How to commission your own piece of jewellery

You may have inherited some jewellery that you don't wear or would like something unusual that you can't get anywhere else, this is an opportunity to have something made that fits with your style and that sets you apart from the crowd.

Types of commissions
  • You have your own design and want the designer to make it
  • You have some ideas but want the designer to design it
  • You and the designer can collaborate ideas together
  • You have old jewellery and want it revamped into something new
  • You want to leave it up to the designer completely to design

 

Different jewellery designers will have slightly different ways of working. I have listed a general outline of how it should work.

DO YOUR RESEARCH
Find a jeweller you like and who can do the work for you. It’s important to note that not all jewellers are able or willing to do bespoke work. They may only wish to sell their current collections or they may have set aesthetics that they stick to which your design doesn’t fall under or they may not even have the expertise to work with certain materials.

Before you chat to your chosen designer think about your requirements. This might include:

  • What metal colour you would like
  • What stones you would like
  • Ring size or other dimensions if the item is for a gift
  • An idea of your budget
  • Deadline if applicable
  • Whether you have any old jewellery or precious metals that you would like to be reused for sentimental or economic reasons or for it to be scrapped to offset the cost of the new commission.
  • Your taste in jewellery: Have a look through the designs on our website and identify your favourites or take a look in google images.


CONTACT YOUR DESIGNER
Contact the jeweller either by email or phone to make sure that they are able to take on the commission and create your unique piece of jewellery. At this initial stage there is a lot of information for the designer to find out as you begin to work together. Vague questions like “I would like an engagement ring, how much will it cost?” are impossible to answer until the above requirements are known.

It will take time to get a quote as the designer will need to know the design and possibly source the materials needed to make it to be able to give you an accurate quote. You will need to be realistic about your expectations with regards to what you hope to achieve with your budget, but most designs can be made to fit into various price ranges by changing stones or their quality and the same goes with the different metals. If you are driven by price alone you are probably better off just buying a ready made of the shelf piece from a national retailer as they cast high volumes bring the price point down.

Remember that sending images from high end jewellery websites and asking the another designer to copy it for less is illegal as these pieces are normally copy written. These companies may have already spent a lot of money designing and processing the jewel so making it by hand may not work out any cheaper. This being said there is no reason that you could not use an image as a reference to start a design by using some of the elements as a starting point.

THE DESIGN
The initial consultation which can take place in person, by Skype or email and you’ll discuss the project in more depth so that you are happy that the designer knows what you want, how much your budget is and when you need it by. At this point some jewellers may ask for a design fee. At the next consultation, the designer will be able to tell you what’s possible, have samples of stones if needed and either designer’s drawing or cad images (computer aided design). Once you have agreed to go ahead with the commission the jeweller will normally ask for a 50% non-refundable deposit because from this point on they will be buying materials and spending time working on this project which will be unique to your requirements.

Every designer is different but most commissions can take between 3-8 weeks depending on the workload and how complicated the design is. Some designers specialise in high end pieces and it can take months just to make that one piece. Generally, you’ll get progress updates during the making process to ensure you are happy with the piece and allow for any changes. Once your item is ready you'll be notified with images of the finished piece. If there are any additional changes to be done at this stage, there may be additional charges. After you have accepted the final piece, an appointment to collect your new jewels.

If you're interested in getting a bespoke piece made by us, find out more here.