CUSTOM JEWELLERY FAQ
What is the process of a custom jewellery project?
Each custom project differs slightly but this is the general process from start to finish.
Custom projects start with an initial consultation either in person, by phone or email to discuss your ideas & budget. (If you are unsure of what you might like, no worries at all- I am here to help & will talk you through the process, materials & rough costs. If you have a clear idea of what you would like- that’s great too!)
Once we have had a chat about your ideas & budget, I will then go away and put together some rough designs, images and quotes for you to look at.
When the design direction has been agreed upon & a quote accepted, a 50% deposit is required to start production of your piece. I will then source any gemstones for your project. I will send you photos of the gemstones when possible, or we can arrange a second appointment for you to view them in person.
I will begin wax carving your design. Depending on how clear the design direction is, I will carve up one or two wax models for you to view at before we casting them in the chosen metal. A third wax may be carved if you would like to make any minor changes to the design. We can arrange another appointment at the studio for you to view the wax models in person. If a meeting in person is not possible, I can send you detailed images + videos of the wax models for your approval.
Once you have confirmed you are happy with the final wax carving, I will cast the wax model in the chosen metal. No minor changes can be made after this step.
Once the wax has been cast, the gemstones will be set, the item polished & photographed. I will send you images of the final piece & invoice you for the remaining balance. Once the item has been fully paid, your item will be ready for collection at my studio or shipped to you via an insured courier.
To start the process or book an appointment, fill in the custom piece online form.
How long does a custom jewellery project take?
I ask for a minimum of 4 weeks, however this may be up to 12 weeks depending on current waitlist times & the availability of what materials we need to source.
If you have a date that you would like your custom piece made by, please let me know and I will try my best to work to your schedule. Rush orders for urgent projects may be possible by request- please email for details.
How much will it cost?
With custom jewellery, the materials & design determine the price. Generally the customer will give me an idea of their budget, & I will design the piece & source the materials to suit.
I dedicate a lot of time into each individual custom jewellery project, therefore I do have a minimum spend requirement. Fully bespoke pieces in sterling silver start from $500.00 AUD, 9ct gold starts from $1000.00 AUD, and 18ct $1500.00 AUD. Price will vary depending on the design, size of the piece & materials used.
If this is a bit more than you would like to spend, I can customise any of the existing designs on my online store with different metals, gemstones or small details which is a more cost effective option. Use the online store prices as a guide.
Can you source gemstones and diamonds?
Yes absolutely, this is one of the best parts of the job. I have trusted suppliers locally in Australia & overseas for all kinds of ethically sourced diamonds & coloured gemstones.
Can I supply my own gemstones and gold?
I am more than happy to incorporate your own gems & diamonds, or repurpose gemstones out of existing jewellery. Gemstones will need to be inspected in my studio to make sure they are in a suitable condition to use.
Please note: when supplying your own gemstones, due to the nature of jewellery making and stone setting, there is a risk of gemstones being scratched, chipped or broken during the process of unsetting & resetting. While the utmost care is taken when using your gemstones, I, Alexandra Dodds can not be held liable for any damages that may occur to your gemstones while in my care. Replacement or repair of any damaged gemstones will need to be insured by the customer or at their expense.
I am not currently able to use customers silver or gold in bespoke or custom pieces.
Do you work with overseas clients?
Yes, I work with lots of clients both locally and remotely. Meetings can be scheduled over the phone or skype if required. I keep you well informed with every step of the process via photos and videos. I can also courier your jewellery piece anywhere in the world, safely & insured.
How do I find the correct ring size if I am purchasing a ring as a gift?
If you are able to measure the inside diameter of a ring they currently wear to the nearest mm, or take it to a jeweller to find out the size, this will help to get a good estimate of the ring size. Rings can be resized after purchase no problem, but it’s good to get as close to the size as possible. It is better to order slightly larger than smaller for resizing purposes.
The most common sizes are-
SMALL Size 5 | MEDIUM Size 6 1/2 | LARGE Size 8
Resizing will incur a fee and shipping charges.
Can I change or cancel my custom order?
Custom pieces are designed & made especially for you, based on your specifications. Therefore, once an order has been agreed upon and a 50% deposit paid, custom orders can not cancelled. Sometimes small alterations (eg, band thickness, adding texture) are possible during the wax carving process. Any significant changes to the design once production has begun will incur additional labour costs or may be requoted. You will always be notified of any additional costs before proceeding..
Custom orders can not be exchanged or returned. Deposits are strictly non-refundable.