Are you getting engaged soon, and do you want to do something special for the one special person in your life? Why not try designing your own engagement ring? While you were once restricted to buying only ready-made engagement rings, you now have the option of customizing your ring.
Don’t worry if you know nothing about jewelry customization. You can draw inspiration from other rings and then customize your ring from scratch with the perfect stone, metal, setting and band thickness.
Share or follow this step to step guide that covers all the steps you should take when designing the dream engagement ring for yourself or loved one.
Plan your budget
First and foremost, set a budget to decide how much you can afford, and then STICK TO IT. It is tempting to go overboard or be swayed if you start shopping without a budget. This is a bad plan, as not many people know how much a diamond costs, and you’ll probably end up eyeing a rock that’s above budget.
A ring setting generally costs between $1,500 to $12,000, and is dependent on things like design, metal, and if you plan to use only diamonds or also precious stones in your ring.
Use an inspiration board
With your budget in mind, it’s time to get creative, but in an organized way. Create an inspiration board to keep track of what you like and dislike about different rings and their design elements. Not only notes; the more ring pictures and sketches you have on the board, the easier it is for you and your jeweler to design the ring of your dreams.
Select the right jeweler
Talking about jewelers, it’s very important to pick a reputable vendor. Buying your stone from an ethical jeweler assures you are paying for a real diamond, getting a good price, and being shown a variety of choices. You can use references or read reviews from reliable sites and sources to help you choose the right jeweler.
Try a few rings
Once you choose your jeweler, have your loved one try a few rings to find her true ring size, and seeing what ring type best complements her hand the best. You also get an idea of her preferred metal, thickness, and diamond setting. Take note of all these tidbits and try to incorporate them into your design.
Choosing the main stone
The highlight of an engagement ring is it’s central stone. They way to choose it wisely is by keeping the 4 Cs in mind. They are:
- Carat: which denotes the diamond weight. Keep in mind that the biggest stone isn’t always the heaviest.
- Cut: the shape of the diamond, such as round, rectangle, teardrop, and so on. Remember each type of stone looks different on each setting. Try to match the two together so that more light passes through the stone, increasing the appearance of brilliance and diamond size. For example, a round, brilliant cut brings out a diamond’s fire by reflecting the most light, while the step cut emphasizes on the stone’s clarity rather than sparkle.
- Clarity: here you’re looking for a clear rock, preferably with minimal or no air bubbles, color, or debris.
- Color: colorless stones are the best. Diamonds are graded as ‘D’ for colorless stones and decreases to Z ratings based on how much brown or yellow color the stone has. Normally, the cut off for an ideal engagement ring is ‘H’.
Find the perfect setting
When you’ve choose your stone, it’s time to move on to the perfect setting. While the oldest and most popular settings are solitaire and three stone, there are others exciting options to choose from like prong, channel, pave, bezel, and flush settings.
The solitaire is the most economical option, and allows you to use a bigger stone. The pave settings are a bit more expensive because tiny diamonds have to be skillfully set in a particular pattern.
While the metal collar in a bezel setting wraps around, and helps the diamond protrude from the ring, the diamond’s top level is level with the metal band in a flush setting. Adding smaller gems to both of these setting’s collar gives it an interesting design.
Brilliant, small, and round diamonds look great in a channel setting which positions them in a channel below the ring surface.
Take a look at them all to see what jumps out at you. Don’t be afraid to compare multiple times.
Choose your metal
It’s now time to choose your ring metal from an ever growing list of available options. Go with the classic gold or platinum, or choose based on your preferred color, shine, and durability.
You can also choose the metal based on her lifestyle- if she’s a glamours woman, a 14k gold or platinum ring is a should come to mind. Light colored metals like platinum or white gold enhance the stone’s brightness, and are great for women who like to dazzle.
Yellow or rose gold are ideal choices for a contemporary look. Do remember though, while yellow gold and platinum don’t require much maintenance, white gold should be re-plated every few years.
Decided on your design
With your chosen stone, setting, and metal in mind, it’s now down to your imagination to create a uniquely designed engagement ring. Refer to your preferences and inspiration board for guidance. You can add color to the ring by adding different gemstones like your or your partner’s birthstone, or your favorite colored stone to it. Do make sure these stones’ cutting, clarity, and cut complements the center stone.
Don’t rush the process
Wedding rings may not be your thing, and it may be tempting to quickly decided on a design, try to take your time. Remember, this is the ring you’re going to use to ask the most important person in the world to spend the rest of their life with you. A ring that your partner will wear for the rest of their life. Don’t do things in a hurry.
Having said that though, you will want to get started on the process early. Customizing a ring is not something you can do overnight. Usually, it takes between a few weeks to a few months to complete a ring, from start to end. Your jeweler may ask for a few digital renders, or may even create a few wax molds to try out before you give your final approval.
Get a quote
Before you get started on your masterpiece, always remember to get a quote from your jeweler before actual production begins. This way you won’t be surprised with any hidden cost later. It is also important to ask if there are any fees for revisions, sizing, or other changes in the future.
Don’t forget the wedding band
Bonus points if you’re forward looking enough to keep the wedding band in mind while designing the ring so that they compliment each other. Again, feel free to get creative with a wrap around band or curve band, if the engagement ring allows for it. This will add that last, extra, touch of personalization and uniqueness to you’re loved ones ring.
Last but not least, make sure everything you discuss with your designer like the ring cost, stone, metal and design are agreed upon, written and signed by both you and the designer. This helps prevent future complications.
Designing an engagement ring seems so much easier with these 11 tips in hand! They’ll help even a novice shine almost as brightly as that perfect ring you’ll create.