BESPOKE PROCESS AND COSTS
The steps to creating your bespoke pieceSorry. This is a list. But it’s a list that reads nicely and should give you answers to any questions you might have about commissioning that special piece of jewellery. If it doesn’t - just let us know, because bespoke is personal to you and there isn’t a generic answer to everything!
How it works1. Introductory email: Once you’ve got in touch to express your interest in having a bespoke piece of jewellery made, I’ll email some initial questions just to get you thinking and to give me some background info and more details. You can see some examples of what these might be below in What do I need to know?
2. Introductory meeting: When you return your answers we’ll make an appointment for an introductory meeting at the studio where we’ll chat about what you might like in more detail. This initial meeting usually doesn't take longer than an hour.
3. Initial ideas meeting: After we’ve met I’ll then put a simple storyboard together. This will sketch out some initial ideas. Think of it as a taster menu! Then we’ll talk again to see what you like and what you didn’t. Again, this second meeting doesn't usually take longer than an hour.
4. Developing the design: We’ll settle on an idea to develop into a final design. Hopefully you are happy with how things are progressing and confident I’ll make you a beautiful piece of jewellery. At this stage an initial deposit is payable to cover the design time. See below in What are the costs?
5. Final design meeting: I'll then invite you back to the studio to look at the design. Most of the time it will be a drawing but sometimes I’ll make a silver model. Hopefully we’re on the right track and you'll love it! If there are any little tweaks you’d like then I'll make the adjustments.
6. Quote: Once the design is finalised I’ll send you a quote which includes a design spec. As we have discussed budgets throughout the process, the quote should be as close to budget as possible.
7. Deposit and starting to make: If you’re happy to proceed I'll email a deposit invoice to you. Once this is paid, I then email you the drawing of the design or photos of model and start creating your jewellery.
8. Ring fitting: If I’m designing a ring for you or for someone else (and it’s NOT a surprise!) I’ll invite you or them back for a fitting to check that you are happy with the size. This is normally done before the ring is finished as it’s easier to make any adjustments to the size at this point.
9. Collecting your jewellery: When your commission is finished I'll contact you to arrange a time to collect it. The final balance is usually paid before collecting or on collection is fine too.
How long does it takeThe whole process can take about 4 – 6 weeks. It can also take less time but more complex designs may need longer. The more time we have before your deadline the better - it makes your whole experience more enjoyable and relaxed!
The costs, and how to payFirst two meetings: The first introductory meeting and the second meeting to discuss initial ideas are usually not longer than an hour each and are free.
Design development deposit: At the second initial ideas meeting we’ll select an idea to develop. At this stage I’ll ask for a commitment from you as an initial deposit of £400 to cover the time to design the piece for you. This is non refundable, but it will form part of the 50% deposit once we proceed to the making stage. I’ll email you an invoice which is ideally payable via bank transfer (if bank transfer is not possible we can look at alternatives). Once the deposit is received I’ll begin designing your piece of jewellery.
Final design meeting: We’ll meet again so you can see the final design and discuss any adjustments. If there are any adjustments to be made, then these can be discussed over the phone or by email so no further meetings are usually required.
However, of course we’re happy to meet again if you’d like. These additional meetings are no longer than an hour and are £200 each (with a maximum of two more). This is non refundable but it will also form part of the 50% deposit once we proceed to the making stage. As before, I’ll email you an invoice, payable by bank transfer before we meet.
Quote and deposit: Once the design is finalised I will email you a quote. If you are happy to proceed I ask for a deposit which is usually 50% of the final cost of the commission, and payable in advance. I will send you an invoice for this, minus the £400 deposit (and any additional meeting fees). Once the deposit is paid, I then start creating your jewellery!
Final balance: When your jewellery is finished and ready to collect I will email you the final balance invoice which is payable via bank transfer before you collect. Or if you prefer you can pay in cash on collection.
