Building a Custom Engagement Ring is Worth the Investment
Building your own custom engagement ring takes patience, hard work, and time, but it ensures that you get a ring that is truly unique. She will feel really special knowing that this ring was made especially for her.
Another great thing about creating your own ring is that you can decide how extravagant or simple you want it to be according to your budget. Custom made rings can be up to three times more expensive than buying off the shelf because it is very labor intensive, but you are creating a little work of art that she will treasure forever.
Creating Your Own Ring
There are many websites and dealers that allow you to create your own ring from scratch. You can save some money by designing your ring online, but you take a risk with sizing and not actually getting an up-close look at your stone. Working directly with a local jeweler will allow you more control over your end result. You can save money by purchasing loose stones online and taking them into a jeweler for a custom setting. Just be sure you are dealing with a reputable company when buying online.
Designing a custom ring for your soon-to-be fiancée is a romantic gesture that is sure to impress, but how can you be sure she is going to like it?
First, look at her clothing. Is she more traditional or flamboyant? Vintage or modern? Look at her current jewelry.
Does she like big, flashy pieces or does she keep it simple?
Does she usually wear gold or silver jewelry? Enlist some help. Ask her best friend, sister, mother, whoever is closest to her, to help design it. They can steer you in the right direction, plus, you’ll gain the admiration of the woman closest to your girlfriend (which never hurts).
Ring Creation Process
Give yourself plenty of time to complete this process. Browse jewelry stores; figure out what you think looks good and would suit her style. Browse the internet for other custom made rings. Figure out what you think works and doesn’t. If your girlfriend is trendy, see what her favorite celebrities are wearing on their fingers.
Bring in pictures or even sketches to your jeweler. Next, you have to find the perfect jeweler (or website) to bring your ideas to life. You need to be absolutely comfortable with your company, as it can involve a lot of back-and-forth discussion during the design process.
It can take 6 weeks or more after you finalize your design and place an order to get delivery, so do not rush yourself (or your jeweler). Also allow time after delivery to make your final approval. You may have to send it back if it is not what you were promised.
Whether you are dealing with an online company or local jeweler, get everything in writing.
From the information about the quality of your stone, to the expected delivery date.
Also be sure to get an appraisal form, as you will need it for insurance purposes.
Choosing a Metal
A good place to start is choosing a metal. Many engagement rings are made from platinum. Platinum is a good choice because of its durability. It resists scratches and corrosion, so it will stay beautiful and shiny for years to come. It is also strong, so it will hold stones in better than gold or silver. Some disadvantages are that platinum is heavier and more expensive than gold and silver.
White gold is a less expensive, more malleable alternative to platinum. It looks just as good, but is not as durable and will dull over time. If you would like a more antique or vintage look (which is gaining a lot of popularity), traditional yellow gold is a great choice. Titanium (the material airplanes are made of) has gained popularity because it is hypoallergenic and extremely durable, but it cannot be formed into intricate designs or resized.
Choosing a Gemstone
Next, choose your gemstone(s). Diamonds are, of course, the obvious choice, but many brides-to-be are choosing to put his and hers birthstones into the design as well. Some women are choosing to go with a non-traditional stone all together, such as a sapphire or emerald. When choosing a diamond, you have probably heard of the “Five C’s”: cut, color, clarity, carat, and cost.
The first four “C’s” will determine your cost. There are about 10 shapes to choose from: round, princess, oval, emerald, marquise, heart, Asscher, radiant, pear, and cushion. Determine which cut best suits her style, from the classic princess, to the more unique heart-shaped diamond, the cut will determine the entire style of the ring. As far as quality goes, choose a stone that looks great to you.
To the untrained eye, it is hard to tell the subtle differences in clarity and color, so go with what you like. Look carefully for obvious flaws and examine the way it reflects the light. Do not allow yourself to be talked into spending more than you want. If you think it’s beautiful, she will too. If you are buying online, do your research. Make sure you are dealing with a trustworthy company.
Choosing a Setting
Next is the setting. A popular choice is to pick one larger, centerpiece stone and flank it on both sides with a string of smaller stones around the band. But, again, the great thing with a custom design is that you can do whatever you want! Many people choose intricately woven designs and symbols.
Choose how thick you want the band to be. Would she prefer a chunkier or smaller band? This is also a good time to think about the wedding band. Do you want to create a custom wedding band as well, or will you be able to find one off the shelf to match? Most of the time, the wedding band is later fused with the engagement ring, so keep this in mind when creating your design. Jewelers are also able to create interlocking rings that don’t require you to take them in to be fused, the engagement ring simply locks into a custom made band.
Most jewelers will have a computer-aided design program that will allow you play around with different metals, stones, cuts, and settings. This also a benefit of designing online. Most jewelers can also make a three-dimensional wax mold so you can actually hold it in your hand and look at the setting before you order it.
Sizing Your Engagement Ring
So, now that you know exactly what kind of ring you want to design, how do you choose the size? The good news is that most rings can be resized. Gold and silver rings are relatively easy and inexpensive to resize, whereas platinum can be a bit more expensive and difficult.
Ask your jeweler if they offer discounts or even free resizing on engagement rings. Another option is to borrow a sizer from your jeweler and measure one of her current rings. This can be tricky unless you have access to her home when she’s not around, so don’t get caught sneaking around. After all, you do want her to say yes when you pop the question!
Get creative, but trust your jeweler. They know best what works, and what does not. Even though you may see an amazing design in your head, it may not be practical. So, stand by your design and creativity to a point, but know that you must trust a professional’s advice. In the end, you want her to know that this ring really was from your heart.
Presenting her with a custom engagement ring shows that, just like the ring, you think she is special and unique. So, yes, designing your own ring is hard work and time consuming. But it will pay off when you see her, beaming with pride, as she shows off her new ring that her fiancé custom made just for her.