Whether you want to make a big gesture, revitalise an old family heirloom, celebrate a milestone or treat somebody to a meaningful one-off present, designing a piece of jewellery is one of the most precious, loving gifts you can give. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Bespoke Jewellery 

In this article, we’ll show how straightforward it is to create a breathtaking piece of bespoke jewellery. We’ll answer common questions about the design process, what items and designs could be possible, what materials you can use, and we’ll share helpful tips to ensure you create the perfect, custom-made gift. 

What is a bespoke jewellery? 

Bespoke jewellery involves more than engraving someone’s name or a cherished phrase on a ring or on the back of a watch (although that can be part of it). 

At its finest design jewellery is made through a process whereby a designer sits down with a customer and takes initial design specifications through to the final product. 

There is something special in the personal connection to an item of jewellery when every part is made from scratch to your specification and given the consistent care and attention a bespoke item needs. 

About Bespoke Jewellery from Jacobs The Jewellers

Many pieces of jewellery can be part-bespoke. For example, some “custom” pieces will just be a combination of say, precious metal and gemstone chosen from pre-existing options. A piece of jewellery can also be assembled by a goldsmith from stock items bought through a maker or workshop. This is a useful ‘midway’ between off-the-shelf and fully bespoke, with pricing reflective of this. 

Alternatively, a designer can make drawings by hand or computer and then pass them on to an external goldsmith for assembly.

However, a truly bespoke jeweller will realise the design (with hand drawing or computer-aided visualisation), then make each commission from scratch, uniquely, bringing their own artistic and creative inspirations to the customer’s ideas and requirements. They’ll ensure those elements are put into the creation of the final piece, including any design elements, environmental choices and other specifications.

This painstaking level of attention produces a truly valuable and unique piece of jewellery. 

Is bespoke jewellery for me? 

Once only the preserve of royalty and the upper classes, tailor-made jewellery by design is now available and affordable for nearly everyone. 

The skill of gold and silversmiths, jewellery designers and craftspeople has never been as widespread and advanced as it is nowadays. And with today’s technology it has also never been easier to quickly and effectively design stunning jewellery to a specific brief. 

Bespoke Jewellery Design Variant

The technology to make many elements as one-offs without expensive casts and moulds is now accessible and cost-effective too. Like many people you may find browsing jewellery store cases and rows of jewels overwhelming and frustrating when the perfect piece you had in mind can’t be found. 

You may also have an heirloom that isn’t quite your style and wants to recycle precious gemstones into something more suitable. That’s when a trusted jeweller can spare you hours of stress and worry by crafting your imagined item especially for you. 

Even if you aren’t naturally artistic or struggle to conjure the exact design you’re after yourself, a talented jewellery designer can put together ideas to suit your brief and come up with a custom-made vision. 

What’s the process of creating bespoke design jewellery? 

All jewellery used to be made for a specific individual, and as such would have their personal traits built into the design and production. 

Since wholesale jewellery, multi-location jewellery chains and the internet have come about, it’s far more common to see mass- or batch-produced jewels for sale, or those assembled from pre-made components.

However, luxury jewellery design is far from a dying art. Real, hand-made bespoke jewellery takes immense skill on the part of the designer and goldsmith, and independent jewellers are capable of creating something completely stunning if the right care is taken. 

The bespoke jewellery design process we undergo at Jacobs is as follows:

First stage: Initial Consultation 

To start of the process, the customer sits down with the team to lay out all the basics requirements. Here we discuss the type of jewellery, a rough budget, materials, whether there are any recycled elements, any deadlines, and so on. 

Second stage: Sketches and Quote 

Initial, basic, hand-drawn sketches are made by the designer to form the first visual idea of the piece, and a clear idea of the cost is indicated. A fee is taken at this point, deductible against the final invoice, to realise the design and budget more accurately. 

Third stage: Full Design 

For each unique project we make photo-realistic images and even wax or metal models of the item if desired. Using computer-aided design (CAD) tools every element of the piece is carefully thought out and drawn up. This is the part when the customer can get a real sense of the look and size of the jewellery as a physical object. 

Fourth stage: Design Sign-Off 

The customer can give notes to any full design for adjustments to be made before the final production of the piece. Everything needs to be perfect before creating the finished jewellery. Once the customer is happy to sign the design off, we proceed to the final stage of the bespoke design process. 

Fifth stage: Make-Up 

The designs are passed to an expert goldsmith or craft team who will source the materials and build the jewellery by hand to the finest levels of craftsmanship. During this step the customer is kept informed with frequent updates, until the finished piece is ready to be admired and collected. 

Bespoke Design Gold Diamond Engagement and Wedding Ring

How long does a piece of bespoke jeweller take to make? 

The whole design process can take a number of weeks, or even months, depending on a number of factors. The final make-up stage is the most time-consuming, as this is where most of the work occurs. Generally most pieces will take three to six weeks for the jewellery to be made to the best standards.

When it comes to timescales, beware of jewellers who say they can create a bespoke piece in very little time. This may be an indication that they aren’t making everything from scratch, but rather from pre-made components. Alternatively, they may be rushing the job and not finishing the item to a high standard. 

On the other hand, an experienced jewellery designer and goldsmith shouldn’t take much more than a few weeks on a piece, unless it is extraordinarily complex. A trustworthy jeweller should keep you regularly updated with progress and be able to give you fairly accurate timescales once the design is agreed upon.

