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Selecting your engagement ring is a beautiful thing. It’s intimate. It’s thoughtful. And it’s rarely undertaken lightly. After all, this ring that you’re choosing symbolises everything that your relationship is, could and will be. That’s why so many people are now deciding to design their own. But while designing your own engagement ring is undeniably special and the ultimate way of getting exactly when you want, there is still room for mistakes to be made. And some of them are actually pretty common.
Independent UK bespoke jeweller, Durham Rose, talks us through the most common mistakes made in engagement ring design – and how to avoid them.
Designing an engagement ring is an exciting thing and many of our clients really enjoy the creative process. Because we work with CAD, design progression with Durham Rose is completely interactive. This means that customers can have a genuine say in all parts of the design process other than the physical ring creation. But because of this, it’s very easy to get caught up in the design and forget about who the ring is for. An engagement ring is one of the most personal items you will ever buy. And although you, the giver, have to love it, the main focus should be on the prospective wearer. After all, it’s their finger it will be sitting on. So, do a little research upfront. Remind yourself of the style of jewellery your intended goes for. The type of metal they prefer. The stones they love. Any motifs that really matter to them personally, or you both as a couple. And keep all of that strongly in mind when you are discussing the details in your design consultation.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have the financial resources of royalty to create a bespoke engagement ring. But regardless of your income, if you haven’t planned your budget you may well come unstuck. You need to be clear from the start, what you want to spend, how you’re going to afford it and what your budget is intended to cover. So, work out what funds you have available and where they’re going to come from. Then think about the respective potential costs of stone/s, metals and craftsmanship.
When it comes down to it, the humble wedding band will always play second fiddle to the engagement ring. Which is sort of ironic, given their respective roles. Although the wedding band gets less attention, it’s really important to remember that it will be sitting alongside your chosen engagement ring. So, if you don’t factor it into your design you could end up with an uncomfortable contrast – either aesthetically, or physically. Although many people purchase their wedding bands at a later date, it’s worth talk to your designer about it before you fix on an engagement ring design, just to avoid any complications later.
The only real difficulty in creating your own bespoke engagement ring is that it takes time. At Durham Rose, bespoke ring creation can take up to 30 working days, depending on stone availability and client sign-off. But each ring has its own degree of complexity. So, if you’re aiming to propose on a set, special date, then you need to give yourself time to get the design just right and to let the jewellers do their magic.
The thing with bespoke rings is that they are, in a way, priceless. BUT, that’s not to say that you can’t insure the elements. If the ring is lost, stolen or damaged in the future, insurance won’t bring your perfect engagement ring back. But it will give you the wherewithal to replace it with something new. And the wonderful thing about working with Durham Rose is that every custom-made ring comes with its own creation photobook, so you have a detailed photographic record of the way the ring looks. But more importantly, all of the detailed CAD drawings relating to every Durham Rose commission are stored in our archives. This means that your ring can be remade if the worst happens. Depending on your finances, without insurance, that may not be possible. We’d be happy to provide you with all the information you need to get your ring the right cover.
Any engagement ring can be special. We’ve known people who’ve treasured the ring pull of a lager can because it’s that that the proposal was made with. But having a ring that was made just for you is incomparable. It doesn’t matter if your budget stretches to a rare red diamond or a more modest amethyst. What matters is the love and attention you’ve put in to creating a ring that is just, oh-so perfect for the person you adore. At Durham Rose, we work hard to make sure that our customers avoid the common pitfalls of ring creation. But it certainly won’t hurt to keep this list to hand when you’re planning a ring of your own.
Durham Rose is an artisan business that came about by accident. What began with a personal quest to find the perfect engagement ring, ended in the creation of a business that has helped many, many people find theirs. With the odd unexpected twist along the way.
With a unique CAD-based design process, Durham Rose allows customers to be truly involved in the creation of their rings. From the first digital sketches to photo-realistic renders, the finest details are there to explore. And customers are welcome – encouraged – to put make the design their own.
Family-run, the emphasis for Durham Rose has always been on service. The founder’s engagement inadvertently generated the business. And so, for them, every single ring produced is part of a very personal story.