How to Choose a Custom Engagement Ring
You're getting ready to ask your partner one of the most life-changing questions, but you need the perfect ring to go with the occasion. You could choose a stunning designer option, but if your partner is more particular or you want something more special, choose a custom engagement ring.
If you've decided to stray away from designer options, you'll need to know how to choose a custom engagement ring. We'll guide you through what to consider and some decisions you'll have to make during the design process. Soon you'll end up with a stunning and original engagement ring for your partner.
Custom Engagement Ring Vs. Designer Engagement Ring
Whether you've been searching for rings or you haven't begun to look, you may be asking yourself, "Should I get a custom engagement ring?" The answer might be yes. A custom engagement ring comes with many advantages. When you choose to surprise your partner with a custom engagement ring, you'll get:
- A unique result: Your partner deserves a ring as unique as your love for each other. While there are beautiful and original designer rings out there, a custom ring can be so special to you and your partner. For years and years to come, your partner will proudly display the ring you lovingly designed, and everyone will be impressed by its one-of-a-kind beauty.
- Unlimited options: Many designer rings limit you on the stone and material. When you choose a custom design, you can combine any sort of style your partner likes. From classic to statement elements, almost anything can go into a custom engagement ring.
- Exactly what you want and need: With a custom engagement ring, you won't have to compromise. The cut, setting and material are all up to you. It will be a perfect fit on your partner's finger since the ring is essentially tailor-made.
- A combination of designer elements: If your partner likes rings from different designers, you can combine those elements into one stunning ring. Draw from different inspiration to create your partner's ideal combination that you couldn't find with other designers.
With a custom engagement ring, you have a lot more freedom versus a designer engagement ring. You can customize everything down to the setting, giving you and your partner a stunning finished piece that you can both cherish forever.
If you're worried about how the finished product will come out, rest assured. Many designers, like ours at Diamonds Above, will create a computer-assisted design (CAD). The CAD shows you how your ring will look once completed and allows designers to edit the design right there. Your or the designer can make suggestions as you create the custom ring, and you'll see the results in real time.
A professional custom ring designer will provide you with a streamlined design process, making everything easier than you expected. They'll help you with custom engagement ring ideas and work with you one-on-one to give you the results you've been hoping for in a custom ring.
Where to Start With a Custom Engagement Ring
You have a lot to consider when you decide to get a custom engagement ring. While selecting a designer ring comes with many factors, there are even more associated with a custom ring. Don't let these factors overwhelm you, though. Making these considerations will create a straightforward designing and ordering process:
- Your budget: Explore some ring options to get an idea of what you can expect to pay for an engagement ring. From there, you can create a range based on your budget. A custom ring may cost more than certain designer ranges, so be sure to give yourself some extra room in your budget to compensate. Remember that since your design is custom, most jewelers won't accept exchanges or returns. Be sure the design is one your partner will love and the sizing is accurate to spend your money wisely.
- Style options: While a designer will guide you along the process, it's helpful to know what styles are out there. In general, you'll find contemporary, classic, intricate and simple designs. Any style can include design elements like filigree or micropavé along with any number of stones. Having a few specific ideas in mind can streamline the design process, especially if you have examples with you.
- Time: A jeweler has to take the time to research a design and execute it. It takes much longer for a custom ring than a designer ring since it's a bit more complicated than merely sizing the piece. Depending on the complexity of the design and materials you choose, it may take a couple of weeks or even months for a jeweler to complete a piece. Be sure to plan far enough ahead, especially if you plan to propose on a particular day or trip.
Plan ahead, and the custom design process can be much easier. You have to consider a bit more in addition to the above to get the results you want, though. When you choose to get a custom engagement ring, going in with an idea of what your partner likes is essential.
Consider Your Partner's Tastes
Next to budget, your partner's preferences are an essential thing to consider. There's no point in getting a custom engagement ring if it isn't one your partner likes. To figure out what to get that suits your partner's tastes, try to:
- Be direct: If your proposal isn't a surprise, have a conversation with your partner about ring preferences. Ask for photos for inspiration since that will give you an idea for every aspect of the design. From what type of material and stone would be best to how many stones and their shapes, a lot goes into a custom ring. Talking with your partner will save you from getting a custom ring with the wrong design.
- Talk with family or friends: Most proposals are a surprise, so it isn't always practical to ask directly. Luckily, you may be able to get information elsewhere. Your partner may have had a conversation with family or friends in the past about dream engagement rings. Have a chat with them to see if your partner has any preferences, whether those be positive or negative.
- Pay attention to hints: If you're lucky, your partner may drop some hints about ring preferences. Make a note of any jewelry photos your partner likes, whether that be on social media or in catalogs and ads. When you're out shopping, notice what jewelry your partner tends to admire. Pointing out a ring or style may be a hint to you about what type of ring to get.
- Go with your instinct: At this point, you probably have an idea of your partner's style and preferences. Take notice of what jewelry material your partner dons most often, whether it be gold, silver or other metals. Try to choose a color that your partner seems to wear most since that will be a safe option. Also consider general style. Does your partner wear statement pieces, patterns or other designs that draw attention? A bold custom ring design may be the right choice. If your partner shies away from attention, an elegant and understated engagement ring would be perfect.
