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When it comes to getting a custom-made engagement ring, there is so much choice and variety that at first, it can feel a bit overwhelming. So, to help you out here are our top ten tips for buying a custom engagement ring.
1. Start Early
Custom rings take time to create. There’s a process to go through, from initial consultations to the final product being created. This can take months, with the average time frame being around 8 weeks. In busy seasons, it takes even longer.
Giving yourself around three months is a good timeframe, so you still have time for tweaks if the ring isn’t quite right.
Custom doesn’t have to mean expensive. If you are honest, and upfront about what you would like to spend, then a good jeweler should be able to advise you about the best decisions to keep within your budget.
Although a custom-made engagement ring can be more expensive than a pre-set ring, it will allow you to get precisely what you want and you can decide which aspect of the engagement ring is most important to you.
3. Made To Order vs. Modified To Order
There are lots of different routes to a custom-made engagement ring and your budget will often guide your decision.
Sites, such as James Allen, offer a fantastic “Build Your Own Ring” service, where you can choose your diamond, metal, and preferred setting. There are hundreds of combinations on these sites, which allows you to pick combinations that work for you.
For a truly custom experience, choose a designer to work with. During the early stage of the design process make sure you’re not over charged for any design work. CADs and sketches are relatively affordable, but lots of changes and modifications can increase the price of the ring and jeweler fees quickly and quietly. If you don’t understand a price change, make sure you clarify with the jeweler so that there is no confusion.
If you want to find out more about the difference between a Build Your Own Ring feature on jewelry websites and working with a bespoke ring designer, read our guide here!
4. Choose a Reputable Designer to Work With
It’s essential that you find a jeweler who you click with as you’ll need to be able to trust in their expertise and advice. The jeweler will need to be willing to work with you until you are 100% satisfied with your ring, so patience is crucial.
The more research you do on choosing the right jeweler and what services they include, the more straightforward the actual design process will be.
5. Try Lots of Different Rings
For a lot of people, an engagement ring may be the most expensive piece of jewelry they will ever own. If you usually wear costume jewelry, or you don’t wear many rings, you may not be sure of what suits you or what you like.
Try on lots of different styles so that you can get a feel for the setting and the diamond shape that you want. You may find that a particular style, such as a pear cut stone, will suit your hand more than a cushion cut stone.
6. Express Your Creativity
By choosing to get a custom made or bespoke engagement ring, you get the freedom to create a unique piece of jewelry and play with lots of different designs. It’s great fun to research different style and techniques to see what looks unique. Unusual stone settings or polishes, such as brushed metal, can look charming and stand out from classic engagement ring styles.
If you’re designing a ring for someone else, then be a good detective! Have a look through their jewelry box for inspiration or to show your jeweler what kind of things they like.
Custom made engagement rings are an excellent option for a couple who would like a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry or perhaps want to incorporate a gemstone that was passed down by a family member.
Always arm yourself with lots of information first so that you know what to look for. Our guide on diamond 4Cs is a good place to start if you’re looking for a diamond.
7. Be Prepared To Be Involved
There is a significant difference between buying a custom engagement ring and getting one “off the shelf”. There are numerous times you’ll need to see the jeweler during the design process.
Get ready to collaborate and if you’re getting a custom engagement ring made in secret, be prepared to have a good cover story for where you are.
Nowadays, with everything going online, many retailers offer the option of remote bespoke services. This means that you can have your ring designed and created without ever having to leave your home.
8. Think about the Wedding Band
When you get a custom-made engagement ring, think about the type of wedding band that you want to get as well. The jeweler or retailer that you’ve chosen will be able to help you with this as well. Most clients choose the same retailer for both the engagement and wedding bands so they can craft complementary designs.
9. Use Your Imagination
Depending on the route that you choose, you may not get to see the ring before it’s finally finished. Some jewelers can offer you a 3D models or sketches of the ring. Other offer a wax mold of the ring. Even if you have a clear idea of what the ring will look like in your head, you won’t be able to feel the weight or touch the ring until it’s finished.
10. Warranties and Aftercare
Get everything in writing and confirm details of information, such as purity of the metal, agreed delivery date and a final price.
See what the jeweler or retailer offers for warranties or aftercare. When a ring is bespoke, it’s important to know how easy it will be to get a ring resized if needed and if you have any problems, what the jeweler can do for you.
Also, it’s a good idea to get the ring insured; you’ll need to include a note that your ring is custom made and who made it for you.
Although these details don’t sound as much fun as designing a ring, they really are some of the most important steps as your custom engagement ring will be worth so much more than just monetary value.
With all these tips in mind, you’ll be sure to have a wonderful time getting a custom-made engagement ring designed from scratch. If you’re not sure whether a custom engagement ring is for you check out our comprehensive guide on the six top reasons to get a custom-made engagement ring.