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5 Tips for Custom Engagement Ring Shopping

The time has finally come to select that special ring that tells the world you are in love! Choosing a ring is both exciting and challenging. You’ll want a ring that matches your one-of-a-kind personality. Lucky for you, creating a custom engagement ring has never been simpler or more affordable. I’ve listed a few common rumors and truths to help you shop smart for your perfect custom engagement ring—with the quality you want at a price you can handle.

Rumors and Truths of Buying a Custom Engagement Ring

1. Price

The Rumor: “Custom engagement rings are more expensive.”

The Truth: Comparing two rings of similar quality, you will pay more for a custom option. This is simply the economics of manufacturing—it costs less per unit if you make multiples. That said, you should not have to blow the budget to get what you want. If the jeweler(s) you’re considering charge a “custom fee” on top of the price, find a different jeweler. You can get quality custom rings without the extra fee.

2. Quality

The Rumor: “Custom engagement rings are higher quality.”

The Truth: This depends on the jeweler you select.  Custom work can be of the highest quality if you’re working with an experienced custom team. I would recommend reading the reviews of the jeweler you are considering and see what others say about them and their custom work. It’s ALWAYS a good idea to work with someone who does custom work regularly. Having a goldsmith on staff does not guarantee a quality custom ringWarning, if your goal is to find the “cheapest” custom ring available, a “cheap” (low quality) ring is what you’ll end up with.

3. Time frame

The Rumor: “Custom engagement rings take several months to produce.”

The Truth: Not that I have seen…in my experience you should be able to produce a quality custom ring in about 3 ½ to 4 weeks—including design time. If you make multiple changes throughout the process, it could take a little longer than this. Some jewelers may offer to make your custom engagement ring in less than 2 weeks and that is a big red flag. One of two things will happen with that short of a timeline: either your ring will turn out poorly, or it won’t be done in the timeframe you were promised. If you need your ring in less than 3-4 weeks, you should consider selecting an existing ring. Or a temporary ring may be an option while your ring is being created, just ask your jeweler if they offer this option.

4. Value

The Rumor: Buying custom from a “wholesaler” is cheaper and faster.”

The Truth: Going the wholesale route comes with added risk…individual “wholesalers” (follow the link to learn more about “the myths about buying wholesale…”) often lack the team and experience to make a custom ring in the timeframe and quality you desire. In my experience, one-man operations with “good custom connections” always sacrifice quality somewhere. When it comes to “wholesalers”, if you are indeed paying less, you’re simply paying for a lower quality ring…the cheapest price does not equal the best value. On the other hand, a more established custom team will often back up their work with a good warranty.

5. Risk

The Rumor: Custom rings are risky because you can’t try it on until it’s done.”

The Truth: Though it’s true you aren’t able to try the ring on your finger before it’s finished, you can get a very good idea of how your ring will look by requesting to see the CAD (computer-aided drafting) image, aka digital rendering, of your ring. If no CAD is available, you can request to see the wax mold of your ring prior to final casting. Either way you can not try on the finished ring, but it will give you a very good idea of the final product. That’s usually enough for you to feel comfortable moving forward. 

Conclusion

If you’ve decided that a custom engagement ring is the right choice for you, following these tips will help you make a smart choice. For even more helpful tips on shopping for a custom engagement ring, read our previous post “Pros and Cons of Buying Custom Engagement Rings”.

Ring shopping should be a fun, memorable experience, something you look back on fondly. So my final recommendation is to enjoy it!

Feel free to call, e-mail or come see us if you would like to know more about the custom ring process. You can also check out this video on our process for making custom engagement rings.

 

Happy Shopping!
Jeff

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How Being Frugal Will Lead You to the Best Jewelry Store

When it comes to fine jewelry, especially for your wedding or engagement, you definitely want quality. But does wanting the best mean you have to pay an arm and a leg for it?

You and your loved ones deserve jewelry that will sparkle for a lifetime. And when you purchase fine jewelry, you should be able to expect good quality. However, you also want to avoid paying too much. Sometimes the old adage about getting what you pay for is actually true, but that doesn’t mean you should get ripped off, either.

It’s a fact that truly fine jewelry comes at a price; that’s the bad news, since nobody wants to overpay. However, the good news is that being frugal-minded can actually help you find the best jewelry store for your needs. Here are a few things to consider.

