If you're a regular Bridal Musings reader, you'll know we rarely meet an engagement ring we don't like.
Rose gold or platinum, diamonds or morganite, halos or solitaires, modern or vintage, we love them all.
But because there's so much variety out there, when it comes to selecting an engagement ring of your own (or for a special someone), the choice can be daunting, confusing, and at times, overwhelming.
So, we've teamed up with custom jewellers, Joseph Jewellery, to share our guide to buying a custom engagement ring.
Scroll down to read our insights into why a custom made ring might be right for you, and get our top tips for selecting the right metal and gemstones for that all-important sparkler…
Why Go Custom Made?
While there are so many gorgeous rings available in jewellers everywhere, there are lots of reasons to choose a custom made engagement ring instead.
Having a ring made, means you're involved in every step of the process. Because of this, you can be in control of, and make the most of your budget, by selecting stones and styles that get the most bang for your buck.
Oftentimes, when couples are looking at engagement rings, they may like a band from one, a stone from another, and a setting from a third, by selecting a bespoke ring, you get to have all your favourite details in a single piece.
And of course, it's pretty wonderful to have a ring that's 100% yours. Having a ring made just for you, is probably a once in a lifetime experience.
Your engagement ring is likely one of the most treasured gifts you'll ever give, or be given, so by having one custom made, you're creating something that's not just unique, but truly special too.
You don't have to be creative or artistic to make a bespoke ring, by teaming up with a jeweller who specialises in custom pieces, you'll be able to work together to design something perfect.
Where to Start?
According to Joseph Jewelry (who create the most gorgeous custom engagement rings!) there are three things you need to consider when you get started with designing your ring; budget, style, and size.
It's kind of a no-brainer, but knowing how much you have to spend on the ring will really help to narrow down your choices.
“Some couples prefer to spend less on a ring in anticipation of other big expenditures, like buying their first house, or an exotic honeymoon. Others may feel that a sizable diamond of impeccable quality is worth the splurge.
There is no right or wrong amount to spend, so long as your wallet and heart can handle it!”
While you may not know exactly what you want your ring to look like, you will have some idea of the style you want, even if you don't know it yet!
Whether the ring is for yourself, or your partner, think about the kind of jewellery she already owns, her general style, and the kind of things she's into.
Chances are you'll already have in mind if it's something simple, ornate, vintage, or modern that you're looking for.
“If you're still in doubt, her friends are a great resource. They'll remember the times she's gazed longingly at a particular ring in a magazine or jewelers case, and they will be only too happy to aid and abet you on your matrimonial mission.”
And finally, size. You might need to do a bit of sneaking around to suss out her ring size if you want it to be a surprise. But do your best to borrow a ring she already owns and have a jeweller size it for you.
“If all else fails, just guess – and keep in mind that it's easier to size a ring smaller than it is to have it enlarged.”
Choosing a Diamond or Gemstone
We all know that when it comes to shopping for a diamond, what you need to consider are the 4 Cs.
But do you know what the 4 Cs really are? Did you know there is, in fact, a fifth C? And are you sure it's actually a diamond you're looking for?
Joseph Jewelry have a great diamond guide on their site, with everything you need to know about about Cut, Clarity, Colour, Carat… and Certificates!
But of course, a ring doesn't need a diamond to be engagement worthy, Joseph Jewelry also have rings decked out with garnets, sapphires, emeralds, rubies, morganites and more. Be sure you read up on precious and semi-precious stones, before you make your selection.
If you need more inspiration on alternative gemstones, check out our guide here.
Choosing a Metal
As with choosing a gemstone or diamond, choosing a metal for your engagement ring simply comes down to personal preference.
Platinum is the most durable metal, meaning it won't ever require you to replate it in years to come, and it will hold your diamonds really securely as well. Naturally white, it's one of the most dazzling precious metals you can choose for your ring.
Palladium is a less costly alternative to platinum, while still being hypo-allergenic and tarnish resistant.
Gold of course is an ever popular choice for engagement rings, white gold and yellow gold are the most classic, though rose gold is particularly stylish at the moment. The percentage of gold in your ring is denoted in Karats.
The Custom Process
Creating a custom ring is such a fun, exciting and engaging (sorry, not sorry!) process, where you're consulted every step of the way to ensure you're entirely happy with the finished product.
Joseph Jewelry's skilled artisans will work with you, either online, or at their Seattle showroom, to work out exactly what you want from your ring, showing you lots of examples along the way.
You'll be shown sketches or computer-generated images to see exactly how your final ring will look.
Once you've chosen a design, gemstones, and metal, they'll provide you a free quote for your ring, working within your budget where possible, to create something really beautiful, whatever you have to spend.
Next, a Joseph Jewelry artisan will create a 3D model of the design, allowing you to make any changes or modifications to your ring.
From there, Joseph Jewellery will use stereo lithography technology to “print” a full-size wax version of your design. The technology allows the jewellers to create intricate details, and achieve absolute perfection.
You'll be sent the wax prototype in the post, anywhere in the world, to get a full-scale idea of how your ring will look, and give your final approval.
Finally, it's time to make your ring!
Joseph Jewelry's master jewelers have at least 15 years of experience each, every step in the production of your ring is meticulously carried out. From casting your design, to soldering your details, Joseph Jewelry, use both the latest technologies and the most skilled craftsmanship to produce a perfect ring every time.
As the finishing touch, your diamonds and gemstones are set and you'll receive your sparkling one-of-a-kind, heirloom-worthy engagement ring.
Pretty cool right? Have we convinced you to opt for a custom engagement ring yet?
Check out 10 Engagement Ring Trends for 2016