An original engagement ring doesn't have to cost a fortune! Instead of a large diamond or a gem-encrusted wedding ring, many people look for originality and creativity in their wedding ring choices. The best way to truly reflect a one-of-a-kind love is with a bespoke engagement ring designed by the couple in partnership with a professional jewellery designer that can transform your dreams into an individual work of art.


Basics of Designing a Perfect Wedding Band


The first thing to consider when designing your wedding jewellery is your individual style or personality. Some prefer a classic wedding ring created with a premier metal like Platinum and customized with a unique engraving. Another couple may prefer an ornate design, reminiscent of a Victorian-age wedding ring. Still, another couple may choose an ultra-modern wedding ring that is precision-crafted with a minimalist, yet futuristic vibe.


Do your online research and speak directly with your bespoke wedding ring jeweller about these important factors to consider when designing a wedding ring:


The Metal Selection


While 18-carat yellow gold is a common choice for wedding bands and engagement rings, your bespoke jeweller can craft you an original design from a number of precious metals including White Gold, Rose Gold, Platinum or sterling silver. Choose a metal that fits your lifestyle and your budget, but also one that will complement the gems, precious stones, and ring style.


Wedding Ring Styles


The style of the engagement ring can range from a traditional or heirloom design to a very simple Solitaire. But, also consider starting with other ring styles then work with your jeweller to modify the ring to your individual desires. Some wedding ring styles to start your creative juices flowing include:

  • Side Stones - a single gemstone accented with multiple side gemstones
  • Three gemstone or ‘Trilogy’ - a larger, shaped centre gemstone flanked by two smaller or similar sizes sides
  • Solitaire - a classic single gemstone 
  • Halo - a centre gemstone stone completely surrounded by gems in a ‘plaque’


The Gem Setting


Your engagement and wedding ring jeweller will guide you on the best gem setting for your particular ring style. The setting is crucial to protecting the gem while also enhancing the look of the custom-designed wedding ring. Some choices include a bezel setting that features a metal rim around the gem; a pronged design made to hold the gem in place; a channel setting features a groove to hold side gemstones; or a tension setting that uses bands under pressure to hold the gem in place.


To learn more about gem settings, The Gem Society offers this very informative guide.


Precious Gemstone Selections


Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires are the most common gems used to create unique engagement rings. But here is where you can get as creative or conservative as you desire. Most engagement rings feature a larger centre gem with smaller gems surrounding it. A most famous example is Kate Middleton's blue sapphire engagement ring. And, who could forget Elizabeth Taylor's simple, but gigantic 29.4-carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring given to her by film and theatre producer Mike Todd?


Your bespoke engagement ring and wedding ring set can be just as memorable because it would be a one-of-a-kind creation. A diamond is a classic gemstone selected for wedding rings, but don't rule other stones such as topaz, amethyst, turquoise, and morganite. Consider a mix of different gemstones with a traditional diamond centre as a creative alternative.


Complementing Wedding Rings with Engagement Rings


A custom-designed engagement and wedding ring set should not only suit your lifestyle, but they should also complement each other. Most wedding bands will fit flush with the engagement ring, which is true when the wedding ring is a straight band. The best way to accomplish this is to choose a gemstone setting that rises above the band. This way, the closely fit duo resembles a matched set that is perfectly coordinated.


For a truly custom look, consider a contoured wedding band that allows the engagement ring to sit flush for an exquisite look that is neat and streamlined. This is the benefit of having a professional jeweller design both the wedding ring and the engagement ring, to make sure the curvature of the wedding band is precisely matched to the contour of the engagement ring's stone.


Another elegant option for complementing wedding rings with engagement rings is to have your jewellery designer provide a notch in the wedding band. This way, the two rings will fit perfectly together similar to two puzzle pieces. Depending on the shape of your engagement ring gemstone/s and setting/s, the most harmonious way to include the wedding band may require that it be notched and contoured. Elongated centre gems such as a marquise, oval, or emerald may require both a custom notch and contour for a stunning and close fit.


Ideas for Pairing a Wedding Ring and Engagement

  • Pair a custom-designed Solitaire engagement ring with a diamond eternity band
  • Choose two different metals for each, like a Rose Gold and Yellow Gold wedding band
  • Create a unique match between a “Trilogy” engagement ring with a curved wedding band
  • Mix styles, pairing a larger Halo ring with a simple wedding bands


You may also consider a simple gold wedding band as a good mate for a Pave engagement ring that has gemstones, usually diamond-encrusted around the circumference of the ring. Pave engagement rings are truly stunning and feature an elegant, timeless style. Your wedding ring jeweller can create intricate detail when holes are drilled into a band to hold your choice of gemstones.


Keeping the Glamour of Your Wedding Rings


When you consider wearing your one-of-a-kind, bespoke wedding rings for the rest of your life, there are ways to keep wedding jewellery sparkling and beautiful until they are passed down to the next generation. First, let's look at some of the 3 most common ways wedding bands and engagement rings are damaged:

  1. Bent or stretched wedding bands can happen after many years to rings made with Gold or Silver metal. That doesn't make these metals a bad choice for wedding rings, it simply means care must be taken with 18K Gold or Sterling Silver rings. If you believe your wedding ring sets may have to endure above average physical activities, choose Platinum which is a tough metal that stands up to more.
  2. Wedding bands that become scratched are also common, though easily rectified. However your jeweller should be trained in repairing scratches on gold wedding bands or engagement rings made of other metals.
  3. Lost gems due to damaged claws or prongs be avoided with regular visits to have gems re-set or the prongs tightened. If you're set on a pronged engagement ring setting, just do a quick check every few weeks to make sure the gem is snug and tight within it's setting. If not, take the ring to have the prongs tightened at your local jewellery store.


All of these issues can be minimised when you choose the right metal to fit your lifestyle and properly maintain your rings. There are some times when it is best to remove your engagement and wedding rings. Seriously active sports like (especially those done outdoors) like rock climbing, horseback riding, boxing, and even gardening can ruin the appearance of your precious rings. Water activities such as boating, swimming, or water skiing can make it easier for a ring to slip off and be lost forever.


Household cleaners such as bleach, the chlorine in hot tubs and swimming pools, and chemicals like acetone nail polish can work to erode the alloys in the ring's precious metal. Your authentic gemstones can typically handle this type of abuse, but to keep them sparkling and bright, you should also avoid exposing your engagement ring stones to chemicals.


A great option for times when you know you will be active is to buy a necklace made with the same metal as your wedding and engagement rings. This way, when working with your hands you can hang your ring set around your neck for safekeeping. In the meantime, follow these suggestions to keep the glamour of your bespoke wedding rings:

  • Regularly clean your jewellery at home with a solution made specifically for your type of gems and metal. Be sure to read and follow the directions carefully.
  • If you don't have a jewellery cleaning solution, simply mix a drop of dish soap and warm water to soak your rings for 30 minutes. Gently scrub with a very soft toothbrush to remove any residue such as hairspray or makeup.
  • At least once per year, take your wedding bands and engagement ring to the jeweller for tightening of prongs, cleaning, and polishing.


As the oldest Reading Jeweller Expert, Jacobs specializes in creating bespoke wedding rings to fit your personality, style, and level of activity. Contact us today to learn more about custom designed engagement rings and wedding bands.