  • Be smart.
    Look, everyone wants a good deal. And if you’re shopping for engagement ring, chances are she doesn’t want you to overpay, either. This is a symbol of your lasting love. However, would it be wise to overspend, getting your financial beginnings as a couple off to a rocky start? Show her — and yourself — you’re willing to shop around to find a reputable jeweler who won’t take you both for a ride. It’s in the best interest of you both.
  • Be paitent.
    No matter what kind of jewelry you’re in the market for, don’t walk into a store planning to buy something right off the bat. Patience is paramount when looking for the best value on anything, including jewelry. Online shopping can be a big help here, since you can browse around and compare prices without the pressure of being in the moment. When talking to salespeople, don’t commit and don’t look too eager to buy something (which would require NOT waiting until the last minute to find the perfect piece).
  • Be objective.
    Making a jewelry purchase is often an emotional decision. But while shopping around, remember that this is also a financial decision. Before you even begin the shopping experience, it would be helpful to educate yourself on the tangible elements of fine jewelry, especially gem stones. Learn all you can about the “four C’s”: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. Learn what they mean and which ones are most important to you. Don’t rely on the salesperson to educate you while you shop.
  • Be choosy.
    Don’t be afraid to act like a “jewelry snob” if you don’t trust the store you’re in. If something feels off, if the salespeople are too pushy, or if you just aren’t ready to buy, be strong. Again, be patient enough to really shop around. Your nose for a good deal can lead you to the best jewelry store — just be selective about who should get your business.

There are lots of jewelry stores in Provo. If you’re willing to do your homework, shop around, and wait for the right opportunity, the best one for you should become clear.

Creative Custom Ring Designs For Your Special Someone

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When you’re looking for an engagement ring, or any kind of ring for someone you love, you want it to be a perfect fit – and we don’t mean just in size. Especially in the case of an engagement ring, it’s probably something she has been dreaming about for a long time. Since she’ll be wearing it for the rest of her life, you want to make sure she’ll love it forever.

In other words, it must be extra special.

If you don’t feel a pre-made ring seems right, consider having a custom ring made by a jewelry designer with your input. Many jewelry stores offer custom ring design, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a design service. The most difficult part comes in the creative process.

With custom rings, you’ll know your piece is one-of-a-kind, just like your loved one. But when you decide to look into custom rings, where do you find inspiration? After all, when the field is wide open, you may feel like a blank canvas is staring you in the face.

To point you in the right direction, here are a few tips

  1. Think outside the lines. Diamonds and other stones are most often seen in round shapes, which may be the easiest to fit into any setting. However, don’t be afraid to explore square or princess cut, pear shape, oval, or even heart-shaped stones. Especially if you’re designing a custom setting, you should be able to accommodate whatever shape you wish. And don’t forget that the shape of the ring can also be altered by the setting itself. Surrounding even a round stone in a unique setting can really make a difference.
  2. Don’t be afraid of color. Colored gemstones – even colored diamonds – can add a unique flair to even an “off-the-shelf” setting. These days, many brides are opting to add other stones such as sapphires, rubies, or emeralds to their engagement rings. Some even prefer to use diamonds as a secondary stone in the setting, or leave them out altogether.
  3. Go vintage. Vintage jewelry is very popular today, and in a custom design, you can go as far with it as you like. Filigree details and patterns can add something special to any setting, even if you just want to add a little vintage inspiration to a more modern ring.
  4. Make it more meaningful. Any special ring is bound to mean a lot, but think about special symbols the two of you share. Religious themes, engravings, or shapes can often be incorporated into the setting or band, adding even more significance to the piece.
  5. Explore other materials. Yellow gold is the classic choice, but for a more custom ring, you might consider platinum, rose gold, palladium, or other materials that aren’t seen as often.

When designing your custom ring, the most important thing is to find a qualified jewelry designer, and work with them and your loved one to ensure the end result meets your expectations. Never be afraid to point your designer in a different direction, or let them know when you have your own ideas. If you do it right, your custom ring can become a precious reminder and family heirloom that lasts forever.

