(Closed) What was your experience like with custom-making your engagement/wedding ring?

posted 7 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@AnneNM82: We had my Engagement ring custom made. So i knew it was being made and the Engagement was a suprise. We went this route because I just could not find anything that I LOVED in the stores so I took my thoughts/pics to a jewler and he did it for me. I do have to say that I was nervous about seeing it, as I gave him my ideas, and saw the mold, but after that did not see it until my Fiance proposed. However, it turned out better than I could have hoped and was well worth it. Also, we saved money because similar rings at other stores were marked up appox. 25%.

Let me know if you have any more questions! I’ll try and post a pic later!

Post # 5
Member
2580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Fiance has a college friend whose dad is a jeweler, so he had my e-ring custom made through him. I would ask around for local recommendations because I think it’s nice to be able to communicate with a person and pick the stones in person if that’s important to you. Fiance said it was very easy, he did a great job! I wasn’t involved in the process, but I love my ring.

My story is similar to @Cheesy Potatoes:, the engagement was a surprise but I knew he was getting the ring made. We looked in stores and the markup was very high and I didn’t find something that was exactly what I wanted. We saved a lot of middleman/storefront costs, too–it appraised for several thousand more than he paid! We were really happy with the experience.

ETA: Fiance also approved the mold, so he had a good idea that the jeweler was on track and that it was all going smoothly!

Post # 6
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@AnneNM82: i have posted my ring before in this thread:

http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/why-do-you-love-your-e-ring

Excuse the redness of my fingers in the pic! it was right after he proposed and it was a bit tight but I squeezed it on ! hahah

just search for my name. Anyways, where i live there is a building that houses a lot of jewelers. I just asked around ( on theknot, friends etc ) for a good recomendation.

 

Post # 8
Member
59 posts
Worker bee

Hi!  

We went with a custom e-ring as well.  I knew that I wanted something different, so first I chose a stone shape that I knew I’d be happy with forever and was different.  It was between a pear and an emerald cut.  I ended up going with pear after seeing a halo pear and also just a classic pear ring with side baguettes.  

So, we bought our stone on our own and then the NIGHTMARE began (*giggles* but it ended really well).  We started finding as many pictures as possible that I liked of a halo pear that I liked, and at the same time bf went on the search for a custom jeweller.  WHAT a rigama-roll we got.  BTW, while we live in a big city, for some reason it wasn’t that easy to find a custom jeweller who produced that quality of work I was looking for.  

First Jeweller:

jewller: “yeah, sure – that design sounds gorgeous, I can totally make it!”

us: “what about setting it, what is your experience with chipped stones, is it even something we should be concerned about.  If by SOME crazy chance the stone chips during setting what is our recourse”

jeweller: “stones chip ALL the time…heck I can take you in the back and show you a bag full of stones chipped while being set”

also, this person didn’t have any really GOOD samples or even a proper portfolio to show us.  We knew that not all the rings in his shop were made by him, so we asked to see his, he said that those were his – literally the day before he admitted it and it was really obvious ie. a hearts on fire display.  

The price was on the really low side; but not worth the risk. 

Another jeweller said he would do this piece hand made (like a couture piece) and that just because of labor it would be ridiculously expensive.  So he offered to do it by finding a pic of a ring I was fine with and then doing some auto-cad thing (which he doesn’t personally actually do).  And I wouldn’t be able to ask for the little specifics/details.  So not custom and STILL crazy expensive. 

We had so many weird experiences until I found some angels to make my ring.  It was the last straw. I somehow found these people just using a google search.  HEAVEN!!! we sat with the artist who sketched my vision.  We were there for three hours.  No pressure – it was a quaint location, kind of lofty, workshop.  They had all the goldsmiths working and we were given a full tour.  They literally were able to articulate the things I wasn’t able to articulate and educate me on types of pave, size etc.  And price wise it was totally fine.  More expensive than finding a ring I would just pick out of a store, but not that much more money.  

k, sorry this is getting long – I’ll wrap up πŸ™‚ 

Yes, even then I was scared it MIGHT not turn out, but I was reassured by all the amazing pieces they have already made, and I noticed that their workmanship was pristine – this was reassuring!

Honestly, I’m in love with my ring.  It turned out better than I expected.  Couldn’t stop looking at it.  Oh and when we asked about setting the stone and chipped stones (JUST IN CASE); they assured us that it has never happened, and the setter is one of the best in the country.  

So, all in all:

1. really look around.  Research as much as possible.  Think about what YOU want.  If you like a certain type of pave, find out the pave style (ie. mushroom, v-cut, french pave etc).  Find pictures – even if you like a certain shank but not the top part, find out what you do and DON’T want.  

2. Ask lot’s of questions; if it feels weird then I wouldn’t do it.  

3. Ask and really look at the portfolio of the jeweller.  Do you like his/her style? Is the jeweller able to make different styles (ie. modern, vintage etc.)?  

4. My jeweller asked me to bring in my favourite jewellery to get an idea of what I love.  They weren’t pushy, but made great suggestions and asked questions. 

5.  You should really be able to sit down with whom ever is custom making your piece – otherwise, what’s the point ?

good luck girl!

 

Post # 9
Member
569 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Fiance and I had my engagement ring custom made to match a wedding band I inherited from my great-grandmother. We chose a small, local jeweler who specialized in custom designs. She had an entire gallery of photos of her custom work, so we could see plenty of examples. We didn’t have any problems at all. She was super nice and professional, and I don’t think we really paid too much extra for the custom work. We also got to choose the center diamond in person, rather than ordering it online. I went to a lot of jewelry stores looking for something that would closely match my heirloom ring, but I couldn’t find anything I loved. I’m so glad we had my ring custom made. We’ll be going back to get FI’s wedding band made, as well.

