Remodelling for Bespoke Engagement Rings
Bear answers some of the key questions you may have in mind when considering commissioning a bespoke engagement ring reworked from an heirloom.
Where do clients begin with reworking a heirloom into something more contemporary?
We begin by setting up a consultation in our East London studio. If you're based outside of London and can't make it in, we can easily arrange a Skype call to get things started. The first thing to establish is always 'what makes the original piece special?' It might be that some parts of it are more significant than others. Is it the metal or a particular shape that the client would like to use in the new ring? Most often, it is the stones that people want to re-use. Finding a way to give a nod to the original piece is almost always our priority however subtle that may be.
Are there any technical restraints when it comes to remodelling?
I have never found there to be any restraints. The process comes out of a collaboration between the couple and ourselves to define whether they want an extreme change to the original ring or item of jewellery or a more subtle approach to give a new lease of life to something just a little tired or old fashioned.
I recently worked with a lovely couple who had a sapphire and diamond cluster ring mounted in platinum which had belonged to the groom-to-be's grandmother. The sapphire and diamonds were significant to both of them but they each wanted the stones to be the only component from the original ring. The bride is a yellow gold girl, but hesitated as to whether she should be sticking with the platinum of the original. I encouraged her to go for it, knowing that yellow gold accompanied by a thread and grain setting would be a clear departure from the claw-set platinum original. His grandmother's beautiful stones set into the new bespoke ring created the perfect marriage between old and new.
What should people bring to help BEAR design the right thing for them?
I always say: come with whatever ideas you have, be they many or few. I will start building a picture of what you like from our first meeting. The way you interact with our Bear Brooksbank jewellery will also be illuminating for me. I will offer you plenty of inspiration to draw on, through our existing bespoke pieces, our collection of antique jewellery and from the Bear Brooksbank collections.
You may have a very clear idea of what you want. Or you may know where you want to start and would like me to guide and encourage your thinking. This is the side of my job that I most love, getting to understand you so I can design a piece that will suit you and that you will love. It is a great privilege for me to be able to help in such a personal way to create a piece of jewellery that you are going to treasure.
Where will the ring be made?
Bear Brooksbank specialises in the whole process from consultation to design and the management of the manufacturing process from start to finish. We pride ourselves on our good connections with hand-picked, trusted goldsmiths, lapidaries, engravers, pearl stringers and watchmakers, all of whom we look upon as an extension of our team. Every item of Bear Brooksbank jewellery is either made or restored to the highest standard in Hatton Garden, London's world famous jewellery quarter.