General Question

gorillapaws's avatar

Can goldsmiths modify rings? or do they usually only work from scratch for custom work?

Asked by gorillapaws (30305points) February 1st, 2017

I’m starting to think seriously about engagement rings and I was hoping to do something a bit custom. I’ve found a couple of choices, but I was hoping it might be possible to swap out the stone, and possibly add others to it. I expect a true custom ring to be prohibitively expensive, but would it be that hard to do some small additions to an existing ring? or is that not possible/worth their while?

Does anyone have any experience with custom rings?

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11 Answers

janbb's avatar

I don’t have any direct experience but I do know of people who have been able to get an existing ring modified. It is something certain jewelers can do. For example, people will get a family ring reset with other or additional jewels.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Most goldsmiths will do custom work, ones that actually melt and pour the metal will let you look through a wax mold catalogue. Most rings can’t have things added like more mounts for added stones. If the stone mount is removalable they maybe able to exchange the pin mount .
Gold rings are made by the lost wax method.

Zaku's avatar

Yeah, it’s possible. Custom alterations are a common thing for many jewelers, as are modifications for repair/strengthening. Costs depend on the specifics.

zenvelo's avatar

When we were getting engaged, my ex and I saw a ring in a jewelry store in Mendocino CA that was exquisite. But it was way overpriced for the stone that it had. My ex’s dad had a friend who sold us a stone at wholesale.

We took it to a custom jeweler and with him designed a similar setting that would enhance the stone we had. All in all, it was less than the cost of the ring in the fancy tourist store in Mendocino.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, a good goldsmith or silversmith can do what you want.

But not every jeweler is that skilled. There’s someone here in Atlanta that I used that did excellent reconstructive work on a silver ring with a stone (tanzanite) setting. But I had to look long and far in order to find him.

Pachy's avatar

My uncles were goldsmiths and jewelers extraordinaire. I can assure you a good goldsmith can work wonders for you.

Jeruba's avatar

I had to have my wedding ring cut off my finger prior to surgery on my left wrist. The ring is fairly thick and has an intricate design (mostly worn away now after 39 years). It was pretty badly mangled by the orderly with the wire cutters. A jeweler made the seam almost undetectable by casting and reproducing the design elements.

I also had a custom job done on the channel mounting of a sapphire years ago.

So I’d say there’s plenty that a competent goldsmith can do.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Jeruba If you don’t mind my asking, what kind of money are we talking about for that kind of work? High hundreds? Low thousands? More?

Also, thanks for all of the great answers.

BellaB's avatar

A friend of mine had a very clear idea of the ring she wanted (to serve as the engagement and wedding ring).

We went to several pawn shops so she could buy rings with the components she wanted. We then went to a local jeweller who took the rings apart to get the stones she was after for her design. There was quite a bit of excess gold. The jeweller took the extra gold as partial payment for the ring he built out of the components. It was a great deal for her. She paid about $1200 (in total) for a ring she’d had quotes of in the $8000— $10000 range if it was fully custom-made.

Jeruba's avatar

@gorillapaws, the repairing of my ring was astonishingly low. It was something like $120–140 for some pretty fussy work. This was about 9 years ago, but it was also in Silicon Valley, where prices run high.

The custom job came to $600, and that included the sapphire, the gold ring, and the custom mounting. That was also in Silicon Valley, but more than 30 years ago, when there was relatively more sanity in the world than there is now.

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