By Patricia Campbell
Festive season is also proposal season, so if you suspect your other half is plucking up the courage, you might want to bookmark this page.
While tradition dictates that The Proposal should be accompanied by The Ring, a growing number of men are bottling it, choosing to propose with a stand-in, while their beloved selects her dream ring at a later date. Less romantic, yes, but ever so handy if you’re the picky sort.
If, like me, you have been bestowed with this wonderful gift of choice, then you should use your vote wisely. Antique or modern? Showy or delicate? There’s a dizzying array of options out there, but Kate Baxter of jewellery blog The Cut, suggests you go one step bolder and get your ring made. Ready to take the plunge? Here are Kate’s top 3 tips on going bespoke:
1. Find your style
‘When you commission a designer, it’s vital that you have a clear idea of what you want. Start by building up a picture of your jewellery style, collecting tear sheets from magazines and refining internet searches by using specific keywords, such as “Art Deco rings”. Pinterest is a great way to track your inspiration (my own Pinterest boards are saved under headings such as “rose gold” or “organic style rings”). Be sure to cast the net wider, though, as details of necklaces or earrings can inspire you too. For one woman I helped, an art nouveau flower illustration proved key in helping her designer understand what she was after.’
2. Consider wearability
‘One of the joys of going bespoke is the chance to create something unique, but bear in mind, there is a big difference between liking a big chunky emerald ring, and actually wearing one for years to come. Look at your everyday jewellery: do you happily load your fingers up with cocktail rings and embrace colour, or tend to stick to simple, classic styles? Consider practicality too. For example, while an elevated diamond, which sits high above your finger, will catch the light beautifully, you might find it catches on your clothes. A style that sits flatter to your finger may prove more wearable on a daily basis.’
3. Know your budget
‘It’s vital to set yourself a budget, even if it’s rough, before you make contact with a jeweler, as the amount you spend will not only dictate the type, size, and quality of stones used, but will also determine the style of the ring itself. Unsurprisingly, bigger, bolder rings will set you back considerably more than dainty, discreet styles. If money is an issue, consider alternative stones such as champagne diamonds, which are equally as beautiful as traditional stones. Most importantly, remember that time is money, so it pays to have a clear idea of what you want before that initial meeting with your chosen designer.’
For more hints and tips on getting a bespoke engagement ring made and to discover more about the rings pictured above, visit thecutlondon.com. Browse The Cut’s jewellery boards at pinterest.com/thecutlondon
All images: Kate Baxter.