Are you ready to pop the question? Custom engagement rings provide the chance to get creative and show the love of your life just how much they mean to you. If you're not sure where to start, take a look at the dos and don'ts of the design process.
Do Start Early
Unlike ready-to-wear rings, a custom creation takes planning. This means you'll need to find just the right designer to work with, explain your ideas, get feedback from the professional, possibly revise your original plan, and wait for the jewelry maker to turn your dream ring into a reality. The specific time-table varies by designer but could take weeks to months.
Don't Skip the Research
Even though you may have a ring idea in mind, you still need to research the possibilities. This can open your mind to new cuts, materials, colors, and shapes you hadn't considered (or didn't know about). Visit jewelry stores, talk to friends who are engagement or married, browse online sources, and look through bridal magazines for ideas.
Do Bring Pictures
The vision in your mind isn't always easy to translate verbally—especially if you're new to jewelry design or this is your first time buying a ring. Give the designer something concrete to work with and bring along pictures. Take photos of friends' rings, print pictures from online sources, or (if you're artistically inclined) draw the ring you want to create.
Don't Choose the Wrong Designer
Who should you work with to create this all-important ring? Experience is a must-have. Make sure the designer has a portfolio filled with designs you admire.
Along with experience, you also need a professional who has the same aesthetic as you (or your soon-to-be fiancé). Even though a designer may have years or decades worth of ring-making expertise, they need the ability to work with your design ideas. If the designer doesn't understand your style or sways you to go in a completely different direction, you may need to choose another expert to work with.
Do Make the Ring Special
There's a reason to go the custom route. You don't want just any engagement ring—you want something special that no one else has or will ever have. Along with a cut and metal combination, think about how you can individualize or personalize the ring. This could include the addition of an inscription, multiple stones, different colored stones, a special setting, or an intricate band.
Custom engagement rings are more than just metal and stone. These personalized pieces make a statement about your love and your future life together. Before you start the design process, do your research, make a plan, and choose a designer who can turn your imaginative ideas into a brilliant reality.