What happens when you have a design consultation?

May 28, 2016

We get asked this question a lot. Sometimes people are wary of doing something new or they may be concerned about the finality of using a sentimental item in a new piece of jewellery. Others may be concerned that once in the shop they’ll be rushed into handing over their cash before they’ve had a chance to really think things through. This article is designed to clear up any misunderstanding on the subject and hopefully encourage people to take the first step to owning a truly unique item of jewellery to be treasured forever.

So, you’ve got an idea for an item of jewellery or you’ve got a piece you don’t wear, or may have inherited something you don’t really like. The next step is to visit me in the shop or phone me for a chat, if you prefer. We’ve made jewellery for people corresponding entirely by email before but we’d much sooner meet you in person. You don’t need to make an appointment but you can if you like. We can accommodate out of hours consultations too. Some things to consider before you arrive are what your minimum and maximum budget will be. If you don’t want to disclose this or are open minded this is fine too. Also consider what sort of jewellery you wear the most. Rings and ear rings are most popular with us followed by pendants. There’s no point going to all the trouble and expence of creating a lovely piece if you’re not going to wear it.

So, these points considered, we sit down and discuss your requirements, sketch some ideas, look at books and websites and possibly go through our own stock to get a direction to move towards. I’ll also consider the jewellery you already own. We’ve created many beautiful things to compliment our customer’s existing jewellery. Finger sizes and chain lengths measured, we should have enough information to come up with several design concepts for you to view initially. Sometimes we’re able to quote a firm price immediately, other times we’ll need to speak to stone suppliers and cost out times for more complicated jobs.

If you’re using some of your own jewellery in the process but don’t want to leave it with us we can weigh it if it’s to be used in the production, and take photos and stone measurements to enable us to achieve a quote.

After you’ve seen the initial sketches, (we can email them or you can pop by) hopefully there will be something that takes your fancy or inspires you in some way. Then it’s time to do some more detailed drawings in colour and 3d, as well as the normal end on and profile views. It’s at this stage that you’ll probably be ready to finalise or tweak the design and we can confirm a price for the work involved. This will include VAT, box and resizing if necessary. No hidden surprises. The quote is firm for thirty days. Most if not all of the commissions we’ve quoted have been proceeded within a couple of days or not at all. If you decide not to proceed now, the designs are kept for 1 year and just need re quoting to take into account ever changing precious metal prices etc.

Up the this point there are no charges and no need to commit on your part. Once you decide to proceed we take a 25% deposit, detail the work to be done and any timescales relevant to the work, and begin the process. Some jobs require the melting down of your gold, some require a master to be made and then cast in your choice of material and some need to be designed with the help of a computer and 3d printing technology, all of which have different timeframes which you’ll be advised on during the quote/design stage. While we’ve made diamond ear rings and wedding rings in 24 hours in the past, two to three weeks is the average turn around. Other factors like hallmarking can add to this and extremely complex pieces can take six weeks.

Very occasionally we might need to see you during the manufacturing process to take into account  certain fitting variances, chain lengths and ear ring drops etc.

Finally your jewellery is ready and you can come and try it on! If it’s a ring you’ve chosen we offer to clean and polish your other items so they match. This is complimentary in most cases.

Other services we offer are:

Weighing your diamonds while they’re out of their old mounts for valuation purposes.

We also provide photographic progress images if required.

We can melt down your old gold, or add to it.

We can match most gemstones and diamonds if there are not enough for the design of your dreams.

We can source all manner of diamonds and gemstones, both certified and non certified. In many cases we can obtain them on approval for you to view.

We can produce matching wedding jewellery, fitted and shaped wedding bands and eternity rings.


So, that pretty much sums up the bespoke process. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain with a no obligation quote. We look forward to meeting you and discussing your requirements over a fresh coffee.

Steve can be contacted on 01162705375 or enquiries@wilkinsongoldsmiths.co.uk