Gone are the days when fine jewelry was mostly stored at home and reserved only for special events. Ordinary days can be just as momentous, and lucky for us, more local stores have been offering premium jewelry with our generation in mind. One of these brands is Preview Girls’ Choice Awardee for 2021, Suki Jewelry. Bold yet understated, current yet timeless—these are only some of the juxtapositions they delicately and successfully balance with each locally produced accessory. We love how they make investment pieces reachable and wearable for the every girl. But did you know that you can actually take it up a notch and custom make your own fine jewelry?
Box Office Queen Kathryn Bernardo just did and we are totally taking inspo from her bespoke Greek Evil Eye necklace that she recently wore. “I’m not a necklace person but if it’s really something special, I always wear it,” she said in her IG story, featuring her custom necklace.
And what could be more special than a unique, one of a kind piece, that was designed by you and made just for you? Not only do we want a necklace exactly like hers, we also got curious and wanted to design our own lifetime piece. Shar Cabigas, one half of the millennial power couple behind Suki, answers all our questions about Kath’s 14-karat yellow solid gold necklace and how you can design and purchase a bespoke piece of your own.
How to customize your own necklace like Kathryn Bernardo's, according to Suki Jewelry
1. Can you tell us the design process behind Kathryn’s latest bespoke necklace?
“From the onset, Kathryn wanted a necklace that would give her a sense of protection and something that she could wear every day and could possibly layer with her current necklaces. The Greek Evil Eye design was on top of her head, but there are different variations of it. It is during this stage that would take some time to work through as we need to iron out several elements of the design. But this is where the fun part begins! We looked at a variety of evil eye designs and eventually settled on Kath’s three important non-negotiables: lashes, almond shaped, and aquamarine since this is her birthstone.
To achieve a sense of luxury on her chosen design, we made the eye tapered to a point, by the tear duct and the outer eye, to achieve that almond shape; the lashes curled up, dainty and pointy; and handpicked a deep shade of aquamarine for its center stone. We also encrusted the lower eyelid with round cut natural diamonds to give the piece extra oomph. We sent a sketch and upon getting her approval, we started creating the piece for her!”
2. You mentioned that even the number of lashes were thoroughly discussed—was there any deeper significance or was it purely for aesthetic reasons?
“Kath didn’t want too much “volume” on the lashes, hence, the 9 strands. In the sketch we provided, we made her choose how it would look like if we put 6, 9, 12-piece lashes on the Evil Eye. Not sure if her chosen number for the lashes has a deeper meaning though.”
3. What is the lead time for a bespoke piece, from design to production?
“Depending on the complexity of the piece, it generally takes three to six weeks to complete a bespoke piece. Since it’s custom made, we couldn’t make it as fast as we normally could. Everything must be at par with our standard of quality—its proportion has to be perfect; the jewelry must flow seamlessly as you move; each stone has to be set securely in place; the final polish must be impeccable to bring out the luster and shine of the piece, among others. If at least one aspect from our quality control checklist isn’t met, we return the piece to its corresponding key person and have it fixed or on a very rare occasion, redo it altogether. Every stage is crucial because our goal is to make it as close to perfect as possible before it reaches our client’s doorstep. Good things really take time!
Of course, there are some exceptions wherein we can have a bespoke order expedited for you, at no additional cost, if it’ll be used for special occasions like weddings, engagement proposals, etc."
4. What is the price range for a bespoke piece?
“It completely depends on the nature of design and its complexity. Several factors go into pricing our custom pieces such as materials, complexity or intricacy of the design, and our artisan’s expertise and effort. It can be a little higher than usual since you are getting a unique piece. But we can definitely work within your budget range. Generally, it can cost from as low as P3500 for a teeny tiny stud to as high as P 1 million or more (for large carat sizes and engagement rings).”
5. Can you share tips for those who want to get their own bespoke pieces?
“Our bespoke service allows you to create something that is personal and original. Whether you want to reset your existing pieces or create something entirely new, our bespoke service caters to both. Here are 5 tips that we can share with you:
1. Plan your own design.
Doing your own initial research sets the direction for a fruitful bespoke journey. You can get some inspiration from an existing jewelry piece or draw your own sketch! You might also take certain styles from several pieces and make it your own. This will ultimately give us a clear idea of your vision.
2. Make it personal.
This is your opportunity to create something that is personal, original, and will stand the test of time. You can be as specific as possible from the design to the dimensions to font size and style of the laser engraving! Every detail counts.
3. Consider its wearability.
Imagine how you’d style it with pieces from your existing jewelry collection. If you love layering or stacking pieces, this would help you determine some aspects such as karat purity and color, chain length, and ring size. Consider how you can maximize the piece and take it from day to night.
4. Keep a working budget in mind.
Determine what makes financial sense. Though jewelry is an investment, it’s best that you predetermine your budget first. You must be comfortable with whatever amount you decide on. Your budget will also greatly help us in providing you with options especially when working with larger carat size diamonds and chunky gold pieces.
5. Be patient and have fun.
Crafting a piece of jewelry, no matter how dainty it may seem, does take a lot of time, thought, and effort. After all, these are pieces that you will live and grow old with. Trust and listen to your jeweler and enjoy the process. Pinky swear, it’ll be worth the wait!”
BRB, dreaming up our own bespoke piece!
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