A picture is worth a thousand words... except when words fail. Help?


Feb 2, 2015
A more-or-less Hypothetical situation: you have 15 graduated OMCs, small but lively, and want to salvage them from an existing piece to make a bracelet for your rose gold stack. You click "compose" to write an email to your favorite jeweller to ask for a quote, and attach the photo below, and a shot of the stones, with MM measurements for each. And then, suddenly, you blank.

Source: Gray & Davis

You've learned that specificity is everything in custom work, and want to be very very careful how you describe the job. On the inspiration source's website, it's described thusly: "14k rose gold late Victorian knife-edge bangle set with graduated row of old mine cut diamonds. Hinged closure."

Have you specified enough? Do you (other than measuring your wrist JUST where you want this bangle to rest) have more to add? Are the words, combined with the inspiration, clear enough to get a good result?

Maybe the bracelet should - or should not - be hollow?
Maybe the safety chain should be a certain length? A certain millimeter thickness?
Maybe the little dentile at the far edges of the stones should be graduated as well?
Maybe the hinge closure should have a small safety 'arm & bead button' instead of a safety chain?
Maybe the finish should be satin/semi-matte instead of high polish?
Maybe there should be an engraved message inside?
Maybe the diamonds should be set slightly below the lip of the knife edge, for better protection? But not too far below? How far?
How many prongs between the stones? The photo suggests two shared. Is that good? Safe?

How would you describe this to ensure you achieve something close to what is in the photo? My words have failed me due to brain drain, and I appeal to the wisdom of far better minds than my own! Thanks in advance.

p.s. No rush. Hypothetically, it's a September project start, for completion by the New Year.


Aug 14, 2009
Can I be honest?

I opened this thread, and read your post, and closed the thread again thinking “oh my goodness I’m too tired to micromanage my bling like this”.

And the moment I had that thought I realized - that’s actually exactly why I need to say something, and pretty much exactly what I need to say!!

Your favourite jeweller. So he or she knows your aesthetic, knows that you’re particular about design and finish, and presumably is able to make beautiful and structurally sound pieces.

So given that - what do you need to provide to make sure the piece is what you want?
- Wrist size
- Stone quantity and measurements
- General design wants and don’t-wants like metal colour(s) and finish, specifics of bangle width, hinge placement, etc. if you care.
- Inspiration photo is great.

And that’s it. The whole point of having a trusted jeweller - a jeweller, not a bench on speed-dial - is that you should be able to trust that jeweller to figure out all the stuff you don’t care to specify, and raise any concerns with what you have specified. The details of the safety chain, how many prongs are needed to keep your stones secure, that the stones should be lower than the lip for safety… That’s your jeweller’s job, not yours. If you want the hinge near the narrow edge but putting it there is less structurally sound than putting it somewhere else - it’s not your job to research that, it’s your jeweller’s job to identify the concern and email/text/call you.

There are vendors who are poplar on PS who routinely offload all of that structural and aesthetic baggage onto their customers. I neither respect nor recommend those vendors.
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Oct 19, 2013
Are the words, combined with the inspiration, clear enough to get a good result?

“Good result” is pretty vague and open to individual tastes and interpretation. I think that’s where the crux lies.

I agree with @yssie regarding not wanting to instruct the jeweler on how to do something structurally sound, wearable and operational. Assuming the jeweler will bring those points up for discussion and already know the differences.
If you want solid and they assume hollow - that needs to be discussed. I bet there’s options inbetween and varying degrees of ‘hollow’.
Unless all are aboard with the project being a ‘learn-as -you-go adventure for everyone’. I kid - but not really.

As far as aesthetics- if there’s fine detail points you have strong feelings about or wish to volley ideas
Leaving it up to the jeweler/designer to make those choices for you all unsaid is just that. You may not get what you envision. Even though your favorite jeweler knows you and you typically love their style. Would that result still be ‘good’? Up for interpretation.

If you want a repro piece -
Does that mean like it witnessed a few wars with gouges and separation joints, or does that mean it looks dainty because of ‘wear’?
Or does the vendor, by default, go to a modern style interpretation?
Or do you want a repro piece that looks beefy and healthy today like it might have looked, and it may look like your inspo picture once in your great grandchild’s possession after many years of loving wear?
You don’t know what the vendor intends unless you ask?

Wanting to see puffy crowns above a setting vs parallel vs below ——
I see the pros and cons in all and I’m sure you do too. If this were mine - once having a idea of what I wanted - I don’t think I could leave that choice up to any jeweler without discussion.

Knowing what we can let go of and accept and how close vs ballpark to inspo we are ok with, I think is where we all differ.
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Diamond Girl 21

Jun 26, 2017
I think I would put the basics in as suggested above, and then add a sentence like "Please let me know your thoughts on the design and how you would proceed." I think it's less complicated if the jeweler gives you a basic design and then you can tweak it.


Mar 3, 2018
All great questions. Many I would not have thought of but they are great questions.

Why do you need the picture plus 1,000 words?

I would send the inspo photo and then have a phone conversation after they have had a chance to digest and discuss. A lot of your design choices will be determined by what they can do, are willing to do, and you are willing to pay for. I mean I assume this will need to be hand-fabricated and it curves in several dimensions so it could be a lot of work (= $) as a one-off.

It looks like this shape requires a near-linear increase in stone diameter (leading to the center stone) -- is that consistent with the suite of OMCs that you have?

For simplicity's sake, and I am sure you know this, it may be best to focus most on the elements that can not readily be changed after (material, finish, stone mounting height, etc.)

I love the antique look of the inspo piece -- it looks very "moderne" which is striking for the age, if it's truly Victorian. If it were new in gleaming gold, it would have a totally different vibe -- more like high-design contemporary. I am almost thinking like a brown gold with a matte but not brushed finish.
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