The Jewellery Design Process – An Example Walk Through

The Design Process – An Example Walk Through
It’s very important when designing a piece of jewellery to consider the impact of all possible aspects of the piece – for example;

  • The taste of the wearer.
  • The ring size, and the particular finger the ring is to be worn on.
  • Other jewellery that will also be worn with the piece – how the pieces will work together both in appearance and physically. Will other jewellery worn with this piece compliment it? Is the design of the new piece going to fit with the other pieces mechanically, with no rubbing or unwanted twisting?
  • How big are the stones and what sort of design will best compliment them?
  • What metals will best offset the stone colours and the particular skin tone. Bright yellow gold? Rose gold? White gold? Silver? Palladium?

In the below example, the client was trying to create an original and unique piece at very reasonable price. She was prepared with my help to source her own center piece stone, but needed help sourcing complimentary stones. The entire design and delivery was done over the phone and by email, with great results for the client, who received a fantastic piece at a price below what she would have paid for an off the shelf mass produced piece.

The client bought her own Ruby for a great price off Ebay. Buying stones this way always contains an element of risk, but in this case it worked out satisfactorily with the stone arriving being of a reasonable quality, and below retail price. Alternatively, I could have sourced a premium quality stone for her. I presented the client with 8 simply sketched options showing how the stone could be used in a ring, either as a single stone ring, or with one or two complimentary diamonds. The client chose Option 8

Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4
Design One Design Two Design 3 Design Four
Option 5 Option 6 Option 7 Option 8
Design Five Design 6 Design Seven Design Eight

I took photos of the ring at various stages of production, so the client could see how the piece was progressing, and so modifications could be made if necessary. The center ring is the final finished piece

The Stones
Band and Bezels
Design Two
Design Five
Final Piece
Design One
Setting the Outer Stones
Design Four
Design 3

The final ring cost $2400 inclusive of GST (in 2005), which included the cost of the center ruby, two pear shaped diamonds, the gold in the band and my consulting, design and manufacturing charges. A great result, a very happy client whose adult daughter now has a wonderful, original feature ring, at a reasonable cost, that would not be available from a large jewellery chain store.

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