Bespoke Jewelry with Virginie

With 18 years of experience in jewelry design starting in Paris, France, and 12 years working hand in hand daily with the most skilled artisans of the renowned Diamond District in New York City, I have gained the experience, the network and the know-how to make your wildest jewelry dreams come true!

By combining your unique vision, personality and lifestyle with my eye for detail and love for impeccable craftsmanship, we will embark on a fun creative project together that will give birth to a tangible piece you will cherish forever.

1- The Brief

Whimsy Jewelry drawing hot air balloon and pinwheel necklaces

At this stage, the goal is to share as many details as possible about your dream piece. What type of jewelry piece would you like to create, in what metal, with which gemstones, in which size, within which budget and on what time frame?

You can convey your inspiration in the form of sketches, mood boards or Pinterest clippings. Note that it is equally important to identify your dislikes as well: do you want to avoid a certain setting style, do pave diamonds make you nauseous, did you never get the appeal of rose gold, rounded prongs, you name it! We all have our quirks and the more you share your vision with me, the more in sync we will be.

We will then either meet in person if our geographic stars are aligned or schedule a video call and go over your inspiration board together so I can get to know you and your expectations. This will ensure I have all the elements of your story that I will then infuse in the designs I will present for your review at the next stage.

2- The shaping of your vision

Virginie from Whimsy Jewelry working at the computer

Once I have gathered enough elements from our exchange to have a good understanding of your dream piece, I will go to the drawing board. There, I will explore different design possibilities and pair them with gemstones suggestions and their corresponding budgets. My goal is to convey your unique point of view and style in a piece of jewelry that will get you excited for years to come!

I have an extensive source of trusted gemstones dealers in New York City with whom I have worked for many years but I can also work with gemstones already in your possession. I work as well with extremely skilled lapidaries who can cut and shape any precious stone to fit your bespoke piece of jewelry.

After you approve the design, gemstone selection and budget, a first deposit of 50% of the estimated total is required. This will mark the start of the actual fabrication of your piece. I will move on from 2D sketches to CAD design and 3D renderings.

3- It’s all in the details

bespoke gold firefly necklace CAD files

Now that our project is very well defined and the choice of gemstones is made, it is time to get  realistic renderings from different angles. They will give you a good idea of what your final bespoke jewelry piece will look like and this is the last opportunity to tweak some details in the design before it is cast into a tangible metal piece. On the left is the example of the firefly necklace I custom made for Jason.

At this stage it is also possible to get a 3D print of your design so that you can actually touch it, try it on, and get a better feel for its proportions before final validation and the start of the manufacturing process.

4- The Fabrication

Virginie from Whimsy Jewelry working at the bench

Once you approve the final 3D rendering or printed mockup of your design, the balance of the total amount is due. This will mark the start of the fun part for me: coordinating the best talents in NYC Diamond District, a little bit like being the director of the most breathtaking philharmonic orchestra if you will!

I will meticulously inspect the unfolding of the manufacturing process every step of the way. It starts with the casting of your piece in precious metal using the lost wax technique process, followed by a preliminary cleaning and polishing, then the different metallic parts are assembled, the gemstones are securely set and your desired finishing touches are given by the polisher and the engraver.

5- The Wow Moment

Virginie from Whimsy Jewelry packaging orders

Here comes the moment we were both waiting for since the first time we met: you getting the mail and opening the box with your finished piece just waiting for you to wear it!

Seeing that big smile on your face comforts me that I did make your vision come to life and you don’t see me but I am squealing inside because your joy is mine and my purpose as jewelry designer is then fulfilled. This is truly precious (pun intended).