Who doesn’t want an engagement ring that is one of a kind, created to reflect your personality and relationship? Customization doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be a daunting process if you don’t know where to start.
With an increasing number of couples seeking custom designed engagement rings, we decided to speak to engagement ring specialist Jason D’Heureux from Taylor and Hart, a leading engagement ring retailer based in UK. Jason gave us insight into the custom design engagement ring scene answering all our questions (and probably yours too!) on how to custom design your engagement ring.
What benefits does customization have over a ready-made engagement ring?
Today, everybody is looking for ways to express themselves–we’re living in a time where customization is becoming the norm.
The beauty of bespoke is that you get to create something beautiful that’s uniquely yours. The spectrum can run the gambit from a subtle tweak to a classic solitaire diamond ring, to creating a ring that can only tell the story of your relationship.
These days, everyone wants a customized engagement or wedding ring because anything less feels impersonal. Shoppers are no longer being constrained by the limiting options showcased on local jewelers’ shelves, thanks to the innovation of softwares like 3D CAD designs and printing.
Why wouldn’t you choose a bespoke ring if the price was the same as an off-the-shelf-piece?
What are the steps of customizing your engagement ring?
First, gather some ideas! Explore websites for inspiration and guidance on engagement ring styles, trends and precious gemstones, then share these ideas with your chosen jeweller.
Based on your ideas, requirements and price point, your design will be suddenly brought to life in the form of a 3D image of your ring. This is your time to give plenty of feedback, ask questions and consider any small tweaks. At Taylor & Hart, your design can be amended up to three times and this service is complimentary with no obligation.
Once you’re completely happy with your design, you’ll receive a final quote. Once you’ve completed your order, sit back to leave our master craftsmen to bring your ring to life.
Can customizing an engagement ring be done online?
Yes, of course–you have the freedom to choose the way to shop.
Like bouncing ideas off someone? Discuss your ideas over on the phone.
Want something a little more back-and-forth? Share your ideas on LiveChat.
If you’re a stickler for perfection and detail, visiting a showroom in person to see different options is a great place to start.
If you feel like you’ve got a pretty strong idea of what you’re after and feel able to communicate it, a phone call or a few email exchanges should suffice.
How long does the entire process take?
A custom design process can really vary.
Typically, most designs take between 2-5 days to complete depending on the scale of amendments and the complexity of the design itself. Other designs may require sourcing custom cut stones or contacting suppliers who have a rare and niche craft, that will ensure your design is expertly finished.
Once you have approved the final design, custom made jewelry will take around 4 weeks to craft in most cases. Some companies may offer express services for an additional fee, which will see your ring brought to life in a shorter time frame.
What’s the best way to choose the design for my engagement ring?
Pinterest and Google images are always great sources of inspiration. Save images of engagement rings that you like and once you’ve finished browsing, take a look at the saved ones. This way you’ll see what kind of general styles you’re gravitating towards.
The easiest inspiration of all is to look at what style of jewelry and clothing your partner is already wearing. If your partner sports a reserved, monochromatic dress sense, a white diamond in a more classic ring style would likely be the best choice.
If they love to experiment with bright colours and statement accessories, consider bold designs, colourful gemstones and unique design elements.
Take into account what will suit their skin tone and daily lifestyle. For example, if your partner works with their hands, be it a chef or a personal trainer, the metal and setting should reflect this, to avoid unnecessary damage to the ring. Also, avoid going with a theme, it’s wiser to choose something tasteful and classic that will stand the test of time.
The idea of creating a bespoke ring can seem daunting at first. However, the key
element to sort before you proceed through this creative journey is to find the right
jeweler to craft your piece. Armed with this, your jeweler will take inspiration from your ideas and guide you through the process, ultimately ending with a beautiful custom piece–a ring like no other.
How should I choose the metal and finish for my engagement ring?
For a piece of jewelry that is going to be worn every day, metals like 18 karat gold and platinum are durable choices, that will boast a glorious shine with a low level of maintenance. Simply ensure you keep your ring clean and buff it with a polishing cloth.
Platinum and 18 karat white gold exhibit a bright white, silvery appearance, while 18 karat yellow and rose gold sport warm, blushy tones that compliment any wearer’s complexion.
Should I choose diamonds or gemstones?
Traditionally, most engagement rings feature white diamonds. A touch of color can really make a simple ring more interesting and beautiful, and colored gemstones are incredibly on-trend. For longevity purposes we recommend diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire, tourmaline and spinel as center stones for engagement rings, since they’re worn every day.
When it comes to diamonds, what better symbol for your love and commitment than one of the earth’s rarest materials, formed in the heart of the earth?
Incredibly rare and durable, every diamond in the world is unique and serves as an iconic representation of everlasting union. A diamond’s quality characteristics are known as the 4 Cs – cut, color, clarity and carat.
The 4 Cs is a universally recognized method of diamond grading, created by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA), to standardize the classification of diamond quality. Every diamond should be the perfect balance between the 4 Cs, carat weight, cut, color and clarity.
Mixing both diamonds and colored gemstones is the best of both worlds! Diamonds and sapphires come in many hues, while rubies and emeralds are reliable for their iconic shades and vibrant splash of color.
What’s the best stone shape for an engagement ring?
The decision on the diamond shape is perhaps one of the most important ones you can make when designing your diamond engagement ring. Often referred to as diamond cuts, diamonds are cut into a variety of shapes. From the soft curves of an oval cut to the angular points of a princess cut, there are diamond shapes to suit all tastes and designs.
