Choosing an engagement ring is difficult; in fact, many agonize over the decision for months. Ironically, this struggle, which people have because they’re so focused on pleasing their future fiancees, may only make their partners more nervous. The long process of selecting an engagement ring may be interpreted as someone dragging their feet over getting engaged in the first place. The fact is that it may seem like the perfect engagement ring doesn’t exist because it… doesn’t. At least, not yet. Engagement rings, like any type of fashion, tend to circle around a few specific styles that the majority of recipients do love. For that matter, though clear diamonds have not always been the mainstream stones of choice, they have become so in recent decades, to the point that it has become difficult for shoppers to find rings that both seem like engagement rings and feature stones that are not clear diamonds. Add to this budgetary demands as well as the way that specific types of rings may or may not mesh correctly with a recipient’s personal style, and it’s no wonder that this decision is often so difficult. Indeed, it may seem impossible to find a ring that both fits a budget, offers a certain kind of stone, is in the right setting and style, and is well-crafted. This is why many shoppers find themselves seeking out custom-designed engagement rings.
Designing a custom engagement ring doesn’t have to be extremely expensive, the way that designing a custom wedding gown may often be. A lot of high quality jewelry designers make designing a custom engagement ring extremely accessible, and in some cases, it can be more affordable to design a one of a kind ring than it would be to buy one that was already designed ahead of time. Designing a custom ring means that shoppers can be sure that their future spouse will love the ring; either because they know that they’re designing exactly what they’re looking for, or because they’re ensuring that the recipient is a part of the design process. Including your future spouse in the design process, if they want to be included, isn’t a bad thing. A lot of people love being a part of the shopping and designing process; and after all, if you’ve discussed your wedding beforehand, the proposal isn’t going to be a total surprise anyway! Nonetheless, creating a custom ring is very different from buying a ring outright. There is a specific process to keep in mind.
1. Take Timing Into Account
If you’d like to get engaged in March, don’t begin designing a ring in February. Designing a ring always takes more time, from the communications process to the actual physical creation of the ring. Even shopping for a good jeweler can take weeks. Right now, just 33% of all retailers have the necessary mobile technology to show consumers their inventory online, and many jewelers remain largely closed or on limited hours due to COVID-19. In short, begin the process early.
2. Save Those Inspo Images
Having inspiration, or “inspo” images ready to show a jeweler is important. Yes, you may know the basic design that you’re interested in, but you also may want certain tweaks made, and that can be easier to illustrate through pictures than they would be verbally. Use websites like Instagram and Pinterest to save images to show to your jeweler, and read up on basic styles to make the conversation easier. For example, the solitaire style is that typical ring you often see, known since 1886 by its single diamond set on a band. But then, if you’re looking to design a custom ring, it’s probably not going to be a solitaire!
3. Choose Your Elements
Once you’ve selected a jeweler, a process which in itself can take a few tries, you need to start picking out the specific elements of your ring. Begin with the metal. The standard types of metals for engagement rings include yellow gold, white gold, silver, or platinum. Other less standard metals might include rose gold or even recycled metals if you’d like to be more sustainable. Next will come the stone. Again, diamonds are more typical; it’s estimated that 75% of all American brides receive engagement rings made from gold and diamonds. But other stones, like sapphires, emeralds, colored diamonds like yellow or pink diamonds, and even especially unique stones like pearls and opals are often loved for their unique flair. Many people design custom rings because they know that their loved one doesn’t want a more standard stone. Then you’ll choose a cut for the stone. The cut that you choose may be dependent on the stone that you’ve selected, but options include a princess cut, a cushion cut, oval, emerald, pear, radiant, and much more. Once a cut is chosen, you’ll finally end with a setting, of which there are even more options! Channel, cathedral, and halo settings are where you can stop.
4. Select The Wedding Band
If you’re creating a custom engagement ring, you’ll also want to create a wedding band to go with it. Engagement rings and wedding bands are meant to go together, which is why it’s a good idea to design a band at the same time that you’re designing an engagement ring. Furthermore, a lot of jewelers offer deals to those who have engagement rings and wedding bands designed together.
5. Make Additional Customizations If Necessary
At this point, your process is going to be dependent on how your jeweler works! There will usually be a few further customizations, and you’ll then be giving feedback to your jeweler as needed. Again, this is why you plan out well in advance. But provided you chose a jeweler you work well with, the process should be smooth.
One of the best things about a custom engagement ring is that nobody else will have that kind of ring exactly. Take your time, choose your customizations, and get excited about the ring!