Why bespoke might cost moreTime meeting you: There’s a lot more time and work involved in designing bespoke pieces . Time is spent meeting you to discuss what you would like. There are follow up meetings, emails and phone calls. As much as we love chatting to you, it all takes time.
Time designing for you: We’re designing something specifically for you… not mass produced for everyone… but just for you. This involves time researching, thinking, drawing, model making, discussion and developing.
Time making for you: Nothing is readymade. Nothing is taken off the shelf! Every part of your piece of jewellery is originally made from scratch, just for you. It’s not made overseas, it’s made here in the UK. How simple or complex a design is to make will have an affect on price.
Minimum cost: Because of the time involved there’s a minimum cost for bespoke jewellery which starts at £500. To give you an idea - this might typically be for a piece made in silver. A Piece in gold can start at around £2,000 and in Platinum it could start at around £2,500.
Quality of materials: The type and quality of materials affect the cost of a bespoke piece of jewellery. Things like whether it’s gold or platinum. The size and quality of a diamond or precious gem if it has one (or if it has more than one!) As a result, the same design can vary in price depending on the materials used. A platinum ring set with a D flawless 1ct diamond will cost quite a bit more than the same design made in 18ct yellow gold, set with an F, VS1, 0.50ct diamond. See more information on cut, clarity and colour of diamond here.
Budget: We aim to use the best quality materials we can to suit your budget, so it’s really helpful if you can give us an idea of your budget as early in the process as possible. This means we can guide you and give you the best advice to suit your budget straight away.
What we need to know to make your jewellery1. What type of jewellery are you interested in having made? Ring, earrings, pendant etc?
2. Have you had any thoughts about materials? For example platinum, gold, diamonds, rubies etc…
3. Have you had any thoughts about how much you'd like to spend? An upper limit or price range is helpful at this stage. We aim to use the best quality materials we can to suit your budget, so it’s really helpful if you can give us an idea of your budget as early in the process as possible. This means we can guide you and give you the best advice to suit your budget straight away.
4. Have you done any research into the style you are looking for? If you have, it would be great if you could email some images either from online research or from my website. Or if you are handy with a pencil feel free to jot some ideas down and email them over.
5. If it’s a gift, how would you describe the person’s style that you are thinking of buying for?
6. Does the person you are buying for wear much jewellery, if so what is it like?
7. Do they have a Pinterest or instagram page that will give us clues?
8. If this is a surprise and it’s a ring, do you know their finger size? If not then we can chat about some ways to undertake some cunning detective work... Alternatively visit our Marriage proposal & Engagement ring guide for some tips.
9. If it’s an engagement ring, it would be ideal if you can secretly bring a ring they already wear on the ring finger (left hand). Or if they wear a ring on the same finger on the right hand this can also be helpful (there is about half a size to one size difference in finger size between the right and left hand).
10. Do you have a photo you can send of the person the jewellery is for. I’m no expert in profiling, it just helps put it in context for me.
11. What’s your deadline for the piece?
If the finished piece isn't quite what you were expectingHopefully by now you have the confidence in me and the craftsmen I work with. And you know that we have the expertise and knowledge to make beautiful pieces of jewellery. Read The Amanda Mansell Story for further reassurance.
I’m confident that you will love your jewellery, because I have to love it to! I pride myself in making jewellery of the highest standard, and that is beautifully designed and crafted. If I’m not happy with the final piece then I’ll remake it.
I make sure that I listen to what you would like and advise accordingly. I communicate with you every step of the way. I welcome you to ask question and raise concerns at any point during the journey of making your jewellery.
I’ve never had a dissatisfied client. Quite the opposite. But should there be a situation where somehow we’ve got to the end and you are dissatisfied, it is in my interest to make any reasonable alterations at no extra cost, because I want you to leave happy. I want you to love you’re jewellery!
To reassure you further please read our testimonials from past delighted clients who are happy to share their experiences with you.
If you have any other questions that aren’t answered here please do get in touch and we’ll be delighted to chat with you.