You can buy an engagement ring set with the following diamond and gemstone shapes: round, cushion, oval, emerald, pear, princess, Marquise, Asscher, radiant, heart and hexagonal, and even antique cuts like rose cuts or old Europeans.
Each and every diamond shape and cut has its own beauty – it’s simply up to you to decide which one calls to you.
What are the setting options when customizing an engagement ring?
There are a whole host of engagement ring settings. From modern and minimalist styles, to ornate, vintage-inspired settings–each can dramatically impact the overall look of your ring.
For maximum impact and pure brilliance, the prong setting is a solid choice for engagement rings. As the most popular ring setting, this classic jewelry style elevates diamonds so that light can pass through them for a dazzling sparkle, commanding the attention of those who catch its gaze.
Stunningly beautiful, the elegant cathedral setting takes its inspiration from the high arches and beams that make ceilings inside ancient and modern cathedrals so awe-inspiring. The center stone of the ring is elevated to dramatic heights, allowing maximum light to flow around and through it, resulting in a sensational shine and sparkle that reflects off the metalwork. It also ensures that your diamond, sapphire or other precious gemstone has a magical impact because by raising it off the shank, the size of the stone is dramatically enhanced.
In many cases, a cathedral setting is ideal for giving a bigger presence to smaller stones or for reinforcing the quality and splendour of larger stones.
Often used in today’s contemporary styles, bezel settings hold stones in place by encasing them seamlessly with a piece of metal like gold or platinum. A popular choice with active brides-to-be, bezel settings offer a slightly more secure grip on diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds than classic prong settings.
What touches can I add to truly personalize the ring?
There are a whole host of customizations that can add a unique and hugely
personal finish to your ring.
From a small inscription or gemstone set on the inside of your band that nobody will ever see, to having an entirely customized engraved pattern along the entire band – it’s totally up to you!
Inspired by contemporary sleek lines? Or the ornate delicacy of antique rings? Almost anything is possible when it comes to customizing your ring design–think outside the box and push the boundaries of your imagination.
What are some ways to make the ring unique?
There is a vast range of design elements that can be personalized to achieve a truly one-of-a-kind engagement ring.
Mixing and matching metals in engagement and wedding rings is fast becoming a modern trend simply because it allows for further creativity and customization. Two-tone metal rings is an option for those who’ve fallen for more than one metal or those who wish to carefully complement chosen diamonds or colored gemstones.
Metal finishes such as matte or satin finishes can add a personal touch to your design with each finish achieving a textured look to differentiate from the traditional polished finish.
A relatively simple concept, the prong (also known as the claw) is a piece of metal that holds gemstones in place from underneath by gripping around them in three, four, five, or six places. The more prongs, the more secure. However, more prongs also mean less light around the gemstone, making it slightly less visible. Prongs come in a variety of shapes. They can be finished rounded, flat or pointed (a.k.a. eagle)–you call the shots.
This antique engagement ring detail emerged in the Edwardian era between 1905 and 1915, but reached the peak of its popularity in the Art Deco era during the 1920s and 1930s. Inspired by delicate lace, filigree features beautifully intricate hand carved shapes and designs in the collet and along the band. Its ever-present popularity makes it timeless.
A hand engraved engagement ring merges your own personal style with a vintage design. Hand engraving can achieve a variety of results from organic, floral or geometric designs to patterns or text.
Milgrain is a beading detail that is often seen in antique style jewelry. That’s right—another feature that will give you that vintage feel! Typically featured along the edges of ring designs, milgrain acts as a textured frame, highlighting the beauty of the gemstone or diamond at its center.
For those who like their secrets, your customization doesn’t have to be in plain sight—you can have lyrics from your song, the date you first met, a quote from a personally meaningful movie, or a pet name engraved on the inside of your band. It can be unique and original to your love story. You can even engrave heartbeats (electrocardiograph engraving), so your partner can literally have a piece of your heart with them at all times.
Gemstone Set on The Inside
If inscription alone isn’t enough, set a small gemstone or diamond on the inside of your band—perhaps your soulmate’s favourite color or birthstone. While not all gemstones are suitable for this, sapphires come in every color, so you’re guaranteed to find a color match.
What if you could wear your loved one’s voice? Well, you can. One’s voice can be captured in a visualized sound bite. By recording a spoken phrase, a visual pattern of the sound is created to uniquely represent the person’s voice. Once you have that, laser-engrave it onto your most treasured item of jewelry.
Is customizing an engagement ring expensive?
Customizing an engagement ring is more expensive than buying a pre-designed ring in most cases. However, little touches can result a lot of meaning, like adding a birthstone on the inside of the ring or an engraving, which can cost as little as $35.
Ecommerce companies combine the convenience & value of online shopping, with the touch-and-feel of buying in-store facilitated by showrooms. All that comes at a better value than other options on the market that won’t be as flexible in their customization options.
Your jeweler should be able to break down the costs involved at your request, so you can balance up which elements are costing more than others before making your decision.
Don’t be afraid to think about customization or be creative with the design, it won’t be as pricey as you think!
About Taylor and Hart
Taylor and Hart have established themselves as one of the best in the British jewellery scene. Experts in bespoke jewellery and engagement ring services, Taylor and Hart is known for their competitive prices, high quality and excellent customer service and for working closely with their clients to create exactly what they’re looking for. Check out their site here to see what services and products they offer.