 

Protect Your Engagement Ring For A Lifelong Sparkle

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When you finally get engaged, your engagement ring becomes a show piece – but it’s much more than that. Of course everyone wants to see it, and you are proud to show it off. But as time goes on, you become more and more attached to it because of its emotional significance.

At first, perhaps you wondered how to protect your ring’s monetary value – which is a valid concern. However, the longer you wear it, the more concerned you’ll likely become about protecting it as a symbol of your marriage. The question is, how do you make sure your engagement ring keeps its sparkle, long after the initial excitement of the proposal has passed?

How To Keep Your Engagement Ring Beautiful

Unfortunately, many women don’t think of their engagement ring as something that needs maintenance. However, maintaining your ring properly can either make or break its lasting, symbolic beauty. The good news is, you can keep your ring as beautiful after 25 years as it was when you received it. Here are a few tips.

  1. Clean it — For the first year or two of your marriage, perhaps you clean your ring regularly to maintain its sparkle. But what about after 5 or 10 years? Sadly, most rings don’t get the regular cleaning they need, and the buildup of dirt and grime can have a significant, negative impact on its beauty. Try to give your ring a monthly cleaning with a soft brush and mild soap or jewelry cleaner. You’ll be surprised at how much better it will look. Once a year, let your jeweler give it a professional cleaning — they might even do it for free.
  2. Ensure it — Your engagement ring is a big investment. Be sure to ask your fiancé whether it is ensured. A lot of things can happen, and a loss of the stone or ring, while still emotionally trying, will be less devastating if you know you are covered for a replacement.
  3. Check it out — Most people don’t give their wedding band or engagement ring a second thought on a daily basis. But it’s always a good idea to give it a thorough visual inspection on a monthly basis. Over time, bands can wear down and prongs can weaken, increasing the risk of stone loss. Keep an eye on your setting, and let your jeweler give it a professional inspection about once a year.
  4. Protect it from loss — When you’re doing things like gardening, swimming, or using chemicals, it may be better to put your engagement ring somewhere safe. But near a sink, or in a common area of your home where it could be misplaced or fall down a drain is not the best place. Keep your original box, or obtain a special box to keep it in when you do take it off, so you always know where it is. And be very careful about taking it off in a public place, where it’s at risk for being left behind.
  5. Go fake — When traveling, you might consider wearing an inexpensive fake, leaving your real ring hidden in a safe place at home. After all, the only thing worse than losing your engagement ring is knowing it’s lost 1,000 miles away.

When it comes to your engagement ring, a little bit of forethought and maintenance goes a long way to keeping your most prized possession safe and beautiful. With proper care, your ring can keep its sparkle and last a lifetime.

7 Awesome Ways To Propose To Your Loved One

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Getting engaged is a big deal. Aside from the wedding itself, the proposal is probably the biggest deal of your life so far. So when it comes time to pop the question, you want to create the perfect memory.

OK, But How?

You know that for years down the road, people will be asking, “So, how did you propose?” You might have planned out what you’re going to say. You might even have the engagement ring. But do you have an engagement night to remember? If you’re trying to come up with a unique and romantic proposal idea, first consider your sweetheart’s personality, likes, and dislikes.

Is she shy or easily embarrassed? (If so, proposing on the jumbo-tron at a basketball game might not be the best choice.) Would she appreciate something “outside the box” or does she have more traditional tastes? Is she more likely to cherish a private moment between the two of you, or one involving her entire family?

The choice is yours. But here 7 proposal ideas that might help get the creative juices flowing.

  1. Picture perfect – This is a fun way to catch her reaction when you pull out a ring. Take a casual or goofy picture first, then pull out the ring for the second picture and see her reaction in the next couple of shots. When it’s on film, neither one of you will forget the experience.
  2. Take a journey – Send her clues to some of your favorite spots. You can even plan a gift for each location. The final destination, of course, is where you’re waiting to pop the question.
  3. Puzzling proposal – Does she like puzzles? You can actually buy blank puzzle kits. Make yours a favorite photo of the two of you, or a photo of you holding the words “Will you marry me?” Do the puzzle together and be prepared with the ring when she deciphers the message.
  4. An engaging performance – Hire a singer, band, or even a talented friend to perform your meaningful song. Perhaps even better, dust off the old guitar or keyboard and sing it yourself. It’ll mean a lot to her.
  5. Build your princess a castle – No really, a sand castle. Go for a long walk along the beach. Take some time to build sandcastles or even have a little competition. When she isn’t looking, place the ring right on top.
  6. The most romantic movie ever – Suggest you watch her favorite movie. When you turn out the lights, wait for her to notice the glow-in-the-dark stars or letters spelling the question on the ceiling.
  7. Cupcakes and a question – Have a picnic. Ahead of time order or make 16 cupcakes, decorated to spell out “will you marry me?” Tell her you brought dessert. Either open the box and let her see the question, or let her arrange the cupcakes in the right order. Then bring out the last cupcake with the ring sitting on top.

