Post # 1
I was wondering if anyone had some custom er design stories to share?
When I first started looking at rings I knew more less what I wanted. But, the stone shape and style of band became an issue matching by availabe budget. I’m an artist but I really didn’t wish to design anything. I wasen’t interestd investing the time and effort with communicating with designers. But, as time went on after looking at muliple rings I still could not find what I wanted. The shape stone I wished for was an issue because it apparently wasen’t widely available for one reason or another.
So, I ended up ordering my stone from Thailand. I was nervious but it ended up being beautiful. Then the probems began. The stone was odd sized and would not fit into any pre made prongs. And it was large. The designer would have to not only set it correctly but make it strong enough to hold the stone size.
I contacted a designer by my house. It took me a little bit to realize she called herself a jewelery designer but she was not! She sent her stuff out to a 2nd party who did the designing. I did take a class of jewelery design at my university and I know I’m no expert. But, I wanted to deal with the designer without a middle man. So, I went back to the man I used to get my jewelery design supplies from when I attended my university. He did jewelery design and his father before him. At least I knew him and thats who I ended up going with.
I sent my designer about 5 images I liked and we discussed the materials. I told him I’m rough on jewelery and that I wanted something heavy and substantial. He made me feel comfortable. No wax mould was nessessary for my design. I had his wife who was a gemologist double check the stone to make a verbal appraisal. After this was done I gave him the okay to make my er. I was also on a very tight time line which he did meet.
Was the ring exactly what I wanted? No, but I love the stone and I love that my fiance gave it to me. Did I enjoy the design process? No, but I’m glad I did it. I think it was nessessary for me because I would have never worn an er I was unhappy with. Would I design something again? No, not by choice, I am a firm believer in seeing something complete in person then deciding if you like it or not. The thing that surprises people the most is that my ring is a simple tiffany setting with a square cushion solitaire. I still need to get a picture of it.
If anyone has some er design stories I’d love to hear them! And pictures please! We all love ring porn!
Post # 3
@chica95110: I agree with you — I would not design something again nor would I recommend that anyone else do so (my sister is looking at rings now and I told her FIND ONE YOU LIKE IN PERSON, THE END! Lol). I only customized, didnt design from scratch, but both times I did it I was disappointed with the result and it was a huge hassle with the jeweelers and it took forever. Things are ok now but we wasted a lot of money getting here!!
Post # 4
This isn’t for my Engagement Ring, but for a RHR. The very first thing my Fiance (boyfriend at the time) ever gave me was a ruby ring. It was set in a very thin silver setting, so it was contantly broken, a diamond fell out, and it started getting very tarnished. I stopped wearing it because it was practically falling apart.
I saved the ruby from the center, and created my dream ring design based off of another ring I had growing up that was also very cheap and fell apart, but I loved the style!
I contacted one of China’s largest casting houses through Ebay, because they said they could do custom designs.
Here are my drawings of what I wanted:
After some back and forth about the design, here was the CAD they sent me:
Then some more changes, and here is the finished product!
And here it is with the rubies set!
It was a really amazing value, it’s 10k rose gold with .25ctw of diamonds, completely custom designed, and it only took about a month from start to finish! It cost $400 for the setting, and $50 to set the three stones (with my employee discount at a jewelry store). Now I get to wear my wonderful FI’s first present again!
Post # 5
@wrkbrk: Do you have pictures your willing to share? I would love to see your ring if your willing to share.
I think for those who hang in there and design something they can get truly unique results you can’t get from buying something pre made. The trick is finding a great designer. Where the great designers are at I don’t know but I’d love to see some of their work!
Post # 6
I would love to see your ring too!
I had the same situation – found a setting at one store, but was dealing with the other store where we’d found the diamond – and although they were very nice, the sales pressure was AWFUL. In their whole store full of rings I thought I’d dream of wearing, not one spoke to me the way that other design did. But because the original inspiration was round, they would have to design something to fit my cushion. I approved the CADs the first time around not having any idea how to really look at CADs, and of course, it looked nothing like the original inspiration. My delicate milgrain petals just came out looking like bulky prongs. Not what I wanted at all – it didn’t showcase the incredible diamond my Fiance and I had found.
VERY fortunately I had one free re-make with them, and after a LOT of back and forth on the new design, and painstakingly asking every little question – even on things that seemed ridiculously obvious – they finally got it. I honestly didn’t think they would – I was terrified. I am a jewelry designer as well and didn’t want to design my own e-ring. If I had it to do over, I would spend an entire day in that darn store trying on every single setting (’cause now when I go in for cleanings, I swear I find things I would have liked!)
My crazy long cad story is here: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/a-very-long-cad-story-new-ring-is-being-made-pics#axzz2hFpVp5Ep
And the new ring, that I adore:
Post # 7
@chica95110: I dont have pictures of the first attempt (my e-ring) but I do have pictures of my second attempt (a RHR). It’s hard to tell from the photo though because it looks fine, it’s just not what I asked for/envisioned and the jeweler was VERY hard to deal with. I ended up selling the setting somewhere else for scrap and having a new person make a new setting. Here are the before and afters, but like I said, it’s not like the before ring was ugly, it just wasn’t what I had in my imagination and I ended up picking a whole new look …
Post # 8
@chica95110: I don’t know if mine counts, since it’s a replica of my original ring (I wanted platinum instead of white gold due to the replating issue, and decided to upgrade the quality of the stones while I was at it), with some small changes (eg to the thickness of the band, and to the basket setting). For me, the worst thing about the process was getting quotes from different jewellers; I emailed quite a few and had to provide photos, plus as many details about measurements as I could to get ball-park quotes; and some were coming in very high ($4500).
