If you're thinking about commissioning a piece of jewellery, whether this is your engagement or wedding ring, or any other special piece, "how much" is probably one of the main questions you'll want to ask. I've found that sometimes people can be afraid to ask about a commission as they think it'll be much more expensive that buying "off the peg". This is often not the case, especially if you use a small company as they won't have the amount of overheads that a big chain store does.
Obviously, things like heating, lighting, the cost of replacing tools when they wear out, advertising, insurance etc etc as well as the cost of the materials and my salary have to be costed into every piece that I make, but those are very minimal compared to a large high street jeweller. Another big advantage of coming to someone like me is the personal service you receive. I care that each and every commission that I make is perfect for it's owner. Yes, this is my "living" and so I have to make money to pay my bills, buy children's school uniforms, festival tickets, Chase Vodka, you know the essential stuff, but if a piece isn't right then I'm not happy to let it leave my workshop until it is!
I price everything I make individually as the cost of precious metals and stones are always changing but I thought I'd use this blog post to take away a bit a of that fear of asking in case it's just too expensive by showing a few pricing examples it may be helpful. (Hover over the images to see the prices)
(Please note that these are only sample prices and are intended to give you an idea of costs involved in buying a hand made ring. The gold prices are for either yellow, rose or white gold.)
If you're unsure about which size of band and stone you should go for then there's a handy PDF download over in my Etsy shop that allows you to test out all lots of different widths and carats as well as finding out your ring size.
And finally, a note about white gold:
I often hear people say that they've been told there's no such thing as white gold and that it's actually rhodium plated yellow gold, when this isn't the case at all. However, I have come across jewellery, usually of the high street mass produced variety that is indeed just that. All the gold used for jewellery is an alloy as pure gold is too soft and would be kind of like wearing a ring made out of plasticine. Sometimes it may be more cost effective for a high street shop to simply "rhodium plate" standard yellow gold. This is all fine and legal, but, after a while the rhodium, as with any sort of "plating" can start to wear off. It can be easily re-plated but obviously this will have a cost attached and depending on how much wear and tear your jewellery is subject to, this may be a yearly happening. Natural 9ct white gold is more of a warm "milky" cream colour and 18ct is slightly more grey, and closer to the colour of palladium or platinum. I don't rhodium plate any of my jewellery, unless a client makes a specific request as I prefer the natural colours of each metal and don't want to leave my clients with the burden of having to get it re-plated. It's also an extra, and in my opinion, an unnecessary process that uses electricity and chemicals.
Here's a comparison chart to help give you an idea of the differences in precious metal colours...