Whether you use one of these ideas or come up with your own, she should know you made an effort to make this the greatest night of her life. Complete it with a beautiful ring, and you’re golden. Time to start planning a wedding.

Finding A Wedding Ring For Him

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When it comes to your wedding, you want everything to be perfect. After all, you’ve been dreaming about it almost your entire life. You’ve considered every detail, from the flowers, to the dress, to what you’d serve at your reception. You dreamed, planned, and made sure you weren’t leaving anything out.

Except Maybe One Little Thing…

The wedding band. You’ve probably imagined many times what your own wedding ring would look like. And you couldn’t have imagined a happier time than the moment you received it. All of that is just as it should be. However, chances are you didn’t give much thought to the ring you’d be buying for your future husband — until now.

Don’t Freak Out — We Can Help

Finding the right wedding band for your groom-to-be is a big deal. You want him to enjoy wearing it for the rest of his life. However, just because it’s a big decision doesn’t meant it has to be a stressful one. You should be enjoying this time of your life, not stressing over the details. A few simple steps can help get you going in the right direction.

Make it About Him

Consider his job, his hobbies, his likes and dislikes. You don’t want to select a ring that could get in the way or be damaged by his day-to-day activities. And don’t forget: the more often he has to take his ring off at work, home, or the gym, the more likely it is to get lost. Make sure his ring fits not only his finger, but also his lifestyle.

Don’t Blow Your Budget

When you have a wedding to pay for and a life to build, many couples find it more sensible to buy an inexpensive ring now, and plan to upgrade later when rent and student loans aren’t such a burden. An anniversary is a good time to upgrade to a more luxurious ring when you’ve had time to save.

Make it a Match

Your engagement ring and his wedding band don’t have to be a perfect match (the two of you already have that covered, right?). However, many couples like their rings to look like they go together. This may include a consideration of width, stone, or material. Some couples like to have their rings engraved. Whether or not your rings make a matching set is entirely up to your taste and budget.

Choose the Right Material

Find out if he prefers gold, silver, platinum, titanium, or tungsten. Does his personality match with something more classic or modern? Does he like to make a statement or prefer to play it cool? Think about who he is when choosing the perfect material. Also do your homework to learn more about the different types of metal. Here are some of the most popular choices, but talk to a jeweler for additional information and options.

 

  • Gold – The classic choice, but did you know lower-karat gold is actually more durable?
  • Silver – Affordable, but doesn’t boast the same durability as gold.
  • Platinum – Very durable, but also heavier than gold or silver, so you might be compromising comfort.
  • Titanium – Lightweight and extremely durable, but can be very expensive.
  • Tungsten – One of the more affordable options, and also quite durable. However, some types of tungsten are more resistant to scratching than others.

In considering all of the above and more, make sure you know your groom’s ring size. Even better, go shopping together and let him try on some rings to decide what he likes. The ring is a symbol of your never-ending love for each other. It should be the perfect fit, and like your marriage, be made to last.

The Wilson Diamonds Buying Experience

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It can be difficult buying any big ticket item, like a car or a house, especially an item that you intend to keep with you the rest of your life. Many people feel anxious, worrying about being taken advantage of by a disreputable sales person and losing a substantial financial investment.

Buying an engagement ring can feel just as daunting. It can feel intimidating just walking into a jewelry store! All that glass and sparkly jewelry. Smartly-dressed salespeople. Before you step through the door you instinctively clutch your wallet.

