A Guide to Bespoke Jewellery

Posted on Jan 22, 2015
A Guide to Bespoke Jewellery

A lot of the work featured on this website has been specially commissioned by my customers. Some people may feel a little daunted taking the step to commission a piece of jewellery thinking it may be a costly or difficult process. In reality, it doesn’t have to be costly or difficult depending on what you’re looking for. To give you an idea of what is involved in commissioning a piece of jewellery, I have written an account of process below.

Budget:

The cost of a piece of jewellery depends on two main factors, the time involved in the design and making of the piece and the cost of the materials used. Give me an idea of what you’d like to spend on the commission, and I’ll design to suit your budget. I may be able to suggest alternatives in some cases that might better fit your pocket! If you would like a similar piece to one featured on the commission section of my website, I will be able to give you a guide as to what the cost might be. Adapting an existing design from my own jewellery collection can save you both time and money in the commissioning process.

Deadline:

If the jewellery is required for a specific date, please advise me of this as far in advance as possible so that I can plan to meet your deadline. How long it takes to produce a piece varies greatly depending on the design, but I will be able to give you an estimate once I have the design brief.

Design:

Be as specific as you can be about what you would like in the design. You might find it helpful to send me images of other jewellery you like. This will help me understand what style of jewellery you like and help inform my designs. Unfortunately I can not reproduce jewellery designed and manufactured by other jewellers, as it would violate their copyright. Similarly, any designs I produce for my customers are protected by my copyright. Here is brief outline of the design process I follow for commissioned work:

  1. The client gives me their initial design brief – what it is they would like, how much they expect to spend and when they would like it delivered for.
  2. I will contact the client within three days to confirm any relevant details; i.e. what type of metal is to be used, what kind of stone, what size the piece is to be, etc. These details help me to ensure that I can keep costs low and produce a piece that fits the client’s requirements.
  3. Based on the above information, I will send the client an initial design proposal with several variations on their design. This proposal will include written price estimates based on the quotes I have attained from my suppliers and calculations for labour involved in producing the final piece of jewellery. This usually takes a week from when I receive the information, and I will advise the client if there is to be any delay.
  4. Once the client receives the initial design proposal, they are asked to advise me on any modifications they would like to make. There is no obligation on the client to proceed with the commission at this point.
  5. Once the client advises me on how they would like to modify the designs, I will send them on a redrafted proposal. If the client is happy with the design, I will send them on a final proposal which will outline the design, cost and expected delivery time. This is the most important stage of the process as I do not want to proceed with the commission unless the client is satisfied with the design.
  6. I ask the client to pay a deposit of 50% of the total cost, and proceed with the commission as agreed.

Each commissioning process differs slightly, some customers have done the entire process by email from overseas while others have met me in person in the workshop. This guide will give you a rough idea of what is involved and hopefully dispel any fear you may have about commissioning that special piece of jewellery!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about commissioning a piece of jewellery. It is a wonderful gift to give, whether to yourself or a loved one, and I take pride in making sure that my clients’ expectations are met (and hopefully exceeded) when they take the time to order something special from me.