There are many ways to adapt a design to make it truly unique and very personal to you and the recipient. We’ve put together an outline of the most popular options, like engraving an existing piece, tweaking a design, or making a bespoke piece based on an existing design. But we can do much more - just let us know your ideas and we’ll guide you to the best solution.


Sometimes just a little detail is all it takes, for example: have a date and name engraved on the inside of a ring or the reverse of a piece of jewellery, or opt for a slightly more elaborate engraving of a (partial) fingerprint.

Hand engraving

Engraving can be done by skilled hands, where the design is cut into the metal with specialized sharp tools. Lettering is often more traditional and can be cursive or block letters. Hand engraving is also used for adding decorative elements to a design, and for larger figurative work that can be quite intricate and painterly. It results in a deep imprint with a romantic vintage look.

Laser engraving

Particularly popular for delicate jewellery where the engraving will be very small, or for small scale intricate patterns. Here the design is modelled on the computer before laser etching it into the jewellery and is suitable for clean graphic designs and contemporary fonts. The laser engraving is more superficial and very uniform giving it a more modern vibe.

You can get as creative as you like: one of our makers likes to take a design and position it over the two wedding bands, so that the image becomes one when the rings are placed together. It can be anything: a fingerprint, the tile pattern from the place you were engaged, the course of the river where you met - the possibilities are endless.

You can place the design hidden away on the inside of the piece as a little secret message, or make a feature of it by adding to the outside of the piece.

In most cases your designs can be engraved into an existing piece of jewellery. Sometimes the engraving is integral to the overall design and the piece is made from scratch. Talk to us about your ideas and we will guide you to the best solution.

Tweaking a design

Because we work with small makers we often have the flexibility to offer bespoke changes to a design. Many of our makers are open to adapting a particular design, or even making you something new using elements of their work. Let us know your thoughts - it is likely we can get you the piece of your dreams.

Changing the gem colour

Smitten with that ruby pendant, but prefer blue sapphire? Have you fallen for a ring, but that bright white diamond pushes it out of your budget? Actually you would like the piece with your favourite gem or your birthstone? Love the concept, but you’d prefer something bolder, or maybe more discreet? Talk to us about your desires. Our makers quite likely can source a different colour or size of gem in the same size and similar quality to suit your preferences and budget

Changing the precious metal

Did you fall for a white gold piece but wish it was yellow gold? Or maybe you’d prefer that gold plated ring in solid gold? Most designers will be able to make their work in silver or the gold of your choice. Changing a design to platinum or palladium is a little trickier as not all makers have the specialized equipment required, but do enquire as they may surprise you.

    Things to bear in mind when changing the metal: the purity (or karat) of the metals and related metal strength, and of course the difference in price for different metals:

    • Silver is generally least costly, but it is also softer than other precious metals. It is suited to more robust designs and chunky bezel settings. If you’re looking at an intricate gold design, the silver version may need to be made a little heavier than its gold counterpart.
    • 9k yellow, rose, or white gold is a jump up in terms of budget, but is often still quite accessible. It is harder-wearing than silver, but would still be most suited to more robust designs and slightly heavier claw settings.
    • 14k yellow, rose, or white gold is popular on the continent for fine jewellery. Particularly Dutch, Belgian and German makers work in 14k gold. It is a hard wearing metal that makes strong rings and settings, and its colour is closer to the most prized 18k gold.
    • 18k yellow, rose, and white gold is the European standard for high quality fine jewellery. It is the most costly gold purity, but it is strong and luxurious, with deep colours.
    • 22-24k gold is considered too soft for the main body of jewellery, but is often used for small details and to add a splash of colour to a design.
    • Platinum and its less expensive brother Palladium are strong, naturally white precious metals, that are perfect for very intricate designs and fine settings, as seen in Edwardian and Art Deco jewellery. They are both heavier than gold and silver, which is particularly noticeable in the robust modern designs in the DesignYard collection.

    Make me something to match

    "I have your pendant and would love a matching bracelet or ring, but I don’t see one on your website".

    Our designers are continuously developing their ranges, so that piece you’re dreaming of may already be in the works. If not, most of our makers are quite willing to adapt their designs or make you a bespoke item.

    A bespoke piece or remodel

    Do you have something very particular in mind? You adore a particular maker’s work and would love to collaborate on a design? Or maybe you’d like to bring a cherished oldie but goodie up to a contemporary style.

    Talk to us about your ideas. We’ll guide you through the design and making process to get you your perfect piece.

    August 18, 2020 — Nicole van der Wolf