How To: Commissioning Jewellery For Beginners

Unless you're a jewellery obsessive, commissioning a bespoke piece can be a very daunting task. There are so many different things to consider -  do you know what type of stone setting you want? Or what type of gold you like? What are your influences, and for that matter what is your budget? Stop me before you feel a panic attack coming on...

The good news is that commissioning a piece of jewellery isn't as scary as you might think. In fact, if you speak to any reputable, experienced jeweller then they should be able to guide you through the entire process while making it immersive and enjoyable.

If you're considering having a made-to-measure piece created, here's my top five tips:

1. Choose A Jeweller Based On Their Portfolio

It sounds like such an obvious 'top tip' but it's one that many people don't take into consideration. Do you want a vintage-inspired art deco pendant? The chances are the designs that excite me won't necessarily excite you! Do you love granulation or know that you want something that's definitely a one-of-a-kind? In that case, let's talk! Shop around, search through designs on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and find a jeweller that you feel you'll be able to work closely with to get the best result.

2. If Possible, Meet Face To Face

Some jewellers, like myself, might not necessarily be able to have clients visit their studios or workshops, but it's worth asking. Not only does this give you the opportunity to meet the maker and discuss your ideas in person, but it allows you the chance to see where your jewellery will be made. I find it fascinating to wander round my friends studios, and it always fills me with apreciation for people who hand make their products. I love to meet for coffee to talk about inspiration and expectations with clients. 

3. Approve The Design Drawings

Make sure your jeweller shows you thorough design drawings before anything goes into production. It's important as a jeweller to know what your client is expecting, so I always produce several versions of a design, and include details such as dimensions, material and surface finish. If you have a change of heart and decide that you'd rather have the satin finish than the mirror-polish, then just get in touch and let your jeweller know! 

4. Be Realistic With Your Budget

The great thing about buying a piece of jewellery from an independent maker is that you're not paying for big overheads, retail mark-ups or sales staff salaries. It is important to remember, however, that you are paying for a completely bespoke design and the expertise of someone who has spent years perfecting their unique skills. Make a point of discussing your budget with your jeweller and mutually agree what can be created within these limitations. You might not have to spend thousands, but it is important to have an honest and frank discussion.

5. Keep In Touch

If you ask most jewellers why they fell in love with being a jeweller, the'll probably tell you about the pleasure they get from knowing someone is wearing and cherishing their design. I know that's exactly what got me hooked! If you've commissioned a special piece for a birthday or engagement, please send your jeweller a photo of it being worn. We love seeing the end result! I call it the "I did that" moment, and it gives me so much satisfaction. Keep in touch with your jeweller, give them feedback on their service, and remember to show off your beautiful piece of jewellery to all your friends.!

If you'd like to learn more about commissioning a piece of jewellery from HGR, or you'd simply like to get in touch, send an email to

Hannah Ryan