A RING NO ONE ELSE WILL HAVE
One of the number one reasons to go custom is to get a ring that is as unique as your future fiancé. No one else in the world will have the one of a kind ring that she has! That's rare, as so much of what we purchase today is mass produced, including engagement rings. She'll feel as special as she is with a ring that is all her own to wear for a lifetime.
She'll also cherish the story and find any excuse to brag about you to all of her friends, co-workers, and anyone else that will listen (props to you!) -- and she'll have a meaningful story to accompany the ring if you plan to have kids and pass along your precious pieces.
With a custom ring design, you don’t have to compromise anywhere, on any detail of the ring. You have full control of the design, materials, stone size, any any and every other aspect of the ring. Your designer or jeweler will of course offer insight and expertise all along the way and offer all of their professional design skills -- but you'll be calling the shots on making the final decisions as well as providing any major parameters that guide the overall design.
When going custom, you aren't at the mercy of what is 'possible' based on pre-made parts and pieces available to order -- the sky's the limit!
OPPORTUNITY TO INCLUDE A UNIQUE PERSONAL TOUCH
Adding truly unique personal touches is unparalleled when talking about a custom ring. We've designed entire rings around this concept! One example is a client with a desire to incorporate architecture from the church where he met his future wife. We designed a unique and beautiful ring setting that perfectly captured architectural details derived from photos of the church, creating a totally unique ring unlike any other, with tons of individualized details without being over the top or cheesy-- something beautiful with deeper meaning for those that know the story or church, or with whom the couple cares to share the inspiration. Similarly, we've incorporated small details that are very personal underneath settings, inside bands, or on the bottom of bands for couples who want a subtle nod to something specific (like a nickname, gps coordinates where a couple met, or special symbol). You could explore anything your heart desires in a custom design -- whether it be as simple as symbolic colors or stone choices or something elaborate that dictates the overall design.
Thinking through every little detail of a custom ring shows just how much you care and how far you'll go to give her exactly what she wants and deserves. It shows thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and that you care about her intimately and intentionally. It may sound cheesy, but a custom ring is a custom-fit piece for a one of a kind girl. You can make design choices or parameters based on her likes and dislikes, things she's told you, lifestyle considerations, and even include details that represent the story of your love that wouldn't fit for anyone else. It's more personal, and so much more romantic than going to a traditional store and picking out something mass produced in an afternoon. Even better -- it'll be the subject of so many future conversations over the years, and a sweet memento that passes along with your ring as an heirloom one day.
IT IS MORE AFFORDABLE THAN YOU THINK
The absolute biggest misconception about custom engagement rings is that it is expensive. This is only as true as you make it -- as you're the one controlling the cost! An engagement ring can be as simple and understated or extravagant as you'd like, and designers are prepared to work with you at all different levels depending on your vision, desired stone, and ideal budget. You can also re-purpose existing gold and heirloom stones if you'd like, which can actually make the process less expensive than a traditional ring!
While it is sometimes true that the labor portion of the project might be a little more than purchasing a pre-fabricated or made to order standard setting, the markup on this is often a lower percentage than the standard retail markup you'll find on standard designs, so it isn't always significant. Furthermore, the stone (if you're wanting a traditional Diamond) is almost always the most significant portion of the project, so the largest chunk of the budget won't really change whether you go custom or not. If you're into a non-diamond alternative stone, often a custom ring may actually be less expensive than the average Diamond engagement ring.
Food for thought:
When considering cost over a lifetime, going custom can actually offer some additional financial advantages. Most custom designers utilize more metal in their designs and don't take the short cuts many mass-produced designs utilize. Many designs for industry are designed in a way as to make them the most economical-- meaning thin areas of metal thickness, hollowed out areas, and/or an 'as little metal as possible' approach as to keep manufacturing costs down and margins up. Independent designers, in contrast, make one off pieces that they take personal pride in and guarantee to last for a lifetime. In fact, on occasion it is necessary for us to talk customers out of certain design details that might not be durable or appropriate over a lifetime. Additionally, both the amount of metal and labor practices used in stone settings can vary wildly, and you'll almost always get higher quality, more durable stone settings when going with a jeweler that specializes in one of a kind pieces. This can save you quite a bit of headache and lots of repair costs over the lifetime of a ring.
CONTROL OVER MATERIAL SOURCING + LABOR PRACTICES
Choosing a designer to work with on a custom ring is a personal choice, and you can opt to work with someone who specializes in ethical metals, stones, and labor practices. Often times, a jeweler does all of the work themselves (like we do!), making the labor element a non-issue. Jewelers should be able to tell you how the gold and stones they work with are sourced -- and if you're not happy with their response to your inquiries, you can simply choose to work with someone else instead. Many designers today put these issues at the forefront of their process, and are committed to sourcing ethically.
IT’S WAY MORE FUN THAN YOU'D THINK!
Whether you've ever designed anything in your life or not -- working to dream up the perfect engagement ring is a truly exciting process. It's always fun to have an initial conversation, but we always see major surges in excitement across all the stages of the project -- from looking at hand sketches to seeing a diamond in real life and looking at 3D printed ring prototypes. Often our clients get so anxious in anticipation of the ring's completion that they move up their proposal dates because they're so pumped about the big moment!
It's also worth noting that you'll get to see the behind-the-scenes process of an industry that still does most of their work the old school way -- by hand. You'll learn about each step of the process and might even get a look in the studio. In a world where not much is still made by hand, it's fascinating to see how custom jewelry is created -- and often surprising to see how intricate and time consuming parts of the process still are.
UNPARALLELED EXPERT ADVICE
Working one-on-one with a jewelry designer is an involved process, and you build a relationship with that person over the span of the project. You'll get to know the designer, and they'll get to know you. It's not a simple sales transaction and requires lots of thoughtful conversations and fact-finding missions in order to create the perfect ring. It also involves quite a bit of explanation and knowledge sharing, as your designer will want to talk you though lots of options when it comes to various parts of the process. They'll be your personal expert on types of Diamonds (or alternatives) and will personally help guide you to the perfect stone. They'll also impart all of their relevant knowledge on topics like design, setting styles, metal choices, and lifestyle considerations.
The designer's job is to take the stress out of the process, provide you with all of the knowledge you need to make choices that fit for you and your budget, and make you feel comfortable all along the custom journey. The expert advice you'll get all along the way can be extensive, but the custom process is designed in a way as to not overwhelm and be an exciting experience. Generally, you'll get more detailed and transparent information in a custom setting than you'll get anywhere that simple sells finished goods.
Pro Tip: Take the expert advice! When else can you get a personal expert at your fingertips without paying extra for it? Because custom is what we do, we're not building in any extra fees or charging you by the hour to explain the difference between lab grown or earth mined diamonds -- it's simply part of the process -- a necessary step to creating the perfect one of a kind ring from scratch.