What happens when you commission a bespoke piece of jewellery?
- Credit: Archant
You may assume that commissioning a unique piece of jewellery is a long, expensive task. Hayden Bishop, director of Carats Jewellers in Ipswich, explains how it can be a memorable and affordable experience.
Q: What is the process for commissioning jewellery?
A: Usually, a customer will come to us with an idea of the type of piece they would like. We then discuss the practicalities with them to ensure the design is possible to physically replicate. If you don’t have a detailed design, we can offer our expertise, create technical drawings if necessary, and work with you to design something you love.
Once we’ve finalised the details, we can start crafting it. We’re very proud of what we do and actively encourage current and prospective customers to visit the workshop and see our jewellery makers in action.
Q: Can you transform old jewellery?
A: Yes, absolutely. We can take old rings, bracelets, necklaces or just about any piece of jewellery and use as much of the pre-existing piece as possible to maintain sentimentality and affordability.
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Q: How does a piece of jewellery get produced or remade?
A: Our experienced jewellers take the design of the commissioned piece and use specialist equipment to craft it from scratch. How a piece of jewellery is made will differ almost entirely from one piece to the next, so it’s impossible to generalise the process.
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In terms of restoring, I’ll use an example: if someone brings in a worn gold ring to be renewed, we would use as much of the gold already in it, melt this down and make a new band. If we can, we will do this with a pre-made setting, and other times we will make it by hand.
Q: What kind of jewellery can you create?
A: We can design and make custom wedding and engagement rings, personalised necklaces, unique bracelets and earrings, pendants – we can craft almost anything.
The same applies for our remaking service – the list of jewellery we can make and restore is endless.
Q: Why should I have a bespoke piece of jewellery crafted or restored rather than buy it new?
A: Getting a special piece of jewellery remade means you maintain the sentimentality and any memories associated with it. Jewellery can be so personal to an individual, and it’s amazing to be able to breathe new life into old pieces and continue to wear them. Cost is another benefit – the price of gold is very high at the moment and buying new is almost always more expensive than restoring old pieces.
Commissioning bespoke jewellery means you can get exactly what you want. Sometimes, the pre-made pieces you find in jewellery shops don’t tick all the boxes. Getting something made just for you makes it unique and special. It doesn’t usually take too long, typically around three to four weeks.
Q: Is it important that a jeweller has a lot of experience?
A: Definitely - between us we have around 150 years of experience in this industry. This contributes to the quality of the work and advice given, and the ability to deliver excellent customer service. We are celebrating our 35th anniversary this year, and we’re still learning every day – there’s so much skill involved in jewellery making. Buying and commissioning jewellery should be a meaningful experience and having a wealth of expertise plays a massive role in successfully accomplishing this.
Q: Why should I choose Carats Jewellers?
A: We are a family run and owned business in the heart of Ipswich, offering everything from jewellery commissions to watch and clock repairs. We are most proud of our customer service and after-sales care. We are always here to help if something isn’t quite right after your purchase.
Visit the store at 11 The Buttermarket, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1BQ.