Transforming ideas into precious metals

A bespoke Jewel Beetle piece starts on a special journey from its concept to completion. Along the way, we listen to your thoughts and ideas, stirring them into a melting pot together.  We’re excited by the challenge of interpreting your ideas. Every item of jewellery is profoundly individual - to design a bespoke piece requires a level of understanding, intuition and empathy to listen to you, the client, a skill we have refined at Jewel Beetle.

"We love what we do – making beautiful objects from precious materials is a kind of magic and our enthusiasm and passion is crafted into every piece.”

Yvon at the jewellers workbench
Whether you’ve already got an idea or no idea at all, we’re here to help you through the design process, consider your budget and ensure you leave with a piece of jewellery that makes you very happy.

"As women jewellers we not only love making and designing jewellery – we love to wear it. So you can be assured of the best advice from a female perspective. Together we can create something special."

The Design Process

Step 1

Ignite your imagination by browsing through our extensive photo album of past designs and commissions. We’re sure you will find them inspirational and we can give you an idea of what something similar may cost. Let us know your budget as this determines what is possible and what alternatives or other options are available to you.
Allison designing jewellery

Step 2

Your commission starts with a consultation with one of our designers. This can happen on the phone (if you live too far away) or face to face in our Nelson studio. Although it is great to be able to meet you in person location really isn’t a problem, and many of our customers have been equally satisfied with conversing over the phone and exchanging ideas by email. During your consultation we will discuss your style, what clothes you wear, what jewellery you currently like wearing and colours you prefer – this is our chance to start to create a picture and the perfect design for you. If you come with a very clear idea for your commission, we will use our expertise to make this a reality for you. And possibly advise you on some options you may not have thought of.

Step 3

If it’s appropriate we may do a series of hand drawn sketches either during or after the appointment to clarify the ideas discussed. See example below. Once you have decided on a design and are happy with the quote given, we ask for a 50% deposit to confirm the order. Then the commission begins!

The design brief : to be able to wear an engagement and wedding band again.
Sue suffers from arthritis so her joints are prone to swelling. We re-modeled her gold and diamonds to create a ring with a hinge. Designed to fit over her knuckles but not spin around once in place. Sue is overjoyed to be wearing a ring again! 


Step 4

If your commission involves gemstones, we will source them from our suppliers. Every gem is of course different, and if the stone is a main feature of the design, we can often get a few gemstones on approval for you to choose from. We take your ring size (if it’s a ring you are designing) and then the manufacturing process begins! At Jewel Beetle, we work together as a team and utilize each other’s strengths and technical skills. Together we can create the jewellery you deserve and that truly reflects your personality. You can be assured of the highest quality of craftsmanship. When your piece is ready, you can come in and try it for size or we are very happy to send it to you by courier (special insurance cover may apply). We hope we can add you to our list of delighted customers, all of whom have discovered the real benefits of individual design and the delights of a unique handcrafted piece of jewellery.

  "All of our jewellery is hand-crafted at our Nelson studio, you can speak directly with us – the designer and creator – which leaves no room for misunderstandings. Come and see us!"

Frequently Asked Questions


For inspiration take a look at our extensive portfolio of designs in store or visit our website gallery. If we are using your own gold then designs are limited but our jewellers are always on hand to offer advice. If you prefer, we also offer a bespoke design service. Come and talk to us and show us what you have and we can advise you on the options. Sometimes we can remove parts of an old item and reuse them in a new design. Alternatively, if the item isn’t sentimental we can trade in your old gold towards the cost of a new item of jewellery. If your new ring weighs more than the old one, more metal will need to be purchased and added to the melt as well. Some designs are cheaper to manufacture by carving a wax model and having it cast. If the same design is made from sheet metal or a bar there is a lot of filing required to get the desired shape, and more material is needed from the outset. If your design lends itself to be cast, we unfortunately cannot use your own gold for this. At Jewel Beetle, we will always advise you if we are not reusing your gold in case it is of sentimental value to you. We can often advise you of a different design that is more suitable for melting down and remodeling.

What are the steps involved in remodeling jewellery?

First, we carefully unset your gemstones, taking great care not to damage them in this process. We cut out any settings and solder joins that cannot be used. We weigh what’s left and add any extra gold if needed. This all goes into the crucible to melt. The molten metal is poured into an ingot. Once cooled, if the ingot is successful, we start the process of several rounds of rolling through the mills and annealing (a heating process to soften the metal). Once the metal is in a workable shape we start the process of manufacturing your new design!

Is it cheaper to reuse my own gold?

In most cases, you will save some money using your own materials but this largely depends on how much gold you have to start with and what you want to make as a new design. The savings may not be as much as you might expect. The process of melting your gold can take as much as three times longer than starting with new materials. Just as a dressmaker would need to painstakingly unpick all the seams of a dress to reuse the fabric to sew something new, there is a lot of time involved in carefully un-setting gemstones, removing impurities like solder joints from jewellery, before we even begin the melting and manufacturing process.

Are there any metals that I cannot melt down for my new piece of jewellery?

Yes, silver as it is not economically viable to melt down. We also don’t melt down white gold or platinum jewellery as we simply don’t have the right equipment to reach the temperatures needed to melt successfully. Chains are not advisable for melting down as each link in the chain is joined with a small amount of solder and this results in impurities in the melt. These impurities can cause cracks in the metal once we begin to put the ingot through the rolling mills. At Jewel Beetle, we will always advise you if we are not reusing your gold in case it is of sentimental value to you. We can often advise you of a different design that is more suitable for melting down and remodeling.

Do you buy gold and broken jewellery?

At Jewel Beetle we do not buy gold items in exchange for cash. However we can accept old gold items to be traded. With the credit from your refined scrap, we can use this amount to supply new materials to make you a new piece of jewellery. The gold value fluctuates on a daily basis and you will get the amount based on the gold price on the day the refining takes place. With this option, you can also choose to have your new jewellery design made in a different metal like platinum or white gold


We understand that jewellery and your gemstones have a very personal and sentimental value. We can re-use your gemstones but this is entirely at your own risk. Flaws in gems are often concealed by their settings, there is always a risk of breakages when stones are un-set. Some stones are more vulnerable to breaking than others, especially softer gemstones like Emeralds and Opals. We would advise on inspection if the job can be done. In general Diamonds, Sapphires and Rubies stand the test of time. If your gemstones are in a reasonable condition and not chipped or too scratched we are happy to unset them for use in a new piece of jewellery.

What are you looking for?

Join Our Mailing List