(Closed) Is there a way to see how a custom engagement ring will look like?

posted 5 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
Member
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

They usually either do CAD (detailed 3d images) or wax molds that you ok before they actually do anything with the metal/stones. Ours did wax, and put the diamond in it so I could try it on!

You should visit the independent jewelers in your area and tell them you’re looking to have something custom made.  Then you can learn their process, prices, and the jeweler themself.  Having a good jeweler is important!

Post # 5
Member
527 posts
Busy bee

I used PowerPoint to mock up my custom design to see what it will look like and convey visually my concept to the jeweler. I had good color pics of my center stone and multiple pics/angles of the ring I wanted to use/change. I am hoping to hear back from themaker of my ring this coming week to see if it’s possible to do what I envision. Fingers crossed!

 

Post # 6
Member
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@atreyu547:  Well no they aren’t going to do a bunch of 3d images or wax molds for free.  They usually charge their labor fee per hour (at least here) for any real work.

But, they will often meet you, sketch out designs and discuss the pros/cons of different settings for free (here anyway).  They do want your business after all and have to be able to show you why you should pick them out of all the jewelers.

We brought in two pictures, and said “I want this part of this one, and this part of that one, and we were thinking x also” and with one detail up in the air between this and that.  When the jeweler made the mold he made both sides built up higher than they would be normally.  One side one way, one side the other so whatever we picked he only had to make one mold and then pare down the sides to the final design.

I could sketch ideas and photo shop to my hearts content, but I really felt like I needed a jewelers input for integrity (structurally), safety of diamond, and things like that.  Just like if I knew what kind of roof I wanted cause it looked neat I’d expect the roofer to tell me if while it looked great on paper on my house it would lead to water buildup or something. ๐Ÿ™‚  Even with the mold I was undecided on the this or that part, both seemed fine to me.  Darling Husband prefered one but told me to get what I wanted, since I couldn’t pick I picked what he prefered.

So no, we didn’t have a final design, even after visiting ~15 jewelers, narrowing down to 3, and visiting those three again, THEN picking the final jeweler.  We didn’t have the final design until after seeing the wax mold (we already had the diamond, so we didn’t have the issue of shape).  But we learned tons in the process about both jewelery making, the jewelers, and what we wanted before we got to the point we picked the jeweler and further defined it from there.  Some jewelers were just scary… In your face “You wouldn’t like that” (to the general idea we gave… HA, I love it over 6 months later) was the worst.  One lady wanted three times more than anyone else (ha!).

Post # 9
Member
1657 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@atreyu547:  If you do it through most jewelers, they can get you any gemstone for a LOT cheaper than what you would pay for it on the market. 

Post # 11
Member
1657 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@atreyu547:  Chain stores almost always have a massive markup. Consider this:

I visited the largest chain store for jewelry in my area. I showed them my 0.75ct, H, VS2 diamond. I asked them how much they would charge for a diamond with the color and quality I had possessed. They said $6000 for the diamond alone, not including setting.

I paid only $2200 for the stone, GIA Certified, through Blue Nile. Of course Blue Nile marks up their diamonds (how else would they make a profit with them?) but the markup is nowhere close to how much a reputable online store would charge. Some places I’ve found though are reasonable, but nowhere near the price I paid for mine. I think the lowest I found that a B&M store would sell me a diamond of the same specs was like $3000. 

Post # 12
Member
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@atreyu547:  Chain stores are usually horribly marked up, especially in a mall.

@atreyu547:  Jewelers should definitely be able to get you any stones cheaper than you could get them.

As far as the halo I think it’s really a personal decision and a jeweler might give guidence, but still up to you.  You have not only the look of the ring to consider but upkeep (cleaning/replacing/fixing).  Also how/where you plan on wearing your ring.  Me for instance wanted 24/7, no pointy stabby bits, and only take it off when soldering or working with live electricity.  If I had a halo I’d worry about it and be talking it off a lot (which I didn’t want), not because I think they are super fragile, but because I’m that rough on jewelry.  I’ve always worn rings and “thwack” is a pretty common sound lol.  What I wanted isn’t want everyone does, so it’s important to think about what you want!

Post # 13
Member
527 posts
Busy bee

Check around on Pricescope.com. You can get recommendations for quality, well-priced stones of all kinds (except synthetics). Lots of knowledgable diamond & gemstone collectors who are very kind and willing to make suggestions and share their expertise to help you pick out a stone within your budget. 

Through PS, we found out about multicolour.com, where we found the perfect stone for FAR less than we could have on our own or in any jewelry store in the states. It was a little uncomfortable ordering something so expensive from so far away (Thailand), but the owner is a graduated gemologist, was awesome, sent pics & video of my stone via email, and has a 10-day inspection period to ensure you love it, or you can return it for a refund. Once I knew when it was going to arrive, I set up an appt with my local jeweler to immediately review/inspect/appraise the stone, and it appraised for double what we paid (not that I plan to resell it; rather, it’s hard to find what we bought and I wanted it insured to allow for that value).

 

IF you are patient, willing to learn about what stone you want, and dont need it “tomorrow”, you generally can & will find your best deals online vs the chain stores … Just gotta hunt them down.

 

Good luck!

Post # 14
Member
6743 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

Have you gone to the stores just to try different settings on?  I think once you try things on, you’ll have a better idea of what you want.  Even if it’s not exactly what you have in mind, just try on pear and round and halo and no halo and see what you like/dislike.  I tried on a bunch of rings (I knew I wanted a round center and stones on the sides) and eliminated a lot of different things that way.  Ultimately, I found a pic of exactly what I wanted on ringenvy.com and sent it to Fiance with all the specs.  Then, I found some other bees that also had what I wanted and asked them for their specs – I went by how I liked how they looked on other people’s fingers.  Turns out, I love my ring!

Post # 15
Member
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

If you are unsure about halo vs. no halo and pear vs. round, the best thing to do is to actually go into stores and try on your options. That should help you decide on a stone shape and halo status. Then, once you’ve decided, go into a good custom jeweler, sit down with the person who will be making it for you, and start talking. The jeweler will sketch out the design with you, make tweaks, then translate that into a CAD design. Once you approve the CAD, you will move to the wax mold stage, and then to the actual making of the ring. Our jeweler ordered my stones after the CAD had been approved. I wanted all Canadian diamonds, so we looked at the other diamonds they had in stock to decide what combination of the 4 Cs was most pleasing to Mr. LK (he was in charge of stone selection), and then the jeweler sourced the diamonds that matched those specs from Polar Bear diamonds and had them imported for us.

 

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