This customer had seen an exquisite butterfly brooch in another jewellers and wanted us to replicate it in gold and in a larger size.
Here is the image they showed us…
Figure 1: The customer requested a personalised version of this brooch in gold
The brooch was destined to be a dress piece of jewellery, so we were to pull out all the stops in making the piece as light sensitive and eye-catching as possible. As a showpiece, the brooch required meticulous attention to detail, with each stone being precision mounted to capture the most sparkle and complement the piece as a whole.
Design & Handcrafting
There are three stages to designing and creating a piece like this. With a ‘replica’ piece of jewellery, pinpoint accuracy is important; and until the advent of advanced CAD software, this was difficult to obtain.
What we did, in this case, was scan in the original image, and use our knowledge of gold craft to plot in the stone mounts.
Then on to the creation phase…The customer’s brooch was to have a different look and feel to the original. We used two shades of gold to bring the butterfly to life: white gold for the body and a deep yellow gold for the wings.
Setting the stones is the final phase. In this case, the customer wanted a rich, diamond-encrusted appearance for the body, and delicate blue stonework on the wings to give them an iridescent character. We used more stones on the wings than the original. This gave the piece a unique style and also showed off the shape of the wing and the warmth of the metal to better effect.
The final result can be seen below: a balanced, one-of-a-kind piece that seems to capture the essence of a butterfly in flight. We hope the customer gets much enjoyment from wearing it.
Figure 2: The completed butterfly brooch
Get in touch with our design team today to discuss your own special piece of jewellery. All we need is an image, dimensions and a couple of pointers and we can take care of the rest! Send us an email through our online contact form, or pop in and see us at our workshop in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
This re-creation of an heirloom cluster ring is one of the most heart-warming and enjoyable projects we’ve been given this year. It goes to show how faithfully treasured pieces of jewellery can be remade anew, using a combination of cutting-edge computer-aided design and traditional jewellery techniques.
The customer came to us with a very old ring that had been passed down from a relative and held deep sentimental value. The ring was beautiful but was not in good condition. The shank, for instance, was worn and very thin.
Our brief was simple – the customer wanted the ring returned to its former glory, so that the heirloom could be enjoyed again and hopefully passed on to their descendants.
The customer ideally wanted the ring repaired, but unfortunately, this was not possible due to the condition of the jewellery. What we recommended instead was to recast a new ring with a heavier shank (ring band), utilising the stones from the old ring.
So that the new ring was completely faithful to the original, we carefully scanned in the heirloom and re-made it virtually on CADCAM. The result can be seen in the image below, minus the stones.
Figure 1: CADCAM image of the restored ring. Note the empty brackets where the stones are placed in the final product.
The original ring, though faded with age, would have been a glorious golden yellow originally, so we recommended the customer choose a 9-carat yellow gold. 9-carat gold has a beautiful finish while being more resistant to wear and tear than 18 or 24-carat gold.
Remaking a piece like this is like stepping back in time, albeit with the aid of computers! We used traditional gold working techniques that have been little changed for decades, if not centuries, carefully machining the ring into a perfect finish. Once the ring was faithfully reproduced, we carefully removed the stones from the old ring and inserted them into the new, creating a direct link of continuity.
It is no exaggeration to say that the customer was blown away by the result. The original ring had been old when the customer inherited it, so they had never seen it in its pristine original state. Receiving the new ring created a meaningful bond between the customer and their loved one, while also guaranteeing that the heirloom will remain in excellent condition to hopefully be passed to the next generation and beyond.
If you have an old and well-loved piece of jewellery you’d like to give a new lease of life, get in touch. In some cases we may be able to repair the piece, strengthening the metalwork and replacing stones where required. In other cases we may be able to duplicate an heirloom piece as we have here, retaining the design and often some of the fabric of the original item. Call us for more information on 0121 523 5575.
This dog brooch was commissioned by a customer as a special Golden Wedding Anniversary gift for his wife. He wanted a jewellery depiction of their beloved family dog, of whom you can see a picture below – a lively springer spaniel full of personality!
