27 Sep 5 Tips for Custom Engagement Ring Shopping
The time has finally come to select that special ring that tells the world you are in love! Choosing a ring is both exciting and challenging. You’ll want a ring that matches your one-of-a-kind personality. Lucky for you, creating a custom engagement ring has never been simpler or more affordable. I’ve listed a few common rumors and truths to help you shop smart for your perfect custom engagement ring—with the quality you want at a price you can handle.
Rumors and Truths of Buying a Custom Engagement Ring
The Rumor: “Custom engagement rings are more expensive.”
The Truth: Comparing two rings of similar quality, you will pay more for a custom option. This is simply the economics of manufacturing—it costs less per unit if you make multiples. That said, you should not have to blow the budget to get what you want. If the jeweler(s) you’re considering charge a “custom fee” on top of the price, find a different jeweler. You can get quality custom rings without the extra fee.
The Rumor: “Custom engagement rings are higher quality.”
The Truth: This depends on the jeweler you select. Custom work can be of the highest quality if you’re working with an experienced custom team. I would recommend reading the reviews of the jeweler you are considering and see what others say about them and their custom work. It’s ALWAYS a good idea to work with someone who does custom work regularly. Having a goldsmith on staff does not guarantee a quality custom ring. Warning, if your goal is to find the “cheapest” custom ring available, a “cheap” (low quality) ring is what you’ll end up with.
3. Time frame
The Rumor: “Custom engagement rings take several months to produce.”
The Truth: Not that I have seen…in my experience you should be able to produce a quality custom ring in about 3 ½ to 4 weeks—including design time. If you make multiple changes throughout the process, it could take a little longer than this. Some jewelers may offer to make your custom engagement ring in less than 2 weeks and that is a big red flag. One of two things will happen with that short of a timeline: either your ring will turn out poorly, or it won’t be done in the timeframe you were promised. If you need your ring in less than 3-4 weeks, you should consider selecting an existing ring. Or a temporary ring may be an option while your ring is being created, just ask your jeweler if they offer this option.
The Rumor: “Buying custom from a “wholesaler” is cheaper and faster.”
The Truth: Going the wholesale route comes with added risk…individual “wholesalers” (follow the link to learn more about “the myths about buying wholesale…”) often lack the team and experience to make a custom ring in the timeframe and quality you desire. In my experience, one-man operations with “good custom connections” always sacrifice quality somewhere. When it comes to “wholesalers”, if you are indeed paying less, you’re simply paying for a lower quality ring…the cheapest price does not equal the best value. On the other hand, a more established custom team will often back up their work with a good warranty.
The Rumor: “Custom rings are risky because you can’t try it on until it’s done.”
The Truth: Though it’s true you aren’t able to try the ring on your finger before it’s finished, you can get a very good idea of how your ring will look by requesting to see the CAD (computer-aided drafting) image, aka digital rendering, of your ring. If no CAD is available, you can request to see the wax mold of your ring prior to final casting. Either way you can not try on the finished ring, but it will give you a very good idea of the final product. That’s usually enough for you to feel comfortable moving forward.
If you’ve decided that a custom engagement ring is the right choice for you, following these tips will help you make a smart choice. For even more helpful tips on shopping for a custom engagement ring, read our previous post “Pros and Cons of Buying Custom Engagement Rings”.
Ring shopping should be a fun, memorable experience, something you look back on fondly. So my final recommendation is to enjoy it!