Welcome to Jeff’s Custom Corner where award winning jewelry designer and goldsmith, Jeffrey Ross, shares the story behind the design and creation of a custom jewelry piece. Today, Jeff shares the story of a special Graduation Gift: a custom white gold, birch bark necklace set with a diamond and colored gems.

Because everyone’s story, desires, and requirements are different we have always found it best to start custom jewelry projects with an initial design consultation. During that consultation clients, just like you, get the opportunity to express their interests and project requirements. They tell us about their family and the wonderful individual they are designing the piece for. More importantly, they get the opportunity to build rapport with me, assess my personality, and decide if we are well suited to work together. Over the years we have done many of these consultations remotely. However, they are pretty much all done remotely now. Technologies that have emerged during the pandemic have really made communicating virtually much easier. Consequently, we have been able to service the custom jewelry needs of our clients worldwide easier and more efficiently than ever before. Distance is no longer an issue!

For example, the gentleman who commissioned us to create this piece first reached out from a remote mine in Northern Ontario Canada where he was managing a mining operation. Because connectivity and bandwidth were an issue we handled the initial design consultation with a simple old school phone call.  

During that call, I learned he would be giving this necklace to his wife as a gift to celebrate her graduation. She had returned to school to further her education and fulfill her role as an Inigenous Educator Department Facilitator even better. He was so proud of her. As you can imagine, achieving a Master’s degree as a working parent was a challenging task. But, as I discovered during our call, it was a challenge they tackled together.

“It takes teamwork to make the dream work!”

Right?! The idea to incorporate birthstones to represent each of them emerged from that notion. He shared a real story during that call and from that I learned everything I needed to develop some design concepts that I thought would resonate with him and, more importantly, really appeal to her. The piece needed to tell its story in a sensitive way, representing each aspect of the narrative without misappropriating anything of cultural significance. 

Here are a few of the quick ideas from my drawing board that I shared via email once he was back in a location with better internet access and bandwidth. During the call that followed, he was able to express his interests and shared some input to refine the concept.

 Pictured here is the final design concept and a quote from the email I sent him when I shared the final design concept. “I’ve refined this concept a little further. I’ve pushed two of the three gems slightly off the “bark.” In addition to the many uses, Birch bark is known for (canoe construction, containers & vessels for food, etc) it was also used to write on, to communicate, and to tell a story. In this application, it is the backdrop for your family story. As your lives take you all over the place you sometimes slide away over the edge … but you never leave the bark and the “story”. In this way, you always stay connected. As you read this story from left to right you see the two smaller gems (yours and M’s) coming together on the left and then your son making his appearance a little farther along the timeline to the right. This design has order & chaos in balance woven together by the bark which can, as an element of a tree with roots and branches, be symbolic of growth and family and everything else that matters to you. I deliberately chose gems (Garnet & Ruby, your birthstones) as close as possible to half the size (width wise not carat weight) of the diamond so that their (your) sum would equal the diamond (your child).”

Here is an image of the finished necklace.  And here is our customer’s reaction to the design process. “An absolutely amazing experience dealing with Dimples to have some custom jewelry made. Jeff took my vague ideas and a modest budget and created something truly stunning. Can’t recommend enough!”

His wife was equally delighted with her graduation gift. “I am so, so surprised! We never do surprises. This is so beautiful! I love it!”

Whether you are looking for high-definition gold fingerprint jewelry, custom fingerprint jewelry, or any other custom jewelry you could possibly imagine we can find a way to creatively and artistically craft your idea into an enduring masterpiece you will cherish for a lifetime.