Couple smiles after he proposes with a custom engagement ring

Custom Engagement Rings: Everything You Need to Know

Selecting an engagement ring is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make. You want to make sure that you and your fiancé are delighted with the engagement ring you choose, and it should be a stunning creation that you'll be proud of and love showing off.

Choosing the Setting

When designing an engagement ring, choose the setting that appeals to you the most. The metal you choose for the ring is important because it enhances the appearance of the finished design. The most widely used metals for engagement rings are:

  • Yellow gold
  • White gold
  • Rose gold
  • Platinum

Yellow gold is created with different types of alloys that make it stronger, and is available in different color combinations. Yellow gold is transformed into white gold when the surface has a coat of rhodium plating. Popular rose gold is created when copper is added to the gold to give it a rosy appearance. The more copper that's added, the deeper the hue is. Platinum is used to create rings that have a lustrous, silver appearance. Choose the one that you will enjoy wearing everyday.

Selecting a Diamond

When you've decided on the setting, start looking at diamonds. There is a variety of shapes to choose from. Some of the most popular diamond cuts are:

  • Round
  • Princess
  • Pear shaped
  • Marquise
  • Oval
  • Radiant
  • Heart shaped
  • Emerald

The setting and the diamond should complement each other. Round diamonds are popular for their glitter. Diamonds with very distinctive shapes such as pear or heart-shaped make fingers look longer. Princess diamonds are stunning in classic settings. It's really a matter of personality and preference.

Finding a Reputable Ring Designer

When looking for a jeweler to design a custom engagement ring, the best thing to do is shop around. Simply because a jeweler has an established business, doesn't mean he or she is the most qualified person to design your ring. Find out what services each of the jewelers in your area offers. Find out if they have a metal smith on the premises. Look at their designs. This will give you a good indication of their skills. You should also ask around for recommendations.

In order to custom design an engagement ring, it's important to choose a craftsman who specializes in custom designs. You shouldn't be taken in by a jeweler who advertises their "combined experience." It's more important to choose a designer that has developed his or her craft over a number of years. Make an appointment to visit their studio and see examples of their work, and find out what gem associations they belong to. The American Gem Society, the American Gem Trade Association, and the Gemological Institute of America, are the most well known.