A delightful young man came into our store one day, looking for a custom engagement ring. His girlfriend had a novel design in mind Could we make a ring that looked like an ocean wave? Excited to help them realize their vision we had a preliminary conversation about the custom jewelry design process: an basic education on buying diamonds, what the budget would be and how to create the “wave.” The final part of our conversation was about our custom design process. We exchanged contact information and he left.
The Planning Process
About two hours later, he returned with his girlfriend. We loved meeting her and hearing her ideas about the ring. After about 20 minutes, the rough draft of her ring design was complete.
At this point, often, the fiancée-to-be steps out of the picture. That way the ring is a surprise when they finally ask the question.
Delighted to see him in the store about 2 months after our initial conversation, he returned with an updated design of her ring. Knowing exactly what the wave ring should look like, we began pulling together the pieces we needed to make it happen. First we found a diamond whose size, color and clarity enhanced the design and fit his budget. Blue sapphires form the wave, surrounding the center diamond, their colors graduating from a dark to a lighter blue. The body of the ring would be cast in rose gold.
The Engagement Ring Design Process
The next step is to design a CAD rendition. CAD is an acronym for Computer Aided Design. It’s a computer program that designs three-dimensional objects in the virtual world. CAD programs are utilized in architecture, industrial manufacturing, product design, and jewelry. We sent the sketches with notes off to our CAD designer and he promptly returned all of the various 3-D renditions with pictures of the final design. During these socially distant days of COVID, it is great to have the option of sharing pictures via email for review. After reviewing the images and making a few tweaks, the design was ready to print as a resin.
We bought an in-house 3-D printer for the flexibility and amount of time it saves us. Once the CAD renditions are approved, our designer sends the files to us for printing. 3-D resin printing can take between 6 to 8 hours to complete. Offering this service in-house helps us shorten the timeline on custom designs.
Our stone dealer found us a beautiful selection of sapphires, 1.5 mm in size, in a full spectrum of blues from dark to light. We take the time to confirm all of the selected stones will fit perfectly into the casting and the groom gives his final approval.
From there, we’re off to casting, finishing, and stone setting. We loved sending pictures of the rough casting to our customers to keep them in the loop.
The Engagement Ring Presentation
The special day arrived. The ring was ready. This is always the best part…the presentation of the finished piece!
When he opened the box and saw the ring for the first time, his reaction was priceless: He stood there for a moment, taking it in. The emotions we see from our customers range from being speechless to tears to loud exclamations, normally followed by the words “it’s perfect” or “exceeds my expectations.”
They both came into the store about two weeks ago, his having just proposed the weekend before on a hiking trip and her saying Yes! They were beaming and looking so happy. Her first comment about her ring was it was exactly what she had envisioned!
Well, a fairy-tale ending to a sweet story!