At Custom Jewelry, one of our specialties is designing and creating custom engagement rings. We love being able to help couples navigate through the sea of ring options, while keeping the vision of their perfect ring in mind. That being said, we know the idea of creating something from nothing can be overwhelming. So based on our experience, we’ve put together this two-part series that outlines a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for a custom engagement ring.
Part One: Getting an Accurate Price Quote
As you can imagine, the top questions we get revolve around pricing. And with custom jewelry, there are oh-so-many factors that go into how much a project will cost. So here are a few of our top tips for how to get the exact pricing information you are looking for from any prospective jeweler.
1. Have a budget in mind. One of the main questions we get is “how much does it cost to create a custom engagement ring?” Just like ring itself, the answer to this question is as unique as the couple who asked it. To name just a few factors, the cost of a custom ring will vary greatly based on the types of stones used, the sizes of stones, the type of metal used, and how intricate the design is. The good news is that seasoned jewelers can work within most budgets to create a beautiful custom ring that you’ll adore. So know what you are comfortable spending before heading to the shops and chances are, jewelers will be able to work within your range.
2. Keep an eye on your beloved’s style. Engagement rings are personal, and the cost of them varies greatly based on how you want the finished ring to look. So, it behooves you to have an idea of the type of ring you want before heading out to compare prices. The more you know about what you want, the more accurate your timeline and price quotes will be. So pay attention to the type of jewelry your future spouse wears. Do they wear simple pieces or dramatic statement jewelry? Do they wear silver, gold, or white gold? Do they love antique things or prefer something modern? Are they traditional or anything but? Paying attention to a few key elements of a person’s style and will tell you a lot about what they may want as an engagement ring. And if all thus fails, consider asking.
3. Bring pictures. I’ll say it again. Bring pictures, bring pictures, bring pictures. Describing what an object looks like can be tricky, and can lead to accidental misinterpretations. Granted, you aren’t going to find the exact ring you are looking for online (I mean, you are shopping for a custom ring), but what you can do is find examples of styles you do and don’t like. Save a few of your favorites (and a few of your worst possible nightmare rings) to help illustrate the type of thing you had in mind. Again, the clearer you can be with your likes and dislikes up front, the more accurate your pricing and timeline will be.
4. Re-purpose your jewelry. We often encounter couples who think their dream design is out of their price range. After getting an initial quote, we often hear “I guess there’s no way to get this cost down, is there?” And we’re happy to tell them, “Actually, there is.” One of the easiest ways to offset the cost of a custom piece is by re-purposing old jewelry that you would never wear in a million years. We all have it: Gold charms from 6th grade. A hand-me-down cocktail ring that looks like it came out of Studio 54. If you have gold objects that are 9k or higher that are just taking up space in your jewelry box, bring them into your jeweler for a quote. You’d be surprised how much your Hello Kitty BFF charm can offset the cost of your project.
If you keep these things in mind when talking to any jeweler, there shouldn’t be many (if any) surprises when it comes to how much you’ll end up paying at the end of a project. With that, I’ll leave you with a few pics of some of the custom work we’ve done to jump start your imagination, and check out next week’s Part Two post where we’ll discuss timeline and process!