if I can place an order! Thank you, -Sam Vest
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Jul 31, 2021
Hi Sam, Please do send us an image of what you'd like to marc(at) and Ivy (at) From there, we can talk specifically about our capabilities as well as potentially giving you a quote for the job.
Posted by: Mitch Lukasavage on Dec 21, 2021
Thank you so much for sharing this blog
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Dec 21, 2021
Great that you found it useful! Contact us if you would like us to make something for you.
Posted by: John Billings on Feb 08, 2022
Thanks for such an interesting blog and the given content is extremely good.
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Feb 08, 2022
Glad that the blog was useful!
Posted by: jasmine on Feb 26, 2022
How wonderful it is to be able you are able to create these custom designs! I would love to work with your company.
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Feb 26, 2022
Feel free to reach out to us via email or phone!
Posted by: Rooplaxmi Engravings on Mar 12, 2022
Thanks for such great informative content or blog your content was extremely good.
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Mar 12, 2022
Thank you for. your comment and for contacting us! I think your design concept will look great with the flawless 2.5 Canadian diamond you've chosen! Look forward to making your design
Posted by: Rooplaxmi jewellery RLJ on Mar 26, 2022
Great post. Thank you-- this post is very useful.
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Mar 27, 2022
Great to hear that! Looking forward to making your custom design jewelry project.
Posted by: Gina Ricciardi on Mar 27, 2022
I'm interested in making the bail on my Moms vintage cross pendant larger to fit my Dads vintage 3mm rope chain.
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Mar 28, 2022
This seems like a fairly straight forward project-- the kind we do all the time. Just to make sure, would you please email me an image of the cross and if possible your Dad's rope chain? Ideally, we could have both sent to us so that we can make sure we get the new bail exactly right.
Posted by: RICHARD TRAVIS on Apr 09, 2022
I have my mother and grandmothers engagement rings and no children and hate to just sell them. I would like to make them into a men's spike like pendant which I found one of and purchased from Etsy in sterling silver. I would actually like to use the Etsy item as a molding piece to repurpose the diamonds and use the ring gold and a few other rings to reform a pendant. Is this something that can be done relatively inexpensively or we talking something way out of my range? Realizing that range is a sketchy index to say the least. Would i be further ahead to try and mount the diamonds in the Etsey S Silver pendant?
Posted by: Marc Choyt on May 09, 2022
Richard, Please email me images of what you'd like us to do and we can take it from there. We cannot copy other designer's designs, but we can create similar projects from your material. Thanks for contacting us.
Posted by: Cufflinks on Nov 22, 2022
Your cufflinks are second to none! Cufflinks Thanks for sending them all the way to the UK!
Posted by: rjlyn1 on Nov 24, 2022
Thank you for your excellent custom jewelry design!
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Mar 22, 2023
Thank you for your comment about our cufflinks!
Posted by: B. K. Wilson on Apr 05, 2023
Great blog. we found great knowledge of custom jewelry design process exceptional and have had a wonderful experience working with your company!
Posted by: f5d9xj on Oct 05, 2023
Posted by: hyh7mu on Oct 05, 2023

Only Fairtrade Gold Jeweler in the USA 
since 2015

Santa Fe, NM Green Business of the Year

Catalyzing the Ethical Jewelry Movement

Winner of MJSA Responsibly Sourced Design Challenge

Founder of First-Ever Ethical Jewelry Blog

Collaborators of USAID Zahabu Safi (Clean Gold) Project