Maybe you know nothing about diamonds — or maybe you’ve done a little research on the web. You know just enough to feel nervous about the process. You’re worried about the financial cost, sure, but you’re also hoping you don’t have to settle for a boring ring. You want this engagement ring to be a symbol of the enduring love you share, so it needs to be perfect!

Ring Shopping Doesn’t Have To Be Nerve-Wracking

The founders of Wilson Diamonds, Keith and Richard Wilson, know exactly how you feel. In fact, the birth of Wilson Diamonds came out of Richard’s experience trying to buy an engagement ring for his own fiancée in 1974. The Wilsons wanted to create a different kind of jewelry store that would be welcoming, honest, and low-stress for everyone involved.

Friendly Staff

From the minute you walk in the door, you know there’s nothing schmoozy about the Wilson Diamonds sales staff. They aren’t paid by commission so they have no reason to pressure you. They’re friendly and approachable. They’re also educated gemologists who actually like teaching customers about rings and diamonds! They want you to feel welcomed and comfortable.

Honesty and Ethics

After you’re greeted, the sales staff are happy to show you around and give you the straight scoop on the rings you’re looking at. They won’t pressure you into buying something you can’t afford or don’t like. They respect your intelligence. You feel like you can trust them — and with good reason: Wilson Diamonds belongs to the American Gem Society, which sets a high bar for ethical practices in jewelry sales. They’ll even educate you about the sleazy practices some other jewelers may engage in so you don’t fall prey to their tactics.

Unmatched Quality and Value

When you’ve decided which ring you’d like to purchase, there won’t be any surprises. Your satisfaction is the only measurement that matters to the staff at Wilson Diamonds so they want you to make informed decisions on your own. Because you can trust your Wilson Diamonds salesperson, buyer’s remorse won’t crop up when you walk out the door. You’ll know you got the best diamond in the best setting that matches your budget.

Shopping For An Engagement Ring Can Actually Be Fun

When you feel taken care of and you trust your jeweler, believe it or not, shopping for an engagement ring can actually be a pleasant experience — one that you’ll remember throughout your lives together. Congratulations and have a wonderful wedding!

Make Finding The Perfect Engagement Ring The Easiest Part Of Wedding Planning

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Wedding planning is complicated, you say? Girl, please! That’s like saying the ocean is wet. Of course there are tons of things that need to be bought, planned, prepared, and decorated. It can make your head swim.

But what if you could ask a fairy godmother to wave her wand and make the process easier? Even if it’s only one part? Well, just let me find my wand, because here comes the magic!

As your fairy godmother, it’s my duty to make your dreams come true. I’ve conjured up some tips that will make finding the perfect engagement ring — the ring you’ll wear for the rest of your life — the easiest task on your wedding planning list. Just check the boxes and abracadabra! You’ve got a gorgeous rock on your finger. There’s even a secret shortcut I can tell you about.

The Engagement Ring Shopping Checklist

What’s your budget?

If your fiancé is buying the ring, make sure you know how much he can afford. Gone are the days when the benchmark budget was “two months’ salary.” Today’s couples are free to choose whatever they can afford.

What’s your style?

What’s the vibe you want when you look at your ring? There are as many styles as there are brides. Some examples of style include: vintage, modern, traditional, artistic, and avant garde. These styles often have little to do with the age of the ring. For example, vintage-looking rings can be custom-made by today’s jewelers.

 What colors do you prefer?

No, I’m not talking about the bridesmaids’ dresses and the flowers. I’m talking about the colors of your engagement ring’s band and stone. The band part of your engagement ring can be made from different types and colors of metals. Diamonds come in different colors and many brides choose gemstones like rubies or sapphires. The cut or shape of the gemstone usually follows your style.

 How does it look and feel on your hand?

It might go without saying that you need to actually try on some rings before deciding on what you like, but believe it or not, this is a step that many brides skip and regret later. Check things like the weight and width of the ring, whether you want it to match your wedding band, metal allergies, and the height of the setting. Ask your friends and family what they would change about their ring if they could go back in time.

Now you’re ready to choose!

Venture forth, dear bride, and boldly buy the engagement ring of your dreams!

The Secret Shortcut

Fairy godmothers don’t go back on their word — and a little while ago I promised to give you an even easier method of ring shopping. Stand back because I’m about to lay down some powerful magic! Here’s the secret shortcut to making ring shopping the easiest part of your wedding:

 Get some help.

