Everything you need to know to create a custom-made diamond engagement ring.
Image: Ring Concierge By Jill Newman October 6, 2020
The best way to get the natural diamond engagement ring of your dreams—and something forever personal and unique—is to design one that’s custom.
We asked two jewelers who specialize in custom rings—Nicole Wegman, founder of Ring Concierge, and jewelry designer Maggi Simpkins—how to create a custom diamond engagement ring that reflects your style and love story. Turns out, it’s easier than you’d think.
1. Find the diamond engagement ring designer or jeweler that speaks to your style.
When you are creating a custom ring, you need to work with a designer or jeweler whose style and quality you admire. “You might pick the best diamond, but if it’s in a poor-quality setting then you won’t be happy,” says Wegman, whose clients often discover her designs and bespoke services via her popular Instagram account.
2. Establish a budget and prioritize what matters most to you.
Determining a budget up-front makes it easier to identify a range of diamond options. “Most people have to compromise on something to stay within their budget,” says Wegman. “So it’s best to know in advance what matters most to you, whether it be a larger stone, a diamond of the highest possible quality or a setting with side stones.”
Once a budget is established, Wegman sources a range of diamonds to present to clients for comparison and consideration. While each diamond should have a GIA certificate that incorporates the 4 Cs to identify the stone’s quality, it’s important to remember that two stones with identical GIA grading reports can still appear very different.
Simpkins explains, “I urge my clients to pay more attention to the stone itself (the way it looks, how it makes them feel) rather than what’s on the paper.”
3. Bigger is (generally) better.
“The size of the diamond is the most important factor in designing a ring,” says Wegman. “The average consumer won’t notice tiny inclusions or a hint of warmth, but they will notice the size of the stone from near and far.”
For that reason, Simpkins steers her clients away from VVS stones saying: “I don’t believe in paying for something you can’t see. I am also not afraid of a little warmth in a stone. I don’t prescribe to the thought that only the whitest of diamonds are beautiful.”
4. Research ring styles and stick with what you love.
“Before you sit down with a designer, spend time researching for inspiration and trying on different rings to discover the styles you love, what you don’t like and what looks good on you,” advises Simpkins. Just continue to remind yourself not to be swayed by trends; celebrity engagement rings get a lot of attention, but that doesn’t mean they are right for you.
“Stick to your gut when selecting the ring,” says Wegman. “If you have always loved round diamonds, and then Hailey Bieber gets engaged with an oval and suddenly you like an oval, is it because you actually like that stone shape or are you being influenced by the trend?”
5. Choose a diamond engagement ring for your style—and lifestyle.
Once you have chosen the diamond, the right designer or jeweler will work with you to create a diamond engagement ring that suits your lifestyle. “Simple designs are the most popular right now,” says Wegman, whose bestselling ring is a solitaire on her Whisper Thin band. “Simple styles,” she explains, “ensure that the focus stays on the diamond.”
Also, women today want more durable ring styles that they can wear from the office to the gym. (As such, Wegman notes that micro pave settings are losing popularity.)
Your ring should also match your individual style, be it modern or vintage. “At the very least make sure you are buying a diamond shape you will love forever,” says Wegman. “It’s pretty inexpensive to change a diamond setting after a few years, but it’s expensive to change the stone.”
Additionally, it’s important to consider your wedding band when selecting your ring style. Perhaps you’re envisioning an engagement ring that pairs with stackable wedding bands? More and more women are going in this direction because different stackable bands easily allows for the changing-up of a look based on time of day, attire or mood. Both Simpkins and Ring Concierge create custom wedding bands that can integrate with engagement rings.
6. Get creative: it’s all in the details
Different metal finishes, detailing, unique side stones and the personalization of a ring with engravings and other hidden elements is what really allows for a ring to stand apart. “I have the most fun when clients tell me stories about things that are significant to them and their relationship, and I am able to figure out how to incorporate them into the ring,” says Simpkins, who integrates symbols and characters, such as flowers, birthstones and spiritual motifs, on the insides of the rings she designs.
Simpkins always provides clients with sketches of their diamond engagement rings for approval, and then 3-D renderings are made before wax molds are carved for each design. Make sure you approve your ring every step of the way to ensure you are getting everything you want. And don’t be afraid to make modifications along the way (just make sure to do so before the wax mold is made).
7. Buy a diamond engagement ring without leaving home
Technology has made it much easier to create custom made rings by presenting diamonds, settings and styles in images and videos when you can’t meet directly with a jeweler, but nothing replaces the feeling of trying on a ring in person. That’s why Wegman launched Vow by RC, a Home Try-On Program that offers semi-custom diamond rings starting at $3,000. “It’s like the Warby Parker of diamonds,” says Wegman.
