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"The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life"

- Confucius

How does the Custom Design process start?

Schedule our appointment, bring your notes, ideas, and images, whether from Pinterest or other sources. We’ll have a casual discussion about the project, covering details, timelines, framework, and budget, all while ensuring we align with your vision. Feel free to ask any questions; I’m here to assist you every step of the way.

Before we commence any work, you’ll receive a detailed quote; I firmly believe in transparent pricing and never upselling my clients. Once the design is finalized, you’ll receive a clear, written estimate for the project. Upon your approval, a deposit is taken, marking the beginning of the creation process.

We then progress to the intricate stages of the project, including detailed drawings, precise CAD models, wax prototypes, casting, meticulous detailing, stone setting, and finishing touches such as filigree and hand engraving (if applicable). Upon completion of all these stages, your custom piece is ready for delivery!

What if I'm not sure what my partner likes?

Opting for a ‘safe-setting’ is a wise approach, especially when uncertainty surrounds the recipient’s preferences. Investing significantly in a piece that might be returned or kept out of obligation can lead to awkwardness or disappointment. To navigate this situation, consider these options:

  • Cubic Zirconia (Diamond Simulant): A cost-effective alternative that mimics the appearance of a diamond.
  • Colored Swarovski Crystal: These lead glass crystals, crafted from quartz, sand, and minerals, offer vibrant and affordable colored gemstone alternatives.

For the setting, I recommend solitaire-type jewelry settings. You can easily acquire a sterling silver solitaire setting with a cubic zirconia at a minimal cost. If a yellow-toned metal is preferred, there’s also the option of gold-plated sterling silver.

Later, once you’ve determined the desired style and material for your jewelry, I’m more than happy to credit the cost of your ‘safe-setting’ towards your new purchase. Some clients choose to retain the ‘safe-setting’ for sentimental reasons or for travel purposes. Alternatively, I’ve worked with couples who enjoyed the experience of selecting jewelry together, making it a memorable occasion, perfectly suited for my ‘Sparkle, Smolder & Sip’ offer.

Does Skyline sell Lab Diamonds? Can you tell me more about Lab Diamonds?

Yes, Skyline sells Lab Diamonds.

Understanding Lab-Grown Diamonds: Lab-grown diamonds, also known as human-made diamonds, have gained popularity among today’s engagement ring buyers. Unlike natural diamonds, they are created in a laboratory setting. Lab-grown and natural diamonds share identical physical properties, formed when carbon crystals bond under high pressure and temperature.

There are two primary production methods: CVD (chemical vapor deposition) and HPHT (high-pressure, high-temperature).

  • HPHT involves subjecting a small diamond to intense heat and pressure, causing carbon to melt around it.
  • CVD begins with a small diamond exposed to high temperature and pressure inside a sealed chamber, where gases break down, allowing pure carbon to adhere to the diamond seed. Labgrown diamonds don’t require billions of years to develop; small sizes can be ready in approximately a month due to technological advancements. Visually, there is no discernible difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds, making specialized equipment necessary for accurate identification. Jewelers are required to specify whether a diamond is natural or lab-grown.

Lab-Grown vs. Natural Diamonds: Natural diamonds, due to their rarity, are often priced two to three times higher than lab-grown counterparts. The price disparity stems from the substantial resources needed to bring natural diamonds to the market, especially as no significant diamond mines have been discovered in the past 30 years. This scarcity leads to higher demand and, consequently, higher prices.

When deciding between lab-grown and natural diamonds for an engagement ring, it’s important to weigh factors like price, resale value, and personal preference. Lab-created diamonds are often more affordable due to their shorter supply chain. In contrast, mined diamonds carry a rich historical value, and the eventual closure of existing mines has led to speculation about a potential for significant price increases for natural diamonds in the future. Again this is purely speculative.

An engagement ring is a highly personal possession. It’s important to remember that both labgrown and mined diamonds are both diamonds. For this reason, it’s hard to say whether you should go with the mined or lab-grown diamond when selecting one. Much like relationships, discovering your perfect diamond ultimately depends on the “Eyes of the Beholder”.