As you figure out your partner's preferences, it's helpful to pay attention to likes and dislikes. Dislikes can be just as essential when creating a custom engagement ring. You'll know what cuts, stones and metals not to choose, making the design process easier. Try any combination of the above tips to get a clearer idea about what your partner really wants in an engagement ring. From there, it's time to choose the materials.
Choosing Engagement Ring Material
Your budget and your partner's taste factor into what type of material you should choose for your custom engagement ring. The metal that creates the band, setting and other decorations can influence a ring's aesthetic and durability. Your options for ring material in a custom engagement ring include:
- Yellow gold: This is among one of the most popular jewelry materials. With its warm yellow hue, gold goes with almost any style. Use this material in classic to contemporary pieces with a stunning result every time. Since this metal is malleable, jewelers can incorporate about any design into a gold ring. Jewelers will use it in an alloyed form since it is a soft metal to give the final piece more strength.
- White gold: For gold jewelry that shines with a different color, select white gold. The metal usually includes palladium and a rhodium plating. While you'll have to take a ring made with white gold to be replated, it will resist tarnishing. Like yellow gold, white gold is malleable and can create any variety of details.
- Rose gold: There's yet another gold hue for you to choose with rose gold. This metal is a warm and delicate pink, usually the result of mixing gold and copper. Rose gold may be the right material choice if your partner likes elegant yet stylish pieces since the metal has been trendy in recent years. One con of this material is that it may scratch, but you or a jeweler can usually polish out any marks.
- Silver: Another popular jewelry material choice, silver also appears as an alloy. Because it is soft, jewelers use sterling silver, which contains other metals, rather than pure silver. You may also find silver-plated or silver-filled pieces. The result is a stunning, shining silver, though plated varieties are more prone to damage. If your partner likes popular jewelry styles but with a cool tone or modern look, silver is a great option.
- Platinum: Platinum is a stunning yet rare and expensive choice. It is also a soft metal, meaning jewelers typically use it in combination with another metal to give it strength. While platinum is a popular choice for rings given its rarity and white appearance that doesn't corrode or require polishing, it is quite expensive. Since you're already spending a lot on the custom design, you may want to compromise on the metal unless your partner's heart is set on platinum.
- Palladium: This metal has benefits in almost every category. It's hypoallergenic, durable and cheaper than gold or platinum. With its white and silvery color, palladium is a great budget option. If you're already committing to a higher cost with a custom ring, though, you may want to choose a more valuable metal somewhere in the middle of the price ranges.
- Stainless steel: Jewelers use this metal in other pieces more than rings, but almost anything is possible in a custom design. Steel resists scratching and is hypoallergenic. If your partner wants a brushed-grey look, which can bring a contemporary or rustic style depending on the design, steel is an option. Lean towards the classic metals if your partner prefers traditional jewelry, though.
- Recycled metals: For the environmentally-conscious or those who can't choose one type, you can always go with recycled metal. This material gives a ring an even more special quality since it's a unique mix of different metals. Some jewelers may be able to take bits of metal from projects that are meaningful to you and your partner, as long as they are jewelry-grade metals.
Along with the material comes the setting for whatever stone you choose. Jewelers may recommend a particular setting that goes well with the cut of gem, material and aesthetic you want for your ring. A common setting is the prong option, which includes three or more prongs that hold the gem in place. Of course, the setting and ring itself need a gem to stand out and shine.
Choosing Engagement Ring Stone
A diamond is forever, so it's no surprise that it's the most common engagement ring stone. When you look at cases of engagement rings, you'll see mostly diamonds. A benefit of custom engagement rings is that you can choose almost any stone instead of a diamond if that's what your partner would like.
With any type of stone, you can choose the shape and usually the size, but remember that the more extravagant you go, the more your budget will rise. If you do choose a diamond, remember the four C's to get a quality diamond for your money:
The shape, size and appearance of a diamond all factor into higher quality, but also a higher price. Sometimes, the benefit of choosing another gem variety is a lower price tag. Maybe your partner prefers other stones, or there is one that has special meaning to the two of you.
A custom engagement ring is a stunning way to display a special stone. Perhaps you or your partner has a gem that's been passed down in your family. A designer can incorporate that stone into a custom ring, making the piece even more special. Even if the gem is already in a ring, a jeweler can modify it to give it a contemporary look or one that suits your partner's preferences.
As you're getting custom engagement ring ideas for gems, start with the center stone, thinking about the cut or shape your partner would like. Since the center stone is, as the name implies, in the center of the ring, it will help determine the rest of your ring's design. The stone is the most crucial part of the ring, so you must make the right choice. Don't fear, though. A knowledgeable jeweler will be happy to guide you in the right direction.
Get a Custom Engagement Ring With Diamonds Above
Don't settle for a designer ring that doesn't have everything your partner wants. Let our professional jewelers at Diamonds Above craft your partner's dream ring. We offer custom engagement ring services at our Austin, Texas, location, where we take our role in your special moment very seriously.
Our attention to detail, finer pieces and personalized experience make the design process simple and rewarding. As a concierge-style store, we want to provide you with a custom engagement ring that fits your budget and stuns your partner.
Contact us online today or at (512) 206-4156 to learn more about our custom engagement ring services. When you open that jewelry box to surprise your partner, impress with an enchanting ring that you designed with our help at Diamonds Above.