Creating Commemorative Design

 

At Bilingual, we are passionate about creating meaningful jewellery! It’s a joy to so often be designing pieces that have the special function of commemorating important things in life. For many of us, certain jewellery pieces are powerful reminders of who we are, what we’ve been through and the people and events that have held a special place in our lives.

Typically, there are three main ways that we go about creating these commemorative pieces: either by modifying an existing jewellery piece, re-using stones or creating something completely new that has symbolic meaning.

Like each person, each piece has a unique story. Here are just a few…

 

The Modified

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Some of our commemorative jewellery designs are created from original jewellery pieces, keeping parts of the original form intact, though they are modified in some way to make the piece more wearable. This gold wedding band (above, left) was adapted into a pendant in our classic Momento style. In the pendant below, our customer’s late mother’s wedding ring was redesigned to feature a cross in the centre that holds onto the ring without altering it.

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An antique pin is transformed into a ring, while two inherited pieces have been joined as one in this contemporary family heirloom (above).

The Sentimental Stone

Using a stone that belonged to someone special, or was given to you to mark an occasion or relationship, can be a powerful form of commemoration while allowing freedom for your own style and personality.

Chiara’s custom-designed ring (below) incorporates a diamond that was given to her with a new sapphire, drawing on imagery of ‘day and night’.

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“I decided to trust a precious stone (rose quartz in bracelet, above) in memory of my baby to create a piece I could wear every day to remember her – Marta was truly remarkable, she ensured every details was explored and perfect for this piece – I could not hold back the tears opening the parcel to see the masterpiece she has created in memory of my daughter – I wear it proudly and am so grateful to Marta for her compassion and skill to bring this piece to fruition for me 8 years on from her death.  I would entrust Bilingual with any project you may have – they are extraordinary, talented and exceptionally personable.” – Renee from Mildura

The New Piece

Of course, we can also make you something completely new to commemorate an occasion or loved one.

To preserve the original medals (below) we had a mould made so the exact form of the medal could be incorporated into custom-designed cufflinks.

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The ring above was designed in memory of our customer’s mother. Her birth date was inscribed in roman numerals and the pink gemstones represent her love of all things pink. It also features engraving on the inside of the band.

With so many ways to create commemorative jewellery we’re sure we can find the perfect way to create your meaningful piece. What are the things in your life that are worth special commemoration?

 

 

 

 

The Bilingual Design Process: Fiona’s Ring

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience our unique custom design process?

Our exclusive method is far more involved than you may think… Here, we share Fiona’s journey with you!

 

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1. Beginning the Design Process: Consultation & Concept

The first step in our design process was to meet with Fiona to find out a bit more about her, discuss her ideas and dreams, and how we could create a beautiful ring for her. She filled out our special questionnaire designed to uncover some of the things that held meaning for her, and from this, we developed some themes and concepts to drive the design of her ring. We then displayed these ideas visually as a concept board.

 

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2. Design Options

Based on Fiona’s concepts, we developed a couple of design options for her to choose from.

 

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3. Second Consultation & Measuring

Fiona met with us a second time to discuss the design options and decide which one she would like to develop into the final ring. She chose design option 1 to be made into 9ct Yellow Gold, featuring a white freshwater pearl. We also measured Fiona’s finger to make sure her new ring would fit her perfectly.

 

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4. Production & Presentation of the Final Piece.

Once we had settled on a design and determined the final measurements, we were ready to make Fiona’s ring! Here’s how it turned out……….
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Let us make you custom jewellery with our unique design process! Book an appointment today!

Sand, Salt, Sweat and Shrinkage: Summer Jewellery Guide

fun_summer_safe_jewellery_australia_bilingual_designIt’s summertime in the Southern Hemisphere and for many Aussies, that means weddings on the beach, cocktails on the beach, lazing on the beach, sport on the beach, holidays on the beach and just a lot of beach time, generally. Unfortunately, many of us have had experiences where our jewellery didn’t make it through this summertime ritual unscathed. But when we want a bit of extra glam for that social event or simply want to jazz up our cossie, how can we avoid ruining the pieces we love so much? What jewellery can stand against the onslaught of the elements?

The trick is to find jewellery that can handle the 4 summer S’ (specifically,  salt, sand, sweat and shrinkage), and to be aware of the pieces what won’t fare so well.

Here are a few things to consider…

SALT AND CHLORINE

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Salt air and water can have a long–term effect on any jewellery, but soft or absorbent materials (such as wood, coral or turquoise) are particularly vulnerable since they absorb the sea salt and air, which eventually wears them down. Salt is particularly harmful to rose–gold because of its copper content. Chlorine can also discolour your jewellery, particularly silver. Pearls do not fare well with any kind of prolonged water submersion as water wears away the solvent and loosens the pearl.

