The initial consultation usually takes about 1 hour or less. During the meeting, you capture pertinent information regarding the design concept. Not to worry if you don’t know exactly what you are after; it’s amazing how quickly our designers can get you there.
After the meeting, you can expect to receive initial renderings and quotes.
Up to this point, EVERYTHING is complimentary.
If you opt to proceed with the project, we begin to make necessary alterations and solidify a final design. This is the magical part! You are able to really envision the finished project. Often customers worry that they won’t like the piece once completed; however, with this process and today’s technology it would be very difficult to be disappointed. Through drawings, CAD’s (computer aided drawings) and wax models, you really get a complete feel for the finished piece.
How long will it take?
Well, that’s partially up to you! From the initial consultation to final design, the process normally takes about 1 week. It’s important that we stay in contact and work efficiently together through this stage. Then, you can expect the work to be completed in about 4-5 weeks from the time the final design is approved. That’s when you can sit back and anxiously await your masterpiece!
What is the Difference Between Full and Partial Custom?
Full Custom is when we design the entire piece together and make all components of the piece. A Partial Custom piece is when we are able to use already created mountings (aka blank mountings) with the stones of your choice or when we use other components that can be acquired and not created from scratch. There are advantages of both methods and we usually won’t know the answer until we get started with the design. Full custom guarantees your design is made exactly the way you want. If you are a bit flexible with the design a Partial Custom can often save time and money.
Re-purposing is when a new piece whether created by Full or Partial Custom is created from a pre-existing piece. This is a great solution to the heirloom piece you were gifted that sits in a drawer because it’s just isn’t your style!
Bring on the Examples!
Full Custom: A One-of-a-Kind Anniversary Ring
“Matt came into the store one Saturday wanting to gift a ring to his wife on their anniversary. We landed on custom because Matt wanted to make sure she got exactly what he envisioned. Her birthstone is pearl and their four children are all diamonds (born in April). We came up with a design that he liked and they were both really pleased with the results. He says she’s been wearing it everyday since he gave it to her and the whole process turned out exactly as he imagined.” -Veronica Spencer.
Re-Purposing: Grandmother’s Ruby & Diamond Bracelet Turned into 2 Rings for 4 Grand-Daughters
“After our Mother’s death, we had a good amount of her jewelry that we didn’t know what to do with. She had four granddaughters who adored her so we thought we would take the jewelry to Argo and Lehne and have them help us create some pieces for the granddaughters. Argo and Lehne did an amazing job at helping us through this process. Taking my Mother’s “older” pieces of jewelry and turning them into something that all the granddaughters wear daily! We are so thankful for the experience, talent and kindness that Argo and Lehne brought to this process.” -Cathy, A&L Customer.
Re-Purposing: Two Heirloom Rings Turned into a Diamond Bar Necklace
“My mother gave me a ring she could no longer wear. It was a dinner ring with a cluster of diamonds. Knowing the ring was not my style, I wasn’t sure what could be done with it but knew I wanted something made because of the sentimental value. My first thought was to use the diamonds in another ring setting. After seeing sketches and meeting with both Michelle and Veronica, I decided to proceed with a custom necklace using the diamonds. Although the sketch of the necklace looked really good, the finished product was outstanding. I am very pleased with my custom necklace. It is one that fits my personality and can wear with anything. I am looking forward to showing it off at my son’s wedding.”
“I walked into Argo & Lehne having no idea what to do with this ring. After meeting with Michelle and Veronica several times throughout this journey, they were able to get a sense of my jewelry taste and style and could go to work from there. Michelle and Veronica are very personable, extremely easy to work with and were eager to help me figure out what I was looking for.”
“I absolutely would recommend Argo & Lehne. I started with Argo & Lehne 30 years ago from a family member referral. They have always gone out of their way to make me feel like an important customer.” -Anita, A&L Customer.
Re-Purposing: An Heirloom Brooch Transformed into an Emerald Ring
“For 5 years I had stashed in a drawer a very sentimental brooch that was given to me by two very close friends. The gesture was so touching that they both wanted me to have the piece but the style just didn’t suit me and so it sat. It wasn’t until I began working at A&L that I realized my story was so similar to just about every heirloom repurposing story that comes through the showroom doors. I suppose I feared that the cost would be too expensive or the process too difficult. The reality of the custom process was so different than my original perception! This project was the perfect exercise for me to learn from both the customer and designers perspective. I now am even better at custom sales because of making my own ring. I have also designed my engagement ring while working at the store.”
Thoughts on final piece…
“It only made sense that I love the piece because the process was so thorough that the final ring was exactly as I had envisioned. The CAD’s (Computer Aided Design) were very realistic. We did go through a few iterations as I decided to modify and tweak just a few things along the way. The top of the ring was too angular in our first rendering and we softened the lines and rounded the profile. I also changed the configuration of the diamonds to allow a better proportion, moving from largest to smallest. These minor changes resulted in a perfect design.” Janet Kerekes, A&L Sales Associate.