We sat down with jeweller Nick Ireland from The Diamond Jewellery Studio to discuss the process of choosing and making an engagement ring.
1. Where is the best place to start?
Most clients have an idea of what the ideal engagement ring will look like.. It can be a combination of 2 or 3 of the clients favourite designs brought together by the jeweller in a sketch or computer drawing.. Its important the gemstone is selected first so the design is kept within the clients budget..
2. What qualities should couples look for in the jeweller that is designing their piece?
Ideally clients feel more comfortable speaking to the actual jeweller who is designing and making their engagement ring. This eliminates any miscommunication in design and the jeweller knows exactly what the client is wanting when making their ring..couples should be looking for a jeweller who is capable of making exquisite jewellery , not just run of the mill…. look for previous pieces made, either on display or on website or social media…. look for for positive reviews about the jeweller on the internet
3. Do you think any elements are essential to incorporate specifically in engagement rings?
Obviously the basic raw materials …. diamonds, gold, platinum. Its important to make the diamond / diamonds sparkle to best ability each and every diamond is different so must be treated individually and so need to be set accordingly to maximise their qualities…
4. What is it that people most enjoy about the process of designing a ring?
Seeing their ideas come to life … when a design is finalised which incorporates all of the clients ideas, we have created a beautiful engagement ring which has a huge amount of meaning to the client… much more so than just picking one off the shelf….
5. How common is it for couples to design the ring together? (How often do people design engagement rings as a surprise without their partner’s input?)
Not that often….. most guys have paid attention to what style of ring their partner likes and then with that in mind come in and have a ring designed based on this… In 30 years of making engagement rings I’ve never had to redesign an engagement ring so my male clients should be congratulated on their investigative skills!
6. How long does the design process typically take?
From start to finish the process takes around 2-3 weeks depending on design.. Once the perfect diamond has been found and the design completed it takes around a 1-2 weeks to hand make in our workshop…
7. How can couples make a ring that uniquely matches their relationship?
Often clients have ‘their own little thing’ between them this can be incorporated in specific engraving be it a pattern or some words…. we’ve designed engagement rings which have both couples initials incorporated into the design.
8. Can you design an engagement ring on any budget?
Pretty much…. typically prices start around $3000 and then the sky is the limit….
9. What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone who wants to design their ring?
Have a clear idea of budget before hand… very easy to blow budgets with diamonds , so find the limit , and then design a ring that fits around this.. look at several diamonds before making a decision on what is acceptable in terms of cut, colour, clarity and size and then incorporate this into the design.
10. What is something most people forget when they’re designing their perfect ring?
Important to think about how the engagement ring design will impact the wedding ring design… we always try to design engagement rings that will work straight wedding rings which allows much more choice when it come to wedding ring design..
height of the setting is also important. If client has a hands on job and wants to wear their engagement ring every day then it must be designed with this in mind.