Commissioning Jewellery – including Engagement and Wedding Rings
What you need to know about commissioning custom jewellery – including engagement and wedding rings.
How long is a piece of string? 😉
Firstly, is it just a case of changing one or two elements of your jewellery? Or is it a total remake using your materials?
If you just want to tweak it a bit and keep the integrity of the piece, such as changing the band of a ring, take a look here.
If it’s a full remake and you have enough materials (eg. gold) to reuse in making something new and David doesn’t need to add any more, then the cost will be totally determined by the time it takes to make the new piece.
How long it takes to make a new piece will depend on how simple or complex the agreed design is.
For example, the plain ring below will be quicker and therefore cheaper to make than the more complex sapphire and diamond ring because of the amount of time it would take to make the stone settings, set the diamonds and make the extra twiddly bits!
So if you have something you want to remodel and would like to ask Siobhan about it, just let her know what you’ve got, what it’s made of and what you’d like it made into!
She will then agree a design with you before quoting because only then will she know how long it is likely to take and whether she will need to add any more gold, etc.
Contact Siobhan today to start your jewellery remodelling!
You’ve got your new jewellery – now whaddaya do with it?
Firstly, wear it – obviously.
Nextly, you’ll want to take it to your nearest independent valuer so that they can value it for insurance purposes. You can find one on the National Council of Jewellery Valuers website. It’s not absolutely necessary to take your diamond certificate if you have one but if you do it helps the valuer.
Then check with your insurance provider to see if your new jewellery is covered by your policy or whether it needs to be insured seperately. Then double check with them to see how it’s covered in the event of a claim; Will you be able to replace it from the same jeweller? Or will you be obliged to go to their chosen jeweller (with whom they’ll have a special arrangement)?
Read more about insuring your jewellery.
If Siobhan has made your jewellery, you can come along to the studio at any time by appointment to get it cleaned and checked for free. If coming to see us isn’t convenient, you can usually clean your jewellery with soap, warm water and a toothbrush! That’s pretty much what Siobhan uses along with the ultrasonic cleaner.
Contact Siobhan if you’d like to get your jewellery cleaned and checked (or if you’d like a ring made similar to this one Siobhan made earlier in the year!).
We can certainly supply you with a titanium ring but we don’t offer tungsten.
The advantage of titanium and tungsten are that they are very hard metals and offer good value for money. However their hardness can also be a disadvantage. Titanium and tungsten rings cannot be resized if your finger size changes later on. And if you’re going to be wearing the ring for many years to come, particularly if it’s a wedding ring, then there’s a good chance you will need the ring size adjusting due to weight loss or gain at some point during its lifetime.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that titanium and tungsten rings cannot easily be cut off and removed in the event of an emergency.
Please contact Siobhan if you’d like a quote on a titanium ring.
We often get clients who are a bit worried that what they think is a great ring style won’t be the same as their partner’s. OR they’ve popped the question already and want to let their partner do the choosing…
And some clients like to propose with a pre-engagement gift.
So one way of proposing with a lovely surprise is to present your partner with the gem stone for their engagement ring so that they can then have it set in a ring design of their choice.
Just let us know what sort of gem stone you’d be interested in (eg. diamond, sapphire, ruby, etc), what your budget is and we will try to obtain a selection of stones for you to choose from. Your stone will be presented in a high quality steel gem case (pictured) and, if it’s a diamond over 0.30ct in weight, a diamond certificate.
Once you’ve popped the question, we can discuss design ideas for the stone that you’ve chosen with your fiancee.
If you’d like to propose with a loose diamond or other gem stone, contact Siobhan to get the ball rolling!
I’ll give you four!
- You’ll get much better quality and therefore much better value for money. The mass produced rings in the shops are not built to last forever. Sometimes you’re lucky if you get a year’s wear out of them without a problem! By handmaking a ring, I’ll be using traditional techniques which have been used throughout history. If you’ve ever admired an antique ring for its longevity, it’s because it’s been handmade. I make jewellery that can be handed down to the next generation.
- You can decide which diamond or gemstone you’d like to have in it by choosing from a selection I should be able to order in for you.
- If you ask me before I get started, I can take photos of the different stages of the making process – for you to have at the end as an extra keepsake.
- You won’t end up with an engagement ring the same as everyone else’s (see screenshot image below)!
We’ve had lots of clients from across Australia who we’ve never met! We can easily discuss and agree designs by phone and/or by email.
When it comes to rings, the only issue was getting the right size. However, we now offer the facility to take your own ring size: Once we’ve agreed a design and taken a deposit, we can send you a ring stick, so you can measure an existing ring that fits the right finger, or sizers (see picture) so you can measure the finger it’s intended to fit!
You can return the stick or sizers in the return satchel provided. If you wish to keep them, please let us know and we’ll add the cost to the final invoice.
Usually, a single diamond over 0.30ct in weight will come with an independent diamond certificate.
Uncertified diamonds are available – and can offer a more cost effective alternative to certified stones as you are not being on-charged for the certification process.
For insurance purposes you will need to get the finished jewellery assessed by an independent registered valuer and they will probably need to see the diamond certificate with the jewellery. They will test and verify all the materials that the ring is made of and estimate the value of the ring for insurance purposes.
Yes of course. Siobhan guarantees all of her work against faults – although of course not against wear and tear, ie. if a ring’s been run over (although he did manage to fix that one!).
