Even though there may be thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of different engagement ring styles, some couples feel that the best way to truly symbolize their unique love is to create their own work of wearable art. It is certainly doable and many couples do this! However, before starting this creative process, it is important to first look at the cost and time that it might require. After finding out all of these details, you can begin to build the ring of your dreams.
Should You Build Your Own Engagement Ring?
One of the main reasons couples consider creating their own engagement ring is that they have not found exactly what they envision in the stores. Another reason is they want to utilize some personal symbolism into the design which is meant to last a lifetime and be an heirloom piece. The freedom and flexibility of designing your own engagement ring is great advantage. Some of the things which can be designed or customized are:
Stone shape – More unique or unusual stone shapes may need a custom setting to accommodate the shape. This gives the couple an opportunity to have fun and keep the options open for any shape rather than go with a traditional round or square shape stone.
Setting style – the options are endless! Some mix traditional with more modern details, while others design a very modern and unique ring. Adding special twists, grooves, engravings, arches and halos otherwise difficult to find in a jewelry store.
Metal – There are many unique metals, colors or combinations one can use.
Type of stone – Often times white, colorless diamonds are the traditional choice. However, when one designs their own ring the options are endless. From a colored natural or synthetic diamond to colorful rubies, emeralds, sapphires or pearls, the options are endless.
Stone size – Another factor to consider is the size of the stone (or stones) involved in the setting. Perhaps there is an heirloom stone that is an unusual size or the bride may have a flair for very large stones in different arrangements. Either way, a custom ring can be made to accommodate any size of stone beautifully.
Once these main items are considered and discussed with the jeweler, a rough design of the ring can then be created. Many stores have computer design programs which can turn simple sketches into reality. Working with a jeweler who will allow the customer to make any change they want is helpful, but it is also important to remember to take suggestions from the professionals. Jewelers know what is and is not possible, and can gently guide the couple to the best and most feasible option for the design.
What To Consider When You Build Your Own Engagement Ring
There are many things to think about before and during building your own engagement ring. Here are the main considerations to remember before starting this process:
Budget and hidden costs
When designing your own engagement ring, it is critical to put a budget in place and stick with it. Knowing that a custom creation will cost more than an off the rack ring can help prepare one mentally and financially. It is important to be flexible with the things that can be changed or substituted before getting too deep into the process. For instance, opting for simulated or synthetic side stones can help keep the costs down.
Type of metal
Just as the quality and carat weight of a diamond determines the cost of a ring, so does the choice of metal. Keep in mind that the thicker and wider the band, the more expensive it will be due to using more gold or platinum to achieve this. Also consider the cost difference between 14K and 18K gold, or platinum verses palladium. There are always ways to trim the budget and still get that perfect ring.
Type of stone
Naturally, the type of stone has a significant impact on the cost of the ring. As always, a diamond will cost more than a white sapphire, ruby, emerald or other type of gemstone. Simulated diamonds or synthetic diamonds can be fantastic and affordable alternatives. There are over one hundred unique and beautiful gemstones to choose from if a diamond causes you to go over budget.
Stone or other special accents
A simple solitaire will cost much less than one with custom embellishments, designs and patterns. However, it can certainly be worthwhile to the couple who want special symbolism in their choice of engagement ring. Detailed filigree or antique patterns, twists, beaded details, hand engraving and unique stone patterns can all raise the design cost of the ring (while also raising the symbolism and unique nature of the piece!)
Matching wedding band
As customary for the bride, a wedding band is generally chosen to compliment the engagement ring. This may include adding special designs in order to complete and coordinate the look of the bridal set.
Choosing a Jeweler to Help Build Your Own Engagement Ring
One of the most important factors in this design process is finding the right jeweler. Many jewelry stores can tweak existing rings (to a certain extent) yet in order to create a ring from scratch, the jeweler needs to have the design abilities and know-how to do so. Because most jewelry stores offer rings that the general public find suitable for their needs, the demand for custom jewelry is not as great and the expense to do this can be significant (but ultimately worthwhile for some couples).
Before settling on one jeweler to create your dream engagement ring, shop around and see the different types of rings he or she has previously created. Most should have a portfolio with pictures and even prices upon request of past custom designs. This can be a powerful tool in determining both the quality and the price to expect for the ring. After the jeweler is chosen, they will sit down with you to do a preliminary sketch while you guide them along the way. Often times, a contract is required for this type of work and will help both parties come to an agreement on acceptable terms and conditions of the work. A good jeweler will keep you informed of the steps along the way and will not go forward with casting the ring until the customer signs off on it.
Building your own engagement ring can be a rewarding process which can capture the essence of your unique and special love. While it can be a time consuming and expensive process, it can also be highly satisfying knowing that you were involved in the creation of a piece of wearable art designed to last a lifetime.