When a client is considering commissioning a custom piece of jewellery, one of the things they ask is how long it will take. Here at Milina London, we offer a bespoke service and this has helped me to get a good understanding of the timelines for different projects.
In this blog, I’ll give a general overview of how long custom jewellery can take to create, and also discuss the different factors that will affect the timeline.
How long does custom jewellery take in general?
It is difficult to give a definite time for all custom jewellery pieces because they will vary! The design process can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks, depending on revisions, and 2-6 weeks for the creation of the bespoke piece, depending on intricacies of the design or complications around sourcing the right stones.
The first stage is the initial consultation with us, where we understand your brief and discuss the process with you. Then, the design work begins. We produce any sketches as needed and create a CAD image if required, which is then discussed with you for approval.
Once any revisions to the design are made, the crafting process begins! The metals and any stones required need to be sourced and cut to size as needed, and then our wonderful artisans will start working to bring the design to life.
Related blog: A Glimpse Into the Jewellery Design Process
What factors impact how long a piece of custom jewellery takes?
How detailed the brief is
If I’ve been given a really detailed and specific brief with the client’s wishes, the design process will be easier and quicker; unless the design is not possible, in which case we have to revisit the idea. However, if we are working on a vague idea, the design process might take a little while longer. If we are reusing old stones or jewellery, we need to also check on the viability of this, and also how we can use the relevant piece/pieces.
I personally also like to talk to the client about the feelings they may be looking to translate through the piece, so we can try and reflect some of their personality and thoughts into the creation. This is my favourite part of the process as I feel connected to my client in a special way.
How many revisions or changes are required
Similarly to the above, the time it takes for us to produce a custom piece will depend on how many changes or revisions need to be made. Some people have a really clear idea of what they want (and we can create that for them) whereas others have more of a concept. I love either approach, but if there’s a less detailed brief, it might take a little longer for the design to be created.
The materials required
Another thing that will affect the time it takes to create the custom piece of jewellery is the materials needed for the piece.
It may be simple enough and we might just need to buy the required gold, silver or platinum. Some customers come to us with an old piece of jewellery that they want to be repurposed. In this case, we first check the purity of the metal. If we can use it, then we melt and re-use it for the new custom piece, buying any more we may need.
Some pieces require precious stones such as diamonds, emeralds or sapphires. If the shapes and sizes required are something that is easily available, then it may just be a matter of sourcing the best quality at the best price. However, certain pieces require special sizes, cuts or shapes of stones, which can then take us time to source.
We also have many requests from clients to reset stones they have in an old piece of jewellery. This can be a difficult process, depending on the setting of the stone, and might require specialist care. Some stones such as emeralds are very delicate and can fracture easily.
The design of the jewellery
It’s also important to note that the timeline will be affected by how much detail needs to go into the piece, both in the design and the crafting process. If the design requires a lot of intricate work or complicated settings, this will take more time.
Thank you for reading this overview of how long custom jewellery takes, and the different elements that impact the timeline - I hope you enjoyed it!