Sparkles=Love...Creating a Custom Wedding Ring

Finding the right engagement or wedding ring can be like finding the right guy. You have to look at all the bad ones before you find the good, some will have nicks, some will have rough edges, and some just plain don't fit. Sometime though, you have to take matters into your own hands to find the right one that's just right, and when you do, it will be the perfect fit, literally. Regardless if the ring will be a surprise or if the couple decides to work together in the design process, there are some important things to consider when designing the ring of your dreams says custom jewelry designer, Christine Smith, of A Gem For You.

Do Your Homework & Open Your Eyes
Christine suggests doing your homework and asking a family member if your significant other has ever mentioned what they would like in a ring design. Maybe they have a favorite gemstone shape or have mentioned what kind of band they prefer, after all, family knows best! Also keep your eyes open to your other half's style. What other type of jewelry does she wear? Does she usually choose silver or gold? Christine suggests noticing if she leans more toward contemporary clean lines, ornate antique designs, or traditional class designs. The jewelry she currently wears is a key sign!

Think Practical
Remember that the ring will most likely be worn every day, so Christine reminds couples to think about the practicality of the ring itself and to make sure the style is conducive to the woman's daily routine. As an example, if your significant other works in the medical field where they will be putting on and taking off gloves every day, a ring that sits lower with fewer prongs may be the best fit, Christine says. Taking profession, lifestyle, culture, and personality into account are all important. "Whatever the style, always be sure to design the ring with the wearer in mind," Christine says. "This ring should not only represent your union of love, but also the person wearing it."

A Pretty Penny
A custom ring will traditionally cost more, mainly because of the additional labor and time, Christine says. So it's important to get accurate quotes from several jewelers and decide what is best for you. The metal type, diamond shape, carat weight, stone quality, number of stones, and intricacies of the design will all affect the price, Christine says.

Slow Down and Enjoy the Ride
The process of designing your own ring can take around 4-6 weeks according to Christine, so be sure to take this into account when doing your planning. It's best to start by drawing inspiration from photographs, existing designs, or simply through sketching. "Be as descriptive as possible so you can be assured that what you envision can be translated properly," Christine says.

Most of All Have Fun
The custom design process is really interesting and should be fun. But, it can also be nerve wracking; wondering if the ring will turn out how you wanted, if the designer has gotten your vision and if it will be the ring your soon to be fiancee or wife always wanted. "It's really fun to be involved in the initial concept, viewing the 3D wax model to discuss any changes prior to casting, and also in some cases, getting to view the stones before they are set," Christine says. By involving her customers, Christine hopes to alleviate any stress they may be feeling and help assure them that the finished piece will be exactly what they hoped for. As she says, "by the time I hand them the finished piece, there are no surprises, only big smiles and occasionally a few happy tears."

Christine is honored that a little piece of her will be carried with the couple throughout their lives. "If you're thinking about getting engaged or are ready to shop for wedding bands, just keep in mind that it is an emotional process," Christine says. "And if you decide to go the custom route, enjoy it! It's a chance to have something creative and uniquely your own."

You'll be wearing a ring on the same finger, with every outfit, for the rest of your life. But, when you step back and remember why, the person laying next to you at the end of the night makes designing the ring not so intimidating anymore. Good luck and call Christine if you need some help! Below you will see Erin's ring and bracelet that Christine created for her, along with a some custom pieces A Gem For You has done for some of our favorite ladies!


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