Month: October 2017

Uniquely You – Custom and Bespoke Pieces

The design and creation of bespoke jewellery is about more than creating a statement piece; it should be the process of defining something that is representative of your individuality.

A great custom piece should demonstrate quality workmanship, a design that has been perfected for you, and as a result, it should be more than unique. It should have a quality about it that transcends other pieces of jewellery. Whether it has a subtlety all of its own or stands out as a bold challenge to the world, nobody should be able to deny that when they describe your bespoke piece, they are describing you.

Jewellery can be unique without being of a high quality. Bespoke design doesn’t necessarily mean a good or aesthetically pleasing design. Therefore, before work begins you should give consideration to the process you are about to go through, and how to make sure the end result is perfect
Remember, you are an expert on what you like, and how you live. Your jeweller is an expert on stones, precious metals and how they can best interact. The design process is most effective when you both allow each other to lead the way in your areas of expertise. Your jeweller should not try to define your taste or dictate what is in fashion at the expense of your preferences. Their job is to help you understand what is practical and possible, and work with you to define and realise your vision. Likewise, your job is not to relentlessly pursue avenues that are impractical or impossible. Jewellers work with tangible materials that adhere to the laws of science – some things simply cannot be done.

At the core of this is the relationship. Don’t underestimate the importance of each of you being able to communicate your expertise. A bespoke design appointment should never be rushed and the conversation should be one of openness and honesty rather than one of either of you trying to make a point. Come to your designer with examples ripped from magazines, drawings on napkins and pictures of stones that you love. Tell them your perfect scenario so that they can work with you to make it happen. Most importantly, don’t assume that they can read your mind and that something is, “common sense.” There is a time and a place for assumption and custom jewellery design is not one of those times.
Unique jewellery is hard work for everyone. Unlike traditional pieces which are destined for display cabinets and locked boxes, a bespoke piece is made with a person in mind. There is a level of accountability and an awareness of the trust that has been placed on the jeweller’s shoulders. Likewise, the prospect of trying to take an image in your head and communicate it to, even the best designer, is a confronting and exhausting one.

But when you try on a piece of jewellery that no one else in the world has ever worn before, you discovered that custom jewellery is a reminder that you are unique, and anything unique is worth the effort.

Balancing Price and Quality When Buying Jewellery

It’s the age-old challenge, and not unique to buying jewellery. How do I get the highest quality for the lowest price? But this is the wrong question to ask, after all, you don’t want to buy a bargain necklace that you will never wear.

Here are our thoughts on how to create some semblance of balance with regards to price and quality.

Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better.

If you’ve ever visited a top clothing designer boutique, you will likely have had the experience of seeing an item that was astronomically expensive, and incredibly ugly. You probably started to doubt your own taste, because the person who made this is, apparently, a genius.
Here’s some good news – you were right, it was atrocious.
Because jewellery and fashion are a matter of taste, and sometimes high prices can give you the unfair sense that a certain piece is better or worse than another.
When choosing jewellery, try not to look at the prices which create a mental bias for all the wrong reasons. Look for what you love, and then check the prices afterwards – you may be pleasantly surprised to find that what you consider to be perfect for you, isn’t the priciest piece in the store.

Don’t overspend, or underspend.

The biggest mistake you can make is spending so much that it makes you feel negatively about what you have just purchased. But you already knew that.
The second biggest mistake you can make is to buy something that’s, “okay,” because the piece that you love is just that little bit more. When you are investing in a piece of jewellery, you will most likely spend a lot of time with it over many years. You will be forced to look at your mistake, and even defend it should be circumstance arise.
We all have a friend like that.
Choose a piece that you can be proud of, and will look forward to putting on. There is a simple test to ensure you have made the right decision. If you were to buy it now, would you be wearing it before you left the store? You are buying jewellery after all; it’s supposed to be exciting and fun, there are plenty of practical things you can buy without getting that feeling – don’t miss out on it.

Ask yourself if it matters.

The word, “quality,” means different things to different people. It also means different things in different industries and jewellery is no different. When you are shown something of a, “high-quality,” ask the person showing you what the implication of that quality is, and then ask yourself if it matters.
For example, if you are shown a bracelet that is inlaid with a precious stone, and then a similar bracelet with a larger stone, ask the jeweller if there are any other major differences between the bracelets, and what those differences mean.
Does the larger stone have more clarity? Will that mean it will catch the sunlight better?
Does the bracelet with the larger stone have a thicker band, and will that look better on your wrist?
Regardless of what the answer is, ask yourself if those advantages matter to you. You are probably not a jeweller and so may not have any interest at all as to whether a certain stone has certain properties, but maybe it is of the utmost importance to you.
Through critical analysis, finding what you want rather than what’s most expensive, and having a lot of fun, you can (hopefully) strike a balance between price and quality.

3 Steps to Finding the Perfect Ring

Finding the perfect ring for that someone special is an overwhelming prospect if you have a limited understanding of what you should be looking for. There are so many questions, and as you learn more, it only becomes more confusing.

What’s a carat?
What type of band?
Why does clarity matter?
If you’re buying a diamond, you may want to start with our diamond guide (link- but regardless of what stone you’re considering, here are our three most important steps to finding the perfect ring.

1. Begin with the Hand

For the ring to be loved, it has to be more than just beautiful and suit the wearer; it needs to be comfortable. Pay close attention to the hand you are purchasing for and take note of its features –
– are the fingers long and slender?
– Is the hand small or large?
– Are the knuckles pronounced?
Now, you probably think that pronounced knuckles have very little to do with what type of ring will look good and feel comfortable, but you don’t want to be drawing the eye to a body part that your loved one doesn’t like. Also, remember to take into account any scars or marks that they are sensitive about because certain rings accentuate different parts of the hand. A ring will never feel comfortable when it doesn’t make the person wearing it feel good.

2. What They Love vs What They Actually Wear

One of the first things most jewellers will ask a customer when buying a ring for someone else is,
“what type of jewellery do they wear at the moment?”
While this obviously helps the jeweller understand more about a person they don’t know, the importance of the question goes much deeper.
There’s often a big difference between what someone likes and what they will actually wear.
Just because your partner says they like a certain style, or even that they would love to own “something like that” one day, doesn’t mean that when that day comes they will feel the same way. Their ideal style of ring should reflect their established taste, along with their personal aspirations. For example, if your partner has, “always wanted a large statement piece,” doesn’t mean that it’s something they will feel comfortable wearing on a day-to-day basis.

3. Consider Lifestyle

If the ring is to be a permanent fixture on your partner’s finger, then consider their day-to-day activities and habits. Do they tend to take care of their possessions? Do they work in a job that is physically demanding? Are they likely to take the ring off during certain activities, or leave it on?
These are important questions to ask because the type of band you choose may be different when durability is considered. The setting for the stone may need to be something less decorative, and the type of stones (or stones) may need to be revisited.

Once you have an understanding of the type of ring that will look good, make your partner feel good and will also be practical and fit with their lifestyle, you can start making big decisions. Good luck!

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