A master jeweler can make the ring-buying process a breeze. Trust me, girlfriend, when it comes to wedding planning, delegation is your best friend. Probably even better than a fairy godmother. Well, only a tiny bit better. Now, alakazam! Go off and have a fun and beautiful wedding!

The Speed Wedding Checklist: Get A 12 Month Wedding Planned In 3 Months

Congratulations on your new engagement! If you’re like a lot of Utah brides, you’re planning a wedding in a shorter time period than most in other markets across the US. Because of that, most of the online planning guides that you’ll find help those with a year long engagement to break up the responsibilities. If you’re looking for a shortened and condensed version of that, you’re in the right place! Read on for a planning guide made with a 3 month engagement in mind.

3 months left-

First things first- decide what you want. Some people already have a vision, but if you don’t, look at pictures and decide if you want your wedding to be formal, informal, vintage, modern, big, or small. Pick your colors and ideal theme. Once you know what you want, it will be important to settle on a budget. Talk to parents, grandparents, and check your savings account to see what you can afford and who is paying for what. The first things to deal with should be the location and the dress. This is because venues in Utah book up fast, especially if you’re getting married between April and September. Start looking as soon as possible and get your date reserved somewhere. The dress is important as well because it takes a surprising amount of time to get it ordered, shipped to the store, and altered to fit you perfectly. Start trying on gowns at various stores now so that if they don’t have the size or color you need you’ll still have time to order it in. Ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen, book an officiant, and start researching vendors. Your wedding party needs time to make arrangements for travel or time off, and since the officiant is the one actually marrying you, it’s important to make sure you have one for the date you need. Although caterers, florists, bartenders, DJ’s, bands, and photographers book fast as well, since there are lots of quality vendors in the area, you can afford some time. Still, do your research and book them as soon as you can.

2 months left-

Now is the time to make sure you’re booking the vendors you need. Make sure you’ve got someone making the cake, music of some kind, caterer or people in charge of food, and someone taking pictures or video. Whether you’ve hired professionals or you’ve asked for the help of loved ones, this needs to be taken care of so that you have enough time to explain your vision and experiment with different options. The hardest part for a lot of brides seems to be gathering addresses. Start doing that now because you’ll need them to send out invitations for your bridal shower as well as the wedding. Decide where you want to register, and register with your sweetheart for all the things you’re going to need in your new life together. The best part about this time is getting to plan your honeymoon! Start buying tickets, reserving your hotel room, getting a rental car, and planning any activities you’ll want to do. It will also be important to find the bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen outfits. This may be harder than you’d think if you have to have things shipped or if they have different tastes.

1 month left-

Send out the invitations! It’s usually customary to send out wedding invitations 3-6 weeks in advance. You want to give your guests enough notice that they can reserve the evening in their schedules, but not so much time that they forget. Another big important step is to go to your county clerk’s office and get your marriage license. This is usually pretty simple. All it entails is filling out forms and it doesn’t take very long. This is about the right time to buy or rent your groom’s tuxedo or suit, and have both your wedding dress and his tux altered to fit you perfectly. The alterations process can take a few weeks, so you want to give them enough time. With only one month left, now is a good time to finalize the food, dessert, drinks, and cake menu. Get with your caterer or helpers to decide exactly what flavors and how much of everything you’re going to need.

2 weeks left-

Only 2 weeks left! At this point, you should have everything mostly done, and all you need to do is finishing touches. Check in with your various vendors to make sure they are all on the same page for the timeline of the day or your expectations on their services. You will also need to be in touch with any out-of-town guests who are traveling to your wedding. They may need to know exact times, what events they are invited to, or they may need a ride from the airport. Make sure you have all of your accessories, practice how you’d like your hair and makeup to look, and break in your shoes so you don’t get blisters the day of. You’ll also want to give each member of the family, vendors, and bridal party a timeline of when each part of the day is supposed to happen. If everyone is on the same page and knows when and where they are supposed to be at all times, everything will run a lot smoother.

Once all of your planning is done and it’s the day of your wedding, sit back and enjoy the day because it will be over before you know it. If you’re just starting your engagement journey and haven’t gotten the ring quite yet, click here for more information on gorgeous rings!