Once I’d decided on a jeweller (based on their customer service and their awesome quote of $2700), it was very smooth from there on. I dropped my ring into their office in London, and they kept it to make the wax mold and the cast. I gave them license to make small changes as they saw fit; I wanted a shape wedding band made at the same time, but with the current setting it would have been a REALLY weird shape; by changing it slightly I could have a slightly less odd-looking band.
Approx 3 weeks later the cast was ready:
I was very pleased with it; at this stage, I hadn’t even handed any cash over, so to speak. At this point, I could have backed out, or made changes as I saw fit; they were very easy-going. However I was very happy; I just decided to have it sized up a UK half size (US 0.25) as it was slightly tight when my hands were warm. I arranged to pay the deposit later that week over the phone, collected my original ring, and left.
Later that week I paid the deposit and gave the go-ahead. I also changed my mind about the diamond specs, deciding to switch from F VS1s to D VVS1s. They had no issue and were happy to advise and make the changes.
Around a month later we collected it; it was beautiful.
Below are pictures of the original (top; black background), and the new ring:
And here are both of them together (original is on the top):
I’m very pelased with the finished product and wouldn’t hesitate to go that route again.
Post # 9
@barbie86: That is so pretty! I’ve never seen a ring like it!
Post # 10
I had a great time custom designing my ring with a jeweler in LA (getting him to order some really straight forward weddings bands was a whole other mess of a story). My design was pretty straightforward, I needed a jeweler because I wanted a beautiful morganite. I thought the work was very high quality except the resizing. While resizing, he bent one of the prongs that hold the morganite a bit too much and now it snags on fabric, but it’s a minor imperfection that I can live with.
Post # 11
@kidseahawk: I can see all the detail from the side view. The prongs are very unique and pretty. I don’t know how I would ever explain anything like that or see it on cad. I do have a square cushion stone but I have to admit I kept it super simple on purporse for the designer and with me loving simple tiffany settings I thought there could be no problem. I’m glad the issue was brought up with looking at computer renderings because its not an exact science. And I really thought I was so clear about what my wishes were. I remember getting the ring in the mail and looking at it like it was some foreign object. The stone is what makes the ring so I think I’m able to overlook the things I don’t like about the ring.
I also had a super plain wedding band made at the same time. And again – its ok but not exactly what I wished it would be. I can now see where the communication lacked in the design.
Everyones rings are all so beautiful though I have to say. I know the designing thing can be painful. I hope the stories keep coming in! The details are always interesting and again such beautiful rings – I would be lucky to be able to wear any of them.
Post # 12
Not sure if mine counts eaither because I did not go to just one jeweler and design it.
Well it took 3 years in the making but I finally got the ring I really wanted. All I knew is that I wanted purple somewhere in my set and a swirl design….when we were first engaged, we could not afford or find what I was looking for. We knew going the custom route would cost more money and time, which we did not have. The first thought was to do a little at a time as we could afford it.
So at first settled on one that I would be okay with. It was a Zales ring in wg with a swirl design 1tcw:
I absolutely could not find an amethyst curved band to go with this ring…so we thought we would alter the setting to accomidate amethysts on the side…well Zales said they would void the warranty if we did that and the jeweler we took it to said it would not look right anyway.
We got married anyway. And I wore the ring another year.
After our first anaversary, Darling Husband confessed that he did not really like the round stone and that he really liked princess cut diamonds… if he would have picked it out himself, he would have chosen a princess cut….crap….so he decided to upgrade me to this:
1ct Celebration princess cut diamond with amethysts in the wedding band
But we lost the swirl design. I wore it like this for another year. And now that we are renewing our vows (different long story there)…..we upgraded my setting to one that would allow for everything that we wanted in the first place:
So is this custom? Kind of..yeah…it’s a hodge podge of stuff we wanted and managed to put together…lol Zales diamond, modified setting (from round to kite set princess) from Stuarts and wedding band from wickersham jewelers.
Post # 13
@JessMorgan777: I have to say I really like your ring! Very unique. Except I have no idea why amethysts were thought to be such a bad idea. They are not as hard as diamonds. But, to me if thats what you want – then – thats what you want.
It reminded me of one designer telling me it was impossible to have my stone set on the size band I wanted. Then it turned out it was possible because thats what I ended up getting from a different designer.
As a side note: Does anyone know if there’s name for prongs that have a design on them like kidseahawk has? I see a lot of prongs with design but don’t know what they are called in the jewelery world. I may get something like that in the future.
Post # 14
@chica95110: Thank you!! The hardness of an amethyst is a 7 and really, they would be easy to replace if broken… but the band they are set in is raised on the sides so they really are protected. I’ve worn the band daily for a year now and can’t even find a scratch on any of the stones. If I had one big amethyst center stone, I’d probably be be worried though.
Post # 15
@chica95110: that’s a really good question – I know there are a lot of ornate baskets out there, but I think it’s generally all lumped together under “basket” Whether it involves the prongs or not. Hmmm… to the Google machine!
Post # 16
I had a lovely time designing my engagement & wedding band. I’d do it all over again if I could.
I took elements from rings that already existed that I liked and I photoshopped them together. A smidgen over a month and both were on my hand.
It was wonderful.