Local jewelers and clients often share the sentiment attached to creating custom pieces of jewelry.
Valentine's Day is the second-largest holiday for giving jewelry as a gift, said owner and designer Valerie Naifeh of Naifeh Fine Jewelry. Custom jewelry is her specialty.
Dr. Nancy Nagle, a client since Naifeh's early career days, has brought in some of her own pieces that carry sentimental value and had them transformed into something she can wear.
“When my grandmother died, she left me her wedding ring,” Nagle said. “It was a solitaire kind of diamond. I didn't want it, and I need something flat. She took the ring and designed this pendant, which is great because she also made it into a pin, so you can take it off and wear it on a lapel. So not only is the jewelry beautiful, it's very practical.”
Nagle has had other commissioned pieces made by Naifeh and her staff of designers and jewelers, such as a wedding ring her husband surprised her with on their anniversary and a necklace made from a stone her father gave her when she was young.
Naifeh has worked with many clients who inherit stones or jewelry “that might have really beautiful gemstones, but maybe the jewelry is dated, and it's not something that they would ever wear,” she said. “They'll bring these things to me, and we're able to utilize materials that are in the pieces to create something that is appropriate for the new owner.”
Jeff Thomson, owner and designer at JThomson Custom Jewelers, understands the sentiment attached to redesigning heirloom jewelry.
“We let them watch the stripping and melting of the metals because we know it can be scary to have that done to their jewelry,” Thomson said.
Thomson said he has noticed Valentine's Day jewelry becoming more personal and sentimental, because people do not want to spend their hard-earned dollars on just another piece of jewelry.