How much does it cost?
1st April 2007
I get asked this question every week and often I cannot answer it. If I have given you this link it is because I am unable to answer your question. Please read on if you want to know why. This is a living article and I have updated it over the years.
The things that determine a price
There are three things that I need to be able to quote. If one is missing I am unable to offer a quote:
If you are hoping to use some of your own materials in a piece of jewellery, be that old gold, gemstones etc. then you will need to do one of the following for me to be able to do a quote for you:
- book a meeting so that I can personally measure and inspect your materials. Please note I am only available by appointment.
- post your materials fully insured express post to me for inspection. The return of those materials to you will be at your cost and risk.
Please always contact me before sending anything to me.
If I am unable to physically inspect materials that you intend to supply I do not quote ever. To save your time you can stop reading now.
Please don`t be offended but I do not give rough prices, approximates or anything like that. I am a professional and I do it right or I don`t do it at all.
My paramount concern is making sure that any piece I create for you is something that you will love. I cannot do that roughly or approximately. I would rather make nothing than make something half baked just to take your money. There are already many out there offering such services.
This article about recycling jewellery will explain more about the process involved in recycling jewellery. A lot more complicated than most realise.
With a ring finger size is everything. Without knowing it when you look at a design photo you may be heading for disappointment. This article "Those damn hand models" discusses this point. It was created after I ran into this issue with a now longtime customer. She wanted to know why her 1 carat diamond did not look as big in her design as the 1 carat she had seen in a photo on the internet. The answer was her finger is bigger.
This photo is from that article and shows the same design using the same size diamond to two different finger sizes. With the band taking up the same width in the photos the look is totally different. Scaling a design to your body is critical.
With a pendant, earrings etc the same applies. Because of this I often design using photos of customers of ears, necks and hands to make sure that the piece will look as the customer expects on them.
Design - the most valuable part
The little details are often the things that make or break a design and also that take the longest time to refine. There are many articles on my website showing this process in the News/Design section.
I know that design is the most valuable thing I have to offer to my customers and never release designs until I am commissioned to make a piece.
I think you would agree that I would be crazy to do so as it would allow people who do not value my service to take those very specific ideas to their intended piece of jewellery to someone else to copy.
If you want me to create a design, quote on it and then email you both that is not something I do. You would need to book a meeting with me to view any designs that I create during the quote process.
So how does that work?
This all works because my business is built on regular customers who know my process and have faith in it. It is why it is so important that every piece I make my customers love.
My responsibility is to let my customers know if what they desire is possible or not. If I don`t think what you want is possible I will let you know. I want nothing less than people commisioning me to make jewellery that they do not like.
Often new customers have come to me based on a recommendation from a regular customer. They know to a degree what to expect.
They have enough faith to commit to a piece of jewellery before every design detail is finalised. They pay a deposit and we refine the process often by email and then the draft. Many of them are not in Cairns as you will read on my website.
I do not scale
There is a very real limit to how much time I have. Often in a week I receive between 20-30 requests for me to look at designs for a quote. The first ones that get dropped off the list are ones that I have not been given a start design, scale or materials for. Please don`t be offended but that is probably why I have sent you to this article.
If I spend 1 -2 hours on each of those for free you can see the problem. That is 20-60 hours of unpaid work in a week.
The internet has made my work accessible to a great number of people and I do gain some new customers from it. The truth remains however that almost all of my work is for regulars or customers referred to me by regulars that have faith in me. For that I am truly grateful.
The leap of faith
The customers that trust me based solely on what they read on my website like this one, considering how many scams are on the internet, just blow me away. Even more grateful and totally do not expect it.
Thanks for reading all this and I hope you understand more about me and my jewellery.