How long would the commission process take?
I would say to leave around 8 weeks from start to finish. This includes the time needed to agree on a design. I do close my commission books for time to time when I become full, so if you do have a deadline it’s best to get the ball rolling in plenty of time.
I would like to commission something for Christmas, when should we start coming up with ideas?
I get extremely busy on the run up to Christmas, so I would say to get the commission process started in early October.
Do you work in platinum?
I am not currently working in Platinum.
I have a big bag of silver I would like to melt down and make something new, can you do this for me?
I am not working with silver on a commission basis I am afraid. Melting down silver and working it into something new takes a lot of time. The time tends to out-way the costs it would be to make it out of new silver.
Do you have a stock of fair-trade stones I can choose from?
As I mainly work on a commission basis (and don’t have a shop), I tend to order stones in specifically for commissions. I can borrow stones from some suppliers for a customer to choose from so it’s possible to have options.
I have a collection of old rings, and bits of broken gold jewellery I would like to use, it’s sitting in a drawer not doing anything. Can we use this gold in a new piece?
Sometimes working with a collection of the customers own jewellery works really well, can be cost effective and be fairly straight forward. In These cases there will be a few pieces of the same carat cold with not alot of solder in them.
The main question I would ask first is, is it sentimental?… If it’s big bag of mixed gold (with lots of solder in chains etc) it might be best to offset the value of this metal against using new gold (which is recycled, post consumer gold).
This would be a certain carat of gold and is better quality to work with, than a mixed bag. Customers own gold can be taken back to raw gold and re-alloyed up to a certain carat of clean gold to use, but this can be a costly and time consuming process.
So in short, if it’s not sentimental to you and its a big bag of mixed bits and bobs, then lets start a fresh. If it’s a must to use it, then we can look to determine how “clean” the gold is and to the costs to re-alloy it. If the gold is a group of the same carat gold, then this makes it much easier and cheaper for me to use.
Can I use my old diamonds and stones in something new?
Yes, but it all depends on what condition the stones are in, the cut, quality and what settings they are in now. It’s risky getting stones out of their old settings and breakages do happen. This is all undertaken at the customer’s own risk. In most cases, everything works out really well using the customers own stones. However, some are unusable due to damage they have seen in their previous life.
I have some of my Grandmother’s opals in a ring I would like to re-set, would this be something you would consider looking at?
Opals are a very scary stones for a jeweller. They are unlike most stones used by jewellers. They break very easily and are very unpredictable. So it’s likely I might turn down a job involving opals, just to preserve my stress levels I’m afraid! Some jewellers work with opals all the time, so my advice would be to find a jeweller who is an expert working in opals.
How much might a commission costs, using my own gold and stones to make a new ring?
There are so many variables that it is impossible to say before the design is narrowed down and we know what we are working with. I would say on average during 2018 re-model commissions in in between £500 and £1200. You generally need more gold going in to the process than what you get out. One rings worth of gold won’t be enough to get one ring out, especially when casting a new ring.. but we can always add metal.
My budget is around £450 for the ring. I have seen you have some rings for sale at around this costs, would this be reasonable?
I get asked a lot if a commissioned ring can be a similar price and design to some of rings I have for sale. However, for commissions I can not spread the costs of developing a design over the many sales I make of the stock items. Therefore with being a one off commission, it will be more expensive. I have to cover the hours spent on the design process, as well as the costs to make the piece of jewellery. I very often work to budgets and try and get the most i can in to the budget for the customer, it actually makes it easier to narrow down the options for he customer.
I don’t have a ring size, and it’s a surprise ring, what should I do?
This is a tricky one as not all ring styles can be resized. Some sneaking about can be done to get some evidence that will get close to a ring size. But unfortunately the best result is always gained by having an accurate size. Some rings can be commissioned to a guessed size, given and resized after.. so it depends on the design, occasion and recipient!
Can I measure my ring size at home?
The best way to get an accurate ring size is to go to a good jewellers. And ideally get sized for the style of ring you are going for, slim, wide, flat, shaped, chunky. The plastic ring measuring devices and online print out sizing guides rarely give an accurate ring size.
I would like to arrange an appointment to come and discuss a commission with you, when are you open?
I work by appointment only, I have a private studio and work within school hours, Monday to Friday. Once an appointment is arranged, I can let you know where my studio is. It’s best to leave around an hour for a commission appointment. I will probably have my very affectionate dog with me too!
I can not get to Hebden Bridge for an appointment with you, can I still commission you?
Yes, I have completed many commissions via email and special delivery.
How does the commission process work?
Firstly, I ask for some information from the customer. Your inspiration, budget, timescale, ring size etc, as much as possible really, this can be done either via email or by appointment.
Next, I will usually need to see any customer metal and or stones in person that you may want to use. Then, I come up with ideas in the form of hand drawn sketches. These are priced up and emailed to the customer.
Once the customer agrees on a design, I ask for a 50% non-refundable deposit. There is no obligation to go ahead with anything until this stage. Once the jewellery is ready, I ask for the remaining balance and then arrange to get the jewellery sent to the customer.
PLEASE NOTE: As all commission are bespoke and made to order, there is a no-returns policy.