Skyline’s Policy on Lab-Grown Diamonds: Due to the unpredictable resale values of lab-grown diamonds, Skyline does not accept them for trade; a policy shared by many jewelers.

Alternative Options to Natural & Lab Grown Diamonds:

  • Moissanite: Created from silicon carbide in a scientific laboratory, Moissanite exhibits exceptional fire, although it differs structurally from real diamonds.
  • Cubic Zirconia: Lab-made and visually similar to diamonds, cubic zirconia lacks the durability of real diamonds, becoming prone to scratches and breakage over time.
  • Quartz: While not as brilliant as diamonds, skilled artisans can craft beautiful engagement rings from quartz. However, like other softer stones, it may lose its shine due to scratching over time.
  • Colored Gemstones: Options like ruby and sapphire (sapphires ranging in colors across the spectrum – blue, yellow, white, orange, etc.) offer unique alternatives for engagement rings.

Do you offer appraisals with your jewelry?

Absolutely, every piece of jewelry valued over $1000 includes a complimentary appraisal. Even if your purchase falls below the $1000 mark, simply let me know, and I’ll be delighted to offer a free appraisal.

If you require an independent appraisal for your existing jewelry, whether for estate or insurance reasons, I can connect you with reputable & local Certified Appraisers.

For peace of mind, it’s advisable to update your appraisals every 2-3 years for items valued above $1000.

Do you repair jewelry?

Please refer to our REPAIR page for more info.

How do I care for my jewelry?

Taking care of your precious metals, diamonds and gemstones is essential to maintain their freshness and sparkle. Here are some guidelines:

  • We advise having your piece inspected every 6 months to check for wear and gemstone security.
  • To preserve your jewelry’s appearance, avoid wearing it in the shower or ocean, and put your pieces on last to prevent contact with cosmetics or perfumes.
  • While most gemstones can be cleaned with commercial jewelry cleaning solution or soaking in warm water with Dawn dish soap, avoid submerging pearls, emeralds, opals, or anything glued or inlaid.
  • Regular polishing is not recommended as it removes tiny amounts of metal with each polish.
  • Depending on the metal, prongs and shanks may need rebuilding every 5-15 years for gold alloys, 10-20 years for palladium, and once or twice in a lifetime for platinum.
  • Pendants and earrings typically endure less wear and should last a lifetime without issues. However, pendant bails may need occasional reinforcement.
  • For engagement and wedding rings worn daily for decades, we recommend using only diamonds, sapphires, and rubies due to their durability. Even these gemstones can scratch or chip, so choose wisely when considering other gems for everyday jewelry, as they are likely to get damaged much sooner.

Is custom more expensive than ready-made jewelry?

The cost of custom engagement rings and jewelry is often comparable, if not lower, than pre-made jewelry. Custom engagement rings begin at $1500, while simpler bands, pendants, and earrings are available starting from approximately $750. For more intricate designs, such as those featuring elaborate filigrees, hand engraving, and accent gems, prices can range from $3,000 to over $10,000 for the most complex and detailed work.

How long will it take to complete a custom project?

Most custom orders take 5-8 weeks, depending on complexity. The key is that we honor your schedule if you have one, and we tell you upfront (and as we progress) if a specific design element will add time to the process. We have met every realistic deadline, so let us know what is important to you, and we will do our very best to achieve it!

  • Design consultation: 1-2 hours (appointments recommended)
  • Custom Design Projects: 5-8 weeks
  • Custom Repairs: 1-3 weeks

The timeframe may vary dramatically by season. The closer it gets to the summer wedding season and holidays, the longer the times may be for all types of work. We strive to meet every client’s needs, and some projects can be expedited. Please contact us for details on current delivery times.

Can I use my own Gold, existing Diamonds, or Colored Gemstones?

Using Your Own Gold: We provide a service for those with sentimental attachments to their gold, although it’s rarely cost-effective. This service incurs a fee of $350.00 (applicable to Yellow Gold only).

Please note, to cast a single item, we often require more gold than what’s visible in your ring. Mixing your gold with ours doesn’t guarantee success due to potential impurities that might emerge later. A more viable alternative is trading in your metal toward the cost of your custom piece.