In salt-air environments, it is important to store jewellery in a cool, dry and well ventilated place.

SAND

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Sand is highly abrasive. It can wear down plating and scratch softer stones like quartz, amethyst and citrine. So opt for solid metals and harder gemstones in your summer jewellery, like diamonds, sapphires, or rubies, which will survive unscathed.

SWEAT AND SUN CREAMS

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Have you ever worn a piece of jewellery that has turned black? This can be caused by the chemical reaction that occurs when metal – particularly silver – is exposed to the sulfur dioxide that comes out through our skin. Many foods, such as garlic, feta cheese and olives will produce higher levels of sulfur and cause our jewellery to react more to sweat.

While sun creams and tanning lotions are non-corrosive and won’t harm metals, they can cause damage to string and thread, so be very careful with strung jewelry.

SHRINKAGE

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Did you know that your fingers shrink in cold water? They do! Treasure troves of rings have been lost in the ocean so unless your ring is super tight, it’s best to take it off before you jump into the water.

SUMMER JEWELLERY CHECKLIST:

– Choose durable materials like platinum, titanium and yellow or white gold. Silver is generally okay too, for short periods of time, but not in chlorine. Avoid exposing rose gold to salty environments.

– Opt for diamonds and other hard precious stones over porous materials or softer stones.

– Take your rings off before going in cold water.

– Remove all jewellery in chlorinated water, including pools and hot tubs.

– Check your jewellery for any loose stones or faulty clasps.

– Avoid getting sun cream or lotion on strung jewellery.

– Clean your jewellery with warm soapy water and a toothbrush after a day of sun and sand.

BILINGUAL RECOMMENDS:

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Bilingual’s top summer jewellery pics from left to right:

Cradle Pearl ring in white gold – perfect for a beach wedding!

Open ring in sterling silver – inspired by oyster shells, this ring uses a twist-motion to lock securely to your finger.

Milestone pendant with diamond in 9ct  yellow gold

Cradle ring in white gold with Australian sapphire – a stunning and hardy ring for all occasions!

Keshi rings in a variety of metals and finishes – moulded from keshi pearls, these stackable rings embody summertime

Act Un ring in yellow gold

Lunar earrings in white gold with sapphires – beautiful beach-proof earrings for a special occasion!

Wisdom pearl pendant in yellow gold

Unique_Jewellery_Gift_Ideas

Christmas time is a favourite of mine! I have always loved finding the perfect gift for my friends & family and then seeing their face when they unwrap it. Luckily for me, I have a pretty good track record for getting great Christmas gifts.

When deciding on the ideal jewellery gift idea I would recommend doing some brainstorming…. Have they mentioned they would like a designer gold pendant one day? Did they lose a unique ring that they would like replaced? Are they a gold wearer or do they like silver jewellery? What jewellery piece do they not have? Do they like to mix and match? Find your clues and check out our unique jewellery gift ideas.

Unique Jewellery Gifts For Him…

Show the man in your life just how clever you are in finding their perfect Christmas gift!

a. Act Trois pendant / ring in silver  b. Facet Ring in silver  c. Salvation Ring in silver  d. Family Tree  e. Destiny Ring Set in silver  f. Shepherd’s Cross in gold  g. Act Deux Ring in gold  h. Momento Cufflinks in silver  i. Momento 2015 Pendant with chain in silver

Unique Jewellery Gifts For Her…

She will be amazed to find one of these stunning pieces under the Christmas tree!

a. Quad Earrings in silver  b. A-Ring in silver  c. Designer C-Stone Ring in silver  d. Shadow Bangle in silver  e. Mini Shadow Earrings in gold  f. Act Un Ring in rose gold  g. Keshi Ring in silver + rose gold  h. Keshi Ring in black + polished silver  i. Orbit Ring in gold  j. Momento 2015 Pendant with chain in gold  k. Cradle Pearl Ring with black pearl + gold

Custom & Signature Gifts*

Make your someone feel extra special with a personalised custom made jewellery piece just for them!

a. Milestone Pendant with diamond in silver  b. Milestone Earrings with blue sapphires in silver c. Milestone Ring with diamond in two-tone gold + silver  d. Milestone Hook Earrings with pink sapphires in rose gold  e. Lunar Earrings with blue sapphires in silver  f. Lunar Ring with pink sapphires + red garnets in rose gold  g. assorted Momento Rings 

*Order your signature or custom jewellery early to ensure it is ready for Christmas!

