Designing an engagement ring is one of the most exciting and romantic things you can do in preparation for your proposal and married life. If you can’t find the perfect ring to express your love, you may wish to design your own. It will offer a reflection of your relationship, interests and values, as well as being a conversation point for many years to come.
1. Have a basic design
When you start the process, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if you have a clear vision of what you want the ring to look like. It will help you if you make some preliminary sketches to take to your jewellery designer.
If you’re not sure what you want, have a look in jewellery stores and online, for ideas on settings, filigrees, mixed metals, organic lines and gemstones. Note down anything that catches your eye, and let your jeweller know the elements of ring design you like, as this will help them design something you want.
2. Choose the right designer
After you’ve come up with a vague design, you will need to find the right jewellery designer. Many jewellers have in-house designers who specialise in custom pieces. When it comes to jewellery designers, take note of any recommendations from family and friends, as this should give you an idea of the quality of their work.
When you’re talking to a jewellery designer, make sure you view their portfolio of other work. As an artist, their style will influence your design, and you should make sure that their style will suit your dream ring.
Once you’ve found the right jewellery designer and talked about what you want, they should be able to mock up a digital version of the jewellery, using a CAD software programme, such as Rhino 3D. This will allow you to make sure the designer has followed your ideas, and whether the idea works. By using CAD software to make a digital version of the ring, you can make changes before the ring has actually been made, saving you time and money.
You should ask to see all the elements that’ll make up the ring in person, prior to the ring being made. This way, you can inspect the gemstones and precious metals that’ll build your engagement ring.
4. Warranties and guarantees
When it comes to custom ring design, you will need to take extra care regarding warranties and guarantees. Ensure you get everything in writing, from everything (metals, gemstones and so on) included in the ring, to a final appraisal that specifies the designer and custom design. You should also remember to insure your ring to give it an extra layer of protection.
It’s quite common to feel intimidated when talking through your ideas with an experience jewellery designer. Whilst they may have experience and knowledge, along with passion and artistic skill with jewellery design, remember that it isn’t the designer’s ring, it’s yours. Make sure your designer gives you what you’ve asked for.