This week we got in touch with Yvon and Allison from Jewel Beetle in Nelson and chatted to them about their Couples Create workshop where you craft your own wedding rings.
How long have you been offering the Couples Create sessions and what was the rationale behind it?
We started our Couples Create workshops in July 2018 as we wanted to do something different to diversify our business. A friend of Yvon runs similar workshops in the Netherlands and it looked like quite a cool idea to do with couples. Wedding rings carry quite a lot of emotion and to create your partners special ring that they then will be wearing every day throughout their marriage is really quite special. It will be cheaper to buy your rings off the shelf but the experience and memory of your day together making your rings is really what this is all about, a story that goes with your wedding rings to pass on to the next generation.
As someone who is not terribly good at making things with their hands, it seems like it would be quite difficult to create a beautiful wedding ring from scratch. Is this something that everyone can do?
So far, we haven’t yet had anyone that was unable to make a nice ring. For example, when a petit girl with very long manicured fingernails showed up for the couples create workshop, we were thinking ‘oh dear, wonder what will happen to those nice nails?’ We were pleasantly surprised at how nimble she was and she was very capable at the workbench. Even her fine clothes and manicured nails stayed intact!
We are very patient and guide everyone through the process. It’s a real buzz to see how chuffed they are with their ring at the end of the day.
How long does it generally take couples to create the rings?
In general couples arrive at 9am and finish between 2 and 3pm and we take a break for a lunch we provide from the Swedish bakery next door.
Is there much scope for personalising the rings?
Depending on their ability or keenness to give something a go there are quite a few different design options for the rings. If they want diamonds or gemstones set into their bands that is of course something we would do for them as it requires some skill, so in this case we would do the work and the ring would be forwarded on at a later date.
We also had a lady that wanted a complex Celtic pattern cut out of the band with diamonds. She made the basic band and we then took over and cut the pattern and set the diamonds but she made the shank of the ring.
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Erika and AJ, professional ice skaters from the US, came to New Zealand to elope and visited Jewel Beetle to create their gorgeous rings.
Generally, how much does it cost to create the rings?
We have two Couples Create workshops to choose from:
Simply Gold is $299 per person
Melt and Make $365 per person
The cost of materials is extra and is calculated by weight on completion of the rings. We will give you an indication beforehand depending on your ring size and the dimensions you want.
As an idea of cost, based on today’s gold price: a 3mm bevelled ladies band in 9ct yellow gold would be around $685 in materials.
What the difference between the two workshops you have to offer?
Melt and Make means you start by melting gold granules and pouring the molten metal into an ingot. This is then milled and shaped to a strip that you will bend, solder and finish to the design. With the simply gold option you will be given a strip of metal to the width we have prepared. You will then bend, solder and make the ring to your choice of finish. It is an easier process without limitations on the choice of metal you can use but we find that couples like the Melt and make option more with excitement of watching the gold melt and pouring their own ingot.
Can I use any metal to make my ring?
With the Melt and make option we limit it to yellow gold either 9ct or 18ct, the reason we do this is that other metals like platinum or white gold are not easy to melt and can be problematic. This is why we added a simply gold option where we can use pre-fabricated metal to avoid any problems with the melting process, perfect if you want a white gold ring.
We also won’t use copper or silver as we don’t recommend them for wedding bands as a lasting option.
You can contact Jewel Beetle to find out more here:
56 Bridge Street, Nelson
Phone: 03 5480487