That being said, if you are looking, say, for a bespoke jewellery Christmas present to be made for someone, plan ahead. At busy times of year it may take longer and you don’t want to miss the big day!  

Can I recycle old jewellery? 

Designed jewellery is often made from recycled or reused metal or precious stones. Old family heirlooms that nobody wears anymore, or inherited pieces from relations who have passed away are common items that can be turned into something new whilst keeping the sentimental value of the materials. 

Some metals can be melted down and recast into a new bespoke design, and old stones are easily reset, and even recut to fit a new ring or pendant. 

Many (particularly younger) customers place a high value on jewellery with positive environmental credentials. Recycling old jewellery is a perfect way to minimise the impact on the environment since no new materials need to be sourced or dug up from the earth. 

Bespoke designers will have a lot of experience when it comes to renovating an old item, or creating something new with existing metal or gems.  

What skills or qualifications does a bespoke jewellery designer or goldsmith require? 

You may be wondering how someone learns the skills to design and make luxury jewellery from scratch. Dedication is crucial, however, there are also affiliations, memberships and courses that can be taken to develop a jewellery maker’s skills.

Firstly, design ability and computer-aided design knowledge is a big help. Bespoke jewellery making is an artistic profession, so being able to draw or at least create compelling designs digitally is essential to visualise your ideas. 

Most jewellery designers will have a degree or HND in jewellery design, metalwork, or something similar. 

The goldsmith creating your new piece of jewellery may also belong to, or receive resources and training from the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ), or the Company of Master Jewellers, as we do at Jacobs. 

More than anything else, the key to making fine jewellery is having a natural skill and plenty of experience.  At Jacobs, our in-house design team has created hundreds of unique designs for customers over the years. Along with our goldsmiths, they are amongst the finest jewellery makers in Reading and the surrounding areas, so your bespoke jewellery is in very safe hands.

Bespoke Jewellery for a Special Occasion 

Every piece of jewellery that you see online or in a jewellery shop has been designed and created by someone. That means that any kind of jewellery you can think of to give a loved one can be fashioned to your specifications. 

Customers choose to design jewellery for a range of special occasions:

  • Engagement rings and wedding bands
  • Milestone birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Christmas presents
  • Other important life events such as christenings, graduations or retirement
  • Commemorating a loved one, perhaps by adapting an inherited piece of jewellery

Bespoke Jewellery for Special Occasions

At Jacobs, we have a broad portfolio of design for engagement rings, brooches, cufflinks, pendants, earrings and necklaces. Whatever jewellery you have in mind for whatever occasion, our design service can cater to your needs. 

Top Tips for Commissioning Bespoke Jewellery 

Bespoke Design Diamond Ring

A trusted jeweller with a bespoke design service will make the process simple and easy for their customers. Nonetheless, there are a few things you can look out for and prepare in order to get the best possible end product. 

1. Do your homework. 

If you want a jeweller to design any piece of jewellery, for example, an engagement ring for your partner, have a look around and browse stores and the internet for designs you like. You’ll find interesting ideas from different places – perhaps end up taking inspiration from the band design of one ring with the diamond setting of another. 

Having some references will also help the designer understand what sort of item you want to create, and it will show you what is possible with particular kinds of jewellery. 

2. Plan ahead. 

As mentioned, busy periods like the run-up to Christmas may result in an empty box under the tree if you haven’t left plenty of time! Arrange an initial consultation sooner rather than later. You never know how busy a designer is and your piece might be more complicated than you imagine. 

3. Keep it practical. 

An extravagant, multi-gemmed ring made of solid gold might sound fantastic to you, but if the proposed wearer has a manual job or delicate hands it’s not going to be a practical piece of jewellery for them. Imagine them wearing the proposed item of jewellery in day-to-day circumstances before letting your imagination run too wild. Your jeweller will advise you too.

Consider the overall size, weight, the type of metal(s) and gemstone(s), and colouring of your dream design. Also think of the wearer’s lifestyle, taste and existing jewellery collection. 

4. Choose a trusted jeweller. 

A good independent jeweller with an in-house designer and goldsmith is likely to give you better service than a faceless jewellery chain who outsource their metalwork or design tasks. 

Listen to the designer and what they advise, but also make sure they’re listening to you. In an initial consultation, you should be doing most of the talking, and they should be taking note of your preferences and trying to understand what you want. 

If you have a strong idea in your head make sure they appreciate it. But listen to a designer if they tell you something isn’t possible or practical. Like any design process, it should be collaborative.


A reputable jeweller with years of experience can make you the bespoke jewellery of your dreams. At Jacobs, we have a proud history of producing quality work to order, and a strong track record of encouraging and supporting design from the grassroots up. 

Since 2015 we have run an annual Young Jewellery Designer competition, to reward and celebrate the best local young designers and kickstart their careers in the industry. We’ve showcased some of the brightest talent in jewellery design and will continue to promote excellence in the industry. 

As for our own service, over the years our honed process has produced some exquisite pieces of unique jewellery to mark many special occasions. We know how to make the procedure simple, open and transparent. We love collaborating with old and new customers on their one-off designs and experiencing the unrivalled joy when their vision is made real. 

We pride ourselves on a professional, personal connection with our customers and we’re dedicated to producing quality, custom-made jewellery for special occasions and special people in their lives. 

Get in touch with our design team for an initial bespoke jewellery consultation and beat the December rush.