To Make Or Not To Make: Pros & Cons Of Handmade Engagement Rings

You can’t measure your care, tenderness, or marriage hopes in money or other valuable units, but we all want only the best things to accompany us on the walk down the aisle. Clothes, music, catering, flowers, and food – the splurge is here to stay and it’s pretty ok. And it seems all the more reasonable to be particularly picky when choosing the token that will proudly speak of your love and commitment before and after marriage.

We talk about an engagement ring, the thing that immortalizes your feelings in gold and precious stones. Only the precious materials fit for the special moment, and that’s the point on which everyone agrees. But when it comes to design, views diverge widely. Some couples go for the ready ring that they can just pick from the shop. Others customize the jewelry piece believing that it should be as unique and special as their love.

Both approaches are totally viable, yet each of them has its own nuances. And in this overview, we want to brief you on the particularities of getting a personalized engagement ring created according to your particular vision and taste.

What Is Really Special And Great About Custom Rings?

You can create a unique piece and make your vision come true

That’s the first point that comes to mind when a custom ring is mentioned. You can have a ring made from scratch, according to your sketch, or general idea of design, or even a description of a ring that you’ve seen in a dream (or your sweetheart has seen). You can craft a state-of-art piece or an item that will embody the specific message that you share as a couple. Nothing is impossible here (as long as your credit card limit permits it).

You can customize everything, or only a particular aspect of the ring, tweaking an already existing ring style to your taste. So when you set to design – or customize – a ring, remember this useful checklist:

  • You can have a ring handmade after a unique design that you fully developed, head-to-toe, so to say
  • You can customize the metal color of a ring sample you like
  • You can customize the model and type of setting
  • You can customize a stone or design a new combination of stones, replacing transparent with colored gems, and vice versa
  • You can customize scale (get a ring of the design you like but in a finer, lighter execution, or to the contrary, made bigger and bolder than the initial prototype)
  • You can order an engagement ring with names or symbols that are important to you.

Here, you are free to design and experiment, just be sure to listen to your jeweler when they strongly advise in favor of or against a specific decision or choice. It is this person who is very experienced and who will make the ring come true. Hence, their input is also to be considered.

And this is the reason you should find ‘your’ jeweler before starting the journey. When you and the artisan are truly on the same wavelength, the magic begins.

The ring becomes personalized, a part of your emotional journey together

This reason is usually the main motivation behind the decision to get a handmade ring. It is the ultimate personalization, implementation of your common dreams and vision, of your wish to bring each other only the best available gifts that actually stands behind ordering a tailored ring. Having the ring made from the initial ideas to the final try-on is like re-living the development of your commitment, from the first meeting to the proposal. It is the story behind the custom ring that makes it so important and precious.

You can pick the best materials and find a great professional, thus ensuring the high quality of the jewel

The quality of the ring is next in line to consider.

When you order the custom ring, you can pick and choose materials, get the best-certified stones, or even ask to remodel the heirloom jewelry into a new item, thus getting the high quality of the past fit into the vision of the present. Yet the same caveat applies: you need to find a jewelry studio you trust, and then the matter of quality will be settled properly.

On the other hand, when you buy a ready ring, you may appreciate the design, but you’ll never know for sure how well it is made or what materials came into making it. Only the ultimately top-tier jewelry houses can certify all pieces they sell, from the source of raw stones to the personal signature of a master who crafted the ring. Smaller retailers can only tell you what makers told them, and you have to take their word. If problems with settings or stones begin, it takes a lot of time and effort to fix them.

It can sometimes cost less than a ready-made ring

This is a tricky point because sometimes it can be vice versa. However, often jewelry houses add a premium to the ring price just because they put their brand name on it. When a smaller studio crafts a ring, this point is deducted, and the price for a very nice ring can be lower than you expect. But this matter of finances should be settled prior to sealing the deal and starting the making process.

What May Be Not So Great In Commissioning A Custom Ring?

More time is needed to design and make it

Yes, the ring will be crafted from scratch, including the sourcing of particular stones that are required by design. Every stage of designing and making will require its own time allowance. So actually getting the ring may take significantly longer than just putting it into a basket at the website and having it delivered in a week or two. So before you decide to opt for custom engagement rings, calculate if you can allow enough time to have it made without haste. If that’s ok, go ahead safely.

The design should be close to what your fiancée actually loves and wears

Even the grandest or finest of rings won’t impress or please your loved one if it does not match her vision of beauty. If you plan the ring to be a surprise and design it in secret, consulting a jeweler only, you risk running your ships ashore and ruining the special moment.

If you do want to make it a secret, enlist her mom or friends for help and ask what jewelry style she likes and whether she might like the ring you are making. It’s an approximation indeed, but it may help a bit.

The best way out is to design the ring together. Surely, the surprise element will disappear, but you will share this emotional journey and the resulting jewel will be perfect in her eyes – truly perfect.

Usually, the return of custom rings is not possible

Since it’s a custom piece, the usual return policy does not apply here. The warranty may cover such incidents as falling stones or loose claws (although we doubt that a good jeweler will ever let such a ring leave his or her working bench). Yet as a purchase, premade engagement rings cannot be returned.

In certain cases, a custom ring can have a higher price than an off-the-shelf ring

Yes, if you want something spectacular, something that includes a lot of intricate work or very rare stones, the custom ring setting cost may be rather high, higher than for a ready-made piece. So before you officially commission a ring, discuss in detail all included costs, what may additionally increase the price along the way and how these costs may be offset, and weigh if you will put up with all these expenses.

So How To Choose And What To Pay Special Attention To?

We’ve listed the most important positive and negative aspects of commissioning a custom ring. So all you have to do now is check how they apply (or don’t apply) to you and what option looks optimal to you. And sometimes, the idea of just following your gut feeling is the best decision made.

One important point we want to draw your attention to once again is the matter of costs. Before you make a decision on whether to buy a ready ring or customize a wedding ring or an engagement ring, try to envision the ring you want and reach out to a good jewelry studio asking about the approximate pricing. The quotes are usually free, and with the numbers at hand, you will see the prospects clearly. Because as said, a ring commissioned to order may be a cheaper or a more expensive option than a ready piece, depending on circumstances. And remember, a custom ring will be valuable not only as an object made of precious materials but also as a symbol of love, of promises, of desire to be together, all wrapped into a shape that you envisioned together.

The Final Friendly Tip

Handmade engagement rings gain more and more popularity, but they also have pros and cons attached to them. Before you decide to buy or commission an engagement ring, read our tips, see how they match your idea of the smooth ordering process and do what is best for you and your fiancée. And definitely, a one-of-the-kind custom ring made specifically for her will hold tons of meaning and value now and for happily ever after. The rest can be settled with help of a good jeweler and a pinch of patience and creativity.

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