One of the coolest things about living in the 21st century is how individualized our options are becoming. Everything is more and more customized to your unique, specific needs and preferences. From skincare to haircare to clothing to the digital content we consume, companies are fully embracing individuality. If the 21st century had a slogan it would be “to each their own,” literally.
In the bridal realm many couples make the choice to custom design the engagement ring. This is beneficial for many reasons. First you have a one of a kind product that is truly your own. Second there is sentimental value to a partner taking the time to design a ring that has special meaning unique to her and their relationship, or if they design it together it is a truly romantic collaboration. Third, you can really control the cost by adjusting every element of the ring to suit your budget.
If you’re like most people who dream of designing their own engagement ring, you probably think this process is more complicated and more expensive than it actually is. Most people believe that you have to be an artist or know a lot about jewelry to create your own ring when in fact, everything is much simpler. Couples just like you have successfully ‘designed’ their own engagement rings for decades.
At Gabriel & Co. the process is easy, smooth and worry free and there are no extra costs associated with designing your own ring. Your custom engagement ring will not go into production until you are 100% satisfied with the design. Most importantly, if you or your partner are not happy with the final ring, our Shop Confidently program gives you the opportunity to exchange for another ring.
Research shows that face to face interaction is the best way to custom design an engagement ring. We only work with expert jewelers that have extensive fine jewelry knowledge. Our experienced designers will help your vision come to life. Whether you know exactly what you want, have images of inspiration, or starting entirely from scratch, our team of experts are here to guide you.
If you are starting from scratch, the first step in the process is for you to browse our vast online collection or our in store showcase at a participating Gabriel & Co. retailer nearest to you. They can show you different types of settings and design elements to help you identify the patterns and features that appeal the most to you. In no time at all, you will understand what design elements really resonate with your style and can focus on them and you will recognize what characteristics of the ring you want to give special focus to when designing.
In the process of browsing multiple designs, most clients will find that they consistently gravitate towards specific elements. Every engagement ring has multiple parts and special consideration has to be given to each one.
The Center Stone
Most people prefer that their engagement ring have one main center stone, usually a diamond.
· You will need to decide the shape of the center stone
· Our knowledgeable partners will then work with you to select a diamond that’s best for you. You will decide which characteristics of the diamond will benefit you the most and be able to compare the carat size, cut, color and clarity of different diamonds.
· Your stone can be prong set and depending on its shape you can select different options of prongs. Our knowledgeable retailers can recommend the best and safest prongs for your center stone.
· A halo – you can choose to surround the center stone with small diamonds to give it a bigger look and more sparkle.
· A double halo – you can choose to surround the center stone with two rows of diamonds to really give it a big look.
· A hidden halo – you can choose to put diamonds facing out from under the center stone to achieve a sparkling look from all angles.
· A three stone – you can choose from many options of bigger diamonds to flank the sides of the center stone to form the three stone ring which stands for friendship, love and fidelity.
· A three stone halo – you can put bigger side stones to flank your center stone and put halos around the center or all three stones for some serious bling factor.
A gallery is the underside of the ring. You can really get creative here and put some meaningful elements such as beautiful scrollwork, floral motifs or an infinity symbol to represent your never-ending love and commitment. You may also choose to do a simple gallery and engrave your names or a special date in this area.
You will need to decide how high you want the center stone to sit. Generally, those who lead a very active lifestyle prefer a lower setting as it’s easier to manage. You can discuss the pros and cons of a cathedral setting vs low setting with the jeweler who can advise you on the right choice.
The band part of the ring, also called the shank, is where you can get very creative. There are many designs of bands each giving the ring its own unique appearance. A plain polished band will look simple and timeless, a band set with diamonds will give off even more sparkle, a split shank band, a twisted band and a criss-cross band give the setting a modern feel and even more sparkle if they are set with diamonds. There are many shank designs to choose from in both contemporary and vintage inspired genres, each of which has a profound impact on the overall look of a ring.
Choosing Diamonds for Your Setting
If you choose a diamond setting rest assured that we have a very strict diamond selection criteria and we are committed to using only conflict-free diamonds. We only accept diamonds that meet our rigorous standards for color, cut and clarity and that is just one of the reasons we are the number one preferred brand among jewelers for 3 consecutive years.
You can choose from a variety of precious metals. The most common metals used for engagement rings are gold and platinum. We offer gold in 14K or 18K and you can choose from white, yellow or rose gold.
Since your creation will be personalized down to the last detail you may want to engrave something meaningful inside the band or on the gallery area. You can let the jeweler know your preferred font and placement if it’s a special message. You can also engrave a design along the front or sides of the band if you so choose.
The Ring Size
Since your ring is custom made you will need to know the finger size. If it’s a surprise for your partner there are creative ways to get her ring size without her suspecting anything. More on this here. If you are together, the jeweler can measure her ring finger on premises. Ordering a ring that fits from the beginning lets you avoid having to resize the ring after you’ve proposed — something that isn’t always possible with all settings, specifically eternity.
Your Design Brought to Life
Once you have finalized your ring specifications with our retailer, our CAD designers will start to create a 3D rendering of your engagement ring. Your jeweler, will be sent videos of your design via email and will contact you to review them. If you are happy with the rendering, the team can then start production, but if there are still things you want to change, our team will make the changes based on your requirements at no additional cost. Our team will not stop until you are 100% satisfied.
Once you approve the CAD design, our large team of expert jewelers will begin the process of making your ring. Each of these experts have devoted years to mastering their specialty including jewelry modeling, wax model carving, finishing and polishing.
Don’t Forget About the Wedding Band
After you’re done designing your engagement ring you will surely be a pro. If you want a matching wedding band that will fit the engagement ring exactly and sit flush with it this is the perfect time to have the band made specifically to match. The matching band, if purchased at the same time, will also fall under our Shop Confidently Exchange Program.
Designing your own engagement ring can be a very fun and rewarding process. The jewelers working on your custom engagement ring have one primary goal: to create the perfect engagement ring that your partner will love and we are committed to remain your preferred jewelry brand for life.
A custom engagement ring has sentimental value and can become an heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation. When people admire your ring and ask about it, you can proudly say, “I designed my own ring or my partner designed it, or we designed this ring together.”
Find your nearest Gabriel & Co retailer to start your customization journey and we wish you sincere congratulations on your upcoming engagement.