Come and visit us at our store or order online today!

3 Ways Your Wedding Rings Can Connect

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Bilingual wedding rings are thoughtfully designed to relate to each-other in a subtle and symbolic way – jewellery that embodies the special bond and connection a couple shares. They tend to fall into three categories: matching, complimentary and custom. To give you an idea, here are a few precious memories from our wonderful customers with their special wedding rings.

1. Matching Wedding Rings

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For this gorgeous wedding in Kangaroo Valley, the bride and groom chose matching white gold ‘Facet‘ rings, which symbolise the many sides of their relationship.

Union_Wedding_Ring_Custom_design_Whitegold Charlotte and Reece with their ‘Union‘ rings

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Our ‘Momento‘ ring featured at this vibrant tropical wedding and included the couple’s special date in Roman numerals inside their white gold bands.

2. Complimentary Wedding Rings

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The ‘Echo’ wedding collection reflects a couple’s unique connection with a hidden pattern of the bride’s ring within the groom’s strong, contemporary band: a romantic secret for you to share! We have a variety of patterns available or can create a unique pattern just for you!

bilingual design yellow gold wedding set eclipse customMiranda and her husband wore coordinated yellow gold pieces from our ‘Eclipse‘ range.

3. Custom Designed Wedding Rings

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These contemporary white and rose gold wedding rings feature unique organic shapes, subtle contrasts and a precious garnish of diamonds. His features an elongated treble cleff and hers embodies the rhythm of music.

custom design wedding rings sapphireLinda and Peter have a passion for architecture. Their wedding features a stunning marquise Australian sapphire and a strong architectural theme throughout the set.

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Made from the same rose gold, these designer wedding rings compliment each-other’s form and feature channel-set gems that symbolise their journey as a couple. The diamonds represent the number of years they had known each other and the Australian sapphire marks their heritage.

Winery wedding custom wedding rings jewellery bilingual designWhat would you like your wedding rings to say about your relationship? See more of our wedding jewellery designs, here, or contact us today to chat about your ideas!

Bilingual’s 10 Year Design Show!

We had a great time celebrating 10 years of Bilingual at our design show last weekend! We were excited to launch our new 2015 jewellery collection and to show off our special 10 Year Anniversary diamond ring!

A big thank you to everyone who joined us  – we’re look forward to sharing another decade of innovative jewellery design with you! Jewellery Design Show CollectionBilingual Jewellery Design ShowBilingual Jewellery Design ShowBilingual Jewellery Design ShowBilingual Design 10 Year Anniversary Diamond Ring

The ‘Aspect‘ Ring celebrates a decade of Bilingual Design. What could it celebrate for you?

Bilingual Jewellery Design Show Jessica Brouwer Marta Niegowska Sydney Designer

Bilingual Jewellery Design Show

Pearl Rings Jewellery Design Collection

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Stay tuned for more updates and images from the new collection!

Bilingual Celebrates 10 Years of Innovative Design!

Bilingual Jewellery Timeless and Classic Design 10 Year Anniversary

This year we are so proud to be celebrating 10 years of Bilingual Design! We’ve come so far in a decade: from a handful rings in 2005 to over 500 original designs to date. We certainly have been busy and it’s been exciting to look back and see how things have changed!

By telling us what dream you’d like to fulfil in the next 10 years, you can win a custom-designed Bilingual ring valued at $1000 (see below)!

But in the meantime, this is our story…

After finishing a design degree and being a finalist in the Shell Young Achiever Awards, Marta and Salvatore started Bilingual Design in 2005 with the dream to create innovative jewellery pieces for men and women with timeless and classic designs. They wanted to design pieces with strong concepts that were unique and provoked conversation.

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Marta and Salvatore with their first ring designs (C-Ring, Instinct, Harmony, Salvation, and Destiny) at the Shell Young Achievers Awards

Marta and Salvatore began selling their jewellery at design markets Australia wide, which gave them a good chance to meet people and receive instant feedback. “The markets have a really good buzz in the air and you get to meet so many people from all walks of life as well as chat to other designers who are doing their own thing”, Marta says. But the market experience also had a few challenges. Often, it could be difficult setting up and packing away the stall and also having to come up with creative displays that could be flat-packed for transport. And of course, the weather!

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Paddington Markets, Sydney

 

Bilingual Design Jewellery Paddington Markets

Our stall at Paddington Markets, Sydney

By 2010 Bilingual was starting to take on more custom design work. People were asking for their own unique pieces and Marta had developed her exclusive custom design process. In 2013, Bilingual Design launched their flagship store in Lilyfield, Sydney, which was an exciting turning point for the brand – with the likes of Amanda Keller toasting to our success! Bilingual’s new home has allowed the brand to offer its clients the convenience of all-day (and evening) appointments and the shopfront has built a reputation as a destination point in Sydney’s Inner West.

