Why a Bespoke Engagement Ring Could be for You!
Why a Bespoke Engagement Ring Could be for You
When you start planning your wedding, a bespoke engagement ring is right up there with a dress by Sarah Burton and Benedict Cumberbatch officiating at the ceremony. A nice idea, but probably not going to happen for most of us… Maybe.
But at least one of those things needn’t be entirely out of reach. Designing your own engagement ring is an incredibly special thing to do, but it’s no longer just for the rich and famous. These days, anyone with a bit of inspiration can do it. And Durham Rose is here to help.
An independent UK jeweller, Durham Rose was founded after a personal quest for the perfect engagement ring failed to deliver. After fairly extraordinary efforts to design his own ring (using CAD, of all things, which seemed highly unlikely at the time), then get it made, the brains behind the company realised that there were probably many other people in his place.
Manu’s efforts paid off. He’s been married to the woman (Pip) who inspired his creation since 2010. They opened Durham Rose the following year and have been helping others to make their dream rings into a reality ever since.
So, what is it that makes a bespoke engagement ring so special?
The most obvious attraction of a bespoke ring is that it is unique. No one else in the whole wide world will have a ring just like yours. And that’s not just because every stone is a little bit different. It’s because every element has been chosen by you.
The stone/s, the metal, the configuration. And that’s the most extraordinary part – you can put so much of yourself into it. If there is something truly special to you or your partner, you can incorporate it into the ring design. A shape, a colour, symbol. Virtually anything goes if you work with the right designer.
The tricky bit is deciding what you want, so it pays to take the time to plan.
How to design your own engagement ring
Engagement ring design is really about two things – two people. You and your partner. The ring will be the ultimate gift; the symbol of your relationship and what it means.
That doesn’t mean that it has to be enormously expensive with a 2-carat diamond centre and a gleaming platinum band. It’s more important that it reflects the wearer’s tastes and the giver’s sentiments. So, before you start:
Think about what your partner loves
Many couples decide to design their engagement ring together. That way, you can be sure of getting things right. But if you’re wanting to keep the element of surprise, start by looking at your intended’s existing jewellery. See what styles and colours they already wear and go from there.
These are a few areas of consideration:
Design style. Big and bold or understated.
Metal type. Yellow/rose/white gold, silver or platinum. Do they prefer a shiny or matt finish?
Stone type. Do they like diamonds, or would a warmer stone like ruby or sapphire be better suited? The gem needn’t even be ultra-expensive. Amethyst, morganite, and tourmaline all look stunning and are strong enough to withstand daily wear.
Look at other people’s rings
Just because a ring is bespoke doesn’t mean that you can’t take ideas from other people. Looking at the rings of friends, family, or even celebrities can show you what does – and just as importantly – does not work.
You might discover an unexpected liking for vintage, or decide that the clean, contemporary look is for you.
Work out your budget
An engagement ring doesn’t need to break the bank. Sure, it helps if your budget is limitless, but you can still create something beautiful if your income is more apprentice and less Alan Sugar.
The important thing is to know what you can afford to start with, so you can approach the project realistically, avoid disappointment, and – crucially – avoid unnecessary debt.
The design and creation process
Durham Rose has something of a unique design process. All of the initial steps are carried out using CAD so that customers can truly be involved. If you already have drawings that you’ve worked on yourself, the Durham Rose team can build upon them.
Alternatively, your designer can take your verbal ideas and shape them on a shared screen. This allows you to see your thoughts being brought to life, and if the image rendered doesn’t quite match your imagination, you can change it. Once you’re happy, photo-realistic images are produced so you no longer have to simply imagine the final result.
From the CAD drawings, a wax model is cast and that is used to form your ring, ensuring that what you saw on screen is what you get in reality. Gems are then sourced just for you, and the finer details of your design are finished by hand.
All of this takes place in the Durham Rose studio, no third parties are involved, and you can always be sure of what’s happening with your ring and when.
A bespoke engagement ring isn’t just about making a statement now. It’s an emblem of eternity. It’s an heirloom for your kids to squabble over. But more than anything else, it’s about creating something beautiful and lasting. Just like your relationship.
So, if you’re weighing up your options and crossing the pie-in-the-sky ideas off your wedding wish list, maybe hold your pen back for a moment and think again.
While we can’t get you Mr Cumberbatch, and a Sarah Burton for McQueen is going to set you back a minimum of £50k, a bespoke engagement ring designed by you and for you, could quite easily be within your grasp.