Q: Will our rings look just like the wedding rings that I see in stores and magazines?
A: Your rings will turn out like a professional quality handmade ring. Many of the rings that you see in jewelry stores and magazines are not handmade. They are actually designed on computers and then cast. And many of the rings that you see online and in print are actually not photographs but computer renderings. People are not machines, when we make things you see subtle marks left by our hand. I think that is part of the beauty in handmade jewelry. Your ring may not be flawless, but it will be heirloom quality and full of memories. Take a look at some of the rings that other real couples have made.
Q: I have something in mind other than simple band, is that an option?
A: Keep in mind that the With These Rings workshop is really about the experience of working together to create your wedding bands. We can incorporate different design elements into your rings, but there are limits since we are working at a beginner level. I want to make sure that you will leave with professional quality rings, so some designs are just not attainable. If you are more interested in the design aspect over the making process I am happy to recommend some great custom jewelers.
Q: Can we afford to make our own rings?
A: Since all aspects of your rings are customizable, it is easy to make choices that will work with your budget. Couples usually spend $980- $1,700 for a set of classic 14k gold bands. Depending on your choice of metal and design prices may be higher or lower. A set of silver bands can cost between $690-$850, including the cost of the private workshop and all materials.
Q: How do you determine the price?
A: The total cost comes down to the weight of your metal, plus the cost of private instruction and any additional elements that you may want (such as stones, engraving, etc). It is important to me that my clients are able to make informed decisions. You can find a clear price breakdown here and feel free to ask any questions about additional elements.
Q: What metals can I choose from?
A: Metal choices working in the fabrication process are:
10k, 14k or 18k yellow gold
14k or 18k rose gold
14k or 18k palladium white gold
Metal choices working in the hand carving process are:
a variety of colors or karats of gold including: yellow , white, palladium white, rose, peach, royal yellow, and green.
Learn more about your metal options here.
Q: Why is 18k gold so much more expensive?
A: The 18k gold is more expensive because it contains more pure gold, this makes it less durable, but more valuable. 18kt gold is 75%, 14kt gold is 58% gold pure.
Q: Can I make my ring in titanium, tungsten or stainless steel?
A: Unfortunately at With These Rings we are only set up to work with precious metals. The process is much different for working in the metals listed above.
Q: Do you offer green, eco-friendly options?
A: I believe that it is my responsibility to make socially and environmentally ethical choices when outsourcing materials. So I ONLY use 100% recycled precious metals from the top eco conscious refinery in the country. For those interested I can outsource fair trade gem stones, recycled diamonds and lab grown diamonds.
Q: Can you recycle my existing jewelry into a new ring?
A: Unfortunately, no. The recycled metals that we use come from a refiner who specializes in recycling precious metals such as silver, gold, palladium, and platinum. By the time we work with the metals they have been through a refining process to "un-alloy" the metal to bring it back to its pure state and then remixed in a new alloy. I currently do not melt down or re-work existing jewelry. If the piece is not sentimental and you would like to use it to trade in for the value of metal I recommend sending it to a trusted refinery. You can then use that money toward your rings. A great way to keep the recycling process going! This is the refiner who I recommend.
Q: Can I make a ring that will fit with my engagement ring?
A: I am happy to say yes you can. This is done by using the carving and casting method.
Q: Can my design include a gem stones?
A: Absolutely. The stones would have to be set after your workshop, either by me or by a local diamond setter, depending on the type of setting.
Q: Can I incorporate words, textures, mixed metals, etc. into my ring?
A: Yes. Have all of your ideas ready to share with me and we will talk about your options. Some of these elements may require a little more help on my end, but I’m ok with that if you are.
Q: How far in advance should we set up our appointment?
A: I recommend getting starting at least 3-6 months before you want your rings. That said, occasionally couples go from initial email to finished rings in less than 1 month. It all depends on the type of rings you want to make and mutual availability. Some rings do require extra steps by us after your workshop which can take several weeks. Please note that weekend appointments are highly sought after and book out further than weekdays workshops, especially in spring and summer. Contact Stephanie for current workshop availability.
Q: How long will it take to make our rings?
A: Rings that are fabricated are usually completed in one 4-6 hour session. But some designs and additional elements will require additional time.
Q: I have zero jewelry making experience, can I really make a ring?
A: Absolutely! I will be there to walk you though every step of the way. Most of the people who I work with walk in with no jewelry experience and everyone leaves with a beautiful set of rings.
Q: But really, I have never done anything creative or crafty before, are you sure I can do this?
A: After we design your rings together, it’s all about following a series of different metalsmithing techniques that I will walk you through step by step. Everyone needs different levels of guidance. As long as you are open to learning something new and allowing me to work with you I will make sure that you have all of the help that you need to make a professional quality set of handmade rings.
Q: Can I make just one ring?
A: Sure, I have worked with lots of people to create just one band. Either one person making it as a surprise for their partner or both of you working to make one ring together or sometimes one person will come in and make their own ring.
Q: How many people will be in our workshop?
A: All workshops include personal, one on one, instruction. One instructor (that’s me) and one couple per workshop. If you know another couple who also wants to make their rings we can schedule a double date workshop! Just email me first to talking about details and pricing.
Q: I love this! But I got married years ago, can I still work with you to make something?
A: Of course! I would love to help you design and make a piece of jewelry to mark any occasion. I have worked with many couples to create anniversary rings and I am open to hearing any of your jewelry ideas.
Q: We would really love to design a set of handmade, custom wedding rings, but we don’t want to make them ourselves. Can you make them for us?
A: Of course you can take a look at our collection of bands or design your own.
Q: Are the people on your website real couples from your workshop?
A: Yup! All of the professional photos are of couples who hired MJ Photography to photograph their session and were kind enough to let me share them. And yes they all were truly that happy while they were working. I really am lucky to spend most of my days around people who are happy and in love.