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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.

 

Engagement Ring Trends Of 2015

If you’re hoping to get engaged to your sweetheart in 2015, you’re probably wondering what the latest and greatest trends are now. Although it does depend on your personal style, there are a few new styles that are starting to become more popular, and other styles that are popular now will continue. 2015 is going to be a fun year in jewelry fashion because styles are going back to the timeless, vintage looks, trying new things with completely modern looks, as well as combining the two and getting the best of both worlds.

Here are the top 5 looks for this year.

  1. Rose Gold- White gold and platinum used to be the go-to trendy pick for young brides, but now we’re seeing the style turn back to the feminine, coppery tones of rose gold and the classic elegance of yellow gold. This style allows the diamonds to stand out more because of their contrast in color with the medal of the band.
  2. Diamond Clusters- Instead of opting for a large center stone, many brides are getting large rings with a cluster of smaller diamonds put together. Jewelers can achieve this look in different shapes, but the most common is a round shape with several halos of small diamonds surrounding each other. This is a very vogue, vintage class look.
  3. Gemstone Rings- Because of several celebrities opting for gems for center stones rather than diamonds, it’s becoming a very stylish choice for engagement rings. Many use sapphires, emeralds and rubies. Not only is it cost effective, it allows you to personalize your ring more with your favorite gem, or the birthstone of a loved one. This aesthetic makes your ring completely unique and adds a bit of elegant charm.
  4. Different Shapes- Say goodbye to everyone having the same round or princess cut center stone diamonds! Although those classic cuts will definitely still be popular, more exotic shapes are becoming popular. Picking up momentum are asscher, emerald, cushion, heart, pear, marquise, and trilliant cuts. These cuts are art-deco era inspired, and add a little more personality to your ring.
  5. Halo Styles- The halo has been popular for a long time, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. Halos are beautiful way to accentuate the center stone, and make the ring appear bigger and more eye-catching. They can be used with any shape of diamond, and are well-liked by most people.

Whether you’re into the modern floating settings and strong lines, or the ornate vintage styles, anything goes in 2015! More and more brides are breaking the rules with engagement rings and customizing them completely to what they love. Whatever your style is, don’t be afraid to go for it with your engagement ring in 2015.

What Engagement Rings “Anti-Diamond” Girls Dream About

The cliche saying, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” is not always true. Nowadays, more and more couples are deciding to go non-traditional for their weddings and engagements- and why shouldn’t they? Your wedding, engagement, and life should be exactly what you want it to be, not what societal expectations are in your culture. That being said, this goes for the ring as well. There are lots of girls that don’t love the sight of diamonds as much as the average, and like a more personalized, unique feel for their ring. There are lots of trendy, beautiful, unique rings that do not involve diamonds. Another reason could be that your gal would rather have more money go towards a house down-payment, a killer honeymoon, or a new car. Either way, diamond-less engagement rings are gorgeous, and can be wonderful ways to show your sweetheart’s personal style, and your unique love story. Here are some ways to stay diamond-free.

 

Stone-less Engagement Rings

My mother’s job was assisting in surgeries where she needed to always be wearing gloves. This is not possible with a big rock on your hand. Having a simple band with no stone was perfect for her job, her style, and it looks very elegant and timeless. There are lots of styles where you can still add a focal point to the ring by adding twists, shapes, colors, or designs to the band.

Birthstone Rings

Instead of getting the generic diamond center stone, personalize it by getting her birthstone, your birth stone, the birthstone of a child, or other significant person in her life. This will remind her of loved ones every time she looks at it, and remind her of how unique and special she is to you.

Other Stones

Clear glass stones can look very timeless and classic in a simple ring setting. You can make the design fit your style, while still staying within a very small budget. You can find rings with a glass center stone with every color under the sun as well. Using opals, rubies, and sapphires can also be beautiful options. Using one of her favorite colors or favorite stones will add that personal touch.

Diamond substitutes

For those who want the look of a diamond without the cost, moissanite, white sapphires, white topaz, or cubic zirconium could be a good choice for you. Although these stones might need some upkeep since they are not as strong as diamonds, they will still get you by if you want to wait to buy a diamond.

If you go into a jeweler and tell them you do not want a diamond and they’re still trying to sell you one, they’re clearly paid on commission and trying to upsell you. However, it should ease your mind when I tell you that there are reputable jewelers who will actually listen to you. If you go to a knowledgeable, trustworthy jeweler, they will be more than willing to help you find the unique, non-diamond ring of your dreams.

Shopping Smart for a Diamond Engagement Ring

 

In the market for an engagement ring? Congratulations! Not only is it a big step to find “the one,” it’s an even bigger step to find the ring. Although it may seem overwhelming, it is a lot easier than you think. And, contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a beautiful ring. Wondering how? Here are the top 3 ways you can maximize the bang for your buck.

Know the C’s Of Diamond Buying

The 4 C’s of diamond buying are important to know before going into a jewelry store. They are what categorize different rings according to their value. The categories are Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat. The word “cut” does not mean square, oval, or circle. This term refers to how shallow or deep the diamond is cut. If it is cut with perfect precision, it allows the light to bounce off of the facets perfectly so that it sparkles. “Color” means how much color is in the diamond. A perfect diamond is completely colorless, and the price goes down as depending on how much of a yellow-ish tint there is to the diamond. “Clarity” means how clear the diamond is. If it is free of dark spots, (called ‘inclusions’ in the jewelry world) it will cost more because of it’s clarity rating. “Carat” simply means how big the diamond is. The average carat weight for a center stone on an engagement ring is around 0.5 carats.

