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A step-by-step guide to your perfect pair of bespoke earrings

6 min read

A step-by-step guide to your perfect pair of bespoke earrings

If the face is the window to the soul, the jewellery that frames it should feel like just the right fit. Whether understated bespoke stud earrings to accessorise the everyday or statement bespoke drop earrings reserved for only the most special of occasions, unique earrings are a signature look that do the talking. This blog post is a guide to commissioning the perfect pair of bespoke earrings, from start to finish.


First: Are bespoke earrings a good investment?

James’ set of bespoke drop earrings, crafted using sustainably harvested black Tahitian pearls brought back from Arabel’s research trip in French Polynesia

Here at Lebrusan Studio, we create heirloom jewels that tell stories and stand the tests of time. Working with our award-winning design team to create a unique pair of earrings is a memorable and meaningful experience, centred on the finer details, carefully selected materials and exquisite local craftsmanship. Evidence shows that a personal connection to an item is likely to increase its lifespan. An opportunity to take a breather from the fast pace of trends, a bespoke commission is a way to realise your personal desires as a tangible artwork that will grow old with you.

What’s more, fine materials like platinum, gold, diamonds and sapphires are structurally resilient, capable of withstanding the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life. This is particularly true of earrings, who spend their time elevated from harm’s way. Not only do these precious materials make for gorgeous pieces of jewellery that sparkle year after year, they tend to increase slowly in value over time, too. You can learn more about why we’re advocates for investing in bespoke jewellery here.


STEP 1: “How do I pick a custom jeweller?"

Jewellery designers are like artists, each informed by a distinctive tapestry of visions, ideas, education, life experiences and preferred materials. Our Founder and Head Designer Arabel Lebrusan really is an artist by trade, her Birth of Venusearrings treading the fine line between visual art and jewellery design.

In order to find a bespoke jeweller whose aesthetic aligns with yours, you must first establish what you’re looking for.

Start by collecting visual examples of existing earring designs or particular design features that capture your imagination, building a moodboard. Flick through magazines; take to Pinterest; scour Instagram; peruse our gallery of bespoke earrings. The more cut-outs, photos and sketches you gather the easier it’ll prove to compare your vision with the style of any given jeweller.

Of course, the most reliable recommendations are those that are word-of-mouth, but in the absence of any pointers from people you know and trust, take some time read what’s available online. A jeweller’s customer reviews say a lot about their credentials and offering, as do their website and social media posts. It’s important that the jeweller you entrust to bring your vision to life feels like a comfortable fit for you as a person; pay heed to what your instincts tell you in the scoping-out stage.



STEP 2: "How much does custom jewelry usually cost?" 

Corene’s bespoke stud earrings, crafted by way of repurposing her old jewellery

Before establishing your budget, it’s important to understand that a bespoke pair of earrings is not about landing a good deal. Naturally, the processes of designing a unique jewel, sourcing its precious materials specially and employing skilful craft techniques to bring it to life each come with their own price tag.

Your research into jewellery designers may have begun to inform you on how much a pair of bespoke earrings might cost, with most jewellers pricing their bespoke services from minimum starting points. At Lebrusan Studio, for example, bespoke earrings tend to start at around £3,000.

Ultimately, the final price of any bespoke jewel is dependent on the complexity of its design and the materials used, which can make it tricky to offer a definitive quote from the outset. However, most jewellers would be happy to help manage your spending expectations in the early stages by offering a rough ballpark figure of the design you have in mind, before finalising a quote once you’ve settled on a design a little further down the line.

If you’re concerned that your ultimate vision is just beyond the reach of your budget, don’t be afraid to articulate that honestly. From time to time, we can gently squash the price of a bespoke design by exploring lower quality materials; think swapping out 18ct gold for 9ct gold, or high-grade brilliant-cut diamonds for old-cut diamonds that are a little rougher around the edges.

Even more cost-effective is repurposing old jewels and materials that we already have to hand, sidestepping the need to source anything new. Corene, for example, commissioned us to create her a new pair of Art Deco-inspired stud earrings by way of recycling the 18ct white gold, diamonds and emeralds from an old inherited cocktail ring!



STEP 3: The bespoke jewellery consultation 

Dasha’s bespoke ‘special occasion’ earrings, crafted using 18ct recycled rose gold, 10.36ct of fair-traded amethyst and 1.14ct of conflict-free diamonds

Once you’ve find the jeweller who’s right for you and finalised a realistic budget, it’s time to begin watering that seed. Every successful bespoke story begins with a consultation. Like breakfast being the most important meal of the day, this first meeting is usually the most impactful. It lays foundations; giving rise to measurements, sketches on paper and conversations about your preferred precious materials, perhaps taking a careful look at any old jewellery that you might wish to remodel.

Our Founder & Head Designer Arabel Lebrusan is two-time winner of the NAJ’s Designer of the Year award, recognising her “flair for realising a person’s visions” (quoting a happy bespoke client of ours.) Like Arabel and our tight-knit team of skilful in-house designers, any good jewellery designer will take this initial consultation as an opportunity to hear and see you, gaining an insight into you as an individual and the things that make you tick.

We offer in-person consultations in both London’s historic Hatton Garden and Brighton, but if you’re unable to visit us physically we’d be pleased to chat with you via Google Meet.

You can learn about how to prepare for your bespoke jewellery consultation here.


STEP 4: Bringing your bespoke earrings to life

Ev’s bespoke drop earrings, crafted using 18ct recycled white gold and 3ct of fair-traded blue sapphires

The manufacturing processes inherent in realising a unique pair of earrings varies from commission to commission, dependent on the design’s requirements and the precious materials used. Here at Lebrusan Studio, however, our manufacturing takes place exclusively in the UK; largely in the independent, family-owned workshops of London’s Hatton Garden. Our London Diamond Bourse headquarters is just a stone’s throw from these workshops, enabling us to make in-person visits to check in on progress and offer you regular updates if you’re interested. For most people, commissioning a pair of bespoke earrings is no everyday undertaking; we love sharing your excitement with behind-the-scenes insights into the fascinating process.

From the point at which the design is finalised, a bespoke pair of earrings usually takes around 10 weeks to complete, though in the instance of particularly complex designs – like Ev’s articulated arrow earrings with various moving parts – we might need a couple more weeks to work with. It’s important that you let us know from the outset if you’re working towards an important deadline, like Beanie  was when she commissioned us to create a pair of earrings for her wedding day.


STEP 5: Forever thanking yourself for investing in a pair of bespoke earrings...

 Beanie’s bespoke filigree wedding day earrings
“Working with Arabel and her team was a pleasure from start to finish. They understood almost immediately what I was looking for and came up with several lovely stone and design options for me to choose from, creating the perfect pair of wedding earrings. Thank you so much, from a very happy bride." – Beanie


Feeling inspired? We'd be honoured to play a part in your story. Contact us today to get the ball rolling.


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Love, Arabel & Team
Ruby McGonigle
Ruby McGonigle

Ruby McGonigle is a copywriter and digital marketing professional with over five years of jewellery industry experience. After graduating with a BA in Linguistics, she combined her passions for written word and all things sparkly by joining the Lebrusan Studio team as in-house wordsmith and content creator. Among bi-monthly blog posts, notable examples of Ruby's work include a think-piece on the ‘natural diamonds vs. lab-grown diamonds’ debate, a probe into why traceable and third party certified ASM gold is so important, and an investigation of why platinum is no longer more expensive than gold.