An XL Bling Ring

A story of XL bling and a lot of learning!

10 days ago we had a customer request a special ring made for her, of course this is no problem for us and something that we really enjoy.  It is nice to make something special for a customer and to share their delight and joy when they collect the piece or when we ship it to them.

The customer that I am writing about was from Poland and wore some unusual and large pieces of jewellery and to make something to suit her was no problem. She told us what she would like, discussed the details with Doka and left us with her ring size and these words ‘if I like it I will buy it’.  We discussed a price with her at the start and gave her an approximate price as to be 100% accurate at this stage was a little hard, we did not know how much silver the piece would use or how many hours it would take to complete the ring.

Our Polish lady said she would come back in two days and see how the work was progressing.

Two days later she came back to see us and admired the work in progress and brought herself a beautiful filigree bracelet from our display.

Again we talked about the price of the ring and unfortunately communications broke down a little here, I insisted that the price we had originally quoted ­­was very reasonable for the amount of work that had gone into the ring.  Where she said she did not understand why the bracelet she had just brought would be cheaper than the ring as the bracelet required a lot more work than the ring.  Although this was not the case as the bracelet was a less complex piece that took less hours to make, but she insisted the price for the ring was too high and she has not been back for her ring.

The XL bling ring is finished now and it is a stunning piece as you can see but I am sure it is not to everyone’s taste and I wonder how long it will sit in the store before someone else comes along that will like it?!
It’s a size 14 if you’re interested!

Filigree XL Bling with Coral feature

In hindsight we should have insisted on a deposit for the ring we had been commissioned to make.

What other advice can anyone offer to help with future situations like this?

Your input and suggestions are much appreciated.



Visit to see more of our filigree jewellery.

About Seba Silver

In June 2011 my wife and I opened a small store on the beautiful Dalmatian Island of Korcula. Our store (Seba Dizajn) showcases stunning filigree jewellery, all work is made on site offering you the fascinating chance to see filigree jewellery being made. Visit us at to see and purchase some of our filigree jewellery. The Seba family have been working, and creating beautiful pieces of filigree jewellery for over 500 years.
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5 Responses to An XL Bling Ring

  1. Helz-Design says:

    great piece of work ruth.

    advice for such an situation: difficult.
    in my field when a customer askes for a flyerlayout or a booklayout, i usually calculate on the hours it might take, for books i use to calculate a price per page.
    than i write an offer, telling the customer “your flyer will cost x euro and this includes pictures and proofreading etc.” or “i can do your book for y euro per page including (or excluding) pictures (depending on the afford to work on the pix).”

    for the flyer the customer has a kind of package price based on the time i think i need for the flyer. when i am quicker – my bonus – if i take longer – customers bonus!

    book : you usually don.t know how many pages will come out, it depends on font, amount of pictures and other factors, but a customer in publishing knows that a 200 pages word document won.t make a 30 pages book.

    so my advice would be:
    price calculation – written quotation for the customer, which includes that the price is calculated on x amount of silver and silverprice of certain date and that you pending on price change or amount of silver will correct the final price (which can also be bonus for customer if silver price reduces!) – take a certain prepayment (30% or 50%) of the quotatation – maybe you can have a little note in your shop which tells the customers about it – kind of general business terms.

    sorry for the long winded story 😦

    • Seba Silver says:

      Thanks for the feedback and advice, I think a written quote is a very good idea. And definantely the deposit, unfortunately the customer snuck out on her first visit before I realised what had happened, am happy that I stood my ground re: pricing especially when I checked what some of the nearby shops are charging for machine made and much smaller pieces of work.

  2. Helz-Design says:

    it is always a good idea to “spy” a bit what the rest of the “industry” is charging.
    these days everybody wants it cheap cheap cheap – no real acknowledgment for good work anymore.
    this comparison helps me to stand my ground.

  3. Michele Taylor Coach says:

    Hmmm. Yep, really tricky. I wonder if the customer ordered in an impetuous moment and was looking for a get-out. Hand on heart, I;ve probably done something similar. So I’d suggest anything you can do to encourage the customer to have a ‘cooling-off’ period before either of you commits – you to creating and them to paying. Then I’d be inclined to give a top-line quote but stress that it may well be cheaper. Be generous in that quote so you can be confident that it almost certainly won’t cost *quite* that much, not too high, though, cos then they’ll go elsewhere! The feelgood factor when you’ve completed the pice and it’s cheaper than expected – even marginally – will work wonders, I suspect.

    Short of giving fixed quotes and committing to making stuff for customers, some of which won’t then get picked up, I think you have to go for a very business-like commission scenario but that’s complex and may alienate many…

    At the end of the day, what have you lost? And will she go away and recommend you? And does it happen often, or is it just the price you pay for the kind of business you want to be? Maybe think about what your business values are and work out your protocol from there….?

    Sorry – I’ve waffled but I hope it’s of some use…

    • Seba Silver says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and offer your advice, waffling is good!

      I have used the over estimate method before and agree that it is a good one, and I am fairly sure we used it with this customer. I think most likely is that she just changed her mind, which is ok but a little harder for an unusual commissioned piece. The ring we made is lovely but not everyone’s taste, it fits me but I don’t really see myself wearing it. Although perhaps if I start wearing it in the shop someone will then want to buy it – a little afraid of the damage I could do with this ring!

      I like the idea of the cooling off period, ‘Let us know tomorrow if you wish to go ahead and we will take your deposit then and proceed with making your ring’ or whatever the next piece may be.

      Our other commissioned pieces have gone on to very happy homes so this was an interesting experience for me.

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