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Starting my own engagement ring brand!

Sounds crazy, with all the competition, but I’m really interested in starting my very own engagement ring store! Unfortunately, I have no experience with jewelry. I did some research online and learnt how rings are made. From the CAD design to the wax patterns and then casting and then stone setting and polishing.

My goal is to start with 15 of the most popular designs times 3 sizes of center stone per design and use rhodium plated sterling silver and cubic zirconia. I contacted a company and got a quote of nearly $10K for the CAD designs, prototyping and molding. Sounds like a lot of money considering that this isn’t really custom work.

My expertise is in online marketing and sales, so I would just want to hire a company to do all the ring manufacturing for me. Are there any vendors/specific places that I should be looking at, for affordable designs and manufacturing? Any advice that I can get from all you professionals, is highly appreciated!

This may sound harsh but it’s what I would say to one of my kids. You’re traveling down a well worn path. Late to the game. Too many really good, really experienced and really well funded organizations are already doing exactly this. You have all the options in the world open to you and it’s like you’re choosing to introduce a new toothpaste. The engagement ring market is super saturated. It can work if you’re a talented maker or partner with one. It’s not impossible but with no experience and before you invest any money, my advice is to look for other opportunities that are less likely to crush your dreams.


I don’t even know where to start with this…

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I heard a great investment comment…“How do you make a cool $1Million
dollars in the jewellery trade? Just invest $2 million!” Get my drift?
If you really need to start a jewellery company, shop around, listen to
other retailers who need something different. Don’t close you eyes & ears
to any little comment they are asking for. If it sounds good, do some
research. Every piece of jewellery might be interesting to those who want
something special. E.G. Horse lovers, race-car enthusiasts, even casino
players are a great source. I know that for myself!!! Get away from
something that has been been well used…go lateral, but be inventive and be

Gerry Lewy

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Thanks for the comments! I understand the market fairly well. I’m not planning to sell unique rings. I want to stick to very popular, standard designs, but the focus is on selling a unique customer experience. I could sell the same experience for another product, but I feel that it would work best for rings. I have scoured the market for anyone who is doing anything remotely close to what I’m planning, but haven’t found anything so far.j

I am willing to spend some money on figuring out the designs, manufacturing and getting some samples made. Can someone please give me some direction? Where do I start looking, besides a local jewelry casting company?

Finding someone or an entity who can produce a high quality product consistently and also in volume is the holy grail for lots of people trying to increase their capacity. It’s strangely hard to find. Usually the sample work looks good but later pieces don’t. What you’re describing, often called 'brass and glass" seems to be typically made overseas. A big trade show might turn up some useful contacts?

Its been said before above, but here is my take on it. Go take some classes and learn exactly what you are getting into. The dream is one that all of us has had at some point. I came to this end of the trade by first working in jewelry stores. I can sell the hind legs off a dead horse to a blind indian. That is not meant as some racial slur either. Just an analogy of technique. The thing you will find out fast if you go sell in a store, and or learn to make what you say, you will have a new perspective. NO ONE IS UNIQUE in their approach to selling. What you are missing in your research is the smaller outlets that do custom. They too will have some of the standard designs along what is popular at the moment. They will constantly change their designs to fit the current trends. The big stores have more to offer of the same things. You want a dream that in reality no longer exists in this more computerized, cheaper from the orient world. Online research is a start, but it is just a start. You still have 99% of the way to go. Good luck to you if you want to follow this path. But I still say, to learn first hand then do the research once you know more about the trade.

Learn the basics of making jewelry. There is a lot more to it than CAD designs and casting. Once you figure this out, then you might have a better idea what you are selling and to whom you are selling it. You don’t have to become a high end jeweler, but at least have an appreciation for the medium in which you are working. And yes, making jewelry is expensive, but don’t look at that expense as a guarantee that you will get a big return on it. While we work in an expensive medium, at the end of the year, many of us just barely make a living. Good luck.


also,…business plan…planned sales, turnover, inventory levels, projected open to buy by month…pricing strategies…overhead…investment costs of software, hardware…website maintanance and fees, merchant services…photography equipment photo shoots, marketing, social media, branding, packaging costs, shipping costs…legal…trademarking…accounting…payroll…working capitol to start up and carry business until you are out of the red…


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Thanks for the advice everyone! Please keep it coming! I will find a trade show to attend.

Also if anyone here provides the services that I need or know anyone else who can help, please message me.

