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Hot off the Bench: Hand-Carved Wax Cast Silver Hannya Mask Ring


That’s it. It’s been decided. I officially decree this amazing hand-carved, wax cast, silver Hannya mask ring Custom’s “herald of the fall.” Over the past few weeks, school has gotten underway, the air has become crisper, and the pumpkin-flavored treats have come out in full force. So around Custom jewelry, I’ve been waiting for the perfect custom ring to transition us from the final golden rays of late summer to the deeper, darker tones of early fall. Last week, Lee finished creating it: A beautifully detailed, slightly sinister, completely hardcore silver mask ring. And man, does it rock.

The creation of this ring started with a picture of a Hannya mask. These masks were used in traditional Japanese theater to symbolize when a female character was overtaken by a jealousy demon. The owner let us know that his ideal ring would be bold, silver, and look like a miniature Hannya mask. Since this type of design cannot be achieved by any computer-aided design, this request could have fazed many-a-jeweler, but Lee simply said “OK,” and got the project underway.

For weeks, I watched as Lee slowly transformed a solid block of wax into a perfectly sized miniature Hannya mask. Using only his artistic skill, whittling tools, and the picture as a guide, Lee hand-carved a 1″ x 1″ block of wax into a one-of-a-kind wax mold that would soon be cast into a one-of-a-kind silver ring. Once the wax was complete, Lee melted away weeks’ worth of work by casting his miniature mask portrait into a wickedly beautiful, completely original silver mask ring.

So my hat’s off to Lee on this one. I’m truly blown away by his steady hand and the final product. And as you can imagine, the owner was too. So check out the incredible wax mold and the final silver mask ring in the images below, and give a huge shout out to Lee for his great work. I can’t wait to see what the rest of fall brings us! Bad-ass-silver-ring  awesome-men's-silver-ring  hand-carved-wax-mold hand-carved-hannya-mask-ring   how-to-carve-a-wax

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Hot off the Bench: Diamond and Sapphire White Gold Statement Pendant


It’s not uncommon to pair diamonds with sapphires, but every once in a while they are combined in a new, statement-making way that makes you sit up a little straighter and take notice. This was the case with this fabulous diamond, sapphire, and white gold statement pendant we created for one of our clients.

Our very forward-thinking client came to us with a very clear vision. He wanted to make a pendant for his lady love. He wanted to use sapphires, diamonds, and white gold. And, he wanted the pendant to subtly reflect an M and a W, the initials of his love and himself. He even brought in illustrations of what he wanted, depicting the bold white gold lines you see in the finished product below and the stonework that bridged the metal together.

Leaving his vision in the hands of our jeweler extraordinaire, Lee took the illustration, rendered it, and worked his magic at the bench to make it a reality. The finished product is bold, clean, and significant. It depicts the love of two people by smartly joining their initials, and it is sure to make a big impact on anyone who has the pleasure of catching a glimpse of it on it’s wearer.


Custom-made-XO-Pendant  diamond-sapphire-white-gold-xo-pendant  contemporary-diamond-sapphire-pendant

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Hot off the Bench: Hand-engraved white gold engagement ring and wedding band

White gold flower wedding set

There’s classic, and then there’s fairy tale. When Lee brought over this wedding set — a hand-engraved white gold and diamond engagement ring and flower band — from the bench, I blurted out, “Oh my god, did you steal these from Cinderella?!” To which I’m fairly certain he replied something like “Even Prince Charming needs a jeweler.”

Seriously though, these rings are fabulous. I know it. Lee knows it. And the lucky wearer of them knows it. It’s like a fantasy-garden grew up around her finger while she was sleeping. It’s like a fairy godmother popped out of a pumpkin and turned a garden gnome into diamond. It’s like Aladdin’s Genie floated over and gave her two of Aladdin’s three wishes. They are gorgeous: White gold, impeccable flower details, hand-engraving, and the most incredible little scroll-work on the engagement ring’s shank.

But really the craziest thing about these rings is that there was no fairy godmother, fantasy-garden, or fabled genie. Just a beautiful vision of what the rings could be, and hand-crafted artistry from a master jeweler and a master engraver. These rings were very-much created in reality. Now they’re making the wearer’s dreams come true.

Fairy-tale-white-gold-engagement-ring  Daisy-flower-white-gold-wedding-band Hand-engraved-princess-wedding-set Hand-engraved-flower-wedding-band Posy-flower-wedding-set Hand-engraved-flower-wedding-ring Secret-garden-engagement-ringCustom-flower-engagement-ring

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Scintillating 1.25 carat pear diamond and hammered gold engagement ring


This 1.25 carat pear diamond and hammered gold band engagement ring was truly a work of love. I know this because, in my experience, pear-shaped diamonds are some of the most polarizing stones in the jewelry world. You either love them or you hate them. You’re either fashion-forward, or a fashion faux pas. To all those who are getting ready to propose, consider yourself warned: know your beloved wants a pear-shaped diamond engagement ring prior to purchase. Otherwise, it’s a going to be a gamble whether your proposal will end with swooning or tears (I kid. Kind of.).

As a woman who LOVES the pear-shaped diamond engagement ring she wears on her own finger, you can imagine how floored I was when I saw what Lee had created for this awesome couple. This pear-shaped, bezel-set diamond, turns tradition on its head (literally) by turning the pear stone sideways. This cool, modern take on pears kicks this fashion-forward ring up a notch. Then combine the amazingly clear diamond with a gently-hammered yellow gold band, and you’ve got an elegantly simple, stark, modern engagement ring, and a wearer who will have fun stirring up controversy for many years to come!


east-west-pear-engagement-ring  East-west-Set-Pear-Ring  Yellow-gold-pear-engagement-ring  East-west-Set-Pear-Ring

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White gold and diamond shadow wedding bands

The lucky owner of this beautiful diamond and sapphire engagement ring was thrilled to receive such a stunning family heirloom from her fiance. But, like most antique rings, her new engagement ring didn’t come with a wedding band, and modern wedding bands weren’t doing the ring justice. So, she partnered with Custom to let us create the perfect pair of white gold and diamond wedding bands to enhance the delicate beauty of her vintage ring.

Vintage and antique engagement rings are near-and-dear to our hearts at Custom. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing we love more than helping couples create gorgeous custom engagement rings to represent their one-of-a-kind love. But, we appreciate the romanticism behind giving your loved one a ring that has a history of love behind it, as well.

However, as our bride-to-be found out, finding the right wedding band to marry to a beautiful antique or vintage ring is tricky. Rings of an early era (1900 or earlier) were often created to wear alone and therefore tend to have non-standard shapes. Most vintage wedding bands (1950 and later) are usually separated from the engagement ring as they get passed down through the generations. So, if you want to use a vintage ring as an engagement ring, most modern wedding bands won’t *quite* fit the unique shape of your older ring. This is also what makes vintage rings fun (for Custom, at least)! We can’t wait to breathe new life into an old ring with a wedding band (or in this case, bands) that make each ring uniquely the wearer’s.

In this case, our bride knew she wanted two bands, each with diamonds, that would frame her engagement ring. Custom knew we wanted the bands to enhance, not overshadow, the ring’s delicate filigree work. After some consultation and a few rounds of design, we came up with these two lovely shadow bands with prong set diamonds. We love how the bands gently hug the ring and the prong-set round diamonds give the outside edge a delicate scalloped look, gently mirroring the fine filigree scroll work on the ring. In the end, the bride loved the sparkle, the groom loved that it didn’t detract from the family’s ring, and we loved that we had two more happy customers.