It is silly to assume that because you love somebody you are required to have a deep understanding of their jewellery preferences. A non sequitur if ever there was one. Plus, it puts an unnecessary pressure on both the bride and groom to be, or bride and bride to be, or groom and groom to be. So rather than buying Engagement rings before the proposal, couples are opting to design their engagement and wedding rings together. We love this idea!
What could be more appropriate, more romantic, and more fun than designing a unique piece of jewellery together? It's pretty exciting! How often do you create a piece of jewellery perfectly tailored to you? But how to begin?
That's where we step in. Here are some tips on designing bespoke engagement and wedding rings.
1. Start Early
Time is of the essence. To give you a rough idea, if someone were to walk in now and ask for a bespoke engagement ring the whole process would probably take between 6-8 weeks. This includes the initial consultation, approving the final design, and then hand crafting the piece. So, make the process as enjoyable as possible and start early!
2. Know what you want
These rings are a reflection of your personalities, your love, and your future together. Jewellery that will be cherished by generations to come. Don't let anyone talk you into commissioning something you don't absolutely love. It's helpful if you come into the consultation prepared. Read through magazines, tear out images you like, look through antique jewellery shops, take photographs, bring in a material or pattern you love or one of your favourite works of art, even your favourite flower - all of this can help us to understand your vision. The only voice that matters is yours so let yourself free and tell us what you want.
3. Think about your other jewellery
What do you like to wear at the moment? Do you wear a lot of jewellery? Are your fingers so weighed down with stackable rings that you can hardly lift them? Are you super modern or do you prefer classic styles? A huge pink diamond might suit you at the moment - but are you going to be able to wear it in years to come? Will your engagement ring compliment the clothes you tend to wear? Try and work out what you like - if you don't wear a lot of jewellery at the moment maybe something simple and unobtrusive is best? Or perhaps, because you don't wear much jewellery you'd want to opt for a grand and show stopping style. It's up to you, have a ponder.
4. What do you get up to?
You are going to be wearing these for a long time. Well, hopefully anyway. So have a think about what sort of rings will best suit your life style. If you are planning on wearing your engagement and wedding rings every day then consider how active your lifestyle is. Do you work outside? Are you incredibly sporty? Do you garden every day? Cook large meals? Are you always running around sorting everything out? If you’re thinking yes, then consider having a lower set diamond closer to the finger with an enclosed rub over setting. This will mean that your ring is less likely to catch on things and less likely to be damaged.
If you are a person of leisure then the world is your oyster!
5. Which stone?
To diamond or not to diamond, that is the question. Diamonds are beautiful, but so are emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and to be quite honest, everything else. What are the differences between them? The luscious green emerald is perfect for someone who leads a lifestyle of leisure, they are quite soft stones so best for those who don't use their hands very often. Rubies and sapphires are resilient while diamonds are almost indestructible. White diamonds tend to be very popular choices, but as we know from the beautiful ring worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, sapphires and alternative stones can be just as, if not more, stunning. The important things to bear in mind when choosing a stone are the four C's. Clarity. Cut. Colour. Carat.
6. Gold or Platinum? What fun.
Gold comes in a variety of colours so you are never short of choice. Yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold are equally rich in colour whilst able to stand the test of time. Rose and white gold tends to work best for those with a pale complexion and those with darker skin tones can wear all shades. Platinum is only available in one colour but tends to be slightly stronger than gold. Either way, think about both of your preferences and styles because these rings need to compliment both of you. Consider alternative materials such as carbon fiber for something tough and a bit different, which is always nice.
7. Cut of the stone
Emerald cut, princess cut, heart shaped cut, oval cut, pear cut, marquis cut, diamond type cut, baguette cut - so many cuts! Check out our examples of different cuts in our 'Engagement Ring Styles' blog post. This should give you a good idea of how to approach choosing the exact cut you would like.
8. Setting the stone
Are you planning on having a solitaire? Would you like a cluster or a halo of diamonds surrounding the central stone? How would you like the stone held? Four claw, six claw, eight claw? What does all of this mean? Have a little look at our 'Engagement Ring Styles' blog post where we go into this with greater detail.
Your engagement ring is going to sit alongside your wedding ring and it is lovely when these rings aesthetically harmonise. While designing your engagement ring think about what the wedding ring is going to look like. Do you and your partner want to have matching wedding rings? Will these rings share the same precious metal? If you are having rose gold wedding rings, it might be best not to have an engagement ring that clashes. Think about what you would like the overall effect of your rings to be - something to start contemplating.
10. Final touches
The beauty of designing bespoke engagement and wedding rings is that you can add idiosyncratic little touches. Engraving is a perfect way to do this. We have had couples engrave their wedding date on the inside band of their rings (so there is never an excuse to forget it), couples who engraved loving messages to each other, alternative couples who engraved explicit jokes to one another inside their ring bands (we can't even type them) and even couples who commissioned tiny engraved bunny rabbits. It's up to you!
How much would you like to spend? Different gemstones, precious metals and styles come with different price tags. There are plenty of ways to design a gorgeous ring that suits your style and your purse.