An engagement ring is a special piece of jewelry, and one that you will be wearing for the rest of your life. It’s an important, and often fairly expensive, purchase that you should really think about. So of course it makes sense that you want it to be perfect. And yes, there are endless options on the market when it comes to engagement rings. There are diamonds and colored gemstones, gold in a multitude of colors, or platinum and palladium. There are styles for everyone, whether you prefer traditional, organic, modern, or vintage designs.
But what happens when you feel like you’ve seen all there is to offer, yet nothing speaks to you personally? Nothing appeals to you enough that you would want to wear it on your finger indefinitely or propose to your significant other with it? Well, that is where the option of custom design comes in. One of the obvious benefits to custom design is that no one else will have the ring you have. You’ll never walk down the street or sit in a restaurant and recognize your ring on someone else’s finger. It’s unique to you, which is something to feel excited about.
There are many jewelers who offer this option in various formats. It’s definitely recommended that you do your research, read plenty of testimonials or online reviews, call or chat online, or even visit the jeweler in person to make sure that you feel comfortable and that you have a good rapport with those who will be responsible for making your ring come to life for you. A master jeweler will have many years of experience and be confident in his or her abilities to assist you with your important project. They will ask all the necessary questions to help you better determine what exactly you’re looking for.
When it comes to a custom designed engagement ring, the truth is that the sky’s the limit. There are truly endless options, so it’s helpful to have a roadmap of where to start and what questions you need to ask yourself:
- What metal do I want the ring made in? This is important because there are several different options to choose from.
- Of course gold [14kt and 18kt (which is the softer of the two options)] is available in white, yellow, and rose gold typically. Some jewelers even offer green gold, which looks very similar to yellow with just a very slight hint of green.
- Platinum, which is a very sturdy metal and is often recommended when setting larger center stones. It does tend to feel heavier than gold when on the hand, so keep that in mind when making your decision.
- Some jewelers do offer alternative metals, although they are not often recommended for use in engagement rings, as they are more difficult to work with and can create problems during the production of your special ring.
- What is the finger size? If this is a surprise, there are several ways you can try to determine the correct finger size, such as measuring your partner’s ring finger while they sleep, or borrowing a ring they wear often to have it measured by a jeweler in your area. Many jewelers will offer the option of sizing the ring if it doesn’t fit perfectly, but of course it is best to try and get as close as possible.
- What style would I like the ring made in? Is the intended wearer more traditional? If so, perhaps a solitaire would be best. Or a classic ring with a straight band and some diamonds down the side. Or are they more daring with their personal style? Perhaps they would like colored gemstones set along the band, or a more intricate setting style. The right jeweler will ask you questions about your significant other to guide you in the right direction when it comes to the design.
- What center stone would I like for the ring? There are also endless options when it comes to this. These include:
- Natural diamonds mined from the earth
- Lab grown diamonds, which are identical in chemical composition and physical appearance to a natural diamond. The only difference is that they are grown above ground as opposed to below ground.
- Moissanite, which is a man made diamond alternative
- Colored gemstones, such as ruby, sapphire, emerald, topaz, aquamarine, etc
- What is my time frame for the proposal? Since custom designing an engagement ring is an involved process, it is recommended that you allow 4-6 weeks for the process, so it’s best to start early and allow yourself time to make changes along the way if you so desire.
- What is my budget? It is true that a custom designed ring will almost always cost more than a ring you choose out of a showcase. It’s important to determine what budget you are comfortable with and to communicate this to the jeweler so they can assist you in making the ring to fit within your budget. There’s nothing to be gained from feeling like you’re stretching yourself financially during this important time in your life.
It’s also important to understand the custom design process, which you should take one step at a time:
- Design - this is when you will meet with the jeweler to discuss all of the previous questions. You will likely be provided with a sketch for approval before moving on to the next step.
- Wax model - the jeweler will carve a wax model of your ring, something tangible that you can touch and see from all angles to give you an idea of what your ring will look like.
- Casting - your wax model will be cast in the metal of your choice
- Setting - any stones that you have chosen will be set in your ring according to the setting style you previously discussed with the jeweler
- Polishing and finishing - your ring will be polished to a bright finish (unless you have chosen an alternative finish such a satin, sandblast, or hammered)
- Quality control - your ring will be checked under a microscope for any loose stones, scratches, or other issues with the metal. It needs to be absolutely perfect for you!
At the end of the day, the engagement ring that you choose needs to reflect the wearer and the relationship that it represents. So, can you get an engagement ring custom design? Yes, of course! And in summary, these are the steps we recommend you follow in order to purchase a custom designed engagement ring:
- Do your research
- Ask the right questions of yourself and the jeweler
- Know your budget
- Be creative and have fun!