Here’s a pic:

 

Post # 10
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

We had my e-ring custom made and I love it! My Fiance had a beautiful family diamond, and he completely surprised me with the proposal. He had it set in a plain ‘tiffany style’ setting (he had NO idea what my ring size was or how to get it without me finding out, so he opted to go with whatever the jeweler had that was inexpensive!). His plan was to design our own ring and get it made.

We had a great experience – we went to several jewelers and got some ideas – and then went to a designer who implemented the ideas (rounded bypass ring, with a gently curved wedding band to match). We went back and forth with the designer several times to tweak the design – and I couldn’t be happier! Totally worth it if you already have the stone – or a specific design – in mind.

My only advice is to talk to several jewelers and find one you like – we talked to a few jewelers who didn’t appreciate the stone and suggested we have it recut into a modern style (uh, no – it’s from 1901, and that’s kind of the point). And definitely find one who listens to what you say, and who does work similar to what you want!

Post # 11
Hostess
1427 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@AnneNM82:

My rings were custom made, my husband first proposed with a setting from James Allen but the metalwork was extremely shoddy and unfinished. We found a jeweler in San Francisco and from the work they had, I picked out the design elements I wanted in my ring. They made a wax mold, casted it, and then micro-pave’d the whole thing.

To help answer your questions:

It was made by Derco Diamonds in SF.
We dealt with Blue Nile to get my cushion brilliant stone, and the original setting was from James Allen (DO NOT RECOMMEND!)

I wasn’t too worried about the final product living up because I saw a lot of their settings in the store and their micropave and pave work was done extremely well. Almost like a Leon Mege of the West Coast.

It didn’t cost extra which was my surprise! It ended up being a little more than what the James Allen setting was but I got more diamonds on it, and the craftsmanship was superb. It was about 250 extra which was fantastic. Also, we were dealing now with a brick and mortar store that I had face time with the owners/sales people which was way better than dealing with the phone trees at James Allen.

I would like to just get a whole new ring instead of getting a wedding band to add to my current engagement ring, and I’m not finding anything that exactly fits what I would like, so I’m wondering about going the custom route. If you had a custom engagement/wedding ring made, what was your experience like? Who did you have make it? Did you deal with any online companies? Were you afraid that the finished product might not live up to your expectations? Did it cost extra? Was it worth it? Any advice or ideas you can give me would be appreciated! And of course, feel free to show off your custom creations if you’d like! πŸ˜‰

 

Hope that helps!

Post # 12
Member
3671 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I love my custom wedding band.  We got my ring at Reeds Jewelers so we went to one that had a jeweler at the store.  He had actually made a custom band for my setting before.  It made me a little nervous that I wouldn’t like it but I absolutely loved it!  He was so helpful and helped us a lot with staying in our budget.  I told him I liked sapphires and we couldn’t spend too much and he was able to make my band with sapphires for half the price it would have been with diamonds.  I don’t think it cost any more than it would have if it wasn’t custom made.  One piece of advice he did give me that I didn’t follow was to bring in your own gold if you can.  He said it can bring the price down dramatically if you bring in your own metals or gemstones. Here’s a picture!

Post # 13
Member
2981 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I may be biased since I was once employed by the goldsmiths that made my ring, but the custom route is definitely the way to go. All of our customers really enjoyed being a part of the designing process and “helping” the goldsmiths create a one of a kind ring for their soon to be fiance. Personally, I didn’t really have much to do in creating my own ring other than mentioning that I wanted it to include sapphires and have a thick substantial yellow gold band that won’t wear down or get bent or *gasp* need rhodium plated. My fiance enjoyed working with them and we are both thrilled with the way the ring turned out. Most custom shops will carve a wax model and set your stone into it for your approval before the ring is cast, so if you go thru a reputable jeweler or goldsmith you will have plenty of opportunities to tweak the ring to your exact specifics. As far as the cost goes, you aren’t being charged for overhead and jewelry store mark up, but chances are you will be charged per hour for the goldsmith’s time plus the cost of the materials and stones you choose. It really is worth it, plus it’s fun to have your design brought to life. I’ve posted pictures of my ring on other threads but I can post it again on here later if you don’t feel like doing a search for it! 

Post # 14
Member
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@AnneNM82:Thanks! I definetly recommend the custom-made route. It was such a great experience for my Fiance and I . I wish I would have taken pictures haha ( just to have). We really enjoyed the whole process and i can say that i’m 100% happy with my ring.

 

Good Luck!

Post # 15
Member
862 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Definitely would recommend custom made.  Our jeweler backs all his work lifetime, free rhodium plates, and cleanings whenever we drop by.  It was significantly cheaper and Fiance and I were able to design the entire set ourselves.  BONUS – he used my grandmother’s orginal engagement ring and melted it down to make mine πŸ™‚

Post # 16
Member
622 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - Vandiver Inn

We had my wedding band custom made and I’m not sorry for a second. We picked a shop that had a jeweler on site and talked it over with them. It wasn’t a complicated order or anything, but I wanted the channel set stones to match up exactly with the ones in my engagement ring which is why we went custom.

Bottom line is that I got exactly what I wanted for waaaaay less than we would have paid if I’d gotten a stock design. It’s win win!

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