Thank you for sticking with us this week - we've had a great time running through a lot of the options that surround purchasing an engagement ring!
What happens when you just cannot find exactly what you are looking for? Maybe you have the whole thing planned out in your head, but can't quite picture what it will look like put together. Or, you have some inherited or family stones that you want to incorporate but haven't found a workable option yet.
What we'd like to tell you....do not be afraid to go custom!
Below we will go through some options for custom work.
When does customization make sense?
Please know, you do not HAVE to have a specific reason to go custom. Maybe that is just how you imagined it!
Here are a few reasons that would lead us to suggest (or would necessitate) custom:
Different ways to "Go Custom"
Generally, there are the following options on how to go through the customization process:
The simplest way deals with the smaller adjustments. If we can find a good baseline (an existing band or engagement ring, or a shank and a ready-built halo), then we are well on our way. This process typically involves making room for the additional part (removing a stone or two, etc.) and then welding/soldering on the additional parts. The nice thing about this option is that since much of the piece may already be manufactured, the cost is reduced from a fully custom price!
The picture to the left involved taking a diamond band, removing 1-2 stones in the center, and then welding on a head for the purple sapphire the gentleman chose!
We are often requested to help make and design an engagement ring using a collection of inherited family diamonds/gemstones, but sometimes we are asked to incorporate parts of the inherited ring or pendant into a new design! We can do this too.
Usually this means cutting apart the original piece to retrieve the sections that are wanted, and then a shank and/or supportive top sections can be ordered or crafted to support the structure and match the original design. That is what you will see here!
Choose "Read More" to find out about other options, cost, and more!
Another way that we have found makes the process very simple and offers the ease of making changes is the computer-aided-design (CAD) custom method. We take notes and measurements, make drawings and send any example pictures to our CAD artist, they produce a visual/digital rendering and a video so that you can see the item from every angle.
This allows us to show you each step, and if you'd like to have changes made, the artist can fairly easily make the requested adjustments. Once you are happy with a design, they will 3D print a wax (the purple below) and send it so that you can see it in person. Once the wax and quote are approved, it's time to cast! They will either set stones, or the piece is sent to us for our jeweler to set stones. We have LOVED this process!
The final couple options for "going custom" is a more hand-made approach. We still have the ability to create a hand-carved wax. Our jeweler loves this, as he has been doing this for 50+ years. However, nowadays, with the access to CAD work, hand-carving takes much longer. Plus, if any changes are requested, the jeweler must restart the whole cutting process!
Another way to go about hand work is for our jeweler to design a piece out of metals such as copper or silver, then take a mold of it, and cast it into gold or platinum. This is actually what our manager did for his wife's engagement ring, shown to the left!
What does it cost?
Anytime there is a deviation from an already available item, the price will increase. However, don't let this scare you away! There are still some very reasonable ways to create a custom piece.
We've received extremely good prices from our custom company that works with CAD designs! They are generally quick to get us designs and make sure they are providing a quality, lasting product. The benefit to working with CAD is that there is no up-front design fee, so you can make changes without having to worry about initial cost.
What goes into pricing custom rings?
Unfortunately, there is no way to give you a "general price" for a custom ring because so much plays into the process. Not to worry - if you have a custom idea in mind, we can work with your budget to find the right option! Come in to talk with us, or email us, to get the process started.
What if I have an older family piece that just needs restoration?
This is also a situation in which we can help! Over the years, we've done quite a few antique restorations. Perhaps you've inherited or been gifted your grandmother's wedding set and would like to propose with it. Maybe it is missing stones, or looks frail, or even just needs sizing.
We are always happy to take a look at the piece(s) and let you know of our suggestions on what work needs doing. Many times with "grandma's rings," we see a lot of wear such as thin shanks or worn out prongs on stones. We can get you a quote on repairs and maintain the essence of the ring but make sure that it will be safe and sturdy enough to wear daily!
Do I have to go custom?
By no means! Purchasing an engagement ring that is not customized is a wonderful way to go and does not mean that you seek to love and honor your special someone any less.
Often, there is still some personalized choice when not "going custom." Usually this involves choosing the type of metal (white/yellow/rose gold or platinum) and the center stone - there are nearly limitless options when considering all the different cut/color/clarity/carat options within diamonds, and all the colored gemstone choices as well!
No matter if it is a fully customized ring or one that we have in stock, or if you spend $500 or $15,000, it is all about the question you are about to ask and the sentiment behind it. You are pledging to love and commit to someone for a long while - what a beautiful thing! We LOVE working with bridal customers, and hope that you will choose us to help you with this exciting journey!
Thank you to everyone who followed along on this thread - or even if you read just one post! We seek to get you answers to your questions. If you would like to submit a question, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next time!