The short answer is no! Here’s the long answer…
The way we cost up a handmade commission is like this:
cost of materials + hours required to make it
So if you already have the materials, the remaining cost is all down to the man hours it takes to make.
Similarly, if you hoped to save money by having something made in silver, you still have to factor in the time it will take to make.
A simple plain band can take half a day to make, so imagine how long a more detailed ring might take, especially if it requires lots of holes to be drilled out for stones/gems.
However, most of our engagement ring clients have found out that they can save quite a bit of money on shop prices (where jewellery is cast and massed produced) by having their ring handmade. For reasons we don’t quite understand, we often work out cheaper and certainly always more cost effective since handmade jewellery is made to last.
The short answer is: A bit! The reason is that although the materials will cost less, the amount of hours involved in labour will still add up.
Recycling gold or melting gold jewellery to make a new piece is a great way of using jewellery of sentimental value – or to save a bit of money on the current eye-watering cost of gold – and Siobhan has made many pieces this way. The gold ring pictured here for example was made using the client’s old gold rings.
If you have gold jewellery which you don’t wear but still has great sentimental value, it could be reused in your wedding or engagement rings to make them even more special.
White gold cannot always be recycled from old jewellery into new jewellery due the different alloys used by other manufacturers but most yellow golds can be melted down and reused. So if you have yellow gold that you’d like to reuse it should be ok – subject to it being weighed and tested.
Alternatively, we can accept your old white or yellow gold (subject to it being weighed and tested) as part exchange for a new piece of jewellery. We will be happy to give you the equivalent of what we would get from scrapping gold at the bullion dealers which is higher than what the usual gold buying places tend to offer.
Please contact us for current gold prices as these change on a daily basis.
Yes… but….be careful of diamonds that seem too good to be true. They usually are!
Obviously there are cheap options out there and Siobhan is happy to set any good quality stone that you already have, but she can take the risk out of buying a stone unseen.
We don’t buy diamonds unseen and neither should you!
Whilst a diamond can sound like a great deal from its online description, the risk lies in where exactly the inclusions are. One VS2 diamond is not the same as another VS2 – it really is best to see a diamond at first hand. For example, if an inclusion is too close to the edge of a stone, it can make it more vulnerable to fracture.
With access to affordable, conflict-free diamonds, Siobhan can provide you with a choice of stones so that you can see at first hand the difference in grades and colours before deciding which one will best suit your budget. Else, if you can’t get to Siobhan’s studio to choose between diamonds, she is happy to make a recommendation for you based on a careful comparison.
This link explains a bit more about comparing diamonds: http://on.fb.me/13uCGiK
David reserves the right to refuse to set any diamonds that are fracture filled or clarity enhanced.
And please don’t ask her to set an internet bought diamond in an internet bought ring – that’s just a bit insulting!
Yes of course – bring it with you for your appointment so that Siobhan can have a look at it. Many people have diamonds or other stones that have been reclaimed from old rings or have sentimental value.
However, if you’re looking to source your own stone for financial reasons, do get in touch with Siobhan first as she has access to stones that are usually cheaper than the high street jewellers can offer them at or are of better quality.
Yes and no – here’s why… (or scroll to the bottom for the shorter answer!)
The cost of say an engagement ring will depend on how much gold is used, the current price of gold, how many hours it takes (ie, the more complex, the more time it will take), the size and quality of the stone (since diamonds for example come in a range of colours and clarity) and the type of stone settings involved.
There are SO many variables affecting the price of a diamond – and of course no two diamonds are exactly the same. Similar variables are involved with other gemstones. This link helps explain why giving an instant quote on a diamond ring can be a bit tricky! http://on.fb.me/13uCGiK
Prices of previously commissioned rings are not published on the website for reasons of privacy and the fluctuating prices of gold and diamonds. Siobhan finds it really difficult to give a ballpark figure on a ring because usually the price of any ring can be made cheaper/more expensive according to the size/quality of diamonds used.
Because she works differently to the usual jewellery stores, Siobhan can make rings to suit most budgets. So she prefers to ask how much you want to spend and then try to get you the best size/quality stones for your money.
But just as a price indicator…. We’ve had more than one customer tell us our handmade engagement ring prices are comparable to a well known chain of jewellery stores (rhymes with Dichael Bill 😉 ) – but for a handmade item instead of mass produced and for much better quality materials, eg. nicer diamonds.
As a techno-phobe, Siobhan prefers to draw by hand as it suits her style of handmaking and design work. The result is usually more fluid and real. The CAD images by necessity are often more ‘chunky’ than the design might require.
However, we can arrange to have your design drawn up by computer but, as we have to outsource this service, there would be a charge for it. We would refund this charge if you decided to proceed with the manufacture.
You should allow approximately 4 weeks from the time the design is agreed. This is the maximum time it could take but if there are any unusual stones to purchase or if the client makes changes to the original design it could of course take a bit longer. However, Siobhan will advise you how long it will take when the design is agreed.
Yes she can! Although Siobhan can produce a unique design, if you know exactly what you want, it makes the whole process a lot easier!
Bring your pictures with you to an appointment – or just email them to Siobhan. If you like some design elements from one picture and want to combine them with something else, that’s fine too! The beauty of having jewellery custom made is that you can have anything you want!