Clients can choose from nine diamond shapes and 13 ring styles, and the company will then create three sample rings made with cubic zirconia (CZ) stones so clients can try them on at home. Once a client places an order, the GIA certified diamond ring is made in New York and delivered within two to three weeks. With a little research and planning, you easily design the custom diamond ring of your dreams—the ring you that tells your unique story.
Basketball championship rings are a beautiful symbol of success. They have been made for decades to commemorate triumphs on the basketball court. In the past decade, they have become an essential part of many basketball players’ legacies. The design tools used in creating these rings have evolved into works of art and can be as expensive as they are elaborate. This post will explore how to design a basketball championship ring that draws inspiration from basketball rings designed by Mega Slam Australia .
Choose The Material
The first thing that needs to be determined when designing a ring is what kind of metal will be used and how many precious stones will adorn it. The type of metal and the number and size (quality) of stones needed often depend on how much money you are willing to spend on the project. Once those issues are decided, the fun part begins.
Choose Your Design
A lot goes into planning what you want the finished product to look like. The designer needs to ensure that the elements they choose are relevant to both the team and its players and should be symbolic enough to represent their win. A ring can’t have too much going on, so the designer needs to design something simple but beautiful.
Brainstorm The Ring Design
The brainstorming process creates an inventory of all the ring’s elements. Some crucial aspects that can go into designing a championship ring are:
-Team name, nickname, or logo
-Player names and numbers
-Years won (if multiple)
-Venue where the game was held
-Coach’s name and year of coaching victory
-Diamonds, Emeralds, or other precious stones
Team logo- The essential feature of a championship ring is the team’s logo found in the center of the cresting. Therefore, it is vital to design a ring with a cohesive look that makes the logo stand out. Many people have begun making their rings with the team’s logo either engraved into the metal or made out of more prominent stones.
Resize Each Element
When designing a championship ring, it is important to be mindful of sizing. The different parts of the ring need to look proportional and fit together nicely. Making sure that each element fits correctly before continuing will save time and money later. The designer can also make any last-minute changes or additions that may improve the design aesthetically and symbolically.
Create A Side-View Sketch
Once all elements are chosen, the designer needs to create a side-view sketch that shows how each piece will look. This is an essential part of designing a championship ring because it provides insight into how everything will fit together and look like a finished product. It should show each detail clearly and provide measurements for stones and other parts.
Create A 2D Model From Your Design Ideas
Creating a model is another step in designing championship rings. A model of your design ideas helps you to see if it meets with everyone else’s approval. It allows all parties involved to ensure that everything they envisioned has carried over into the design on two-dimensional paper. While some alterations may need to be made, this is often one of the most enjoyable steps for designers because it brings their ideas one step closer to life.
Start On Physical Model
Sculpting a physical model from the design is the final step in designing championship rings. A sculptor will work closely with a designer to ensure that all elements of the ring are visible and proportional in size to each other. An advantage to using a sculptor is they have the tools to help bring out detail.
Finalize And Polish Design
Once the physical model is completed, it is time to make last-minute alterations before finalizing and polishing the design. This extra step makes sure that all aspects are visible enough to be seen easily and that no elements are lost in translation. The order this process goes in varies widely depending on who you ask or what company is designing championship rings. Generally, though, these steps are followed by a lot of professional ring designers. Once everyone approves of how it looks, the designer can go ahead with making a final product.
Designers need to pay attention to size, color, and shapes when making a basketball championship ring. Be creative when coming up with your design but keep your audience in mind, so you don’t offend anyone or convey unwanted messages. Lastly, when choosing colors, try not just one color because it can look dull, instead use two or more colors together, such as red and white, since they are complementary colors.
You’ve already seen countless ring designs, trying to find the ideal ring, but you haven’t found the one that satisfies all your requirements. What else can you do? There is actually a way to get your dream ring – by designing it yourself.
The jeweler may create a computer model of your ring.
How Custom Ring Design Works
These days, many jewelers offer custom-designed rings, and in order to have one made for you, the first thing you need to do is provide the jeweler with an idea of your ideal ring.
Based on your descriptions, drawings or photos, the staff at the store offering custom design will create a wax model of your future ring.
The jeweler might also create a computer model.
After you’ve seen the model, you can ask for changes in the design.
After all changes are made, the real ring will be created, using metals and gemstones as per your request.
What’s So Good About Designing Your Own Ring?
The best thing about custom design is the opportunity to get the exact piece of jewelry you want.
You can tailor your ring to fit perfectly, pick the exact size gemstones so that the ring is well-balanced on your finger, and get the right combination of colors to complement your other jewelry or clothing.
You can also request multiple alterations of the preliminary design before the actual ring is cast.
The Not So Good Part
Custom design comes at a price, in the literal sense – having a ring designed is more expensive than buying one of the standard designs carried by the jeweler.
It sounds great that you can make as many changes as you want to the model.
