Commissioning a bespoke piece of jewellery is a unique and meaningful way to express your personal style and create a lasting symbol of your individuality. Whether it's an engagement ring, a necklace, or a pair of earrings, the process of commissioning a piece allows you to work closely with a jeweller to bring your vision to life. However, before embarking on this exciting journey, it's essential to consider several factors to ensure a successful experience. In this blog post, we will explore what you should think about before commissioning a piece of bespoke jewellery, helping you make informed decisions and create a masterpiece that reflects your style and personality or that of the person receiving the jewellery.
1. What is your budget?
It is important to set a budget before you start commissioning a piece of jewellery. Commissioning bespoke jewellery allows for complete customisation and having a budget helps to narrow down the options available for the design.
2. What is the occasion for the piece of jewellery?
Reflect on the purpose and occasion of the piece — whether it's an engagement ring, a commemorative necklace, or a special gift. Will the piece of jewellery be kept for special occasions or worn everyday? If you are commissioning a piece of jewellery for everyday wear, you may want to opt for more durable gemstones and materials. If you only plan on wearing your jewellery for special occasions, you can choose a more delicate design. This initial step will provide a solid foundation for the rest of the commissioning process.
3. What style of jewellery do you like?
Do you prefer classic or contemporary designs? Do you like simple or ornate pieces? Knowing your style really helps when drawing up initial ideas for the jewellery design. It’s helpful to bring along existing pieces of jewellery that you wear day to day to the consultation, as well as any reference images.
4. Are there any existing metals or heirloom gemstones you would like to include in the design?
Instead of starting from scratch you can always think about incorporating existing metals from broken or unworn jewellery you already own, as well as including any heirloom gemstones that may have been passed down from generation to generation. This option can sometimes reduce the overall cost of a commission, for example, working with existing gemstones rather than sourcing and purchasing new stones. However this option can also increase the cost of the commission due to the increased time and work needed to take apart, melt down and rework existing metal.
5. Choosing the metals and gemstones
There are many different metals that can be used to make jewellery, including gold, silver and platinum. Each material has its own unique properties and benefits, and the material you opt for might depend on the budget set for the commission. For example choosing to create the piece of jewellery in sterling silver or 9kt gold rather than 18kt gold or platinum which are more expensive metals to work with. The properties of each metal might also influence your decision, gold is a soft metal that is easy to work with, while platinum is a harder metal that is more durable.
When considering gemstones, it is important to think about the occasion and frequency of wearing the piece of jewellery. For instance, diamonds are the hardest natural material on earth and are a great option for longevity, while pearls and opals are soft stones that are much more delicate.
The most used gemstones within jewellery are diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires, however there are so many more interesting options to consider too especially if you want to create a piece that is truly your own.
Bespoke personalised initial signet ring in 9kt gold, made by Skomer Studio
6. Is there a deadline you are working to?
The time it takes to design and create a commissioned piece of jewellery will vary depending on the complexity of the design and the time of year. For example in the lead up to Christmas and gifting season it is exceptionally busy meaning projects will take longer to complete. It's important to factor this into your decision-making process, and at Skomer Studio we advise allowing 6-12 weeks for completion.
Bespoke pair of wedding bands in 9kt gold and diamonds, made by Skomer Studio
Further tips from Skomer Studio designer Daisy Simpson on what to consider when commissioning a piece of jewellery:
Embrace timelessness and versatility
While trends come and go, a bespoke piece of jewellery should stand the test of time. Opt for timeless designs that reflect your personal style and have the versatility to be worn on various occasions. Balancing uniqueness and timelessness ensures your commissioned piece will remain cherished for generations to come.
Plan for the future
Consider the potential for future modifications or upgrades to your bespoke jewellery, including resizing options, stone replacements, or adding complementary pieces to expand your collection.
Know how to care for your bespoke piece of jewellery
Make sure you discuss how to maintain and care for your bespoke piece to ensure its longevity. Skomer Studio offers a complimentary upkeep service for all commissions so you can send your piece of jewellery back to be cleaned and polished when you require.
A bespoke personalised initials pendant in 9kt gold, created by Skomer Studio
Commissioning bespoke jewellery is a remarkable journey that allows you to transform your vision into a tangible, one-of-a-kind masterpiece. By considering the crucial factors discussed in this guide, you can ensure a smooth and rewarding experience. From defining your vision and purpose to collaborating effectively, each step plays a significant role in creating a truly personalized piece.
Remember to establish a realistic budget, select materials wisely, and prioritize timelessness and versatility. Embrace the expertise of your chosen jeweller and communicate openly to ensure your expectations are met. By planning for the future and considering potential modifications, you can safeguard the longevity and adaptability of your bespoke jewellery.
As you embark on this creative journey, cherish the opportunity to own a piece of jewellery that tells your unique story and captures the essence of your style. Let the commissioning process be a celebration of your individuality, as you bring to life a treasure that will be cherished for generations to come.
Get in touch with Skomer Studio to discuss your bespoke jewellery needs.