There has never been a better time to design your own engagement ring. As it is the most meaningful piece of jewellery you might ever wear, why not enhance its meaning by being involved in the design process.
In lockdown our lives went under the microscope and we began to evaluate the things that became meaningful to us. Our food, our health, our shopping habits and yes, our relationships. Some relationships faltered, while others blossomed. As springtime approaches, I therefore predict a flurry of proposals and with that, engagement rings.
If you're a man, or woman, looking to pop the question to your partner, get a placeholder ring to propose with, so that they can be involved in the design process once you've asked. Not only will this save yourself a small fortune (not to mention the embarrassment should you have to return an unwanted ring), but the ring so much more importance if you design it together.
If you feel a proposal is on the horizon, now's the time to make it clear, that you want to be involved in the design process of your engagement ring and that your partner shouldn't even think about excluding you from it.
Alternatively, if you find yourself in the lucky position of shopping for an engagement ring, there has never been a better time to consider having a bespoke ring made. With our freedom to work you, thinking about your dream ring might help you pass many wintery evenings away!
Of course, one of the other unintended consequences of the global pandemic, is that a lot more businesses have had to find a way of bringing their services online - and jewellers have been quick to join the trend.
Whilst my business has been online since 2007, Haruni Fine Jewels has also had to move with the times. As a result of this one of the areas I've developed is the bespoke jewellery design service.
With what can seem like a very tricky process, working with someone experience, trusted and capable will get you what you want - your dream ring, that will last you a lifetime and come at the right price.
To help you along the way, I've put together a guide to make sure you're prepared for this journey. Here are 10 questions you'll need answering when designing your own engagement ring:
- How long will it take?
- How much will this cost?
- What is a bespoke ring?
- What are the steps involved in making a bespoke ring?
- What else do I need to think about?
- Can I do this online?
- Can I try before I buy?
- Where can i find inspiration?
- Can I use an inherited piece of jewellery?
- Does it have to have diamonds in it?
Where do I begin?
How long will it take?
Like having anything custom made, the question of timing is sensitive and difficult to give an exact answer to. If you know what you want, it's reasonably straight forward and providing you don't change your mind half way though, then is should take about six weeks.
What I would add is - if you can help it, try not to rush it. This is a ring you will hopefully wear for the rest of your life, so another couple of weeks won't change too much in the grand scheme of things. If you can't wait at all, do what I did, get a placeholder ring.
How much will this cost?
The rule of thumb was traditionally between one to three months' salary, some jewellers (de Beers actually) say one months' salary, others say no less than £1000. However, the average spent on an engagement ring in the UK was a surprising £1866.
If you're going to the trouble of having something made from scratch, you'll need to spend north of £2000. This will account for selecting the stone, designing a setting and receiving your truly unique creation.
I also recommend that you stretch yourself on this one, - not to the point of ruin - but as you grow, hopefully you'll have more money to spend in your life. With this in mind, you don't want this ring to be the thing you regret not pushing the boat out for!
What is a bespoke ring?
Bespoke jewellery is having a piece of jewellery lovingly made to your individual requirements. You come up with the design, or help the designer extract what's inside you. You come up with the design, or help the designer extract what you’re thinking.
You will then be taken on a journey, from seeing the design evolve, to shaping it along the way. You can even get to try the design on before it's finalised, to ensure it’s made for you and only for you
What are the steps involved in making a bespoke ring?
There are 5 essential steps to making an engagement ring from scratch.
The first step comes from your imagination, where we can have an initial conversation to work out some ideas.
I'll present some sketches and designs, before wee meet again to get some feedback. We will then finalise the designs and start bringing the piece to life.All of this process can be done online too.
Where can I find inspiration?
The two things I’d recommend you do if you're looking for a custom made engagement ring is to take a look around. Visit some jewellers (get your finger sized) and see what styles you feel comfortable wearing.
Start thinking about the position of the stone, for example is the stone held by claws, or in a rub over setting (a continuous piece of metal around)) as well as the thickness of the metal.
It’s also important to pay attention to the size. You might have all the money in the world to spend on this, but if you don't like wearing big jewellery, it's good to know that from the start!
The second place I would suggest you look is on pinterest.com. Here you could happily waste hours, getting inspired. Build your own boards as you go, so you can show your designer.
What do I need to think about?
There are a few things to think about when designing any jewellery from scratch, but especially an engagement ring. This article goes into a little more detail.
Essentially you need the design to match your lifestyle For example, are you active or not?Do you like antique or modern designs? Do you want one bigger stone and lots of little stones, or a combination? Do you know your finger size?
We'll cover this throughout the process, but it's good to get your thinking cap on!
Can I do this online?
As I mentioned above, businesses all over the world have been working out how to offer their services online. Some have actually become really good at it.
I wrote this article a while ago about choosing gemstones online. It covers a lot of what you should be aware of.
For the process, zoom calls and design books are the way forward. With each step of the design process, I'll put together a little Look Book, that will explain the designs, the materials used and processes where necessary. This ensures we are both on the same page (if you'll pardon the pun).
Can I try before I buy?
Yes and no.
During the design process you will see your design come to life, sometimes on paper and sometimes on a computer screen, as the ring is designed using special software. For a £50 (refundable) fee, I can make and ship a wax model of the design (no stones) for you to try on at home. I can even send you the stone (with a deposit) to ensure you’re 100% sure.
However, once the manufacturing process starts, there is no going back (except to resize the finished ring).
Can I use an inherited piece of jewellery?
Absolutely! While your partner might insist on proposing to you with Granny's original engagement ring, try to convey to them that while you love the gems inside it, you want your ring to symbolise your life with your partner, not their Grandma's.
You can still take some of that spirit forward, but ultimately, this is about the present and your future, not their family's past.
Does it have to have diamonds in it?
NO WAY! The meaning behind the gemstone and the design of the jewellery can have a profound influence. Especially when it comes to making and honouring heart-warming life moments.
Thoughtful sentiments have the ability to make any piece of jewellery extraordinary, so by putting the time and care into selecting the right gemstone and a design that will both suit the gem and its wearer for the occasion, is worth all the effort.
Where do I begin?
The next thing you need to do is book a no obligation, no fee, consultation. We can discuss everything I've mentioned above and more!
If you think this is for you, contact me by calling, emailing, or reaching out on the chat below.