Amanda Li Hope with goggles on puts a blow torch flame to a wedding band in her workshop

What is handmade jewellery?

Amanda takes the term handmade literally. To her, handmade jewellery means that from start to finish every element is crafted, formed and assembled by hand. From formulating, measuring out and melting down the precious metals to create an alloy, to individually shaping, soldering, polishing and finishing the individual piece of jewellery. This means that each piece of jewellery is unique, and its quality and finish can be ensured throughout the process. By working the metal, it becomes denser and so the final product is more durable. As both the designer and bench jeweller, Amanda creates and manages everything herself, in-house, ensuring the her work from start to finish is completed to the highest standard.

Who will I be working with if I commission a piece of bespoke jewellery?

From start to finish, you will be working directly with Amanda. As a designer, Amanda will help you turn your ideas into a beautiful and tangible design, letting you know your design and budget options are along the way through examples and drawings (as well as customised gemstone selection). As a goldsmith, Amanda will create and manage the making of the piece through its various stages to ensure that what is being delivered is exactly what you have agreed upon and hand make it accordingly. She will communicate with you throughout the process and let you know what to expect at each stage.

What is an alloy?

An alloy is a substance that is created when two or more metals are combined. They can also be formed when a metal is mixed with non-metallic elements, but for the purpose of Amanda's pieces, she only works with precious metal alloys. So, what is a precious metal alloy? Let's use gold as an example, all those carats of gold available on the market 9k, 14k, 18, and 22k gold are alloys. They contain a minimum content of gold ranging from 37.5% to 91.6%, leaving the remaining percentages to be one or more other metals such as silver, copper, zinc and palladium. The amounts and ratios of these other elements give the create gold alloys of different colours and attribute different properties of strength and durability. So, for example a gold alloy that contains more copper than silver in it will create a more blush or red gold, than one with more silver which will be more yellow or even chartreuse (greenish). Amanda started alloying her own metals when she became a Fairtrade Gold licensee in 2011. Due to the minimum commercial availability of various carats and colours to offer her clients, she learned to do this all 'in-house' in her workshop. This ability has opened up a whole world of possibilities when it comes to offering her clients bespoke colours to match existing vintage and heirloom pieces, but also to offer bespoke alloys of their own! For an example of the range of 18k gold colours Amanda has created, please see her award winning Auroboros necklace handcrafted in Fairtrade Gold.

Flat lay of raw materials (gold and gemstones) and semi-worked pieces on Amanda timber workbench.
A close up of the left hand of a client wearing a their new wire wrap and diamond ring on a grey table.

How do I find out my finger size?

If you are unsure of your UK finger size, there are a few ways to determine this: A. Amanda can send you a complimentary adjustable ring sizer in the post. Simply contact Amanda. B. If you know your ring size in an international measuring standard, please send this information to Amanda and she can translate them into the UK equivalent size for her to work from. C. If you have an existing ring that fits the correct finger, please download one of these PDF files to print. Once printed at 100% scale, place the existing ring on top of this page to see which inner circumference matches best.

When ordering a wedding or commitment ring, how can I find out my preferred style and width?

To confirm your preferred ring width (the length along the finger), Amanda has created this sheet for you to print out.

For ring styles and profiles, Amanda is currently still working on a sheet to download, however, rest assured she can create rings in all the typical profiles - Court, Flat Court, D, Inverted D, Halo, Oval, etc - and everything in between! In the meantime, please visit her 'Wedding and Commitment Rings' gallery for ideas and inspiration.

Where can I find out more about what ethical jewellery practice means?

Click here to learn more about Amanda's ethical jewellery practice.

What if I need my ring re-sizing, or I damage my piece of jewellery?

Amanda offers complimentary ring sizing in the first year, and a lifetime repair service (fees where applicable). Amanda will happily re-size any ring that you have commissioned or bought from her for free for the first year, so you can ensure the perfect fit. She also wants to ensure your jewellery will last a lifetime. If you need any repairs or resizing after the first year, please get in touch, she will let you know what this might cost and can make the necessary repairs or alterations in her studio.

Yellow gold ring set with cognac and champagne diamonds standing upright on a white , grey and black background.