If you would like to Design Your Own Engagement Ring Pruden and Smith can guide you through the process from start to finish. If you are designing your bespoke engagement ring for yourself or as a surprise for your partner Pruden and Smith’s designers, based in their Ditchling Workshops and Gallery, can talk to you about creating a stating point for the design that will uniquely express your individuality. Make an appointment today and see where your ring will be designed and made.
A great place to start thinking about the style of your handmade engagement ring, especially if you are buying for someone else and intend to surprise them, is to look at the style of the jewellery that they wear most often. Even if they own a lot of diverse jewellery by it’s nature an engagement ring will be worn all the time so you want to find out what they feel most comfortable in. Chat with then surreptitiously about why they like these pieces and note down the language they use. Chat with their close friends especially those that they often shop with about any conversations they’ve had about jewellery or rings. Stop outside jewellers windows when you’re out together and remember the comments and styles that caught their eye.
Do they use words like traditional, vintage or classic? Delicate, fine, bold or chunky? Contemporary, modern, unusual or creative? These are all indicators of the unique combination of preferences that combine to create their individual style. If you take a look at the diversity of the rings pictured here you’ll see just how important these indicators are when buying something for someone else.
What colour metal do they like most? Yellow, Rose and White are the commonest colours in precious metal and there’s no reason not to mix them. The main reason you may do this, other than style, is practicality. An engagement ring needs to stand the test of time and platinum really is the only metal with the density and strength for a setting with fine claws or a super fine ring shank. 18ct or 22ct yellow gold have a stronger yellow colour than 9ct yellow which is paler. Red or rose golds are the opposite with 9ct being a strong red colour and 18ct being a softer rose colour. White golds are often confusing as in the High St. they will be sold with rhodium plating on to disguise their slightly varying shades of white. This plating only lasts a short time so after six months you may get a nasty surprise as your ring changes colour! 9ct white gold is a yellowish white that looks yellow against a whiter metal. 18ct white gold is a dark white which can look brownish grey. Silver has the colour we normally associate with white metals and there is no reason not to use silver for your engagement ring (except for fine claws) other than the fact it tarnishes to black so needs polishing to keep it looking bright. really nothing beats platinum when it comes to a white precious metal in colour or performance.
You could create a mood board on pinterest of everything that you see that you like so that an overall feel for the design is obvious. Check out more designs on our website or google some of the descriptive terms you’ve come up with. Bring everything you like to your first design appointment. Once a general look for the ring has been chosen then the next decision is to select your diamond or coloured gemstone. You will be able to view and compare these at Pruden and Smith and your designer will talk you through the often inexplicable price variations in identical looking gemstones, especially diamonds where the changes between gems can be subtle. With coloured stones you will want to be looking at the way shades and tones can change especially with sapphires and rubies. This way you can be sure to get exactly the colour you love.
Once you have chosen your central stone you can choose if you are keeping it as a solitaire, where a single stone is emphasised in the design either with plain metalwork or with the addition of many tiny diamonds. Or if you are going to add two more larger stones either side for a classic trilogy ring. Smaller diamonds can be made to look larger with a small diamond surround or frame, called a cluster ring.
It is always worth designing the fitted wedding band and even an eternity ring at the same time as the engagement ring. You do not have to commission them but your designer will give you a sketch or computer render showing how they will look together. Often a model can be made in wax, plastic or silver if the design needs to be worked out before being made in more expensive metals. This can be reassuring if you are unused to visualising a design in three dimensions.