Toronto’s Top Custom Designed Jewellery Stores
By Elli Davis, September 13, 2012
So you've decided you want to purchase a truly unique piece of jewellery -- that's exciting news! And with Toronto acting as the home to a huge variety of designers, there is no doubt you can find the exact piece you desire. Whether it's for you, a loved one or the friend who seems to have everything -- custom made jewellery is a great gift. But when you're purchasing something you can't see or hold until it's complete, you want to make sure its creation is in safe hands. Check out some of Toronto's top jewellers you have to choose from.
For Something Edgy and Rare - Organic Metal Gallery
If you live in the vibrant and eclectic city of Toronto then you know there truly are no rules when it comes to jewellery. You don't have to wear perfectly cut gold and diamonds to make a stylish statement. Fortunately, the Organic Metal Gallery caters perfectly to individuals who aren't afraid to follow inspiration and try something new and daring. The gallery has eight displays, each of which acts as home to a different designer. And what you see in there is just the jumping off point towards your bigger picture. Although you certainly can purchase something you like from a case, you can also use the displayed items to get a sense of what the artists are all about. If you feel particularly drawn to one of the collections, you are able to contact the designer and work with him or her to create the exact unique design you are looking for. And what do they mean by "organic metal"? Their gold is fair-trade and fair-mined, their silver is 100% reclaimed and recycled and they use entirely Canadian semi-precious gems and diamonds. So you can feel good about every piece of your purchase!
For Gorgeous Whimsy - Alexandra Schleicher Jewellery
215 Victoria Street
Alexandra Schleicher playfully weaves together soft natural forms and sharp architectural shapes to achieve a beautiful blend of sophistication and fun. In her custom pieces Alexandra combines precious metals such as gold, silver or platinum with stunning gemstones to create a one-of-a-kind piece for you. After an initial brainstorming session where you can discuss what you're looking for, up to three drawings will be presented from which you can select the perfect one. There will then be a second visit wherein the design is presented for your approval and any minor changes can be made before the creation begins. And when it's done you will have a piece of whimsical jewellery to show off!
For Classic Elegance - Linda Penwarden Jewellery
631 Mount Pleasant Road
If you're looking for a piece of jewellery that is modern and elegant check out Linda Penwarden's collection. Her store has been open for nearly ten years and the testimonials are terrific. Whether you want to update an existing piece or create something entirely new, she or a member of her team will be happy to sit down with you and get a sense of what you're looking for. Having been formally trained as a goldsmith and worked at Birks, she is well versed in all aspects of jewellery construction and sale. So if you have any questions about what styles, colours, jewels or metals are for you -- don't hesitate to ask. If an engagement, wedding or key anniversary is around the corner, you'll certainly want to see the types of rings the shop's skilled artisans create. 90% of the work is done on the premises so you know you're getting immediate and personal attention. If you want something quirky or edgy, this might not be your best option but if you want a piece that is timeless and elegant without being considered boring or old-fashioned, you'll certainly want to pay her a visit.
For a Modern Twist - Made You Look Jewellery
North Side location:
1338 Queen Street West
South Side Location:
1273 Queen Street West
With 20 resident designers, you have access to incredible variety at Made You Look. Creating a piece from scratch can be an intimidating process. Fortunately, you can rest easily in the knowledge that they specialize in creating one-of-a-kind jewellery so they're no newbies to custom design. When you commission a piece you are given 1-2 meetings with your designer, 3-5 drawings and a wax model. You don't have to go ahead with the piece until you are 100% confident it is what you are looking for. It can take anywhere from two to six weeks to finish up a custom made piece and even longer if something needs to be sourced from far away. So make sure you give yourself enough time. In a dire situation you can pay a rush fee to get it done under time constraints. If you know you want to get something totally unique but aren't sure where to start, visit their North Side location where they feature a gemstone showcase. You can take your time browsing and see if a particular stone catches your eye and then go from there!
For Something Raw but Graceful - Kim Drosdick Jewellery
116 1/2 Sherbourne Street
You can get a sense of what Kim Drosdick's style is like by knowing she started off at the aforementioned "Made You Look Jewellery" nearly a decade ago. She works with metals, stones and beads to create pieces that are modern and edgy but still have a touch of classic elegance that will please even the stuffiest of grandmothers or mother-in-laws. Kim loves what she does and she encourages you to have fun with the custom design process as well. Her pieces are so sought after that e-Talk's Tanya Kim and Ben Mulroney have sported them on the red carpet! Whether you want to turn an old family ring into something more unique and playful or create one-of-a-kind wedding bands from scratch -- she is certainly a jeweler to consider.
Making the Choice
Having a piece of jewellery made from scratch is a big decision not just financially but emotionally as well. When you're investing a good deal of money as well as investing your time and concern into the commissioning of a piece, you want to make sure it's done right. And you also want to ensure you're the type of person that can handle the unknown. Have you ever purchased something such as a dress, piece of furniture or kitchen appliance before being able to see it? How did you feel in that type of situation? Were you anxious or completely calm? And how did you respond when the item arrived? Did you see nothing but perfection or were your eyes immediately drawn to flaws or things you didn't expect? Ordering a piece of custom jewellery requires a lot of trust. You have to trust the designer and you have to trust in yourself that you have made the right decision. So do a little bit of soul searching and don't be afraid to ask any questions that are on your mind before you make the final decision.