People often say to us "I want to design my own engagement ring". They want to create their own ring and have it tailored to their sense of style and taste. They also feel that designing your own has a certain cachet and makes an engagement ring all the more special. If you feel that way, we say go for it!
However, if you want to design your own engagement ring, it's really important that you have a basic understanding of diamond ratings, diamond shapes and the different types of engagement ring settings available. You don't want to go into this blindly.
Once you have the basics down, you then have two options on how to proceed.
The first is likely to be more costly but go to your local jeweler and say "I want to design my own engagement ring" and see how they respond. Some won't or can't help you while others will be eager for the challenge.
Make sure to ask them if they have any minimum cost requirements before you start so that you're both on the same page in terms of budget. If you're both good to go, they'll help you decide on the choice of metal, the quality of the stone or stones, and the setting.
The potential downside with small jewelers, is that depending on the size of their business and sophistication, you may be limited by their design ability and only have access to a limited number of diamonds and gemstones.The next option takes a lot of the guesswork out of designing your own ring. It's more a process of customization. Go to a large specialized diamond jeweler or retailer and custom design your own engagement ring while having access to their vast resources of diamonds, settings and precious stones. They can be online (always cheaper) or offline—you'll get what you want and at a much better price than from a small independent jeweler.
Make sure, whichever way you go, that your diamond comes with an independent diamond grading report so that you have a clear understanding of the quality of stones that you're buying and that they're conflict free diamonds.
Once we realized that there were an increasing number of people saying "I want to design my own engagement ring" we set out to do some research and ask our friends in the industry for some guidance. By the end of it all we had a fairly long list of requirements which included everything from quality control to good pricing.
The good news is we actually found one that exceeded our expectations in James Allen's design your own ring system. We did a walk through of the system, had some colleagues do the same, and we were all so impressed by the process, their policies, and what they had to offer.
They pride themselves on having beautiful settings and high quality diamonds, and they do. And, since the majority of their business is online, they offer much lower prices because of the volume of diamonds that they buy and their access to worldwide resources. They get great reviews from those who have bought from them and have been profiled in the Washington Post, NBC News, US News and World Report etc.., and are known for their customer service.
The most important differentiator and why we decided to recommend their system is because of their virtual loupe technology which allows you to actually see the diamond the way a jeweler sees it. You simply drag the loupe around the diamond you want to look at and you'll be able to see any inclusions and really understand the character and personality of that particular stone.
Both our team and our colleagues couldn't believe how great this was—it's like being in a gemologist's lab and looking through his loupe. You can read more about it in our article on how to buy loose diamonds.
The system not only lets you design your own engagement ring but you bet to choose from their huge inventory of conflict free diamonds.
Their diamonds all come with an Gemological Institute of America grading report (which is the world's foremost authority on diamond grading) and a real picture of the actual stone. Just like searching for an airline ticket or other stuff on line, you get to choose the shape, color, clarity, carat size, and cut quality of the diamond.
You choose a setting from their hundreds of options which run from traditional to very modern and everything in between. You can sort by metal (yellow gold, white gold, platinum) and/or price.
We're amazed by how easy they make it to design your own engagement ring, how much fun it is to create that perfect ring, and the great value that they offer.
We really are excited about this and are thrilled to provide such a great option for all of you out there.
When told by friends and website visitors that I want to design my own engagement ring we always offer the same advice.
It's a terrific option but don't go in blindly, this is an important purchase. Do your own research beforehand to know exactly what you're buying and what your options are.
So, if you haven't done so yet, check out our know Your diamonds section and then start designing away!