Many people assume that if they want a piece of jewellery, the only place to buy it from is a high street jewellers. Although you may see a reasonable selection of designs and prices, your purchase will be the same as hundreds, if not thousands of others.
I would like to offer you an alternative.
The alternative is to have a piece created just for you. A unique piece, designed to reflect the wearer’s personality. You choose the stones, precious metals and the budget.
The pieces I create are truly ‘bespoke’. Please do not assume that this means your item will cost a fortune.It simply means that the piece you commission, whether jewellery, silverware, trophy or objet d’art, will fit you or the event perfectly.
It’s the same as having a bespoke suit, dress or shoes made. Before putting pencil to paper, I will ask a lot of questions, to give me an idea of the person the item is intended for. Is it for your wife/girlfriend/mother/daughter/mistress? Husband/boyfriend/toyboy? What are they like, what lifestyle do they lead? Favourite colours? Clothing styles? Do they want it for daywear or a special function?
(Don’t worry, I have made pieces for royalty, rock and rollers, film and TV stars, so discretion is paramount. I also practice selective amnesia).
When we have decided what type of piece you require, I will do some sketches, show you some stones and answer any questions.
I will keep you updated on progress and as an extra service included in the price, I will supply a written insurance valuation, photos of the piece and a copy of these on a floppy disc for your insurance company.
To participate in the creation of a unique piece is great fun and showing it off even more so because you know that no-one else on the planet has one the same.
This is an area where one’s imagination can really run riot.
It’s a great opportunity to design things that are a celebration of your personality, your interests, your family.
Because I can model incredibly detailed objects in precious metals, involving silversmithing skills and rarely-used techniques, the scope for creating something totally unique is huge.
For instance, I have made model cars, including Ferarri F40’s, 1960 Corvettes, 427 Cobras and D Type Jags.
Full size exact replicas in silver of Doctor Marten boots, four feet high 9-light candelabra, pentagonal photo holders with secret compartments and a gold and sapphire Cube Puzzle (the most difficult puzzle ever created). Several pieces have won awards from the Goldsmiths’ Council.
So, there we are. Objet d’Art.
We are only limited by our imagination…
The trophies and awards I create are also bespoke pieces. Each is designed with the specific event in mind. Corporate and sponsor’s logos can be used in the design. I use many unusual materials and never make a ‘cup with two handles’ – no-one notices or remembers them.
If your company sponsors an event or gives internal awards, contemporary looking trophies say a lot more about your company’s image and really annoy your competitors.
Most people have heard of 9ct or 18ct gold, or a 1 carat diamond, but a carat is different in each case. With regard to gold, a carat is a unit of purity. Pure gold is 24 carat, therefore 18 carat is 18 parts pure gold mixed with 6 parts of other metals. 18 carat items (sold as such in the UK) will carry a hallmark with a punchmark showing 750, signifying 750 parts per 1000 is pure gold (75%)
The most purchased grade of gold jewellery in the UK is 9carat. This means 9 parts per 24 is pure gold. This will carry a hallmark with a punchmark showing 375, signifying 375 parts per 1000 (37.5%) is gold. I would argue that 9ct should not be called gold at all, as most of the alloy is copper (62.5%)
Around the world it is possible to buy gold in the following purities: 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 18, 20, 22 and 23. Britain is the only place which uses a hallmarking system. If you have bought jewellery abroad with a 750 or 18K mark on it, this proves nothing, as it has not been tested and marked by an independent testing authority.
(Those meddling bureaucrats in Brussels are trying to make us scrap our 700 year old hallmarking system which is a protection system for the jewellery-buying public, but don’t get me started on that one!)
Carats with regard to stones are a unit of weight.
One carat is equal to 0.2grams (1/5th). If you are fortunate enough to own a one carat diamond, it weighs one fifth of a gram.
When diamonds were first mined and sold, they were weighed against the weight of the kernel of a carob nut, which consistently weighs 0.2 gram. These days extremely fine stone balances weigh 1/1000’s of a carat.
A carrot is an orange pointy vegetable, usually used in salad, not often worn as jewellery.
Giving jewellery as a present or a token of love is so much more special than any other gift.
It really does say a lot more about you and what you think of the recipient. This is why, initially, I will ask a lot of impertinent questions about you as well as the lucky person for whom the piece is being created.
For ladies, knowledge of jewellery seems to be inherited genetically. I am sure women have two extra additions to their DNA structure. One is DIAMONDS (the other is SHOPPING). For men it is not so clear. Guys may own a watch (because it is useful) and possibly some cufflinks or a signet ring. When guys want to buy a piece of jewellery for their lady, they often make the same mistake as when buying lingerie – too scratchy, cannot be shown to anyone else and always the wrong size.
I can offer advice to avoid all these problems.
I will also offer advice about the choice of materials and precious stones. This will help us both arrive at a design that will be comfortable to wear and comfortable for your wallet. The trick is to make the piece look a lot more expensive than it cost.
It is also fascinating to find out how the precious stones came into being, why diamonds are cut as they are, how nature has created them and why are they and other stones available in so many colours?
As you read this, take a look at the gold jewellery you are wearing. Because gold is able to be melted down and reworked, it is quite possible that a Roman empress, Egyptian king or Saxon warrior first wore a part of the gold on your finger. Does it feel even more valuable now? Yes? Good.
When you also find out that the diamonds you have are the product of billions of years of the Earth’s evolution, coupled with immense skill in cutting and polishing the facets, you know you have something truly unique.
The way I work allows you to choose the stones, the metals; silver, various golds or platinum and actually have direct input into the design. This ensures the wearer owns something no-one else has, with their personality designed in.
Another service I offer is to re-design existing jewellery. If you have been left jewellery but it either isn’t your style or is associated with unhappy memories, I can use the stones, melt the gold down and, with your input, design something completely new.