A Ring That Reflects Your Personality
If you're interested in a truly unique engagement ring, one great option is to design your own. Couples can create a design together, or either partner can take on the project. You can choose a setting and stone or work with a jewelry artist to create a completely custom design. Either way, you'll end up with an exceptional piece of engagement jewelry that's personal and profoundly special.
Choose a Setting
One popular way to design your own ring is to choose a setting and then find a gem to go in it. From simple solitaires to elaborate pave designs, there are thousands of different ring settings available. There are also channel settings, tension settings, bezel settings, three or five-stone rings, and many other options. You can examine the options at your local jewelry store to see which style speaks to you, or print out a few pictures to take to your jeweler. Try on different settings so you can view how they look on your hand. When you find the right one, you'll know.
Consider Precious Metals
Choosing which metal to craft your ring from is another key decision. Settings often come in your choice of precious metals, including 14k or 18k yellow or white gold, platinum, rose gold, and two-tone designs with mixed metals. Titanium, tungsten, silver, and palladium are other metals often used for engagement jewelry. Yellow gold engagement rings are the classic choice, but platinum rings are equally popular.
Learn About Diamond and Gemstone Options
After you decide on a setting, it's important to understand as much as you can about your options for the center stone. If you're choosing a diamond, make sure you educate yourself on the four Cs of diamond quality: cut, clarity, carat, and color. If you're choosing a different gemstone, such as a sapphire, ruby, aquamarine, or other precious gem, learn about the properties of that stone. These factors will also be important if you create a completely custom design. Make a list of your favorites so you can ask questions and view the selection at your jewelry store.
Explore Gemstone Shapes
One of the most important decisions you will make when designing your own engagement ring is which gemstone shape you prefer for the center stone and any accent gems. Shapes range from the classic round brilliant cut and princess cut to the fancy pear shape, heart shape, and marquise shape. Your choice of setting will affect these options; however, many settings can accommodate a range of shapes. Bring a list of options with you when you begin the design process with your jeweler. He or she will want to help you design a ring that best shows off your gem's contours and facets.
Find a Jewelry Artist
If choosing a setting and stone won't get you the custom ring you have in mind, you can work directly with a jewelry artist to create a one-of-a-kind engagement ring from scratch. To get started, you'll need to find a jeweler you trust to design a style you love. There are several ways to do this:
- Talk to the proprietor of a custom jewelry shop in your area.
- Call your local college or university's art department to ask about faculty who may design jewelry or have recommendations for you.
- Ask for referrals from a friend who has a custom ring you admire.
- Visit art galleries and shows to view the work of jewelry artists in your area.
Sketch Your Design
After you've picked a custom jeweler, take some time to make a few sketches of your dream ring. You can bring these sketches with you to your consultation, and the jewelry artist will help you make them a reality. He or she may have to make subtle changes to your design to ensure your ring is structurally secure and that it best shows off your center stone, but the final design should be exactly what you want.
Review Your Budget
Before you decide on a final design, review your budget to make sure you can afford the custom ring. In many cases, a custom engagement ring will be more expensive than a pre-made ring. However, if you plan to design a simple ring, it can easily be more affordable than the elaborate designs found in jewelry stores. You can also work with your jeweler to adjust the size and number of gems, as well as the metal used in the setting, to ensure the ring fits your budget.
Check Your Size
Before the jeweler begins making your ring or orders your desired setting, be sure to double-check your ring size. Some designs, especially those with elaborate engraving or all-around gems, can't easily be resized. Making sure you start with the right size is a very important step in the process.
Experiment with Styles
Throughout the process of designing your own ring, it's important to look at all the options out there for inspiration. You may find that you love antique style engagement rings, non-traditional rings with colored diamonds, or filigree settings. Take pictures of your favorite styles with you when you meet with your jeweler. Incorporating these elements into your final design will help ensure you get the ring of your dreams.