Once we knew that an engagement was imminant we starting talking about the ring. Contrary to popular belief, I can be very practical and straight forward when needed and in this situation I wanted to make sure that Betsy had the ring of her dreams. We talked about budget and whether or not she wanted to be a part of the process or if she wanted me to pick the ring out myself. She felt like she wanted to help pick the ring and so, with a budget set, we began our journey!
Researching the 4 C's of Diamonds was fairly easy, after a quick search we found a few places that explained them with great detail, here are a few we recommend -
After consulting the 4 C's and our budget we decided roughly what type of diamond we wanted as the center stone, now onto ring style!
We researched many different vendors online and looked at some of their catalogs. The internet is such a useful tool anymore and it is wise to start any type of major research in this way. After selecting a few rings we liked we went and visited the stores themselves to see them in person.
After deciding what basic style we liked we then went to a local vendor. Sometimes it is wise to check out the local businesses vs a large chain, they are going to cater to your needs and be more about customer service than making a sale. They want to hold onto you for life, not for one purchase.
After talking with Brad at Marks Jewelers and hearing about how high the prices in the gold market were at the time (and, honestly, after some very persuasive salesmanship) we decided to make our ring from scratch vs buying a stock design. This also adds a uniqueness to your engagement ring in that no one else will ever have your design.
Basing it off the design we liked we hired Brad at Marks Jewelers to craft our ring.
This process was a fun one! Getting to go back to the jeweler and see the process happening before our eyes was exciting and motivating.
The first step was making a wax representation of the ring.
From this point we fine tuned the design without it costing a fortune.
This is before the center stone and final polishing is done.
At this stage we chose which stone we wanted to sit in the center of the ring.
After the diamond was chosen Betsy was no longer in the picture.
She did not see the final product until the day it was put on her finger.
The final product!
To end the post we wanted to list a few money savers that could help in the process of making a ring. Some of these we have heard over the years or actually used ourselves in making our ring:
- Using the parts from old ring, diamonds from a ring that is no longer worn but may have some sentimental value (grandma's ring is special... but who would wear it these days?!).
- Trading in a ring or other jewelry no longer worn or needed.
- Buying the diamonds wholesale through another vendor vs buying them straight from the jeweler.
Next time - the engagement!