However, many jewelers will charge you an additional fee for every major design alteration after a model has been created based on your initial description.
Another downside is that if you don’t like how your real ring turns out after it’s been cast, you can’t return it – usually, custom design orders are nonrefundable.
Therefore, you will need to spend a good amount of time coming up with a good design to make sure the real ring comes out as you wish.
How to Find the Best Custom Design Jeweler
Above all, make sure the jeweler you choose has a lot of experience making custom designed rings.
Designing and creating a piece of jewelry is a complex process, and since you can’t go back and change the design once your ring is cast, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible.
Also, it is preferable if the people to whom you will be explaining your design requirements are the ones who will be creating the actual ring.
It is much easier to avoid any misunderstanding if you are communicating with the staff directly involved in the creation process.
If you will be paying so much money to have an individual design, make sure that the result will be as close as possible to what you want.
Describing Your Dream Ring
In order to make sure that you and your jeweler are on the same page, utilize all options available to convey the image of the ring you have in mind.
Draw a picture of your dream ring. Bring photos of rings that resemble what you have in your imagination. Show actual designs in the jewelry store that look like the image you have in your head.
Anything that helps the jeweler understand your ideas will be useful.
Before You Give the Final Go-Ahead
Make sure that the wax model and/or the computer image of your future ring is exactly what you want.
You should be comfortable with all features of the ring, including the width of the shank, height of the stone mounting, thickness of the ring, etc.
Once the ring is cast, it is very hard to make any alterations. For example, depending on the particular design, resizing or making the actual ring thinner may be impossible.
Spend enough time before you approve the final design in order to ensure that your money is also well spent.
Where to Buy a Ring?
For diamond, emerald, ruby, or sapphire rings, we recommend James Allen (read review) because you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before having it set in a ring.
Blue Nile is another reputable diamond retailer we recommend.
There is no such thing as the perfect engagement ring, but there is such a thing as the perfect engagement ring for her. All you need is to put some thought into it, and you’re sure to make the right choice. Don’t worry – you’re not alone; we’re here to help you every step of the way.
Design Her Perfect Engagement Ring in 3 Easy Steps
Step 1. CHOOSE THE METAL TYPE
This is the easiest to scratch off your list and help you feel like you’ve accomplished something, so let’s start with this!
Engagement rings are typically made from one of four metals: Platinum, white gold, yellow gold or rose gold ring.
Durable and great for those who work with their hands. Most expensive, since it resists tarnishing. However, it is also the most expensive to repair.
Easily matches most other jewelry. Has a silver-like appearance which will eventually wear off and need to be replaced. Comes in 14-karat or 18-karat gold.
Can show scratches or other abrasions, but repairs quite easily. Comes in 14-karat or 18-karat gold.
An alternative, more delicate metal to yellow gold, with a vintage feel.
Step 2. DETERMINE HER ENGAGEMENT RING STYLE
Good job! You’ve chosen the metal. Now it’s time to figure out what her ring style is. In order to do this, you don’t need to be Calvin Klein. You don’t even need to know who Calvin Klein is, for that matter. All you need is to know your partner. You can choose the ring setting based on her personal style.
Let’s walk you through it:
Classy, modest and reserved
Solitaire engagement rings
Delicate, elegant and refined
Pavé engagement rings
Stylish, practical and modern
Channel-set engagement rings
Bold, daring and passionate
Side-stone engagement rings
Social, established and traditional
Three-stone engagement rings
Courageous, non-conformist and artsy
Tension engagement rings
Extroverted, feminine and playful
Halo engagement rings
Sentimental, romantic and classic
Vintage engagement rings
Well done! You’ve chosen the setting type for the engagement ring.
Step 3. FIND HER RING SIZE
Now it’s time to determine her ring size. This step is easier than you think. You can even do it online with our free online ring sizer. Alternatively, you can request a free plastic ring sizer that will be delivered to your home. No matter what, rest assured that your ring can be resized for free within 60 days of your purchase.
If buying the ring as a surprise:
A. If you don’t know your girlfriend’s ring size, ask her close friends or family members. Tell them to keep it hush-hush so that they don’t accidentally ruin the surprise!
B. Borrow her ring (from the correct ring finger!) and use James Allen’s online or plastic ring sizer to determine the ring’s size.
If finding your own ring size:
A. Measure your finger at the end of the day, as your fingers tend to be warmer and larger at the day’s end.
B. Re-measure to make sure your calculations are accurate.
Congrats – you’ve chosen the engagement ring setting! Now let’s give that ring its sparkle – it needs a center diamond or gemstone!
If you need help at any step of the way, that’s what our friendly Customer Service team is here for, available and happy to help you 24/7.
Which of these engagement ring styles would your partner like the best? Tell us in the comments below or on our social channels: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
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