Figure 1: The photo of the customer's family dog we based the brooch upon
Accurately capturing the spirit of a person or animal is a challenge for a jeweller. It’s easy enough for a talented artist to get an image almost right, but with a piece of jewellery with as much sentimental value as this would have, almost was not close enough. It had to be spot on. And we only had three weeks to do it – a tight deadline.
The customer opted for a brightly polished silver brooch and sent us the dimensions he required.
Our starting point for the design was the photo itself. Using CADCAM we accurately mapped out the dimensions of the dog from the photo, to give a realistic template capturing the dog’s expression and pose.
With the computers having done their work, it was now down to our craftsmen to work their magic. This brooch, in common with all our bespoke commissions, was handcrafted using traditional techniques, at our jewellery workshop in Birmingham.
Care was taken at the finishing stage to give the brilliant shine requested by the customer, while still retaining the detail of the piece, such as the fur, position of the tail and the fall of the ears.
You can see the final result below; a unique gift that does honour to a much-loved family pet – and a piece of jewellery that will last a lifetime and more. (And it was ready to be boxed up and presented in time for the anniversary!)
Figure 2: The finished brooch: designed on CADCAM and crafted in silver
Commission your own unique gift for any special occasion! To chat about your ideas, simply click here to send us a message, or call us on 0121 523 5575.
Faberge Egg Pendant
This customer had always adored traditional Russian Faberge Eggs, as have we, so we were delighted to take on this commission for a bespoke pendant. Genuine Faberge style eggs are intricate artworks that cost thousands of pounds to produce. This was outside the customer’s budget, so our challenge was to create a unique piece that captured the distinctive elegance of a Faberge egg, but incorporated into an affordable piece of jewellery.
We approached the challenge in the following way. Instead of creating a complete egg as a one-piece, which would increase the cost of the jewellery, we used CADCAM to design a half egg, which would then be soldered together to create a whole.
This image shows the CADCAM draft agreed by the customer:
Figure 1: CADCAM image of half Faberge Egg
The customer wanted two distinct versions of the egg: an elaborate egg encrusted with precious stones in 9-carat gold for their mother, and a silver, colourful enamel version for their daughter.
We were able to adopt the same design for both eggs, with different procedures used for handcrafting and finishing. Each pendant was carefully crafted by hand using traditional techniques in our Birmingham workshop. The two halves were soldered together seamlessly so that no joint was visible - giving the eggs a delicate, hollow appearance.
As both eggs required a very different finished look, they had to be approached individually as separate projects, with the stone setting and ornamentation taking place after the metalwork was complete.
The results can be seen in the images below. The customer was pleased with the finished products and informed us that her mother and daughter were delighted with their gifts.
Figure 2: Gold egg with precious stones for customer's mother
Figure 3: Silver egg with red enamel ornamentation
Get in touch with our team today to discuss an unforgettable gift for your loved one! Call us on 0121 523 5575, or send a message through our contact form.
A client approached us with a budget of £300 seeking a unique, personalised wedding day gift for his fiancée. Our brief entailed designing and creating a white metal locket in a contemporary style, to symbolise the couple’s shared connection with Glastonbury Festival. Having attended Glastonbury together every year throughout their relationship, the iconic Pyramid Stage was a place of special significance for the couple.
Our client specified a preference for white gold, however, to ensure the budget of £300 was sufficient to cover both the weight of material and the craftsmanship required, our advice on materials and techniques led to our client commissioning the locket in sterling silver.
Taking inspiration from our client’s story, our skilled jewellery designer referenced the Pyramid Stage, to create the chosen design.
The pyramid shape of the locket mirrored the structure of the stage, while a line engraving on the front of the locket echoed the shape of the stage. The tip of the pyramid would be crafted from gold to represent the lights on the stage.
The locket would be hinged at the bottom of the pyramid, enabling the locket to open forward from the gold tip.
Working to a strict deadline for completion of the locket prior to the big day, the approved design was entrusted to our locket maker to meticulously handcraft and construct each element of the design; including the delicate hinge, clasp, gold tip, and silver chain loop, using traditional techniques.
