When I am approached to do a remodel or commission I am often asked for a ball park figure. I can promise you that this is possibly the hardest thing for me to do. So, I thought I would try my best to explain why? Hopefully this will help you guys, my clients, to understand the details on pricing for commissions and remodels.
Pricing for Commissions & Remodels:
When I’m asked to make something special, there are a few things to think about. Firstly, I make investment jewellery. The type of jewellery that you buy for marking special occasions, to remember loved ones by, and to wear and treasure everyday. I put a lot of time and effort into customer care, design and in making your beautiful piece(s) of jewellery to ensure you get the absolute best possible service and that no detail is missed. Whether it is a £20 stacking ring or a one of a kind £1500 ring, you will always get the same level of love, care and attention needed to feel like your needs are being met.
For the remodels and commissions, I do not charge for my ideas and designs, or any correspondences at the final design stage. Once the design has been confirmed, I ask for 50% of the balance up front, followed by the other 50% on completion.
So until the final design has been confirmed, it is very tricky to give a price for the work needed to complete it. There are ALOT of variables that can affect cost, such as; time, types of materials (gold/silver/gemstones), as well as the techniques used in creating your personalised item. Just to name a few! I can however, if you require give you a rough price as we go through the design process.
The materials you are choosing for your piece is a huge denominator in cost. Gold for example is pricey … Like, super pricey! 9ct is cheaper than 18, as the fine gold content in the metal is lower. As the gold content gets higher, so does the price. Silver is much more affordable.
Gemstones can also vary hugely in price. For example; a moonstone will be far more affordable than a diamond. I have a few tricks here where precious stones are involved. Firstly, I like to use included stones, unless you have a budget for the clear and shiny ones. This is where the gem has grown in place with imperfections. When the gem is cut from the rough it leaves small marks in the gem, making it truly original!! Gemstones which were considered ‘precious’; diamond (the most vauable), followed by emeralds, rubies and sapphires being the second most costly, depending on clarity and cut. Then you have the aquamarines, spinels, tanzanites and so on…
This is the other main denominator in cost. My hours directly affect the cost of your personalised piece.
When I say process this is what I mean;
It involves taking apart the original jewellery, refining your metals and shaping said metals. This can take hours before I have even begun to make a start your actual piece of jewellery. This is why I advise that we do this with gold only, unless the silver you want to use has super sentimental value and you want it to be included in your piece. (In short, it is cheaper to buy new silver stock than to refine it.)
Next, taking the sheet and wire (which is how I pretty much 95% of the time start to build your piece) or wax (which is hand carved then cast) and making your piece of jewellery. It is shaped, soldered, filed, usually stone set, then polished. Due to the fact this is usually a statement piece, all of these processes are done to my highest standard and take time to get them just right..
If your piece needs hallmarking, which it usually will, this is an additional cost of £30-£50 for one packet. Hallmarking submissions can be quite a complicated, it depends on the amount of things sent off etc. So I generally add a baseline price to cover the basic cost of this unless I know it will cost more. This is added right at the end of the pricing process, as an additional cost.
- Postage & Packaging
I always send your commissions (over £250 value) and remodels out as ‘special delivery’, as that is where the insurance is. This comes at no extra cost to you.
So in summary; It is hard to give a rough price for what I do. If I do, it is usually based on pervious work I have done in the past or pieces that I have made with similar materials and processes. I hope that there is an understanding by the client that this price might change until we have confirmed the final design.
This is why remodels now have a starting price of £250 and commissions can really vary, depending on preferences and processes, as the jewellery will be made from scratch.
I hope this has helped you understand the pricing process of your designs. As always if you have any queries or would like to chat about anything you have read, please get in touch via email. Or alternatively jump straight into the commission remodel process by filling out my form to get the ball rolling!