Man and woman holding pinkies, woman wearing engagement ring

A Meaningful Engagement: How to Design Your Own Engagement Ring

The Perfect Ring for the Perfect Proposal

When it comes to proposals and engagements, few things are as meaningful as a carefully chosen ring. For the proposer, this is the token of your love; for the lucky recipient, it’s something that you will wear and cherish each day. If you’re after a truly stunning, unique and personal piece, you’ll want to forgo the rings that sit in the jewelry cases and instead build your own engagement ring with the style, stones and metals that are most meaningful to you and your fiancĂ©. Find out where to start and what to consider before you design your own engagement ring.

Deciding on the Right Material

As with any engagement ring, you’ll have to first determine your budget and choose your material accordingly. Gold is the traditional material for the ring, but a platinum engagement ring is typically more durable, dense and smooth. Of course, you’ll have to pay a bit extra for that pristine platinum finish, so expect to add a few hundred dollars to the price.

If you’ve decided on a gold engagement ring, consider what kind of gold will be most appropriate for your design and your style. While a yellow gold engagement ring is a classic choice, white gold has become a popular base for the ring. However, do be careful about the white gold you choose — some of it is blended with nickel for strength, and nickel can irritate sensitive skin. Talk to the designer about your options and keep in mind that it will take longer and cost more to include custom flourishes or markings in the band.

Add a Personal Touch

The greatest advantage of a custom engagement ring is the opportunity for personalization. Whether you decide to have the band engraved or uniquely molded, the stone that you choose will likely bring the whole design together. A diamond engagement ring may still be the most popular choice, but other precious and semi-precious stones are quickly gaining ground as suitable and thoughtful additions to the ring. For instance, the bride’s or groom’s birthstone is a lovely alternative to a diamond, or else you can feature both in a colorful arrangement.

If you purchase your own gem, you’ll also be able to track its origin and choose one that reflects your values. There has been a lot of concern over the inhumane treatment and environmental damage involved in diamond mining, so some companies are now selling lab-created stones or else have focused on fair-trade mining practices. Designing an engagement ring is your chance to express creativity, celebrate individuality and promote ethical and eco-friendly consumerism, so find a ring designer and creator who understands what you want. Be sure to devote some time and effort to the design process to create an artistic piece you can be proud of.