Throughout time, there has always been the desire make everyday items like jewelry, clothing, and accessories perfectly customized for you. A piece made just for you or someone special with the intention of going the extra mile holds a kind of sentimental value. This value doesn’t come from just the metal or gemstones used in the piece, but the intention of its creation.
Keeping these sentimental details in mind when creating your custom jewelry for yourself, as a gift, or even for a proposal makes your piece that much more special. It’s the thought behind it that can be felt in the details of your creation.
Hand Engraving or Laser Engraving are methods used in jewelry to make your piece that much more personal. Engraving by hand is a dying art in which the artist engraves with sharp steel gravers directly into the piece itself, making small slices as they pull away tiny pieces of metal. Looking closely, you can see the difference from the sharper points in hand engraving and slight variations of levels of metal vs. Laser Engraving.
Laser engraving has a lower price point and is done by a machine with pristine precision. The machine takes the information about what is to be engraved and a laser is used to remove the metal through high power, revealing your engraving. Virtually anything can be engraved, from your own handwriting, fingerprints, designs, symbols, numbers, letters, phrases and much more. Engraving can be done on the inside or outside of rings, on pendants, earrings, or bracelets to make your jewelry that much more special.
If you have a special saying or something meaningful to you or a loved one, you can engrave it on your customized piece. The limits are endless!
The use of birthstones can be connected to yours or a loved one’s birth month through the use of vivid and unique gemstones. Birthstones can be traced back to biblical sources in the book of Exodus, specifically the breastplate of Aaron. The modern variation we know today came about in the 18th century when gem traders marketed gemstones based on a person’s month.
In 1912 the National Association of Jewelers solidified the usage of birthstones in the United States. Note that there are different gemstones that correlate to your birthstone than those associated with your zodiac sign.
January – Garnet
Notorious for it’s deep red color, it can also be found in yellow, orange, and even green!
February – Amethyst
In ancient Greece it was believed that if you wore amethyst it would protect you from intoxication.
March – Aquamarine
This gem comes from two words, aqua meaning blue, and marina, meaning the sea.
April – Diamond A diamond is the hardest material on earth being a 10 on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness.
May – Emerald
Cleopatra is known to have a love of emeralds and to have claimed ownership of every single emerald during her rule.
June: Pearl, Alexandrite, Moonstone
Pearls are formed by mollusks, Alexandrite is a color changing gemstone, and moonstone also is noted for its shifts in color.
July – Ruby
Ruby is a variety of corundum, which is the same material as sapphire, but the only characteristic that makes it a Ruby is it’s red or pink hue.
August – Peridot, Spinel, and Sardonyx
Peridot is named from the Greek word for “giving plenty”. Spinel can be almost any color and Sardonyx is an ancient birthstone combining two types of chalcedony, sard and onyx.
September – Sapphire
Sapphire can come in colors other than it’s most signature blue hue.
October – Opal and Tourmaline
Opal is formed when water picks up silica dioxide and deposits them in open voids. Then the water evaporates and leaves the silica dioxide behind. Tourmaline comes in mixed colors and is from the Sinhalese word for multi colored stone, "tura mali".
November – Topaz and Citrine
Topaz can come in an array of colors, while Citrine is a type of quartz crystal .
December – Tanzanite, Turquoise, and Zircon
Tanzanite was discovered in Tanzania and has a deep blue color. Turquoise has been used for a millennia from the rulers of Egypt, Chinese artisans, and Indigenous Native Americans for more than 3,000 years while Zircon can come in an array of colors.
One way I love incorporating birthstones into custom jewelry is on the inside of a ring shank. You can flush set the small round birthstones as a secret reminder of your loved ones. For engagement or wedding bands, one idea is to use birthstones representing both of you and setting them inside of each other’s ring bands.
This may seem obvious, but never doubt the power of symbolism. Do you or the person you’re making a custom piece of jewelry for have a favorite symbol like a certain flower, animal, aspect of nature, or even zodiac sign? It can be anything from an element, a mark, or a sign that signifies and understanding or idea that is an aspect of your relationship. These symbols can all be added to or influence the design of your custom jewelry. Symbolism can be abstract and be almost anything.
Colors also have their own symbolic meanings.
Black – Confidence, Power, Strength.
White – Purity, Life, Tranquility.
Red – Passion, Love, Vitality.
Purple –Nobility, Spirituality, Fantasy.
Yellow – Positivity, Joy, Happiness
Green – Harmony, Loyalty, Prosperity
Orange – Optimism, Freedom, Pleasure
Blue – Confidence, Trust, Loyalty
Pink – Femininity, Calmness, Gratitude
Another aspect to keep in mind as you are designing your custom piece is the purpose of item you’re trying to bring to life. Are you wanting to attract love, denote strength, bring in wealth? Explore types of symbols that reflect the intention of your creation.
Many cultures have their own symbols and meanings, so the exploration is endless!
Do you or you loved one have a lucky number or is there a certain number of children you or your loved ones have? Perhaps you are celebrating an anniversary and want to incorporate a certain number of years into the piece. Numbers can be represented by either large or small gemstones on the piece itself.
The possibilities are endless for customization and what you want to represent for either yourself or a loved one, while even being able to include the family.
Each gemstone has unique characteristics and healing properties which can be incorporated into your custom jewelry. Through the ages, many gemstones have been known for their symbolism and spiritual meanings. Gemstones have adorned breastplates of priests, warriors in battle, used in shamanic services, acted as a guiding light for ancient tribes, and have been held closely by princesses, sailors, healers, and travelers in hopes of amplifying traits, healing, or protection.
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