Look at Stuller on line. If you think you can do better for cheaper go for

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Where do you live…Canada or USA?

Gerry Lewy

As a point of perspective:
I know it sounds crazy but I want to open a hedge fund. I dont have any financial expertise but I have a savings account. Would all you people, who are in the financial industry and have graduate financial degrees, help me copy the top 15 hedge funds’ financial activity. I have a new way to talk people into investing in it."


What is your contact email, website or phone number.


ok,hmmm, so…let’s see…(I am just using generic pricing ranges for example, your mileage will vary)

(I could be totally off, so anyone please feel free to correct me!)

15 styles x 3 stones sizes/ not just head sizes as it can change the whole ring scale=45 different patterns

$10,000 / 45 patterns= $222.00 per pattern

Cad design could be $50-$150 per
3D printing of resin model could be $50-75+ per
mold charge could be $35-$50 per
prototype casting could be $40+ per flask
prototype finishing could be $10-25+ per
my list does not take into account the sterling silver metal charges, or rhodium plating charges for sample(s), or cost of stones and setting charges, or finishing…

so…$185 to $340…ish…average is $262

this is just for the casting of the resin prototype…with production, there will be more steps to go thru/ pay for…shrinkage occurs at every level and needs to be accounted for…you will probably not be printing resins to cast for production…

perhaps $10K is not far off? What were you thinking it should be?

keep in mind that every aspect requires a high level of expertise and equipment…to get a great outcome…some 3D printers for jewelry can run in the $3K-$100+K range, and many facilities run many different printers, and that is just the printers…

just a few thoughts…


plus, you will want to get pricing for the actual production, in volume, so you can work out your pricing…prototype costs are not the same as production.

ie: it can cost $250 to make a dress sample (overhead of running a sample room), for a dress that will wholesale for $16.00 cost, and retail for $65.00.


I’d start by not thinking about engagement rings. Id look at rings that have a less specialized market. The beauty of rings is they can be redesigned on the out side easily. The inside of the Ring is fundamental. Once I was making rings that did them I’d look at engagement rings.

Anyone who had asked me about engagement rings had gotten pretty much the same lecture my father gave customers. Go to a reputable shop that sells lots of engagement rings. Buy a nice simple ring with a good diamond or stone if your choice. Pay no more than two - four weeks pay. Then if you are still married in five years buy a special ring and have that nice stone reset.

CAD is nice but can you draw with a pencil and paper? There is a connection that a pencil on paper has with your creative mind. Ideas flow onto paper that you won’t see on a screen. If you don’t know how, learn to sketch those ideas that happen when you are at Starbucks. And then learn to cast something. Specialty shops appreciate it if you understand the process even if you don’t do much of it.

Good luck with your project. Keep us posted on how it goes.

Don Meixner

Subscribe to Instore magazine.
Enthusiasm and/or passion is tempered by school of hard knocks.
Specifically, there are competent goldsmiths other design and manufacturing skill on this forum.
They make a living marketing their product/themselves.
There was a time when a jewelry business could be started by someone with a business degree, jewelry was the product.
Competition is very fierce these days. If someone finds success, there are plenty of people doing what they can to copy product/business model.
One point, new CAD designers, without old school bench skills, will produce models with issues, when you go to have someone produce the pieces you might end up in a nightmare of having to start over with someone who knows how to do it right.
Lots of promises, not everyone does what they say they will, the way they say they will, when they say they will…
Good luck!

I cut gemstones if your looking for special stones and sizes. Draw your design and make that ring. Best way to learn is to do. But if you do need a stone or stones talk to me.

I totally understand the urge to tell me that whatever I’m thinking of, isn’t going to work! You guys live and breathe this every day! It’s a tough industry. I get it.

However, you are not going to convince me otherwise. I am going ahead with this, regardless. I have a fairly decent budget allocated to this “project” and I fully intend on using it all, before giving up.

The idea as I have it in my mind only works for engagement rings and hence that’s what I’m focusing on. Once again, design is not a big concern of mine. Most engagement rings look alike. I’m not targeting consumers looking for unique, custom rings. Popular designs, I figure are so widely made that I should be able to figure out manufacturing fairly easily. To clarify, I’m not looking to design rings. I’m planning on only selling popular designs.

I will research advice that I’ve gotten here (Thanks Julie)! Anyone interested in potentially doing business, please send me a private message for contact details.