Making a Custom Signet Ring

Custom Signet Ring Congers Jewellers
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What Does it Cost?

Signet rings come in all sizes and shapes. The sky is the limit. Materials and labour dictate the value of any ring and the more we use, the higher the cost. Hollowing out a ring under the top reduces the amount of gold and lowers the cost. In our example, we reduced the price by $800 by hollowing the top out slightly. Hollowing a signet ring is fairly common, but some customers prefer a solid signet ring.

A budget of $2,000 to $3000 (Canadian) is a good plan if you are going wider and need stones. This may be a shock, but there’s no reason for me to fool around with a low-ball quote, and then try to get you to pay more after you are invested emotionally. I am not that kind of jeweller. Don’t forget, this is for a custom signet ring and it’s heavier than average.

A lower cost is possible. I can order many styles of basic signet rings at lower prices and add stones or engraved initials on them. Don’t run away if you need a basic signet ring. I know some quality ring manufacturers in Canada and I would be happy to work with you by ordering a more affordable design to use as a base.

How did I Start this Signet Ring?

One of my good customers recently contacted me to create a custom signet ring for her 65th birthday. She wanted to add three gemstones – one aquamarine and two rubies. The stones represented her and her partner’s birthstones. One more thing, she wanted the top of the ring to have a texture.

First, I needed to determine the shape, size, quality and availability of the gems. Secondly, I had to make a basic design rendering to see what the customer thinks, so I can get good feedback. If all is well, I would begin shopping for the gems I need. After a bit of further knowledge on gem prices from my supplier, I was able to firm up a price with my client.

My First Design Rendering

This was the first rendering of my design.

On the first design rendering, my client was unhappy with the oval shape outline. She wanted the ring to be more angular and have diamond shape stones. I saw a new idea in my mind’s eye, so I reconstructed it.

Years ago, I would sketch designs out in a rather 2-dimensional way to convey ideas to clients. This worked well but when I created a bad sketch, I had to start again. With an investment in 3D computer design technology, I can easily back up a step and redo something to get what I want. The result is a picture perfect replica of the ring I want to make. The only thing missing is a model to try on.

Once my clients feel a design is nice, I use a 3D printer to create a resin mockup model of the ring in the correct finger size. Now my customer can see the full design, and the scale of the ring on their finger. It’s been a breakthrough in so many industries to use 3D computer design technology.

A Few More Tweaks

I made two more design changes. One design was a bit narrow for her taste and the other was a little wide. The stones seemed small for the top of the wider one. My client asked me to enlarge the aquamarine and reduce the ruby sizes. I used square brilliant cut stones (called “princess cut”), turned 45 degrees to the ring, to produce the effect of diamond shape stones. The last thing was to add a texture on the top of the ring.

The Final Signet Ring Design

I finalized the design after one or two more emails. I sent a private YouTube video so she could see me turn the ring on my computer screen as I explained the design.

The Ring Fitting – 3D Model

I finally had the look she wanted. I made a 3D model of the signet ring out of a hard resin and the client had the opportunity to look at it along with the 3 gems I ordered. All was well. The whole process took 6 weeks. Many of my projects take between 4 and 6 weeks to complete properly.

I hope this has been helpful. Feel free to contact me if you think you would like my services. My email is ~ Dave Conger.

Types Of Jewellery Appraisals

The value of an item of jewellery depends on the purpose of the evaluation. It’s the same as your car. If you sell it, the value is most likely lower than the cost of replacing it new. The first value would be the Fair Market Value and the second would be the Replacement Value.

Here Are Two Popular Types Of Jewellery Appraisals:

Insurance Appraisals

An insurance appraisal is a complete description of an item of jewellery, supporting an estimate of the value, to be used as the basis for establishing the coverage and cost of an insurance policy. It establishes the upper limit of insurance coverage for an item of jewellery and is based on that item’s most common source for replacement. This is called the replacement value. For example, if an item is an antique cameo brooch, the value of that item will be established by researching the costs of similar items at auction, antique stores, or estate sales, rather than a retail jewellery store. This is because a retail jewellery store would not be the most common source for an antique cameo brooch.

When an item is sold by brand name and is clearly identified by way of markings, the appraisal value is the cost to replace the item with the same brand. If the branded item is no longer available, a comparable value will be used.


Check with your insurance company. Without a jewellery appraisal, most home policies may offer a minimal level of insurance coverage in the event of theft. It is normally required that you to submit a jewellery appraisal to receive proper and full coverage for all risks. Without the appraisal, you may be subject to a limit of coverage and often have to pay a deductible in the event of a claim. Deductibles are normally between $500 and $1000. Your broker or agent would be able to help answer questions regarding your coverage and make good suggestions to help you insure your jewellery in the best possible way.

Insurance premiums are expensive before a loss and really inexpensive after one.

Estate Appraisals For Probate

When a person passes away, their property (including jewellery) is described and evaluated for probate. In the case of assets like jewellery, the Fair Market Value, rather than the Replacement Value is used. This is the value that the item would sell for in an open market. Even if the jewellery is not for sale, the Ontario government requires an estimated value of the jewellery as though it was sold one minute before the time of death. It is advised that you have a professional jewellery appraiser prepare the estimated value because the government has the right to question any estimate for several years after the time of death. As the Executor of the will, you are responsible for proving the value of the jewellery and other assets were honest and legitimate.

Fair Market Value Definition

The price that a given property or asset would fetch in the marketplace, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The buyer and seller have reasonable knowledge about the item for sale; they are behaving in their own best interests and are free of undue pressure to trade.
  2. A reasonable time period is given for the transaction to be completed. Given these conditions, an asset’s fair market value should represent an accurate valuation or assessment of its worth.

Comparisons are made to estate auctions, antique store selling prices, and the second-hand market of eBay and other online sources. These are places where you would find similar items for sale. The Fair Market Value of an article of jewellery is often a small portion of the cost to replace it with a comparable item in new condition. Exceptions are very collectable or rare items in high demand.