Your partnership is unlike any other. As you're considering the most meaningful way to propose marriage to your partner, you'll also need to consider your choice of engagement ring. While you can find a vast range of pre-made rings in any jewelry store, there's nothing quite as special as designing an engagement ring yourself. Working with an experienced jeweler, you can turn nearly any vision into a stunning reality and make your proposal truly unique.
Image via Unsplash by andrejackson
Before you dive into the intricacies of creating a custom engagement ring, it's best to step back and seek out some general inspiration. You might start a Pinterest board of engagement rings that you love, or create an inspiration board where you can arrange ideas in a collage-style format. Some people may want to take over the entire process and design a one-of-a-kind surprise for their partner. Other couples may prefer to work together on this project.
With a collection of images in hand, you'll have a general idea of the type of ring that you want. This will give you a head start in the design process and will help you find the right jeweler for your needs.
Every piece of jewelry has its own style, so it's important to find one with an aesthetic that fits your own. Take your inspiration board to different jewelers and discuss the type of custom jewelry that you're interested in. Each jeweler may offer different suggestions for how to proceed. These answers will help you identify the professional who best fits your project.
Ask each jeweler for samples of their work. Browsing a custom design gallery from that individual will give you a better idea of their style and capabilities. This gallery may also give you new inspiration for your own custom ring.
A custom engagement ring isn't something that you can put together at the last minute. If you have a specific date in mind for your proposal, it's crucial that you share this with your jeweler and set the appropriate start date for your project. Depending on the complexity of the project and the number of alterations you need, designing a custom ring may take months. Get started as early as you can.
Select the Materials
One of the first steps in the design process is material selection. You need to choose both the metal and the stones that you want to use for your custom engagement ring. The most common options for engagement ring metals include:
- Yellow Gold: This is gold in its most natural state. The higher the karat the softer the gold, so you will typically want 14-karat gold for durability.
- White Gold: Enjoy the appearance of platinum at a lower price point. White gold is usually available in 14-karat and 18-karat options. Over time, it will need to be re-plated to maintain its color.
- Rose Gold: This gold and copper alloy has a pinkish hue and has gained popularity in recent years.
- Platinum: This rare and valuable metal is strong and bright. It retains its brilliance long into the future.
Diamonds are the most traditional choice for engagement ring stones, but they're far from the only option. With a custom ring, you can choose any stone that you'd like. You may also choose to incorporate several stones. Some options include:
- Amethyst: This purple stone looks stunning with rose gold, white gold, or platinum.
- Sapphire: Traditional sapphires are blue, but you can also find pink, yellow, green, and white options.
- Emerald: These deep-green stones are stunning against yellow gold.
- Garnet: Deep red in hue, garnets are gorgeous with pearls or diamonds.
- Opal: Opals offer a touch of vintage style. They reflect a rainbow of colors, creating a dazzling piece.
Selecting the type of gem is only the first step. You'll also need to seek out the specific stone that you want in your ring once the full design is complete. When you're selecting a stone, you need to consider the Four C's: Clarity, Cut, Color, and Carat.
Consider the Shape and Setting
Once you have your stones in mind, you'll need to determine what shape they should be and the type of setting that will hold them in place. You should settle on these details before you buy a stone to make sure that your selection will work for the specific ring that you're designing. Some popular shapes you might consider include:
- Pear Shaped.
- Marquise Cut.
- Cushion Cut.
- Emerald Cut.
- Radiant Cut.
- Asscher Cut.
The stone setting refers to the way the stone is secured in your ring. The type of setting you select will greatly impact the overall appearance of the ring and how the shape of the stone is highlighted. Some popular settings include:
- Micro Pavé.
Within these settings are further options for customization, such as the number of prongs or the type of bezel. Your jewelry designer will walk you through all the details and choices available.
Get a Sketch of the Pair
Once you've completed your design, you'll receive a sketch of the finished ring. It's important to include at least a general idea of what style wedding ring will accompany the engagement ring. Before the date of your wedding, you will need a custom wedding ring that coordinates with your engagement ring and fits neatly beside it. This initial sketch gives you the opportunity to quickly make adjustments to the design. Some jewelers may produce a sketch by hand, while others use computer software to show you the ring.
Examine the Wax Model
Your approved sketch becomes a wax model so you can examine a 3D representation of the ring before your jeweler makes the final product. You can easily ask for alterations to the wax model, but it's more difficult to make changes when the ring is finished. After you've approved the wax model, your jewelry designer will begin making your completed engagement ring.
If you're ready to design your custom engagement ring, contact our team at Martin Busch Jewelers. We can help you get started on an unforgettable journey.