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  • Kate Seow

Behind the Scenes on a Special Commission...

A friend contacted me asking if I could make a pair of earrings to match some jewellery that she already owns. She sent me photos showing some beautiful blue-green opals set in 18ct gold. My first job was to find a pair of opals that matched the existing jewellery; a few emails later and I had matching opal "triplets" reserved with one of my lovely gemstone suppliers whilst I moved on to the next stage of the process: sketches and quotes.


(Opal triplets are a "composite stone" comprised of a black stone at the back to enhance the colour of the opal, a slice of opal in the middle and a transparent quartz window at the front to protect the opal. They are a beautiful, cost-effective alternative to solid opals which can be very expensive and difficult to source.)



The sketches were relatively straightforward as my friend had a clear idea of what she wanted. Next, I worked out what materials I needed, how long the piece would take and the cost based on this. At this point, I also offered my friend the option of ethically sourced materials such as Single Mine Origin (SMO) gold.



Once we had agreed the design and price, I ordered the materials and got to work shaping the metal and soldering the components together. Throughout the fabrication process, I kept my friend up-to-date by sending her regular updates including work-in-progress photos. As soon as the goldsmithing work was complete, it was time to send the earrings for hallmarking.



When they returned from the assay office, the earrings were ready for the final step: setting the stones and a final polish. This is always nerve-wracking as so much work has gone into the piece and one slip could damage both stone and setting! A couple of hours (and some choice words) later, the earrings were finished and looking fabulous; all that was left was to take some glamour shots and send them off to their new home.



My friend sent me this message when she received her earrings:


"Thank you so much for the earrings you made for me as a special commission. They are absolutely gorgeous, and a perfect match for my ring and pendant. In fact, they match so well that they look like they have always been part of the set. Your attention to detail, and the quality of finish is exceptional. Your warmth, enthusiasm and love shine through clearly in the finished product. You are so talented. I also loved the updates you sent me throughout the design and manufacturing process. I will be recommending you to all my friends and family, and can't wait to order my next item of beautiful jewellery from you!"

If this has inspired you to have a special piece of jewellery made, why not take a look at my previous commissions and one-of-a-kind pieces? Get in touch via email to discuss your requirements or book a free, no-obligation Discovery Call. My order book for Christmas commissions closes on 31st October this year (2021).

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