More and more of us are choosing the bespoke route when it comes to luxury goods. From sofas to handbags and engagement rings, we’re looking for something that is unique and one of a kind. Pietro Beccari, president and CEO of Fendi, said recently, “In our era, customisation is the ultimate expression of luxury.” “We are combining our client’s needs of luxurious exclusivity with the Maison’s perfect blend of tradition and innovation.”
According to Deloitte, one-third of shoppers today are interested in customised products, with 71% of them willing to pay a premium accordingly.
Do you love the idea of designing our own jewellery but don’t know where to start? You might feel overwhelmed by the time, expense, and effort involved. The truth is that designing your jewellery is not only possible – it can be both straightforward and cost-effective.
We asked our jewellery designers to share the secrets of jewellery design along with some expert tips on making sure the process goes smoothly.
3 Tips for Designing Your Own Piece of Jewellery
Tip 1 - Look for Inspiration
Your custom piece of jewellery begins with a spark of inspiration, so get online and start browsing – this is the fun part. Pinterest is an amazing way to find lots of great ideas and gather them all together. This will help you to filter your thoughts and start to pick out the styles that you really love. This board, along with any screenshot’s/print-out’s, will be extremely helpful to the designer.
Tip 2 - Work out Your Budget
Before you book an appointment with a designer, it's important to set down a budget first. A bespoke engagement ring can start from under £1000.00 to upwards of £10,000 and price can fluctuate depending on materials, intricacy and stone size and quality. By providing your designer with a clear budget, they can tailor the materials to reflect this and create something both beautiful and affordable.
Tip 3 - Consider how and when you will wear your jewellery
Another useful tip when designing your own piece of jewellery is to let the designer know how often you intend to wear your jewellery. If you only plan to wear it on special occasions, the piece can be more elaborate and delicate. If you want to wear the jewellery every day, it will need to be able to withstand a bit of wear and tear. These details help your designer to make sure the design is appropriate for how it's going to be worn.
How the Jewellery Design Process Works at Burrells - In 3 Steps
You might be wondering what happens during the jewellery design process so we’d thought it would be helpful to give you a breakdown of the different stages you’ll go through when creating a bespoke piece of jewellery with Burrells.
Step 1 - Meet the Designer
After booking an appointment with one of our jewellery designers, you’ll be welcomed into one of our stores with a glass of champagne or a coffee. Once you’re comfortable, our designer will get to know you and start to explore your ideas and any inspiration you’ve brought along with you. We’ll also look at any existing pieces of jewellery you own so that we can get an idea of your usual style and any favourite metals or gemstones.
Step 2 – Sketching the Initial Designs and Refining Your Favourite One
Having listened to your ideas and gained an understanding of your budget, style and any other expectations, our designer will set to work sketching or hand-painting a number of designs that suit your requirements. We will send these to you, and after receiving your feedback, we will refine your favourite design.
At this stage, if the design is particularly complex and involves a more technical treatment, we may use our state-of-the-art CAD design software program to create a 3D image. This will be a 100% accurate representation, and you’ll be able to see the design from all angles.
Step 3 – Our Goldsmith’s Craft Your Unique Piece
Once we have carried out the refinement of your preferred design, we’ll invite you back to view the result. If you are happy with it, we’ll then confirm the order and take any final measurements that might be required.
We’ll then send your unique design over to our talented in-house goldsmith’s who will start crafting your jewellery!
Perfection takes a little time to create, and most bespoke designs will need around eight weeks to be carefully made. Make sure you talk to your designer about how long your piece of jewellery will take to complete. This will help you set realistic expectations.
All bespoke Burrells diamond pieces come with our unique 10 year diamond guarantee.
For tips on what to look for when choosing a guarantee and to find out more about our Burrells guarantees, we suggest having a read of our article 11 considerations when choosing the best guarantee for your jewellery.
Get to Know one of our Jewellery Design Experts
Philip Copping is our jewellery design expert at Burrells Tunbridge Wells, and he has been in the industry for 10 years.
Philip discovered a passion for jewellery while working at Padani, a famous Israeli Jewellery brand. It was also there that he (quite unexpectedly) developed an ability to sketch and design jewellery for clients.
Philip says: “I feel that designing a one-off piece of jewellery is about understanding your client’s style, what they want the design to achieve and what the finished creation will say about them. It has to fit in with their look and lifestyle – and have a timeless element that will ensure it doesn’t date. Most importantly, I believe it is imperative to take an individual approach to creating a bespoke piece of jewellery, in order to reflect your personality!”
In 2009 Philip formed a friendship with Andrew Geoghegan, one of the UK’s most highly regarded contemporary designers, and a multiple UK Jewellery Award winner. To this day, Philip counts Andrew’s work as one of his main points of inspiration. Philip loves designs that combine both contemporary and vintage styles.
For Philip, the best part of the whole design process is the joy he gets from his customer’s reactions; “The biggest thrill is the look on a client’s face when they see their unique piece for the first time… the only thing that beats that is when they come back months down the line and tell me that they wear the piece all the time – THAT’S when you know that you got it right…”
Thank You For Reading
We hope this has given you some tips for designing your own piece of jewellery and an understanding of how the design process works at Burrells. If you have any questions, or would like to book an appointment, please do get in touch. Philip has the kettle on and his pencil sharpened!
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