James & Co – Custom Rings in Monterey

It was July 2018, I decided to propose to Isabel and started looking at rings browsing the mall and various shops. I found one that I thought was special at a Hawaiian themed jewelry store. I was in somewhat of a Hawaii state of mind since I planned to propose during our trip to Maui that September, but I’m glad I waited to try one more shop before purchasing.I met with James with James & Co in Monterey after seeing his great Yelp reviews and we immediately hit it off. 

James has many endearing qualities. He’s a wonderful listener, he has over 50 years of experience in his craft, and he’s very well respected in the industry with some impressive national recognitions. I knew I was in good hands, but I wondered if it was possible to have a custom tailored experience without breaking the bank. I wanted something different, something special, something unique and potentially hard to come by. I wanted a lot for my budget, but James didn’t tell me to go away. He was welcoming, accommodating, and knew we could figure something out. 

Ring Education

James took time to educate me on ring lingo from different shapes and cuts to the differences in clarity and sizes and how those factors influence price. I was a lost puppy when I walked in, and felt like a walking ring encyclopedia by the time I left. It was beyond helpful getting a first hand education from someone who I knew I could trust on what is truly important when investing in a ring, and which areas to avoid so you don’t waste money.

Becoming educated about ring shopping was the best thing I could have done to start a relationship with a jeweler and prepare for a purchase instead of jumping at shiny objects and winging it. 

The Experience

James sat me down and showed me many items in his portfolio. He doesn’t actually have any rings in the shop available for purchase. He has a consultation with the client and pulls up images of rings he has made in the past. He walks the client through the process and learns what kinds of shapes and styles might interest them, and shows pictures that are similar to that criteria. We worked together on this, and came up with a design I loved. From there, he works with his suppliers to source stones and then meets the client again to pick one when they arrive. Then he assembles the ring and you have a finished product! James knew I wanted this to be a surprise, so asked me about good times to call so we could talk privately if we needed to discuss the ring. I had to take one of Isabel’s other rings without her knowing to bring to James so he could size her finger without letting her in on the secret. I think I picked the wrong ring, so James resized it once and it was a perfect fit.

We had such a great experience that Isabel decided to work with him when she purchased my ring! Here’s a picture of our two rings together. We visit James from time to time and he polishes both of our rings to keep them looking fresh. He’s a wonderful guy, and we love his assistant, Lisa! If you’re looking for a new piece of jewelry, stop by James and Co at 552 Abrego St, Monterey.