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How can I find a goldsmith?

Discussion in 'Purchasing Precious Metals' started by <SLV>, Jan 12, 2017.



  1. <SLV>

    <SLV> Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    I would like to hire an excellent goldsmith to make some custom jewelry for my daughters. In particular, I would like identical necklace pendants of my family coat of arms.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for how to search for a reputable goldsmith? Are there any accreditation organizations or certifications that I should look for?

    Mostly I want a skilled artist who can truly capture the essence in a timeless manner - heirloom jewelry that will be passed on for generations. Just because someone knows how to work with the metal doesn't mean they are artistic.
     
  2. birddog

    birddog Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    You don't care where they are located? Summit jewelry, http://www.summitjewelersstl.com/our-work/

    Marty lived across from me growing up. At the time he did wax molding in his basement. He opened a store years later. My husband had my wedding rings made there. They make beautiful jewelry.

    They really like making unique pieces for semi precious stones. IMG_0057.JPG

    IMG_0058.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    Goldhedge, searcher, mayhem and 3 others like this.
  3. <SLV>

    <SLV> Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Location is not a big deal, but it would be nice to have a face to face chat with whomever I commission to make these pieces. I'm planning on having 7 made, and they will have semiprecious stones. Depending on the cost I might need to spread this out over several years.

    Can you PM me with your name? I'll contact him and give your name as a referral.
     
  4. rte

    rte Silver Member Silver Miner

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    I've had a few custom pieces made from a local guy (true artist and there is no rushing him as he's the artist)
    Julian does Very nice work buy is on a time line of his own.
    I have a couple ideas I was going to run by Paul Bensel Jewelers (this is another guy my mother uses for custom stuff)
    http://www.paulbenseljewelers.com/
     
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  5. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    The person you are looking for is called a Bench Jeweler. They can make anything you can imagine, and the couple that I know in Grand Rapids absolutely love doing it.
    Google bench jeweler followed by your zip code or the ZC of your nearest good sized city. Good Luck! . . :2 thumbs up:
     
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  6. <SLV>

    <SLV> Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Thanks for the tips. I have contacted a couple local jewellers and one out of state. I will look into these other leads. The only quote I got back was $7,600 plus tax for 7 necklaces.
     
  7. mayhem

    mayhem Другая перспектива Silver Miner Site Supporter

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    Haven't had any made in years now, but that doesn't sound outrageous nor to cheap.
    Also depends on how many wax design he will have to present for your approval.

    Depends who is supplying the gold. If the items are gong to be worn a lot do not go any higher than 18 ct. 20 ct for occasional, 24 ct, well not recommended unless it's for display only.

    I commissioned a artist to do a design and wax. Had a dentist friend who did gold caps and crowns make the mold and cast the ring. I supplied a KR to melt for the ring.
     
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  8. Montecristo

    Montecristo Silver Member Silver Miner

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    For a family crest or family coat of arms something like this:
    [​IMG]

    There are guys who can do this by hand, but what you want to take advantage of is technology rather then artistic talent. You need to find a jeweler who does CAD/CAM and 3D printing. A few years ago this was relatively new technology but as time has past, as is the way with tech, it is widespread now and prices have came way down. Much lower then paying a guy to carve the design by hand in wax.

    The additional advantage that would benefit what you are discussing making for your family is once the design is finalized and you approve it the CAD program can scale the model for you larger or smaller depending on what you are making. Example, maybe you would like to make the design into a Mans Signet ring for yourself. Then take the same design, scale it down for a custom pendant for your daughters, perhaps a little larger version of the pendant for your wife. So your paying the CAD designer ONCE for the design and then he can scale it and print it to the size you need.

    THe other advantage to CAD and 3D printing for the application you are looking for is that you are getting an original casting each time you make the piece because he is printing a new wax. The old way was to carve the original, take a mold of it then inject waxes from the mold. So there were factors involved of distortion, lack of detail, shrinkage and a few others. With a 3D printing you get all the detail and the exact size of the original each time because they are all original.

    One area to be cautious about, especially with a design as complicated as a family coat of arms is to negotiate into the deal that the design fee is one price to make the design to your approval and NO "DESIGN" charges each time he makes a tweek to meet your approval. That is where these guys are padding the bill. Every time they make a change, wether it's their fault or not, they charge a design change fee. Don't fall for this. Your piece is heavily detailed and it's possible that it is going to take multiple trial and errors to make it so you are happy. Be careful about that and negotiate yourself an inclusive deal and use the promise of making multiple pieces as your leverage.

    Your other piece of leverage is the design is YOURS because you are commissioning him to make it for you and you are paying him for the work. The work is yours. DO NOT let him hold it hostage from you so he can jack up the price each time you want to make a new one. Ask for a copy of the design on a flash drive. In that way you hold the leverage of being able to take the design to anyone who has a 3D printer and you are not bound to him to make these pieces for you in the future.

    Believe me, he wants your business, especially your repeat business, because once the design is done and finailized making multiples is pure gravy work. But you need the leverage of going back to him because he did a good job at a fair price, not that you have to because he holds your design hostage.
    If you have any other questions post them in the thread and I'll be happy to answer them.
     
  9. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok I'd rather be Midas Member

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    Looks like it would be an enamelware piece?

    R.
     
  10. <SLV>

    <SLV> Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Mine is much simpler than that. Just a white gold casting with some semi-precious stones.

    Talked with another jeweler yesterday who turned it down. I don't really think he was qualified anyway. I'm expecting a call tomorrow from another.

    I've got plenty of time to make sure I find someone I'm real comfortable with. I'm also willing to consider people from a cross the country.

    I am thinking about contacting the metalworking teacher at our local university to see if they know the names of some well known jewelry artists. Otherwise I'm having a hard time finding an insider source. It would be excellent if they were made by an established and recognized artist. From an heirloom perspective it would make them very collectible.
     
  11. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Modal Operator/Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    Ok, I'll chime in.

    I know this gal and her hubby. I play music with her brother - for the past 20 years.

    She lives in Portland and they make absolutely stunning jewelry.

    Had her make our wedding set. It's nothing fancy, a simple design, but she did it in 18ct for me.

    jo haemer<jhaemer AT gmail.com>

    Give her a jingle and ask for pictures of their work!

    Tell her the above and she'll know who I am.

    Best

    Gh
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  12. Montecristo

    Montecristo Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Well, now you're saying something different. At first you said you wanted to make 7 necklaces of the same design. And I told you how to accomplish that while getting yourself the best deal. Now you're talking about art and artists. These are two different aspects of the business.

    As far as jewelry artists that will add to the value of your design, that's all marketing. There are very few names producing jewelry today that can garner extra money in a resale market. And you will pay dearly for that name. At the end of the day, it's just gold.

    And as far as an insider in the jewellery business, this is how I make my living. While I don't claim to know everything, I know enough to have made a living at it for 30 yrs.
     
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  13. <SLV>

    <SLV> Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Thanks for the inside perspective, Montecristo.
     

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