I can still hear Tim's voice from the radio and television commercials from days past, and my jewelry box holds many pieces crafted and purchased from the fine folks at Ritter Brothers. A Downtown Staple since 1976, Tim Ritter started in 73 as an apprentice diamond cutter, silversmithing, construction, repair, and stone setting. He went to Las Angeles to take courses at the GIA, The Gemological Institute of America, and then taught!
Back in Williston, Tim took his knowledge and talents and opened Ritter Brothers Diamond Cutters, where he did all of it by hand: hand-carving wax to make molds, construction (using wire, sheet, and sizing stock), cutting stone, jewelry repair, estate appraisals, jewelry appraisals, watch repair, watch battery replacement and much more!
These days, they are as busy as ever, with custom pieces moving front and center. Custom-made jewelry is designed solely for you. Custom jewelry benefits from the designer's attention, experience, and craftsmanship, with more time, effort, thought, and creativity invested in its production.
Evan Ritter popped upstairs to chat with me about the Custom process, noting that Engagement and Bridal sets are the majority of the custom requests at the time, but they are open to all things! The ways of creating custom Rings have changed quite a bit; instead of casting (hand carving a wax mold), Evan uses computer software to make the ring in software and 3d print the wax. This is a definite plus when things inevitably go wrong, and instead of starting over from scratch, he can make the necessary changes in the software and print a new mold! 1 in 3 of the rings sold is already almost custom, with partial customizations and modifications also happening regularly. Evan limits his custom load to 3 intakes a month to ensure quality and takes into account the more significant amounts of time needed.
The crew at Ritter Brothers are incredibly knowledgeable and are masters of giving. You'll notice beautiful items donated by them at many events or benefits around Williston. After 50 years in the business, I asked Tim what his favorite stone (other than diamonds, of course) to work with was: Agates are the only other stone. Tim and Christy Sjol both agree that the people are the best part of the job, and being able to help multiple generations of a family with their jewelry needs is a really great feeling. The amount of pride, knowledge and love that goes into every transaction at Ritter Brothers is really unparalleled.