I copied and pasted this off of another thread I commented on a few weeks ago about my custom experience. It’s long and in the nitty gritty, so I hope you don’t mind.
I got my ring custom made. I had the center stone taken out of a very aged and dated setting that belonged to my husband’s grandmother and the halo came out of a necklace that my mother in law has stones for the rest of her children, as well. It took me a while to decide what kind of setting I wanted, so I would also take some time to think. You really need to know that you’ll love what you’re getting and that you won’t end up tiring of the design.
I’ll show you a picture of my ring and then I’ll tell you a little bit more of my experience and the different designs I was thinking of.
Ok so as you can see, it’s a .75 center with a halo of bigger diamonds than are usually found in a halo – they are all .10. The shank is made of small diamonds as well (though it’s a little more channel than micropave) and some of those were taken from a very old cluster ring I had. I am very lucky because although the diamonds all came from different sources (and we had to add two in the halo and a lot on the shank) my jeweler matched them all up for me.
My original idea was a solitaire with diamonds on the band. I really wanted this look. My sister even bought me a fake ring for $10 at a store so I could wear it and see how I felt. Truth is I got a little bored of it because while I admire the style I didn’t feel like it was “me.” I was also not happy with the idea of turning the .10 diamonds into a band and having the band overpower the e-ring since comparatively the stones would be so large (working with so many different sized stones!!). My mom was definitely pushing for me to do a style that would enhance the size of the stone (which I ultimately ended up with). I was contemplating putting the halo in a prong shape so it would almost resemble a flower around my center (sometimes I wish I did, but I know I probably wouldn’t have liked the look for every day), and I just tried so many different combos. In the end I decided to put all the diamonds into a the e-ring and get a plain w-band to offset it. I know one day I’ll upgrade to an eternity ring so it gives my husband a nice anniversary present to get me one year.
Ok as far as jewelers. I went to my mom’s best friend’s jeweler. She does hundreds of thousands of dollars of business with this man and she actually has business cards printed up as a consultant for him, I guess? Anyway, so obviously that is where my mom goes for her jeweler needs. He made a pair of earrings for me that I still wear for my high school graduation and I get many compliments on them. I really trusted him. The only problem was that I didn’t feel that him and I were able to communicate exactly the way I would’ve liked. For instance, I saw a picture in a catalogue and I loved it and I told him that I would the ring to look like that (only with my size diamonds obviously since the proportions of the diamonds in the catalog were different). The thing is he wasn’t explanatory enough about the way the actual setting would sit on my finger and I wish that he would’ve done more by way of letting me try on a wax model or making up a CAD – which I think you should definitely ask for. Here is what the setting looks like from the side and the original design from the catalog. I knew there was no way my ring would look as dainty as that one because we were working with larger, less dainty stones. However, I did not know it would look like this. (Ugh I’m really sorry for the sideways picture, but there’s nothing I can do about it now).
That’s just a ridiculous gap, is it not? My mom knew it was a little off also that this was the way the ring was coming back when we never discussed it being set up that high because she told me suggestion the jeweler made to close it if I wanted. I could line it with diamonds or put one hidden diamond right in the center. Perhaps I will take it back eventually and line it with diamonds. How glamorous, but I didn’t feel like adding one diamond on each side was such a big deal to pay more money no one had, especially since when I wear the wedding band it covers one side and it’s honestly not noticeable to a person looking at the ring. But, the problem is I wasn’t expecting it. Had I been expecting it then I wouldn’t have had a problem. It is very important to work out kinks and get a complete work up of what you are having done when you are paying a lot to have custom work done. There are times when I look down at my hand and I LOVE my e-ring and times that I wish I could change it or notice little “imperfections” and think I would I could get it re-set or choose something more dainty and not as unique (I mean, it definitely different, you know?) but ultimately I know I got something that is very “me” so I need to stop being self-conscious.
Oh and by the way, a diamond fell out of my halo in May.
The jeweler replaced it for free. Make sure that you know policies about things like (you may be taking out insurance on the ring, I don’t know). But it’s good to get reviews and go to reputable places (reputable by people you know in person preferably) where you can trust their hands with your valuable heirloom pieces.
Hope this helped a little and if you have any questions, just ask.