Dean Fredrick Infuses Fine Jewelry Expertise with Gorgeously Cut Diamonds
The craftsman's custom pieces make any occasion special
By appointment only, you can find a unique fine jewelry experience with New Braunfels-based designer Dean Fredrick. Described as having a “perfectly trained quality eye for diamonds,” this level of precision and expertise is something that any enthusiast of fine gemstones can get on board with. First designing jewelry at a young age back in high school, Dean has since trained with some of the world’s leading diamond experts at both Taylor Burton in Los Angeles and while studying and graduating with a degree in Gemology from the Gemological Institute of America, GIA. Celebrity fans of his work include Celine Dion, Hallie Berry, Marisa Tomei, Paula Abdul and more.
We’d love to learn more about the process for your custom jewelry.
When a client comes to my studio for custom jewelry, we start with a consultation to understand their style and preferences. It’s essential to me that each piece I design is a true reflection of the client’s vision. Using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, I create detailed 3-D renderings of the custom piece based on their ideas. The client gets to see different angles and perspectives, and we work together to fine-tune the design until it’s perfect.
For engagement rings, we carefully select the center stone, and I provide all the information they need to make an informed decision. Once the design is approved, I begin the crafting process. With my expertise in jewelry making and gemology, I ensure that every detail is meticulously crafted. The result is a stunning and unique piece of jewelry that holds special meaning for my clients. I’m here to make the whole experience enjoyable and stress-free. I take great pride in delivering a custom-made piece that will be treasured for a lifetime.
What are some of your favorite pieces you’ve designed?
One of my favorite pieces is the “Emily Michelle” engagement ring. It’s a signature Dean Fredrick design that truly represents my style. The ring features an exquisite 2.23ct rustic greyish-black, pear-shaped, rose-cut diamond set in a platinum bezel. The band, made of 18k rose gold, has three bezel-set blue sapphires cascading down. I personally hand-carved intricate vine-like engravings on the sides, adding a unique touch to the ring.
What makes this piece so special to me is that the client gave me creative freedom and trusted my decisions. It allowed me to showcase my design expertise and create something truly exceptional. The “Emily Michelle” engagement ring perfectly captures the blend of modern and vintage elements that define my style. When people see it, they immediately recognize it as a Dean Fredrick creation, and that makes me incredibly proud.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes mainly from vintage estate jewelry, including Edwardian, Victorian and Art Deco styles. I love the timeless beauty and intricate craftsmanship of these past eras. My design approach combines the best of both worlds — classic old world charm meets modern creativity. By blending vintage elements with innovative techniques, I create unique and timeless jewelry for each client, making their pieces meaningful and personal. Ultimately, I see myself as a bridge between the old and new, crafting exquisite jewelry that reflects the past while being relevant for the present and future.
What led you to become a jewelry maker?
My journey as a jewelry maker began with a high school art teacher named Mrs. Stiffel. I took a jewelry making course as an elective, and it ignited my passion for creating beautiful pieces. One special moment was when my mom gave me her grandmother’s old watch band, and I transformed it into my first gold ring. Since 1986, I haven’t stopped making jewelry. Throughout this journey, my parents have been my biggest supporters, encouraging me to pursue my passion. Their belief in me has been a constant inspiration. Now, I’m grateful to do what I love — crafting meaningful jewelry for my clients every day.
What are some of your favorite current trends?
The Comeback of Yellow Gold: It’s wonderful to see yellow gold making a strong comeback in the jewelry scene. After a period dominated by white gold and platinum, the warm and classic allure of yellow gold is back in style, and I’m loving it.
Embracing Alternative Gemstones: While diamonds have always been my specialty, it’s refreshing to witness the growing popularity of alternative gemstones for engagement rings. Rustic diamonds and various colored sapphires, like the striking teal hues and the exquisite Padparadscha sapphire, are gaining popularity. These unique and vibrant stones add a fresh twist to traditional engagement ring designs.
These trends allow me to explore more creative avenues in my designs and offer clients a diverse range of options to choose from. As a designer, it’s always exciting to see how trends evolve and influence the world of jewelry. I’m passionate about incorporating these trends into my creations and crafting exquisite pieces that reflect the individuality and style of each client.
What is your advice for anyone considering getting a custom piece made?
Find a custom jewelry designer you trust and connect with. Share your vision clearly with the designer. Trust the designer’s expertise and creativity. Gather inspiration to help the designer understand your style. Be open to exploring different options. Be patient; custom pieces take time. Plan ahead if it’s for a special occasion. Enjoy the process and let the designer create your dream piece!
What is one of your favorite things about being a jewelry designer?
I’m proud to create around 300 custom engagement rings each year. Getting to know every client personally is the best part of my work; we often become friends or even feel like family. Crafting these meaningful pieces is not just a job; it’s my passion and a way to be part of special moments in my clients’ lives. I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do what I love.
What are your plans for future growth?
I’m currently exploring the option of opening a small appointment studio in Austin again. Austin feels like home to me, and over half of my clients are still from the Austin area. This new studio will make it easier for my Austin clientele to drop off or pick up pieces and have in-person design consultations. Although I now conduct many Zoom appointments with clients from all over the world. It’s been an exciting development that allows me to connect with individuals globally and offer them personalized design consultations, regardless of their location.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is best described as comfortable and simplified. I prefer wearing t-shirts without graphics. I can’t stand graphics. I tend to stick to shades of grey, rarely incorporating colors into my wardrobe. Collared shirts are definitely a NO. While some people might perceive my style as wearing the same thing every day, I appreciate the ease and comfort of my clothing choices. I don’t like to spend much time thinking about what to wear each day. Interestingly, despite being a jewelry designer, I never wear jewelry myself. The only exception is my Apple watch; I find it practical and functional. In summary, my personal style reflects a no-fuss, minimalistic approach, emphasizing comfort and simplicity.