Each couple has their own story to tell. Each couple develops their unique language, jokes, unwritten rules, and perhaps even telepathic powers. Seemingly mundane places or experiences are endowed with special significance shared by the two of you. Perhaps you would like to express some of that uniqueness with a custom designed engagement ring? Unique designs are becoming more and more popular.
Often couples come to jewelers with antique jewelry that they already own, and ask for a re-designed ring incorporating old diamonds or gems. This is the most romantic way to honor the past family traditions and the memory of your parents / grandparents, while keeping the cost of the engagement ring reasonable.
And maybe you don’t even want stones. How about carrying a little work of art on your finger? You have a blank canvas to express yourself and your love.
This could be a good option for you if you are a visual person, know exactly what you want, and know your precious metals and stones. Or, if you have a great jeweler whom you trust to understand your vision and work with it.
There’s so many options you could go for! Before you speak to the jeweler, think about what you like – what colors, which style (period jewelry or asymmetric modern styles, feminine or masculine designs), imagery (lace, flowers, symbols, letters, sharp angles), and size and texture (width, layers, matte or polished look). Then choose a jeweler who specializes in the look you are going for.
A special word about custom-made antique-looking jewelry. It allows you to break all the rules: oversized stones, less emphasis on shine, even cracked diamonds will work! On the other hand, it looks incredibly special due to the meticulous craftsmanship required, and it never goes out of fashion. Some of the elements you could consider include rose or slightly yellowed gold, yellow tinged diamonds, old-fashioned diamond cuts, or minuscule metal beads or bumps along a thin edge called milgrain. Making antique looking jewelry requires a special set of skills – so ensure that your jeweler has these skills. Also ensure that you have the budget to pay for such work!
In comparison, modern designs have straight lines, smooth surfaces, and minimal decorative elements. Modern designs depend on high-quality materials for the sleek look they are known for.
There’s all sorts of special elements you could incorporate: molded elements of architectural design of a special landmark, carving of a skyline of a city or mountain. The design could symbolize your separate paths merging into one, or perhaps other people in your lives (maybe children). You could have private elements (such as small sapphires to the side or on the inside) that only you know about.
You might want to consider the wearer’s lifestyle. For example, prong setting (left) sparkles more and is a bit easier to clean because it exposes more surfaces. On the other hand, elevated prong settings can be difficult to wear under gloves in winter, and they can get caught on clothing. The alternative to a prong setting is a bezel setting (right) – where the sides of the diamond are covered by a strip of metal, protecting it.
Try on a lot of different rings, and understand what looks good on you. Then carefully communicate your vision to the jeweler. The more examples and detail you can communicate, the better. But understand that some things you imagine may not work well in practice. The ring needs to endure over the years. Talk to the jeweler about how the elements you like can be realistically incorporated.
Making a custom ring is a pretty cool process. You watch the jeweler’s creation evolve, from a digital 3D rendering, to a soft resin proxy made with a 3D printer, to the shiny preciousness.
If you want a unique ring, but don’t want to pay for the design, consider unique designs already created by boutique jewelry brands. Below is a selection of designs I personally liked, together with the contact information of the jewelers.
Luc Laframboise, Woven Tapestry
Love is a dynamic interaction. Ongoing conversation. Questions and answers, same and different. Every day, a fresh start. Gentle caress. Bold move. Tension. Mutual dependability. His actions, her actions – everything falls into the interweaving threads of the tapestry. And the conversation continues.
When we asked Luc to design our engagement ring, above all we wanted it to be symbolic of what we are. We challenged Luc to go beyond the comforts of symmetry, and express *us* – in the vocabulary of the curve, metal, and luster.
From the opposite parts of the world, white and rose gold strands meet, interlock, and meld together in overlapping curves. The embrace is both playful and secure, carefree and careful. Pressure and softness. The curves twist and turn, thin out and regain strength, become one and separate. And the fragility of it all – little diamond accents, nestled in between, clinging to the curves. Trusting that the conversation will continue.
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Let there be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.” Khalil Gibran.
Luc Laframboise of Creations Lucas is based in Ottawa but his loyal customers are all over Canada. See his work at http://www.creationslucas.ca. He can be reached at 613-789-0111 or <email@example.com>