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Amanda Keller and Jacinda Gugliemino at the Bilingual Shop Opening in 2013

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The new Bilingual shop in Lilyfield

So what is the secret to our 10-year journey? Remaining true to out philosophy of creating timeless and classic designs that embrace innovation and are made for longevity. We look forward to continuing on our passionate pathway exploring creative jewellery design for another 100 years!

We would love for you to celebrate with us! Come along to our 10th Anniversary Show during 8-9th of August and enter our ‘Win a Ring’ competition, where you can win a ring, custom-made for you to the value of $1000! All you need to do is tell us what dream you’d like to fulfil in the next 10 years. Click HERE to enter now! Competition entries close 31st July.

Bilingual Design 10 Year Anniversary Jewellery Competition

How We Transform Your Old Jewellery

We often transform jewellery that people don’t wear into custom designs that they love! Mary loved the smokey quartz in this ring (below), but she never wore it. So she came to us for help. We gave her ring new life by transforming it into a special pendant, custom-designed just for her.

This is how the process works:

1. Bring in your old jewellery and chat with us about your ideas.

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2. We sketch some design options for you.

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3. We give your old jewellery new life by melting it down and re-forming it into a brand new design.

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4.  Voila! You have a new custom-designed piece to wear and love! Here’s Mary with her new pendant!

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How could we transform your old jewellery?

 

How to Wear Jewellery this Winter

Our winter wardrobes are prone to jewellery disasters! Claws catch on knits, earrings are whipped out with the scarf and chains get lost in the layers. So as the cold sets in and the layers pile on, what jewellery is best equipped to survive the chilly season with style and practicality?

1. Sleek, Solid Bangles

Winter Jewellery Shadow Bangle

A winter bangle needs to be able to hold its own among thick sleeves but also comfortably accommodate a jacket. This winter, opt for something solid and streamline like our sterling silver ‘Shadow’ bangle.

2. Flat Studs or Smart Hooks

Winter Jewellery Bilingual Aria Earrings

Beware of large studs and hook earrings that can get caught up in jumpers and scarves. Think about wearing studs that nestle in close or hooks with clever streamlined lock-in designs like our ‘Aria’ earrings.

3. Feature Pendants

Winter Jewellery Bilingual Momento Pendant

Necklaces tend to lose out in winter as they either become lost in layers of clothing or are too bulky to wear with coats and scarves. We recommend a middle-ground piece that can be worn as a clean, clear feature, such as our ‘Momento’ pendant.

 

 

Emerald: The Colour of May

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Emerald is a vivid colour often used to symbolise vitality and faithfulness.

With it’s rich green allure, the emerald has splashed across the pages of fabled stories and fashion magazines, coveted by explorers and queens, spiritual seekers and brides-to-be. It is the vivid green colouring of the emerald that has made it a favourite with traditional and contemporary jewellers alike. Emeralds emulate the beauty of the natural world from which they are formed, their colour signifying the reappearance of springtime, fertility, health, life and rebirth. For centuries, emerald green has also been the colour of beauty and of faithful, constant love. This month, we celebrate the emerald as the traditional birthstone for May.

Green by definition, emeralds derive their name from the Ancient Greek word, smaragdos. They are the green variety of beryl, which comes in a variety of other colours that are sometimes used as gems, such as blue aquamarine. Only gems that are medium to dark green in tone are considered emerald; light-toned gems are known as green beryl. Emeralds occur in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green, and a fine emerald should be vivid. You will find that an emerald ring will have a colour that subtly changes between the natural daylight and the artificial light of a lamp, offering a stunning nuanced vitality.

In the grading of emeralds, colour is by far the most important criterion. The more vivid the colour, the more valuable the emerald. Clarity is also very important, however, fine inclusions do not diminish their value. Even with inclusions, an emerald that holds a deep, lively green will still have a much higher value than an almost flawless emerald of paler colouring. Inclusions in an emerald are markers of its identity. Specialists call them jardin (French for ‘garden’) as a poetic reference to small, tender green plants that grow naturally in the emerald’s garden.

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Many people today seek out emerald jewellery for the symbolic nature of its colouring, which draws out associations with vitality and faithfulness, making it a natural choice for engagement rings or custom concept-based designs such as the celebration of life.  Talk to us today about how we can use emerald gemstone in a special piece for you!

Have a look at our other gemstone jewellery here.