Designing Your Own Engagement Ring
Custom designing your (or your partner’s) engagement ring is a challenging, expensive endeavor, but it’s well worth it. You end up with a ring that is completely unique – there is no other ring like it in the world. Play your cards right, and the end result will be a ring that is perfectly and undeniably you.
Before you begin designing a ring, spend some time leafing through bridal magazines, looking at online galleries, or browsing with a local jeweler to get inspiration and ideas. If possible, save pictures of the rings you like and make notes about the features that caught your eye.
Review your notes and make a broad blueprint for your engagement ring’s design, outlining the gemstone type, cut, metal, and setting.
Step 1: Select the Gemstone
The sparkling stone in the middle of the ring will be the main feature of the ring. So what is it going to look like? The most traditional choice is a diamond, but if you’re not that into tradition (and neither is your partner) then you might want to choose a ruby, sapphire, emerald, or other stone.
If you still like the traditional look of a diamond center stone but want to incorporate unique elements into your ring’s design, consider sidestones of a different gem or outline the gemstone with tiny diamonds (this is called a bezel setting).
Step 2: Select the Cut
The shape of your stone makes a big difference to the overall look of the ring, so choose the stone’s cut carefully. Keep in mind that your partner may have a real preference when it comes to the shape of her stone, so try to determine what type of stone she likes by looking at her other jewelry or paying attention to comments she makes about friends’ rings.
Additionally, consider that some cuts (such as emerald) make a stone look bigger because of its large, flat surface area.
Step 3: Select the Metal
You will also have to select a metal for the band of the ring. Gold was once the traditional engagement and wedding ring color, but it has quickly been replaced by silver (usually platinum or white gold).
The goal is to choose a metal that will go with the other jewelry your wife-to-be usually wears. So check out her earrings and necklace next time you go out to see if she is a gold or a silver kind of girl.
Step 4: Setting
If you haven’t given much thought to the type of ring setting you want, do so now. The shape and size of the center gemstone will in part determine the type of setting of your engagement ring, but generally speaking you have several options.
The most traditional settings are the 4- or 6-prong setting for the center stone, and channel or bar settings for side stones. But a less commonly-used setting such as the cluster or bezel setting could be what sets your ring apart from the crowd.
Step 5: Consider the Wedding Band
Wedding rings and engagement rings often come in matched sets, but you may find them awfully cookie-cutter if you are interested in designing your own ring. The wedding band doesn’t have to be a perfect match, but it should be the same color metal and share a similar design element so that the two rings appear to complement each other in some way.
Some brides, however, forgo the wedding band completely and just wear their engagement ring for the rest of their life. Others might wear their wedding band on their right hand to let their unique engagement ring shine on their left. If you are set on an engagement ring that really doesn’t lend itself to a complementary wedding band, don’t sweat it.
Designing your own engagement ring is one of the most rewarding creative endeavors you’ll ever undertake. Just be certain it’s exactly what you and your fiancée want before ordering, because it’s difficult (if not impossible) to return a custom designed ring after the fact.
♥ Jenny Evans
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