Nothing epitomises your personal style more than the creation of bespoke jewellery, just for you. Whether it’s men’s jewellery or women’s jewellery, there’s no limit to what can be created. Whether you’re looking for distinctive cufflinks or personalised rings, even the smallest memory can help create magical pieces.
Deakin & Francis have been creating bespoke jewellery since 1786 and are on hand to give you a step-by-step guide so you can understand the process involved. Read on to discover everything you need to know in our Bespoke Jewellery Guide: From Design to Final Product.
What is Bespoke Jewellery?
Bespoke jewellery is the product of a creative process between the customer and the jewellery designer to create a piece that you want. Through this process you have complete freedom with what you can create, bringing all facets of your personality to the table at every stage. Bespoke jewellery is more than just creating a custom piece, it is the creation of something inspired.
When considering having a bespoke piece of jewellery made for you, you must first consider the budget you want. There is a misconception that the word “bespoke” is a synonym for “expensive”. However, this isn’t the case. It’s true that the materials and process that is required to create your piece will certify its value upon completion. For those who want a bespoke piece, it’s not just about the price tag, it’s about owning a unique piece that they and their descendents will cherish.
If the budget is your stumbling block, listen to the wise words of our designer, Adam Larsen: “Every item is unique – there is no average or typical budget.” Explore your options, get creative and you can find out what can be done.
Finding your Inspiration
You’ll never know you’ll be inspired, it can come from anywhere. Whether it’s your favourite colours, an era of fashion that takes your fancy or even pastime or hobby that means something to you – American Football cufflinks, anyone? When you sit down with our expert designers, you’ll draw upon all influences, meaning you’ll finish with a distinctive piece that says everything about you.
At Deakin & Francis, our limit here is only your imagination – we make dreams you can display to the world and pass down to future generations.
Gemstones are a vital part of your bespoke piece. You have plenty to choose from including dazzling diamonds, sumptuous sapphires, the mesmerising mother of pearl and the opulent onyx to name a few. Our team can source any stone of any colour and quality for your bespoke piece, allowing your imagination to run as wild as it wants.
Deakin & Francis only trade in the world’s finest stones, ensuring your jewellery has the shine and elegance you would expect. We also source our stones in the most ethical and environmental methods.
Choosing your Metals
Choosing the right precious metal is important, as it will decide the overall look and style of your design. Gold is a classic choice for bespoke jewellery, often synonymous with timeless style and luxury. The pink hue of rose gold adds a romantic feel if your bespoke piece is for someone special in your life. White gold is a more recent choice for many, adding a contemporary feel to their jewellery. If you’re looking to commission an engagement ring, platinum’s durability is the ideal choice as it symbolises that your love will last forever.
The craftspeople at Deakin & Francis work with all carats of gold in all colours and all alloys of silver above 925 Sterling. We use base metals including brass, aircraft grade aluminium and sometimes 316L stainless steel. With this plethora of options available, you will find the best metal to complement your gemstones.
In fact, it was the creation of a piece with an unusual metal that brought an interesting challenge to the Deakin & Francis team. Using the smelted piston from a classic Bugatti car, the team created a bespoke limited edition to the car. As we said above, your inspiration can come from anywhere.
Upcycle old Jewellery
Over time, some pieces of jewellery begin to show their wear and tear. This can especially true of family heirlooms that have been passed down through the generations. There are certain things that can be done when upcycling old jewellery.
One option is to incorporate the pieces of jewellery into a new design or mount an item onto a new piece. For example, our team created an entirely new ring around a precious piece of engraving on the inside of an old signet ring. The finished piece was a glorious brand new D&F signet ring with the family engraving featured on the inside of the ring.
It’s also possible to use old stones from old jewellery to create stunning new pieces. Your precious gemstones are here to stay, but can gain a new lease of life on a new pendant, bracelet, earring or ring.
You should know that melting down old gold isn’t something we do, despite assumptions that say otherwise. Metal refining is a task completed by professionals as they remove impurities created from smelting, which we couldn’t guarantee if we did the process ourselves.
Using The Latest Technology
From upcycling old jewellery, to taking advantage of the latest technology in the design and production process. We use state-of-the-art 3D modelling technology to envisage how the piece will finish. However, we are still sculpting to give a more natural look and feel to our jewellery pieces. With a gifted CAD designer and sculptor on site, customers can see as little or as much as the creative process as they see fit.
Bespoke Jewellery Making Process at Deakin & Francis
If you’re thinking about commissioning a bespoke jewellery piece from Deakin & Francis and want to understand the process involved, here’s how it works:
The process of creating bespoke jewellery begins with the idea for a bespoke piece which can be based on a memory, place or interest. From there, concept artwork is drawn up to show how the designers will interpret the best way to express the piece of jewellery with the inspired subject matter.
Once approved, the team consults with our Goldsmiths for the techniques we would employ to bring your piece to life. This will be done using traditional goldsmithing hand methods or the latest cutting-edge technology to achieve the finest results.
3. Technical Drawing
After the consultation and technique has been agreed, practical changes are likely to be introduced to the concept and a formal CAD is submitted for review. This is a technical drawing produced with the help of Computer Aided Design to demonstrate the attributes of the items in high detail.
With the CAD drawing approved, the piece begins its journey through the production team. The bespoke jewellery is quality controlled and inspected at every stage to ensure that only the finest materials available are used.
5. Quality Assurance
Upon completion, the piece is personally inspected by Managing Director, Henry Deakin and our Creative Director, James Deakin. Once approved, the piece is then presented to you.
Examples of Unique Bespoke Jewellery
If you’re still struggling for inspiration, we really do mean it when we say “the only limit is your imagination”.
One of the most memorable designs created at Deakin & Francis included a scale model of a customer’s very own Tyrannosaurus Rex skull, which was made out of 18ct gold.
Another incredible special commission to pass through the production team was a Gold Video Camera that was fully operational. It certainly set a new gold standard for filming.
One of the more unusual pieces we’ve created came from a grandmother who had sent in her grandchildren’s teeth to be made into a brooch! A memory she will truly cherish.
Why Bespoke Jewellery?
When commissioning a bespoke piece of jewellery you are helping create a piece that has your heart and soul in it.
Deakin & Francis is proud to offer the service to you. Do you want to know why we offer this service? Our owner, Henry Deakin explains:
“It sounds ridiculous but because we can. We are still a British manufacturer so can make bespoke items in the UK. With over 200 years in the same building it’s fantastic that Deakin and Francis still make bespoke items to the high standards they always have. In a world where customers want to know where items are made we can offer traceability as well as a personal service. It’s very unique for customers to meet the craftsmen and women and see their items in production.”