Thinking about purchasing a diamond ring and want something different? Couldn't find exactly what you’re looking for? There is the option of creating your own custom ring design and with current technology it can be ordered online quite easily.
The big question is, how do you describe to the jewelry designer or manufacturer what you’re looking for?
The following tips may help in organizing, prioritizing and communicating your ideas...
- An illustration...a picture is worth a thousand words. If you can come up with pictures of something similar or even a general direction, it's a great start.
- Who's it for? Besides informing the jeweler of the gender of the intended recipient, it’s wise to think about the recipient, what they would be comfortable with and what their needs are. That's easy if the jewelry is for oneself but there's a big difference if it's for someone else.
I recently completed an order for an engagement ring a customer was buying for his fiancé; it was an expensive ring and quite complex. He insisted that the ring must have small pave diamonds that could be seen from every direction and wouldn’t listen to practical suggestions. The ring was executed with extreme care and precision and we painstakingly followed the customer’s instructions. The only problem was that after receiving it, his girlfriend was too embarrassed to wear it. It wasn't the sort of ring she could wear to the supermarket or to work every day, let alone wearing around the house. It simply wasn't practical and could only be worn on very special occasions. It was out of place.
An engagement ring is something you need to be comfortable wearing all the time.
- When will it be worn and how does the person dress?
Logic would state that if one purchases a piece of jewelry that costs a lot of money that one would want to get maximum use of it and wear it all the time, at least from an economic view point. However people who take there appearance and dress code more seriously, make the effort to select appropriate attire for each occasion or event. Our appearance says a lot about us. Today people often dress more casually, however taking pride in ones appearance demands respect from those around us. If your fine tuning your look, even the smallest details can matter. Does the necklace compliment the dress? Do these earrings go well with the top I'm wearing? What statement am I making about myself? This is what makes life rich and interesting. However quoting a favorite maxim regarding obsessive behavior..’ Notice the details but don't get stuck on them’
- Make sure you have enough time.
If you are ordering a custom ring and laying out a substantial amount, then don't leave to the last minute, if its needed for a special occasion like a proposal or anniversary. The process can take a couple of months. You need time to decide on what your looking for and it will take time to be made and delivered.
- Common Language…Try to communicate your ideas in so others can understand. In describing the jewelry it helps to think about what type of jewelry it is. If it’s a ring, is it a solitaire or a solitaire with side stones? How you describe a piece and how the jeweler describes it may be very different. One needs a common language. The following table lists some common jewelry categories, component and setting descriptions. Jewelry Descriptions
- Is there a budget?
Choosing a budget is not always a simple thing. It's not just a case of how much can I afford. Sometimes what's cheap in the short term can be costly later on. Well manufactured jewelry which is produced to a high standard, not only looks a million times better it also has less chance of falling apart or having stones drop out six months down the road.
If you’re making an engagement ring then it may be a thought to choose a matching wedding ring at the same time; one that will sit snugly next to it, so that you won't run into problems later on. Spending a little more now may save a lot less later. If possible, consider the needs beyond the short term. Sometimes we just can't afford the ideal ring we’re looking for, or we just can’t make up our mind. So in the interim its perfectly ok to purchase something in the mean time that’s a simpler decision and easier to implement. My wife has been asking for a tennis bracelet for years. We had a lot of other financial commitments so it had to go on the back burner. In the mean time I made several other pieces that she is totally delighted with and she’s now collected an array of elegant pieces that can be worn on different occasions.
- Can it be made for the price?
If your thinking of your ideal ring or a bracelet you've always dreamed of and only have a limited budget, be open to alternative suggestions from the jeweler. For a certain look or effect, you may be able to achieve another stunning piece using alternative materials at a lower cost. Don't be taken in by the nuance differences between one color or clarity grade of a diamond all for the sake of a letter on a certificate. Most of the higher color grades of diamonds are not discernible to the naked eye. The chances are, if you try to resell your certified stone, it will not achieve the price you paid for it, even if the value of diamonds appreciates. Using 14k gold instead of 18k will not be noticeable to the eye. White gold usually has plating on it anyway.
- What are the recipient’s measurements?
The finger size, chain length or size of a ’wearers’ ears can make a difference. If its a ring. The ring may be more difficult to adjust after the ring has been made. If the size is out by more than a size and a half it may seriously impact on it's ability to be sized. On rings where there are diamonds on the side along the shank, the diamonds will be affected by the size change and will need to be checked.
See our article on resizing rings. On a full eternity diamond wedding ring, adjusting the size is sometimes not worth it as it may mean making the ring all over again. Pendants chain lengths are easier to adjust, however it saves hassle later in thinking about where exactly you want the pendant to sit on the chest.
- Which gem type?
It's amazing how much diamonds have been marketed by the diamond and jewelry industry; to the point that the main stream demand for diamonds has become common place. However there are many extremely beautiful gems to choose from which lend so much interesting color to jewelry...Strong sky blue Aqua marine, Chrome Tourmaline, Rhodalite Garnet, Turquoise Paraiba Tourmaline from South America, beautiful rich pink Spinel...to name a few; each with their own story, feeling and look.
- Which metal type?
Now here’s a whole subject just on its own. See our article on metals used in jewelry. Metal choice can make or break a piece of jewelry. Choosing the right color and type can affect the look both in the short and long term. If your using yellow gold for the setting yellow stones , then you will notice the stone and not the prong. However if you want the color to pop and intensity to increase then you may want a contrasting metal color that compliments the stone such as white gold or platinum.
Most of all have fun designing, selecting stones, choosing the metal colors and being creative. Experiencing the creative process is a wonderful thing that I personally love doing every day, and is one of the reasons I love my job so much.
You have any questions? Just contact me.
Richard Lewis, Emigem.com