Alternative rings have risen in popularity in recent years thanks to celebrities showing off all their customized engagement rings, like Lady Gaga’s famous heart-shaped ring. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a celebrity to present your love with a custom ring.
Creating a ring from a custom design is a special process that will make your proposal even more memorable.
Unlike picking a finished design from a jeweler, your ideas and preferences are part of each step. It allows you to blend details of your unique love story into your design or create your partner’s ideal ring.
Designing a custom piece will take more work and time than buying a traditional one. Read on to learn about what details to keep in mind while crafting your perfect, custom ring.
1. Do Your Homework
The first thing you should do is research. You don’t need to become a ring expert in a few days, but walking into a jewelry store with some knowledge of your options can only help.
When it comes to rings, research gems, cuts, band materials, and other parts that make up a ring. If you are lost on where to start, look at pictures of other engagement rings to find out what you like.
You could show a jeweler a picture or drawing of the ring design you want as a starting-off point. With the expert designers at Finer Jewelry, you could simply tell us your ideas and story and we’ll show you our ideas of how to bring that to life.
You’ll also want to research your partner’s taste in jewelry, color, and style. If you don’t already know, take a look at any other jewelry they wear.
Take note of any gem shapes or designs that your partner leans towards. Are the jewelry pieces big and ornate or understated? Clues like this can guide you while designing your ring. You can also dig through their Pinterest page for clues.
Doing some homework before your first appointment with a jeweler means you can begin the adventure with confidence. Even so, don’t be afraid to ask your jeweler any and all questions you have throughout the process.
Jewelers are experts in their field and have experience helping their customers create jewelry designed to last a lifetime. Don’t be afraid to ask for their opinions if you’re unsure or undecided.
2. Set a Budget First
Another thing you should have in mind before you walk into a jewelry store is a set budget. The days of saving “two months’ salary” for a ring are long gone. Do some research on “custom design ring” pricing and find a comfortable price range to set your budget at.
Keep in mind that custom jewelry may contain special gems and is one-of-a-kind. If you know you want to design an elaborate ring, make a budget with a range that will cover any additional costs. A custom ring can also be less expensive than a traditional one.
It’s important to remember there may be additional costs that you should include in your budget. Sales tax on an engagement ring can be pricey since a ring is a big purchase and decide if you want to purchase jewelry insurance as well.
It can be helpful to decide beforehand if you want to make a budget for your engagement ring alone or if you want to create one ring budget that includes your wedding rings also.
Make sure to ask yourself the important questions when you sit down to figure out a ring budget.
How important is carat count to your partner? Would your partner prefer you to spend more money on a bigger gem or put some of that money towards other wedding items? Do you mind waiting however long it will take to save up the correct amount of money?
There are no right or wrong answers here! Be honest with yourself about the answers and your income. With these things in mind, setting a budget will be easier than you think.
3. Be Open to Collaboration
One of the most important things to remember about designing a custom ring is that the process is a consistent collaboration between you and your jeweler.
While it is good to walk into a jewelry store with an idea of what kind of design or gems you want, you should also be open to suggestions or changes from your jeweler.
They are experienced in designing rings and working with every kind of material and stone in the shop. They know the right questions to ask and are likely used to taking customer notes or changes and making them come to life.
Decide what components of your design are set in stone first. Does your partner have their heart set on one specific kind of stone? Or is there a preferred cut you’re absolutely set on?
Find out which elements, if any, you are attached to. This will make collaborating even easier and will give your jeweler a clear idea of what you’re looking for and what areas you’re still looking for suggestions on.
Don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions you have. With such an important purchase, you should feel confident with each choice you make throughout the process. Make sure you’re also comfortable voicing any concerns you have or changes you want to make.
Remember that your jeweler is a professional who is experienced in collaborating and wants to make sure you get your perfect custom ring.
4. Think Outside the Box
The best part about designing a custom ring is that you get to present it to your loved one knowing it was made just for them. It gives you a chance to create something just as special as your relationship, with just as many special details.
Non-traditional wedding rings are a way to remind your partner how much they mean to you. So don’t be afraid to design your ring with your extraordinary love story in mind.
Many couples are forgoing diamond rings for non-traditional or colorful gemstones. Think of your partner’s favorite color, their birthstone, or a color that represents your anniversary date.
You can also choose an eye-catching or meaningful shape outside of the normal square or round center gems. Shapes like a marquise design or an octagonal stone will be eye-catching without straying too far from traditional cuts.
If you want to think beyond the norm, consider shapes like a flower cut, a heart, or something you come up with on your own. You can also pick a custom band that is detailed or features engraving on the inside.
5. Plan Accordingly
One thing to keep in mind is that a custom piece will take more time. Because the process begins from scratch, it could take anywhere from several weeks to several months. So, if you’re planning to pop the question on a specific day, plan well in advance!
The process begins with your design. How long will it take you to nail down some ideas you’re happy with?
You also have to take into account that the ring designing process includes several steps that will need your approval and feedback.
At Finer Jewelry, our team of experts will create a virtual mock-up of your ring design after your first appointment but before designing the ring’s mold to ensure you’re happy.
The next step is creating a wax model mold of your ring design, which will give you the best idea of how the ring’s elements look together. Your ring will not move on to the final stage of production until you have approved of and are happy with this design.
Finally, once the ring is ready, we’ll lovingly place it in a luxurious box so it’s ready when you are.
All these parts of the process take time as such a special item cannot be rushed. Make sure to plan ahead for all these steps and any unforeseen changes that may pop up.
Remember, there will be many like-minded couples who will be getting engaged at the same time you are. Leave plenty of time around holidays and summer, as these are times when people typically get engaged.
Start Designing a Custom Ring Today
Now you know all the ins and outs of designing a unique, custom ring. Each step takes care, intentionality, and collaboration, but it’s worth it to witness the look on your loved one’s face when they see it.
If you’re looking to propose to your partner and want to design a custom ring to symbolize your special union, look no further than Finer Jewelry. Contact us today to start your ring design process.