Where are your pieces made?
All our custom made pieces are made here in Sydney. Our team includes several master Jewellers, Polishers, and Diamond setters who take great care to make each piece to the highest quality and perfect finish.
Can I supply my own diamond or gemstone?
Yes, of course. We are a family owned and operated business, and we understand the importance of heirloom gems and take great care to create your dream ring with your own special gem to our usual exceptional standards.
What is your bespoke process?
The Bespoke or Custom Design Process begins with a Design consultation, and selection of a suitable Diamond or Gemstone for your dream piece. We will talk you through the four C’s and help you select the best diamond or gemstone for you. We also ask about lifestyle, budget and any other considerations so we can design the perfect piece for beauty and longevity.
We then create a hand rendered sketch so you can envisage your custom made piece from every angle, and once you are satisfied with the design, we hand it to our team of master jewellers, diamond setters and polishers to hand make the piece to our exacting standards.
To read more about our Bespoke process and see some photos of our team in action please read our blog on the process.
How long does it take to create a bespoke piece?
Depending on the time of year, and on the complexity of the design our normal turnaround time is 3-4 weeks once you have committed to the design and given the go ahead.
Is White gold or Platinum better?
With gold now being more expensive than platinum the choice between them is more a reflection of lifestyle, and design consideration.
White Gold is 75% pure gold and is alloyed with other metals to make it white - it is a warm grey colour, and is always rhodium plated after setting to make it bright white. White gold is more flexible, and easier to shape, making it more suitable for setting stones and creating free form designs. It can wear down more easily over time, and needs to be replated every 2-3 years to keep it looking bright white. It keeps its shape better, and is the most popular choice for women’s engagement and wedding rings.
Platinum in 95% pure, and is a denser, harder metal, and is a silver colour.
Platinum is a popular choice for men’s wedding rings as it is very durable, and does not require plating to remain silver/white in colour. It is quite brittle when first made, but can move over time, so settings need to be checked. It doesn’t require rhodium plating, and will need polishing from time to time, but less frequently than white gold. Dents and scratches can be more difficult to polish, however it doesn’t wear down as quickly as white gold. This makes it more suitable for hand engraving and very fine detail, as it will last longer.
Both metals need maintenance, and we will recommend one over the other depending on your individual design and lifestyle.
What is the difference between handmade, handcrafted and cast/cad?
‘Handmade’ in fine jewellery is a term used to describe a piece of jewellery that has been entirely fabricated by hand from precious metal that has been rolled, filed, pulled, bent, cut, and carved using hand tools and then soldered together, then set to create the final piece. Master manufacturing jewellers must be suitably qualified and have years of experience to make a bespoke piece from scratch with these age old techniques. Labour costs are therefore higher, however this method means the metal is denser, harder and more thoroughly finished creating a more durable piece.
‘Handcrafted” is used to describe a piece of jewellery that has a combination of cast components, and handmade techniques in it’s manufacture, and is assembled or finished by hand. Labour costs are not as high, however the cast metal will be softer, and depending on the design may not be as durable over time.
CAD/Cast’’ refers to Computer aided design which means the individual components of the piece are designed on computer, 3d printed and then cast and then assembled by hand. It is the most cost effective in terms of labour, and does not entail as much wastage of precious metal, however metal alloys can be quite soft depending on the place of manufacture. (Australian alloys tend to be more durable than those from China or Thailand)
Depending on the design, budget and time constraints we will always advise on which method is most suitable for your piece.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes, for privacy and security we prefer you to make an appointment, and to let us know what you would us to help you with so we can provide the best service possible and to ensure someone is free to look after you.
Are your diamonds and gemstones certified?
All our larger Diamonds are certified by either the GIA or IGI to the highest international standards, and if you have heirloom stones that are not certified we can have certificates made at DSL labs in Sydney. Coloured gemstones don’t usually have certificates unless they are unheated or particularly rare and unusual, however they can also be certified on request if they don’t come with a certificate.
Lab grown diamonds are also certified, usually by IGI labs to international standards.
What budgets do you work with?
We work to all budgets, and will give honest and practical advice on the best course of action to keep your design within budget at all times.
How much does an engagement ring cost?
Each engagement ring is unique and cost depends on the design, the method of fabrication, the metals, the labour and the diamond or gemstones used. We have created beautiful engagement rings from $5000 to $100,000, and every budget in between. To get an idea of some estimated costs please look in our shop, or make a complimentary design appointment, and we will happily chat about your options.
What are your ethical and sustainability practices?
At Bill Hicks we care about transparency when it comes to the ethics of creating bespoke jewellery, and as a family business we care about the environment, and our ethics reflect this value. Here is a link to our ethics page which explains our practices in detail.