The locket was hand polished to achieve a smooth, contemporary and high-quality finish, prior to the addition of the fine hand engraved line design to the front of the locket. Once added to a silver chain the locket was delivered on a next day service to our client, who was delighted with the result.
Get in touch with us today by calling us on 0121 523 5575, or sending a message through our contact form.
‘Ban The Bomb’ Heart Pendant
We received this order by email from a customer who had seen an image they liked on Pinterest. They wanted a small heart-shaped pendant with an inner charm representing the CND/’ Ban the Bomb’ symbol. Here is the image we were sent:
The heart-shaped design was actually similar to a piece of jewellery we had designed for another customer. In this case, the customer had requested the love heart pendant with a suspended initial in the centre, as in the image below.
Figure 1: Love heart pendant with suspended 'S' charm
What we had to do, therefore, is to adapt the design to incorporate the ban the bomb sign. We used our CADCAM software to generate a symbol of the correct proportions and size. Image three shows the CADCAM graphic we used to handcraft the pendant.
Figure 2: Computer generated CND/Ban The Bomb symbol - a universally recognised symbol of peace
The customer wanted a pale, brightly metallic pendant, which could be worn with a wide range of colours and outfits. We recommended either silver or white gold and issued a quote for both metals. The customer decided on a silver pendant, which reduced the cost of the jewellery significantly.
With the final design agreed by the customer, our jewellers got to work transforming the pendant from a computer image to a stunning, highly personalised pendant. As with all our bespoke pieces, the pendant was handmade from high-quality silver, engine turned and finished by hand.
The customer was delighted with the product, which can be seen below:
Figure 3: The finished pendant
To discuss your own commission, please contact us today, or come and visit us at our Vyse St Jewellery shop in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter.
For this personalised brooch, we were sent a distinctive image of a tractor, which the customer had found on the Internet. The image is a highly stylised ‘John Deere’ type tractor, with bold colours and a combination of sharp angles and curves. Our job was to reproduce it as a piece of jewellery as accurately as possible.
Figure 1: The tractor image submitted by the customer, to be transformed into a large brooch
This colourful brooch was going to be entirely covered by enamel, so the metal used was of secondary importance. For reasons of cost and durability we opted for [silver], but the brooch could just as easily have been replicated in [gold].
Thanks to our CADCAM design software, we were able to scan in the customer’s design and render it as a piece of jewellery, which could then be constructed using traditional techniques. The design phase was cutting-edge, but actually making the jewellery used time-tested methods that had been honed over many decades.
In the image below you can see the computerised CAD sketch, prior to construction. Once the metallic body was in place, the brooch was finished with several layers of enamel, covering the different colours needed for the wheels, tyres, windows and bodywork.
Figure 2: CADCAM design blueprint for the tractor brooch. The colouring was added through progressive layers of coloured enamel.
Our team of experienced jewellers are capable of transforming almost any design into a unique piece of bespoke jewellery; whether it be a brooch, ring, pendant, locket, set of cufflinks or other pieces. To discuss your ideas, please send us an email, or call 0121 523 5575 for more details.
The customer who commissioned this lovely silver brooch was a long-term supporter of the children’s charity Variety. The well-respected charity does great work across the country to improve the life chances of kids with disabilities, long-term illnesses or disadvantaged backgrounds. The support provided includes life and fitness coaching, sensory, therapeutic and recreational equipment for schools, homes and hospitals – and a range of days out and experience trips.
The customer sent us an image of the charity logo to work with, which you can see below:
Figure 1: Variety Charity Logo
From a choice of white gold or silver, the customer chose to have their brooch made of silver.
The charity logo consists of a heart and a stylised Top-Hat. Both elements are unusually shaped, with a unique flow of curves that makes the logo stand out. These quirks and features had to be replicated in the jewellery. To ensure the logo was reproduced faithfully, we created a digital sketch using CADCAM.
Figure 2: CADCAM generated digital design sketch
This formed the blueprint for the jewellery when we started turning the design into a finished item. The creation process itself used a range of traditional silverwork techniques including hand engraving and engine turning to pick out the details of the logo and establish different areas of shading.
To commission a logo for your own charity or cause, please contact us by email, or call us directly on 0121 523 5575.