Designing your own engagement ring can be an experience like no other. However, many people have the misconception that you’ll need to bring home a 6-figure salary in order to buy a customized diamond ring.
The truth is, buying one online will cost you 40-50% less than a ring that’s being sold at a local brick and mortar store.
That said, you don’t need to be intimidated by the process of buying one either. The process can be fun, easy and intuitive. In fact, when you go online, there are lots of amazing tools that can help you select the best stone and setting.
In essence, designing an engagement ring yourself involves three basic steps:
• Getting educated on the 4Cs
• Choose a diamond
• Design the setting and build your ring
Before you shop for any diamond, the 1st thing you ought to do is to learn the 4C’s – clarity, carat weight, color and cut. In essence, these factors will help you determine a diamond’s value and help you to avoid stones which are out of your budget. More importantly, a good knowledge on the 4Cs will set you on the right path to choosing the best possible diamond based on your budget.
When buying a diamond, there’s more to it than just basing your decisions based on a lab report. Think about this. If all GIA or AGS certified diamonds are equal, why do you think that 3 different diamonds with identical grading differ in pricing? You need to go beyond the 4Cs to be a smart shopper.
Besides the technical aspects of diamond choosing, you would also need to consider the emotional factors involved. For many women, the most important aspect of a diamond ring is the size of the center stone. Also, there could be other factors such as societal statuses or shape preferences when it comes to picking a piece of jewelry.
Once you’ve settled on a stone, the next step is the most interesting process: designing the setting. The setting is basically the mounting where the stone is set and you would need to make a decision on the material for the ring. Typical choices include yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, platinum, among others.
Personal taste and budget constraints would help you narrow down on the choice of metal. If you need more information on this, read this article on the differences between white gold and platinum ring settings.
Next, the design you chose for the setting should reflect your lifestyle and should be within your budget as well. The one thing that is certain when you go online is that you will not be limited by choice.
For your convenience, I had compiled a list of popular setting types below…
A pave setting can be domed or flat and has numerous small diamonds that are encrusted on the ring’s surface. These small diamonds (melees) are held in place individually with beads or small prongs. The drawback with this setting is that there is slightly higher risks in setting the stones as multiple prongs need to be pushed onto the surface of the stone at considerable pressure.
In this setting, numerous tiny stones are attached into holes or open rows which makes them leveled with the ring’s surface. If you’re going to use square or rectangular stones for channel settings, you’ll pay a little more than you would with round stones. The channel setting is popular for wedding rings but it’s not a good option for fragile gems, such as opals, emeralds, and the like.
Like the channel setting, the bar setting can also be placed on part of the ring or on all of it. However, instead of having the stones being deposited in channels, thin vertical metal bars are placed between the stones to hold them firmly in place. This setting is a classic design that leaves the stone exposed on its top and bottom.
This type of setting is typically used for men’s rings. The stone is set to flush fit into a hole such that there is no protrusion from the ring and the metal is then hammered around the ring’s edge to hold it securely in place.
Since there is considerable force being applied during the setting process, such designs are not suitable for fragile gems.
This is the most popular setting for engagement rings. Prong settings usually comprise of three to six ‘hooks’ that secure the stone in a metal head. Prongs can take a number of shapes, such as flat, pointed, rounded, or v-shaped. Since there is minimal metal coverage, this setting brings out a diamond’s brilliance and maximizes the sparkle of richly colored gems without compromising security.
Besides the 5 types of settings I had listed here, there are also other designs such as bezel and tension settings that you can choose from. In the end, the choice of ring setting design boils down to your personal taste, lifestyle and budget.
By taking the time to design your own wedding rings and finding the perfect diamond, I’m sure it will make your engagement ring more sentimental and special. In years to come, when you look back at the memories of choosing a ring to mark the special occasion, it will definitely bring smiles to your face. And who knows, it might even be a great story to share with your children.
If you are looking for a truly customized diamond ring creation and want to view your ring on computer stimulated designs before making a purchase, Brian Gavin offers the best solution for you. You will get detailed CAD (Computer Aided Diagrams) tailored according to your specifications and also a wax ring model you can try physically. This allows you to preview and visualize your design concepts before turning it into a real piece of jewelry. For more details, read this page…