Q&A: How to Design a Custom Ring with Diamond Ideals

Designing a custom engagement ring can take your sentimental proposal to a whole new customized level. The thought and time that goes into creating this piece makes it a work of art, a customized symbol of your love. With such great care and attention put into designing the ring of her dreams, it can seem like a more daunting process than it is. We asked lead designer of Diamond Ideals your burning questions so that you can design your custom engagement ring, stress-free!

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question: Should I design my own ring?

Answer: There are a couple of advantages to designing versus purchasing an already crafted engagement ring. The first is simple: most prefab rings are made with heads that are able to accommodate a large range of stone sizes.  A particular style would need to be altered to look just as good with a 3/4 carat diamond as it would with a 2.5 carat diamond.  By creating a ring for a specific finger size, we also avoid having to resize rings which can lead to other issues. Designing around the stone means being able to make sure the ring remains proportional to the chosen center.

The second advantage is personal taste. Bringing in photos of the prefab ring you want is great, but it is sometimes not possible to change the size or configuration of that ring to fit personal taste. By custom designing the ring, the elements you love can be changed and  we can play with proportions and let the customer choose which they love most.

question: What is the step-by-step process of designing my own ring?

Answer: Designing a beautiful ring only takes a few steps, starting first and foremost with a vision. Whether you, your partner, or both of you have dreamed up your own design or found elements of different rings you want to incorporate, create a vision of what you want your ideal ring to look like. With that vision, meet with a designer who will create sketches until you see your perfect ring on paper. Choose your diamond or the stones that will be going in the ring and from there, a CAD (computer aided design)  of your ring will be created. Once the design has been approved it will be created and delivered to you. The only step after that is getting down on one knee!

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question: How far in advance do I need to plan?

Answer: Creating a ring from scratch is a process but the good news is you won’t be waiting long. In fact, you can be waiting as little as only two weeks. The design process usually takes about 5 days but can take longer if the design needs substantial changes.  Once the design is finalized, creation of the finished piece takes about 10 days.

question: Is there a significant cost difference between designing and purchasing an already made ring?

Answer: While there is a difference in cost between buying an already created ring and creating your own, you will be getting what you pay for. The factors behind the cost difference include a design cost ranging from $200 and $300 as well as a slightly higher labor cost.

Rings that have already been created and are waiting for a center stone (called semi-mounts) are usually mass-produced overseas making manufacturing costs extremely competitive.  Unfortunately it is often impossible to alter such a design without rebuilding the ring and incurring similar costs to a custom design.

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question: What are some tips for getting the best value?

Answer: Great question, however one that is difficult to answer. Today’s best values are found in stones that are located overseas.  Unfortunately these stones cannot be directly examined by local vendors so they have to rely on what is written on the grading report rather than actually seeing the stone.

One of the advised ways to shop is to find a vendor you like, preferably one with physical access to the New York inventory, the largest inventory in the country, and work together to find the perfect stone.

Most stones are available through several vendors and designers are aware of that.  A vendor who knows you are committed to the transaction will work harder and although they may not be the least expensive on a specific stone, he will probably guide you away from making a mistake which in itself is priceless.

question: Can I come in and see the diamond?

Answer: Yes! Since diamonds are the integral base of each ring, it is important for you to see the diamond so you know what you’re getting. Whether it be in person, via email with macro shots, comparison shots, or via video, take advantage of the resources available to see your diamond to ensure you know what you are getting.

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question: What if she doesn’t like it?

Answer: Whether you design the ring yourself or buy one prefab, it seems there’s always worry that she won’t like what you choose. If you are panic-stricken with worry that she will not like your design, propose with a promise ring and then review the CAD drawings together. The advantage of the design process is that CAD images are discussed throughout.  Hopefully any required changes can happen during this phase.  Yes, you can change aspects but it does add to the cost.

If you are thinking about the idea of designing your own ring or she has ever mentioned the idea, go for it. It will be a beautiful sign of your love and commitment to her. To get started on designing your ring, contact Diamond Ideals.


This post was happily sponsored by Diamond Ideals!