Bespoke, personalised, original, one-off, unique – made to order, whatever synonym the customer chooses to use, they all mean the same thing, they want to buy a ring that doesn’t exist yet, and fingers crossed you are the jeweller to make it for them.
As fashions change so do buying patterns. And while many couples still buy wedding jewellery “off the shelf” there is a quickly growing trend in all areas of consumerism for buying bespoke. Etsy, Not on the Highstreet, to name but a few, are currently making a small county’s GDP in sales every year – on the back of people searching to own a product that is unique in some way to them.
Arguably, there is no better product than fine jewellery to have custom made – from choice of gemstones, colour, cut, material - it’s only the wallet that curbs the final product. And at the end, to own a unique engagement ring created just for the wearer is incredibly romantic – let alone the bragging rights when you get to show it off! It is little wonder that this is gaining in popularity.
From a jeweller’s point of view – creating a beautiful and unique engagement ring that is bound to be the envy and the top of the wish list for the next bride to be is an incredible advert. But getting the experience for the buyer is vital, for follow on sales. The following story published by Vashi.com tells the story of a customer’s experience when choosing the ring -
“There, one of the store’s ‘Guardian Angels’ greeted me and started talking me through the creation of my ring. I was given a choice of settings and a choice of small diamonds to put on the ring. My trademark indecision kicked in immediately. ‘Umm… what would you recommend?’ I asked timidly. If you were shopping for an actual engagement ring, you’d probably already have some ideas in mind, and your Guardian Angel would be able to talk you through how best to execute your ideas, and explain the different diamond options. A diamond is placed in a setting. Getting a custom-made engagement ring doesn’t mean designing the whole thing from scratch yourself (although you could, if you really wanted). More commonly, you customise as you go, choosing the setting, the metal, and the type of stones you want to include. By the time you’ve finished all the customisation, you have a unique ring.
My Guardian Angel – who had the steady hands of a surgeon – balanced the diamonds loose on the ring to give me an idea of the finished look. You need good hands for this job. Once we had agreed on the placement, he accompanied me downstairs to the diamond laboratory, where Vashi’s Alchemists live – the guys who turn metal and rocks into the engagement ring of your dreams. I watched the ring take shape before my eyes, as the Alchemist embedded the diamonds into the ring in the positions I had chosen. I even had a go at peering at the ring under the magnifying goggles, getting to appreciate the minute details. I watched my ring take shape in the diamond laboratory. Once it was finished, the Alchemist cleaned and polished it up for me and I was left with my very own custom-made ring – less than an hour after I started the process with the Guardian Angel.” For more information visit www.vashi.com
Vashi have streamlined the process of buying a bespoke engagement rings to perfection. However, a local jeweller probably won’t have the resources to create this type of supermarket experience for the buyer – but perhaps in some cases, that’s a good thing?
A slower process, the help with choosing the stone and materials, and advice coming from you, the expert, might not only be more appealing, but it will create a special relationship between you and the buyer that will last for years and create a lasting bond, so they will come back to you for all their jewellery in the future. When you could start with a simple question as what’s your favourite colour – or what gemstone has special meaning for you?
It’s not only diamonds that can grace the wedding finger, nor rubies, emeralds or sapphires for that matter – depending on taste and budget semi-precious gemstones can be used too – and that will be up to you and the future bride and groom.