If you’ve read my ‘proposal story‘ you’ll know it was a little unconventional. To put a short story even shorter, after 8 years together, Blair proposed out of nowhere, surprising both of us. He had been doing some ‘Engagement Ring Reconnaissance’ without my knowledge, and had considered creating a bespoke engagement ring for me, but had literally no idea where to start.
In the end, he decided that he would prefer I chose my own, or that we design a custom engagement ring together, so he proposed without a ring. I have to admit, I’m actually happy that he did, as I had the flexibility to choose whichever ring I wanted (within reason/budget!).
I have to admit, I’m pretty glad that he did, I’m a bit fussy anyway, and it was such a cool experience to choose my own (very Sweet Home Alabama)!
Whether he proposes sans ring or rock, or chooses the diamond itself and you design the ring together, there’s a few things to know about creating a bespoke engagement ring. I can’t claim to have all the answers myself, but Nicola Baker of The Diamond Shop recently helped the gorgeous Marleen to design her own engagement ring, which turned out beautifully, so I have asked her to help with a few of them which you might have!
Nic: Creating your very own bespoke engagement ring may have always been your dream, and as soon as he’s proposed, you are already picturing that dream ring on your finger!
Having a Budget
Many men now are choosing to buy the centre diamond or stone of the engagement ring to propose with – we present this in a temporary setting called the “Yes” ring. The purchase of the centre diamond is often around 90% of the cost of the engagement ring itself, so from his point of view, he has a bit of control over the cost, while you still get to design whichever style of ring you like.
Whether he has already purchased the diamond, or you both come into store to choose one, it’s helpful to have an idea of the budget to keep within. I’m very conscious to working to a couple’s budget, however big or small, and can suggest the best ways to maximise the look of the diamond, or assist you to choose one that will have the most sparkle.
Design your Bespoke Engagement Ring
Beginning the design of your bespoke engagement ring is a daunting task for many, but in the 30-plus years I’ve been in the jewellery industry, I’ve thought of everything to quash those fears.
The first step is making an appointment with an expert to sit down and really ‘nut out’ what you have in mind, and what you would like to achieve with your overall budget. An jewellery expert will be able to guide you on the right path and talk about different shapes of diamonds which complement your design, along with the shape of your hand. They will also clarify how much of this budget is allocated to the setting and how much for the centre diamond or stone. Many couples come to me with just a few ideas, or a few photos, and I work with them to translate those into an actual design that I know will meet all their expectations – there’s no need to worry about not liking it when it’s made!
Sourcing the Diamond and Creating a Model
After your initial appointment, it is then up to the expert to search diamonds globally within your budget for one that will work beautifully for your design.
Your jeweller will keep you updated with their findings, and once you are happy with the selection, the next step is to turn those ideas into a ring image. This is done though a software program which transitions those ideas with the perfect measurements of the diamonds selected including your finger size into a visual reality so that you can view your very own bespoke design in 4 different angles. From there any tweaks can be made to fine tune your design whether it be softening the band, tapering the band, changing the shape of the claws etc.
So, the renders look great but how will it look on my finger is your next concern. We admit these CAD renders are often very chunky which is the software program and sometimes a little hard to imagine how fine your ring will look once its made so to set aside those fears the next stage is to produce a resin mould – which is an exact replica of how your ring will look when its finished.
Moment of Truth – Your Ring Arrives!
Our expert jewellers have decades of experience, and can create your completely custom ring within just a couple of weeks. We’ll put your mind at ease in the meantime, communicating with you about the progress of your ring, and looking forward to welcoming you back to finally try on your bespoke engagement ring – our favourite moment of the whole experience!
If you have any questions at all about this process, or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me – [email protected], or come into our store at 280 Queen Street while our Relocation Sale is on!
Read more: Marleen’s Bespoke Engagement Ring journey