You've been thinking about getting engaged, or you already are and you want to select a ring that reflects your unique love story. First off, congrats! It's a big step to have found your person and to make this commitment with them. Here's what you need to consider when shopping for a ring.
Think About Design
What you want the ring to look like will dictate most of the decisions you make when it comes to selecting a commitment or engagement ring. If you are purchasing a ring for yourself, start with a Pinterest board, magazine clippings, or saved Instagram photos that can be used for reference. You’ll start to see patterns emerge- maybe you’ve been saving a lot of oval cuts, or 3 stone designs. This will help you search for or design a custom ring. If you’re purchasing for a partner, have the conversation! Ask them what they envision their ring looking like, or if they have any references they love. The element of surprise can still be a part of the process if that’s important to you, but changes to a design after a ring has been completed can be costly and time consuming. Make sure you’re both on the same page before you put any money down.
Picking a Stone
The first question I usually ask when designing custom commitment jewelry is, “do you want a diamond?” Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on the planet, which is part of why they’re the single most popular gemstone when it comes to commitment and engagement jewelry. Sometimes customers are surprised to learn that diamonds are available in many colors like blue, pink, yellow, black and green. It’s still a gem that can be used in a unique way if you’re looking to stand out but want a more durable stone.
If you’re interested in something different than diamonds, you’ll need to know the MOHs scale of hardness. All gemstones are graded in hardness on a scale of 1-10, with diamonds being the hardest at a 10 and Amber being the softest at a 2 (salt is actually the softest, but we aren’t putting that in jewelry!). If the intention is to wear this ring everyday, I recommend selecting a stone that’s at least a 7.5 or higher. If there’s a gem you have your heart set on and it’s too soft, consider a bezel setting with the expectation of upgrading it over the years, or have it made into a necklace or earrings instead.
Another factor to consider is the cut you’d like. Round cut stones are generally the most popular for engagement rings because the facets are designed to create the best sparkle or “fire”. An emerald cut is meant to highlight how eye clean a stone looks (meaning it’s free of visible inclusions), or to highlight any particularly unique inclusions. The only cut I’d recommend reconsidering is a raw cut gem. I originally had a raw cut gem in my own engagement ring before I gained much more gemstone knowledge. With wear and cleaning it ate away at its setting (diamonds are the hardest substance after all) and fell out. Cut stones are much more secure to set.
Now you have a design idea, stone preference and had a discussion with your beloved. It’s time to get started! We begin all clients with a quick survey before reaching out for a consultation. I am happy to hop on a call, zoom, or email to go over details before we start designing. We finalize designs with a computer rendering so customers get a clear sense of what they’ll be receiving, and with your approval, proceed with a non-refundable deposit towards the piece to get production started. Production of all custom work takes place in Southern California and takes 4-6 weeks to complete after design approval.
Got additional questions before getting started? Email me: Info@chouettedesigns.com