Things to Know: Buying an Engagement Ring Part 4

Buying an engagement ring can be such an overwhelming – yet exciting – task! There is so much to think about, including price, your choice of ring and where to purchase it from. While neither of us here at the Ruby Team is on the path to engagement anytime soon, we love looking at the types of rings we like and daydreaming about receiving the perfect engagement ring one day! Over the past three weeks, we have been running a series on Engagement Rings: Part 1 was on the 4 important C's that you should consider when making your purchase - cut, clarity, colour and carat; Part 2 was on the shape of engagement rings; and Part 3 was on different ring settings. Part 4 in the series is going to cover how you go about getting your engagement ring custom-designed – because now that we have shown you all the basics about Engagement Rings, you can describe to your jeweller exactly what you want! J

To help us on this topic, we have internationally renowned jeweller, Tarquin Di Domenico, helping us understand exactly what goes into getting your engagement ring custom designed. He is the owner of Tarquin Precious Metal Smiths, part of the Heritage Centre in Hillcrest, Durban, which is full of exquisite hand-crafted jewellery. He explained to us the process of a client desiring a bespoke designed engagement ring – here is what we found out!
After you have chosen a jewellery designer (you will have to find one in your local area), you will have to what kind of design you like. Usually the jeweller will allow you to page through their own portfolio of sorts, so that you can find something similar to what you want, or help you find a style you like if you have no idea at all! Tarquin suggests that it is very important to meet with a client face to face because it helps assess their preferences and personality type – and this obviously helps so much with choosing the perfect engagement ring that is unique for you!
When meeting with the jeweller, you will have to discuss budgets as this helps them establish which materials can be used to fit within your price range. While we all long for giant rocks like the one on Angelina Jolie’s finger, you have to be realistic about what budget you and your hubby-to-be have set aside for an engagement ring. Your ring can range between R10,000 and R150,000, and what is great is that jewellers can work within your budget to design something truly special (and realistic) for you! Generally a small deposit fee is required before the jeweller will begin the design – and then that is deducted off the total price of the ring, if you decide to go ahead with the job. And once you have approved the ring design, a larger deposit is required and the jeweller will then order the stones and metal to being hand-crafting your unique piece.
The next step is to acquire details like finger size, stone weight and colour, metal colours and qualities. All these little bits of information create the “bones” of the design. Once a jewellery designer has the “bones”, they can work at the final details. These include a to-scale drawing (ratio 1:1) of the piece you want – and from there you can approve it or alter it.

So that is what you need to know about custom-making your own engagement ring... and how exciting if you get the opportunity to do so! If there is anything more you would like to know, you can email the Ruby Team here or you can contact Tarquin by email here, or phone his store at (031) 765 8946 - we would be happy to help you. We will be doing a post on Tarquin Precious Metalsmiths in the next few weeks, so be sure to look out for that - pure, local stunning jewellery design!

Image sourced here.

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