However we recognize the sentimental value attached to your piece of jewelry, and will uphold the same high standards in completing this meaningful task as we do with any other project.

Using Your Own Diamonds and/or Gemstones: Certainly, we can incorporate your stones into a new piece, provided they are in good condition.

How do I choose the best metal for my jewelry?

Without budget constraints, platinum is almost always the first choice for white metals. White gold remains the the most popular, stronger and whiter than ever. Newer white gold alloys are less likely to cause irritation than they used to.

Yellow gold maintains a consistent appeal and is currently experiencing higher demand compared to previous years. Additionally, rose gold, green gold, and high karat gold are excellent alternatives.

We work with a variety of gold alloys and even handle exotic materials like stainless steel and titanium for specific types of projects.

How do I measure the ring size?

Visit this LINK and print the page @ 100% When determining the ring size and faced with a choice between two measurements, it’s advisable to select the larger size over the smaller one.

For instance, if you are uncertain whether the ring size is a 7 or 7.5, it’s better to choose 7.5. This way, the recipient can still wear the ring comfortably, even if it’s slightly loose. If the ring is too small, it would necessitate resizing, causing delays before it can be worn.

Additionally, resizing a ring to a smaller size is more cost-effective than enlarging it. Hence, opting for a slightly larger size not only ensures immediate wear but also avoids unnecessary expenses in resizing.

Are your Diamonds, Gemstones, and Metals Conflict-Free?

DIAMONDS: Our Conflict-Free diamonds are sourced, cut, polished, and distributed through ethical channels, ensuring they do not support wars, terrorism, the drug trade, or any other criminal activities.

We adhere to the Kimberley Process, an international initiative that guides and monitors the diamond industry. This protocol is adopted by nearly all governments worldwide and endorsed by major diamond-producing, cutting, and distribution companies.

GEMSTONES & METALS: At our core, we are committed to environmental consciousness. We meticulously craft our jewelry with utmost care and responsibility. Our gemstones are handpicked for quality and sourced ethically, ensuring they are conflict-free.

We collaborate with suppliers who share our commitment to responsible mining practices. Additionally, we use recycled and responsibly-mined metals in our fine jewelry.

In our pursuit of innovative designs and custom creations, we take it upon ourselves to promote positive change within the industry. We prioritize environmentally sustainable, low-impact sources for all our materials, placing the earth’s well-being at the forefront of our creations.

What are your warranties? 

Warranty and Maintenance Policy
At Skyline, we take pride in the craftsmanship of our jewelry. Here’s a breakdown of our warranty and maintenance policy to ensure your satisfaction and peace of mind:

Workmanship Guarantee: We conduct the majority of our work in Southeastern WI, using only the highest quality materials. Every piece is meticulously inspected before delivery, and we guarantee our workmanship for the life of the item. If any manufacturing defects occur, rest assured we will make it right.

Regular Maintenance: Over time, all jewelry, regardless of its quality, requires maintenance due to wear and tear. We do not cover issues related to regular wear and tear, including prong retipping and re-engraving. However, we offer free inspections, cleaning, re-polishing, and re-plating (if applicable) for the life of your fine jewelry

Stone Loss Warranty: We understand your concern about stones falling out. While any reputable jeweler inspects jewelry thoroughly before delivery, we offer a stone loss warranty for additional peace of mind. If a gemstone we set falls out, we will replace it up to a stone value of $500.00 USD at no charge or pay the insurance deductible up to $500.00.

To qualify, the piece must be insured under a homeowners, renters, or individual jewelry insurance policy. Diamonds & Gemstones of higher value should be insured individually.

Important Points:

  • We recommend having your stone checked for tightness and wear by us at least once every 6 months.
  • Maintenance, such as re-tipping prongs and replacing worn metal, is essential for the longevity of your jewelry.
  • Metals wear down over time, and regular inspection every 6 months is highly advised.
  • Our workmanship is guaranteed indefinitely, and we will repair any defects caused by us at no charge.
  • Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need further clarification about our policy. Skyline and it’s associates are committed to dealing with all our customers fairly and honestly, and our stone loss warranty is designed to enhance your satisfaction and trust in my company.