You know that frustrating feeling when you can’t find what you’re looking for in a sea of overwhelming choice? It feels like sometimes you might be spending maybe a bit too much time and effort in order to find that special something that is *just* right. In the end, when you have the final things in your hands (or on your hands, if you're lucky!) then it's all been worth it.
Jewellers often use the term "bespoke" to describe the custom process, which is a term that's often used by tailors as well. Dedicated suits can be expensive, but you wouldn't be wearing them everyday. The challenge with going bespoke is to craft something that looks, feels and wears like it's pure luxury, but keeping your lifestyle in mind. You wouldn't, for example, craft an elaborate diamond ring that would catch on fabric, or worse, an earring that pull a bit too hard on your ears.
People go for custom designs because they are looking for something that they simply cannot find anywhere, something that they have created as a one-off, as a kind of dedication to their loved ones. The other notable case would be when people are looking to match, or line up another ring perfectly up to their engagement ring or eternity rings, and can’t find anything on the market and therefore bespoke becomes the best option. More and more people are turning to custom designs in order to get their ideas across, or because people go for more unique designs that expresses a deep part of who they are.
Engraving - Say it with feeling
As an object that you’re using to express your love, adding the personal and sentimental touch shows that you’ve gone that extra mile. You’re making your feelings concrete, in a very real sense. Whether you’re preparing for an engagement proposal, or getting ready for the big day, having that small reminder of your loved one's message on whatever piece of jewellery you’re wearing will make those quiet, in-between moments even more memorable. It also adds an extra level of commitment to the piece itself, since engraved jewellery is a lot harder to sell. Engraving can cost anywhere from £50 upwards, depending on the nature of the engraving. As a relatively low cost for something so personal, engraving is a great idea, especially for wedding rings.
Matching a wedding band to an engagement ring
Probably one of the most common reasons why people choose to go bespoke, is to make sure that their wedding ring matches up perfectly to their engagement ring. This is usually the case with people who have more unique designs that features twists and turns, or if their centre stone is a “fancy shape” meaning that the diamond (or any other gemstone for that matter) has a pear shape, cushion shape or so on and so forth.
This means that the centre stone will protrude outwards and therefore the wedding ring will require a specific bend within the design in order to accommodate the engagement ring. Most of the time the jeweller will need to borrow the original engagement ring (she might not be too happy about that...) in order to make sure they get the measurements exactly right. Then it’s just a matter of waiting to get the ring crafted and ready.
Modifying an existing design
Given the amount of choice nowadays, a lot of people will look comparatively across different sources and combine elements that they like from different pieces of jewellery and suggest that they come together in a new design. It shows a sharp change in direction from conventional ways of shopping where people approached a sparkling shop window and picked from ten available designs. With bespoke, you’re in more control of the process and you’re able to choose from a much more exotic variety of designs. This is often a service that shopping doesn't really provide, but since we live in an era where research before a big purchase is practically a given, you can see the bespoke service as an extension to your research.
The best way to start the process is to start brainstorming, (have a look at our pinterest board below for some ideas) and to collect as many design ideas as you can. Also, try to get the jewellery from different angles, as it will make the first few consultations go a lot quicker. What might look good from the top, might be different from the sides, and so on and so forth. It's a great learning experience to sit with a jeweller who can explain at great depth, what's both possible and practical.
Creating something new
You might suddenly have a flash of inspiration and you’ll see the ring in a dream, or you’ll just be in that creative mood where you just want to absolutely dedicate a piece to the one you love. In this category, you can actually really say that it’s a one-of-a-kind piece. While we’ve seen that the idea of doing a surprise proposal is probably closest to the scariest thing that they’ve ever done, if you go in armed with a one-of-a-kind design, then you're making the dream proposal come true. A lot of the process happens organically, as people drift between existing designs that they already like and then begin to fuse together elements in a new way that hasn't been seen before.
Setting unconventional stones into existing designs
A great way to add a bit of flair into existing designs is to switch up the stones that are used in the design. While diamonds are preferred by everyone, a lot of people really love adding sapphires, rubies and aquamarine to their jewellery. The addition of some colour will make that piece of jewellery a lot more unique (and noticeable!). There’s a whole family of gemstones out there that you could use to add an infusion of colour, as well as make a stand out piece ready for your partner’s jewellery box.
The next steps
Collect as if you've got an obsession. Look at designs from all different kinds of jewellers, across different eras. Modern jewellery design is about a refinement of classical design principles, taking one aspect like a twist, and giving it focus and poise. Giving as much information as you can is the best way to get a truly one-of-a-kind piece.
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