Find A Trustworthy Jeweler

You will save a surprising amount of dough just by who you choose to buy from. There are jewelers who will absolutely take advantage of the fact that you are a first-time buyer. You can lessen the likelihood of that by doing your research beforehand, shopping around, and doing business with a professional, trustworthy jeweler. Find one that listens to your wants and needs, talks to you honestly about the values, and never pressures you to buy. It exists!

Choosing To Splurge Or Save

You have to know where you are willing to compromise and where you are willing to splurge. For instance, is it more important to you to have a large center stone than to have an actual diamond? Or is the most important thing to you the setting that the stone is in? A popular recommendation is to never compromise on cut. Having a bad cut means that it doesn’t sparkle, and that is obvious. Sometimes having a slightly included, colored ring is not visible to the naked eye but still gives you a big price break.

Just by reading these tips you’re on the right track. Ending up with a new, beautiful diamond ring is closer than you think!

 

Know the Best Stone for Your Engagement Ring

Buying an engagement ring is a big step emotionally as well as financially. How can you possibly know what to pick with the tons of options you have? Since this is an item worth so much money and emotion, it’s definitely worth a little research before you buy.

Here are the top 5 things you need to know.

  • The C’s– You might have heard of the 4 C’s before, and these are important things to know before you buy a diamond ring. Simply put, the 4 C’s stand for cut, carat, color, and clarity. “Cut” does not mean the shape of the diamond, it means how shallow or deep the bottom was cut. If it was not cut with precision, it will not catch the light the right way so it won’t sparkle as much. “Carat” is the weight or overall size of the diamond. “Color” refers to how colorless the diamond is. A perfect diamond is colorless, and it ranges to a very yellow diamond. “Clarity” means how clear the diamond is. It ranges from perfect clarity to little spots or “inclusions” in the diamond.
  • Her Style– It’s important to know what her style is so that you can get something that she will be happy with wearing for the rest of her life. It is common nowadays to have both parties present during ring shopping, but if you’re going for the old-fashioned surprise, you’ll need to do a little digging. Notice if she tends to wear more silver, gold, simple or ornate jewelry.
  • Jewelers– Since you’ll be trusting the experts wherever you shop, it’s important to find a good, honest jeweler. Shop around a little and compare pricing and experiences at the various stores. Red flags could be the staff pressuring you, not listening to what you wanted, or showing you rings over your budget. Believe it or not, there are jewelers who will get you a beautiful ring in your price range, and give honest advice.
  • Certification– Whether the ring is $30,000 or $1,000, you deserve to know that what you have is a certified diamond. Make sure that your ring and all the diamonds in it (especially the center stone) is a certified diamond and you’re not being duped. This will also help with resale value if you desire to do that in the future.
  • Your Budget– It is imperative that you know your budget before you walk into a jewelry store, so that you don’t fall in love with something you can’t afford. Think about what your top amount is before you go shopping, because an impulse buy of this magnitude will fill you with regret later.

No matter what style you choose, using these great tips will definitely have  you on the right track to the perfect, affordable ring.

 

Choosing the Perfect Custom Engagement Ring

When I was getting engaged, the thing I wanted to avoid was having a ring just like everybody else. I watched all of my friends and acquaintances getting engaged and marveled at the likeness of the many rings. I knew I had expensive taste, so the thought of designing a custom ring frightened my then boyfriend.

Here are the 5 things I learned in my experience of designing my own custom ring.

  1. Uniqueness- According to Dr. Suess, “Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one in the world youer than you.” Your ring should be as unique and special as you and your relationship. You need that ring to be the perfect reflection of your love, and the beautiful things about you and  your style. Custom-creating a ring is a wonderful way to do that, and it is surprisingly affordable. If you think about it, there are few things that will last past the wedding day; the rings, the pictures, the video, and the dress. The ring may be the best thing to splurge on since you’re hopefully going to wear it every day for the rest of your life. The venues, florists, and caterers cannot tell you the same. Some things, unfortunately, will only last for 1 day. The ring lasts a lifetime.
  2. Artistry– You might think that you don’t have the artistic talent to design your own ring, but you’d be surprised. All you need is a list of things you like, and things you don’t like. Have somewhat of a vision for what you want, or leave more options to the designer. You could take pictures of rings you’d like combined, sketch out several options, or simply give your designer a list of adjectives for the look you’re going for. You and your designer will go over proofs several times back and forth until you approve the design 100%. There’s no harm in trying out what you think is going to look great.
  3. Designer– The designer we worked with was impeccable. She knew her stuff so much that I didn’t need to know the specifics, and she ended up capturing my vision completely. As I described it, showed her pictures, and gave her poorly drawn sketches of what I wanted, she created the design on a computer program. We sent it back and forth via email or in person until it was perfect. It was important to have a knowledgeable ring designer because, I didn’t know the exact scale or size that everything needed to be in order to look right. She knew all the different types of settings, and how to make the center stone pop. The perfect thing was, she always made sure that what she was doing was within our price range.
  4. Quality– No matter how crazy you go with the designs, it is always important to make sure your ring is made with precision and excellent quality. Always go for a center stone with an excellent cut. This is what makes the biggest difference in the level of sparkle and shine. Go to a jeweler that you trust, because going from the design phase to the creating phase is crucial. Make sure that the jeweler has a lot of experience and that it is exactly what you wanted when you get the finished product.

Because all of this takes time, make sure that you have the ring before your exact proposal day or week. Each case will be a different amount of time depending on how many edits it takes, how complex the design, and how specific you are about what you want. Getting a custom-made ring is something that will be as special and unique as you and your love are, and it’s a purchase you’ll never regret.