BY AMIRA VAN LEEUWEN / COMMUNITY IMPACT
Dean Fredrick’s high school art teacher encouraged him to take a basic jewelry-making class, sparking his interest in the craft and career prospects. He now specializes in custom engagement rings and wedding bands and produced designer pieces for celebrities such as Halle Berry and Celion Dion.
Jeweler makes custom pieces in New Braunfels
Fredrick started his namesake business in 1999 while living in California for school. Later on, he moved back to Texas to the Austin area before deciding to open up a shop in New Braunfels in 2020.
Now located centrally in the Town Creek development, Fredrick designs and manufactures custom engagement rings, wedding bands, earrings, necklaces, and pendants.
The jewelry designer prefers appointments so he can give his undivided attention to his clients. Once he gets a general idea of what his client wants, he sketches it out.
“I’ll send them renderings of everything,” he said. “So once they give me the go-ahead, I’m going to start manufacturing.”
He noted before someone comes in for a consultation, they should know the wearer’s finger size, whether they want a center stone, what kind of center stone, and the color of metal.
Fredrick has over 37 years of jewelry design experience and worked for the Gemological Institute of America’s Gem Trade Laboratory (GIA/GTL), where he graded – at the time – the largest “D” color, “Internally Flawless” diamond in the world.
“It was 273 carats, and I got to spend about 45 minutes with it. They sent me out to New York to grade it at the laboratory there,” Fredrick said. “It was huge.”
After spending eight years grading diamonds, Fredrick then went on to one of the largest Israeli diamond manufacturers, where he spent six years grading and selling wholesale diamonds to retail jewelry stores.
He said presenting a piece to a client is the most rewarding part.
“Delivery time is the best, just to see their faces,” he said.