An engagement ring means so much. It doesn’t just say ‘I love you, I want to be with you,’ it’s also a declaration of knowledge: ‘I know you.’ Because an engagement ring should be worn forever, it needs to reflect the wearer’s personality. It needs to be something that they would choose themselves, given the chance. And yet it should also hold something of the giver. Finding all of that ‘off the peg’ is a big ask, which is why so many people – including Prince Harry – are now deciding to design their own bespoke engagement ring.
How do you do that, though? We don’t all have the budgets and resources of royalty, with Botswanan diamonds just knocking about in the bedroom drawers. And we don’t all have an intrinsic artistic streak, just waiting to set our love in stone. The good news is that you don’t need either of those. You just need to know your partner, and have a heartfelt desire to show that you care. Durham Rose can help you through the trickier bits.
The First Steps to Bespoke Engagement Ring Design
1. Think of your partner.
If you’re planning to pop the question, hopefully by now you already have a good idea of what they like. Are they showy or understated? Are they traditional, or do they prefer a more modern aesthetic? Is their jewellery mainly yellow gold, or other metals? What’s their favourite colour? Do they like a bit of wildness, or do they prefer a more ordered life? Each of these things – and so much more – can influence the style of ring you choose, so take some time to jot down your thoughts. You’ll find this surprisingly helpful when it comes to your design consultation.
2. Look at what other people have done.
It’s perhaps counterintuitive to look at other people’s rings when wanting to design your own – after all, you’re planning on something bespoke – but seeing other people’s jewellery can be a great source of inspiration. It lets you see what works, and just as importantly, what doesn’t. Bespoke doesn’t have to mean entirely original, in fact some of our most beautiful projects have been inspired by vintage designs, then tweaked to better reflect the couple who’ve commissioned it. So browse online, look at magazines, and check-out the fingers of fellow commuters. Inspiration can come from anywhere – one client even found it in a calla lily! – and you only need one spark to get you started.
3. Consider your assets.
You may not have a massive Botswanan diamond sitting in your back pocket, but a lot of our customers come to us with family heirlooms that are suitable for reworking. Taking the stones from a much-loved granny’s brooch, necklace or engagement ring can be a wonderful way to both add a bit of yourself to the piece, as well as showing your intended how much they mean to you. And from a purely practical viewpoint, it’s a great way to save a bit of money.
4. Set a budget.
There is little less romantic than focusing on money… Other than finding yourself completely cash-strapped and having to postpone your wedding because you’ve spent more than you can afford on an engagement ring. Of course you want to wow with your choice, but you can wow in different ways. A large diamond, for example, is always going to amplify your expenditure, but there’s nothing to say that a less valuable stone will be of less value to your loved one. In fact, many of our most beautiful rings have been created around different gems. Bespoke doesn’t have to mean expensive.
The Durham Rose Design Process
The Durham Rose design process is somewhere approaching unique. Our aim is to help you to create the perfect ring for your special occasion, and to let you be as involved in the process as you see fit. To do that, you can either visit us in our studios, or if distance is an issue, you can arrange an online consultation with one of our designers, whichever option works best for you.
The actual design takes place using CAD software. This means that you can have real involvement in the design process – if you wish. Once you’ve explained your ideas – no matter how detailed or how nebulous – we will draft a range of designs for you to select from and build upon. When you’ve approved your final design we will provide you with a selection of photo realistic renders showing the results along with an estimated price. After that, if you’re happy, it’s all systems go.
We will source your stones (we don’t hold loose stones, instead we source our gems according to each individual client’s needs – nothing at all that we do is generic), cast your band, and put our hearts and souls into creating the very best possible version of the ring that you imagined.
Each ring takes around 4-6 weeks work to be completed, but we won’t keep you hanging; you’ll receive email updates at every step of the way. You can even come and visit it, if you wish to! Then, once you’ve made your proposal, we’ll present you with a ‘ring book’, detailing the creation process, so your affianced can see just what went into the ring now sitting on their finger.
At Durham Rose our aim has always been centred upon helping people to create rings that are really special – to them. It doesn’t matter if the stone is a diamond or a garnet; if your budget is £10,000 or £1,000. All that really matters is that we’re making something really special for you. And that’s what we try to do every single time.