Upcoming wedding, proposal, birthday, anniversary, or celebration? There are many beautiful ways to mark a special occasion, but jewellery has to be one of the most enduring.
Whether you’re looking for an alternative engagement ring, a pair of unique wedding bands, a birthstone ring for someone special, a darkly elegant and understated memento mori or something else entirely, this guide will help you if you’re considering commissioning a bespoke ring for yourself or a loved one.
7 Things to Consider When Commissioning a Bespoke Ring
1. What metal should you choose for your bespoke ring?
What colours do you gravitate towards - warm yellow metals, or cooler white metals? Precious metals come in a whole spectrum of colours, from steely dark 18 carat white gold, through the softer, subtle shades of 9 carat yellow and white, through to glorious, buttery yellow 18 carat yellow gold, and many more in between. Silver is the most accessible, budget-wise, but it’s also the softest of the precious metals and therefore less durable. Gold comes in different carats and colours - the higher the carat, the bigger the price tag, and the higher the purity of the metal, so certainly worth the investment. There are also differences in hardness and how the metal will behave over time, which is why it is recommended that you choose the same carat of metal for rings that are to be worn daily alongside each other - a wedding and engagement set, for example.
2. Ring width
Do you prefer bold, chunky styles, or narrower and more delicate options? You may already have an idea of the width of ring you’d prefer, but you can easily test out widths by cutting a few strips of paper, ribbon and string in different widths to wrap around your finger and see how they look.
A classic, straight ring, or an organic, irregular shaped ring, anything is possible. The profile of a ring refers to the cross section of the band, and it could be round, half-round (also called D-shape, after the D-shape of the cross section), flat, irregular, or many more. You might want a ring shaped to fit snugly alongside a ring you already wear a lot - if so, that can be done too. Every piece is made individually, handmade from start to finish, so your ring can usually be created in any shape you choose.
4. Diamonds and gemstones
Precious stones are not only a lovely way to add a little extra sparkle, but they can be symbolic and full of personal meaning too, representing loved ones, special dates, favourite colours and particular locations and occasions. Stones can be incorporated in many ways, from a classic solitaire ring to a more subtle sprinkling of stones scattered around a textured band for an understated style.
5. Finding your ring size
Ring sizing can sometimes be tricky; there are a few factors which affect how a ring will fit, and it can seem even more challenging if buying for someone else. If you already have a ring that fits, this is perfect - I can take the size from that. If not, I advise that you visit a local jeweller for a fitting. Different jewellers will sometimes measure their rings differently, but I always go by the 'leading edge' when sizing, so to keep things accurate request your size be taken from the leading edge. Read more about ring sizing here, and get in touch if you have any questions or need help with ring sizing.
6. What's your budget?
I am always happy to work with you on designing and creating your perfect piece that will fit your budget, and can offer various options depending on what budget you have in mind. From a design point of view, it’s very helpful for me to have a rough idea of your budget limitations at the start of our discussions so that I can work within them, but at the design stage this can be very flexible so don’t worry if you are yet to settle on a figure. In general, the higher the carat of metal, the more intricate the design, or the ‘chunkier’ the piece, the more your piece is likely to cost to produce.
7. Personalised details
Personalised touches are truly special, and because I make each piece of jewellery by hand right here in my studio, I can adapt things to make your new ring even more special, meaningful and personal. Many of my designs are created first in jewellers wax which allows me to create completely unique textures, and if you have a meaningful or sentimental object whose texture you'd like to impart onto your bespoke ring - perhaps a shell or beach stone from a special holiday, or an object that you associate with a particular place, memory or person that you adore - I can make an impression and you can immortalise that texture in your jewellery.