Crafting the engagement ring of your dreams
You’re about to take a big step, and it’s time to give yourself a nice pat on the back. Geez, pop up the champagne if you feel like it… You’re getting engaged!
Clearly, you’ve already thought about how important the ring is. And, (happily!) you’ve also decided to get some well-needed advice before you embark on your quest to get a unique piece. So, read on… there’s much to learn when it comes to crafting the engagement ring of your dreams. But worry no more: We’ll get your foot in jewel-making, engagement-proposing door!
Step 1: Your Idea
A secret in jewellery –as in life—is that the simple act of being prepared before you go on knocking on doors will get you a long way. There are two ways you can get your idea juices flowing:
Idea #1: Starting with a ring in mind.
If there’s something that the Internet has taught us, is that (mostly) anything that can be done has already been done. Using this to your advantage, you can start by researching existing rings and their mark-up prices. You have already decided to go on your own, which will likely help you save big bucks along the way, but this method can help you look into a few things. For example:
- Which diamond are they using for this ring? What are the specifics of this particular stone?
This method, along with cross-checking with the DiamDrop database of over 230,000 discounted stones, can help you budget and discover how much you will save by commissioning your own ring. A good rule of thumb for calculating your future costs is subtracting the price of your benchmark diamond from your choice of engagement ring, and dividing the result by two, or even three if you’re aiming for a model sold by a renowned designer (which tends to bump the price up).
- Does your ring exclusively feature a diamond as a centerpiece, or are there other jewels around the ring?
Many designers are known for including additional stones, such as crystals, or even smaller diamonds, around the centerpiece diamond. This means that, if you want to get as close to your benchmark design as possible, you’ll need to purchase them separately. A jeweller is likely to charge you an extra fee for purchasing jewels, and there are many specifics to go into when it comes to picking every type of stone, so think your process through and make sure your project doesn’t get overwhelming or exceed your budget.
- Can I get the same result –or even a better one—if I go for a different material?
The fact that your ring of choice was made using a particular material shouldn’t stop you from fantasizing –and budgeting—other options. Gold, white gold, silver, and even stainless steel can make for an even better-looking design… or even help you cut costs and get the diamond you’ve been dreaming of!
Of course, this route –albeit the one that requires the most work—also allows you to dive into your notepad and design the ring of your dreams completely from scratch. This route can be risky, but also extremely satisfying once you see your design come to life!
Idea #2: Starting with a diamond choice
Starting by selecting a diamond, on the other hand, also has a considerable set of advantages. First, you’ll likely be able to filter out prospective designs that play down the style of diamond you’ve chosen, allowing you to focus on finding a design that makes your shiny stone shine even brighter. Second, you’ll likely be able to budget more efficiently, limiting the number of choices you’ll have to make down the road. After choosing a diamond within your possibilities, you can go straight to a jeweler with one or more designs that can nicely fit your stone (again, the Internet is your best friend here), and see how much each one will take from your remaining budget.
Click here to access the shop and find the diamond you are looking for.
Step 2: Picking a Diamond.
How does the largest diamond database on the Internet sound when it comes to looking for your perfect diamond? DiamDrop.com features over 230,000 pieces, as well as a platform that allows you to surf this vast catalog with ease, helping you narrow your search up to the stone of your dreams.If you don’t know how to pick a diamond, or how these stones are priced, you can look at our “How to choose a diamond” guide. Between this, and making sure you understand how to check for ethical, conflict-free diamonds, you’re all set!
Step 3: Choosing a Jeweller to Make Your Diamond Into a Ring.
Now, it’s time to make your brand new diamond into a ring that will last for generations. To do this, you’ll need to find a jeweler that’s capable of achieving the design you have in mind in style, and without incurring in excessive costs. Whether you know exactly what you want or not, the following tips should help you find and hire the expert you need for this task, saving you hiccups and helping you stay within budget.
Hiring a Jeweler: The Ultimate Trust Checklist.
For you to feel comfortable picking a jeweler, he or she must comply with the following criteria. Some points are clearly more important than others –your best judgement should help you know which ones to prioritize—, so don’t take everything as a red flag. However, remember that we’re highlighting them for a reason, and that there’s always someone qualified to do exactly what you’re looking for!
Certifications and Credentials: As any craft, jewelry-making is highly professionalized, and properly certified professionals will likely be better than empiric learners. Shops and brands that have managed to stand the test of time are also considered more trustworthy than those with 0 experience. Make sure you also surf the Interwebs for reviews to know what the common pain-points and delights of other customers have been with a particular jeweler.
Proof of Talent: An experienced jeweler is likely to have an extensive catalog (or even an Instagram account) to provide you with evidence of their talent. Samples of their work can help you in your decision –e.g. to make changes to your design—and can evidence flaws in their work, as well as showcase their specialities. You’ll find that a jeweler that has already successfully executed a similar design to the one you want (or even the same one!) will provide you with enough peace of mind to justify your research.
Long-term thinking: A trustworthy jeweler doesn’t stop with the task at hand. They understand the importance of proper maintenance and taking care of the pieces they’ll create for you, and they’ll let you know how to go about this.
Warranties and returns: When commissioning a bespoke design, it’s always essential to establish the conditions of the agreement. Even if you trust your jeweler, make sure you negotiate the terms under which you’ll be collaborating, and that there’s a warranty to protect you in the –hopefully, unlikely! —case that something goes wrong.
Understanding of diamonds: A good artisan will comment and remark on the diamond you’ve chosen, and will help you evaluate if your choice of design is suitable for crafting. Furthermore, they might help you assess new ways to highlight your diamond’s unique characteristics with ideas of their own!
Perhaps, the most important one: Metal Integrity. If you are to only take one piece of advice from this article, make it this one: Always verify that there’s a stamp verifying the quality of the precious metal that will be used for your ring. These stamps typically read as 10k, 14k, or 18k for gold, and PLT for platinum. Run away from someone who can’t or hesitates to showcase the quality of their work!
You’re Good To Go!
After reading this, you’ve effectively gone from a 0 to a hero in the tough –but highly rewarding!—task of commissioning a bespoke diamond ring. We hope you’ve found this guide informative and, although we can’t account for advice on every single difficulty you may find along the way, we hope that we’ve provided you with the principles and guidelines you need to navigate the rest of this road yourself.
Remember that we’re here to help you on every step of the way, from providing a catalog of over 230,000 stones to 24-hour customer service via chat and email. We’d love to have the opportunity to help you choose your perfect diamond, and create a ring to be proud of!
Make sure to get in touch if you have any follow-up questions about DiamDrop!