Buying Custom Jewelry

Make it one-of-a-kind with a custom-made piece.

By: Sherri Dalphonse

ALMOST EVERY GOOD jewelry store--from Pampillonia to Shah & Shah to Adeler-- can custom-make a ring or necklace or bracelet.

These are other places that custom-design precious and semiprecious pieces.

Achikian Goldsmiths, 131 Church St., NW, Vienna; 703-255-2255; achikian.com. Ken Achikian is a skilled goldsmith who can transform gold and platinum into any pendant, brooch, ring, earrings, necklace, or bracelet you desire. Great repair, too.

Aspen Jewelry Designs, 2451-17 Centreville Rd., Herndon; 703-713-6882; aspendesigns.net. See the same jewelry from shop to shop? This 11-year-old store prefers lesser-known designers, and an on-site goldsmith does nice custom design.

Creative Jewelers, 6468 Landsdowne Centre, Alexandria; 703-339-5544. Russian-born Slava Kholodnov does free-form, ornate designs in gold and white gold, including lots of Fabergé-style filigree.

Dominion Jewelers, Falls Church; by appointment: 703-237-3737; dominionjewelers.com. This custom jeweler has a loyal following for its one-on-one service and good prices. With 22 goldsmiths, it does a high volume on site. Some customers have been unhappy with the finished product, while others praise staffers Marsha Uhr and Carol Kube for fixing any mistakes.

Louizos Goldsmiths, 2972-B Chain Bridge Rd., Oakton; 703-281-7454; louizoselp.com. Louizos Papadopoulos, a third-generation jeweler, has a loyal following for his artistic eye. He works in gold and platinum and with precious gemstones.

Mary Ellen Trozzo, College Park; 301-864-4251. This 18-year-old studio can do everything from contemporary designs in gold, silver, or platinum to antique restorations.

Mystique Jewelers, 211 the Strand, Alexandria; 703-836-1401; mystiquejewelers.com. Besides selling designs from Hidalgo, Judith Ripka, and Jack Kelége, a master goldsmith creates unusual pieces.

The Nugget, 123 S. Fairfax St., Alexandria; 703-548-3010. Now in her 30th year of business, award-winning designer Mary Ehlers can custom-make anything from a filigree ring to an abstract modern pendant. Her shop also sells the creations of other good platinumsmiths and goldsmiths.

Quest Manufacturing, 2304 Gallows Rd., Suite C, Dunn Loring; 703-204-0111; questmanufacturing.com. Four goldsmiths, including a platinum specialist, are known for computer-aided custom design. Diamonds and sapphires are a specialty.

Quinn's Goldsmith, 199 Union St., Occoquan; 703-494-1662; quinnsgoldsmith.com. Four goldsmiths produce nice custom pieces, and a trained staff sells high-quality diamonds, colored gemstones, and other fine jewelry in this store.

Robert Croslin, Hyattsville; 301-699-0867. Artist and goldsmith Robert Croslin uses precious metals and gemstones to craft abstract rings and other jewelry with influences from Africa and America. Many clients go to him for wedding bands.