How we handmade a custom engagement ring in just one week
A diamond merchant, express courier and legendary jeweller
Six days ago I got an urgent call from a new client, Andrew. An hour later he was in my office. Great bloke. He’s going overseas this weekend, wants to pop the question, and – yes, luckily for him – it is possible to make a custom engagement ring in little over a week!
We ordered a whopping diamond as he sat in my office, the Jeweller designed it in a record-breaking 76 hours, handmade the ring from a platinum bar over the weekend and will set the 1.3 carat diamond tomorrow – and it is going to look absolutely magical.
Need your engagement ring in a hurry? No worries
So last Tuesday 2pm I got a call. Andrew found me on google and liked the good reviews.
Andrew is a geologist, and knows diamonds. I daresay he’s had this planned for a while, and is now ready to take the plunge.
He and his girlfriend have quit their jobs and are off travelling for a year, departing this weekend. First stop, Indonesia.
He’s not sure exactly when he’ll propose, but he wants to be ready.
The diamond: express from Surat, India
Why India, you ask? Because that’s where more than 90% of the world’s diamonds are cut.
As a diamond merchant, I have access to an online portal where I can choose and buy from tens of thousands of diamonds. It’s pretty awesome, I can see quite detailed information and 3D images of each diamond, far more than a member of the public would see on an online diamond retailer’s website, even if they do provide a GIA certificate. Make an appointment if you’d like to check it out with me, you’d be very welcome!
Andrew had done his research and knew what he was looking for; a 1.2 carat plus excellent cut diamond. He was ok to drop the colour, but wanted to stay in the VS clarity range. It took about an hour to find “the one”. It has a colour grade; H, which actually doesn’t matter – once you’re out of my office and in natural light you can’t tell the difference, with the naked eye. VS2 – there are hardly any marks. And he chose Excellent cut, polish and symmetry. Nice choice, Andrew, if I do say so myself.
This amazing diamond just arrived in my office this morning, via express courier. And I can tell you that it is absolutely superb – a gem fit for a princess!
The design: 3 days
Andrew had a good idea of what he wanted; the style, the diamonds, the details. It’s a diamond solitaire engagement ring, 4 claw, with a fine platinum band set with small round brilliant diamonds down the band.
Together we sketched it out, referring to rings I have in stock.
Usually at this stage we’d design the ring in CAD (computer aided design), 3D print a model, go through a casting process, assemble and finish the ring. But with such a tight deadline it wasn’t going to be possible – so a handmade ring was the obvious choice.
My jeweller sketched the first concept design and I made first round revisions – that’s pretty normal, I had the benefit of an in-depth discussion with Andrew and knew exactly what we were after.
The second sketch was spot on and after a few questions, Andrew approved it – these questions were around the hand-drawn nature of the sketch, they’re never going to be as technically perfect as a CAD printout which is almost photographic.
Hand making the ring: 2 days (thanks to my jeweller for pulling an all-weekender)
Next stop, the making. It’s Friday now, and we’re thrilled with the design. The jeweller has received the platinum and small diamonds and he’s ready to go.
In this instance, it’s good that we’re going down the handmade route, even though it’s labour intensive and a little more expensive. Platinum is a softer metal and this ring has a very fine band. Fortunately, a handmade, rolled band will be much stronger than a band made from cast metal.
Each piece of the ring has been made by hand, starting with a piece of platinum alloy (95% platinum, 5% ruthenium) and 14 diamonds that will decorate the band.
My awesome jeweller pretty much put a whole weekend into this lovely ring (thanks Jake). He worked the platinum to create wire for the claws. He rolled out the band. Scalloped out metal and hand set the tiny diamonds into the band.
It’s all ready for the centrepiece diamond which I’ll drive down to the jeweller, who is on the Gold Coast, tomorrow.
And now we wait…
I’m really looking forward to hearing how this ring is received – fingers crossed we don’t have to wait too long until Andrew proposes.
I’ll be sure to add photos as soon as I get them.
In the meantime, if you’re thinking of getting engaged and you’re looking for a jeweller willing to go the extra mile, I’d love to hear from you. Even if you’re still doing your research, I’m very happy to take you through some options, show you the online diamond portal, and I can create custom engagement rings at any price point.
Update – he proposed!
Awesome news – Andrew popped the question at Kangaroo Point and Tien said yes! He wanted to do it before they left in case we needed to resize it, which we did. Andrew and Tien have arrived safely in Indonesia (here’s a photo of them catching the sunrise above a volcano) and we wish them happy travels for the next twelve months!
Over to you. How long did your custom engagement ring take to create?
If you’re thinking about popping the question, these articles might help;
- The 10 Most Unforgettable Proposals of All Time
- How much should you spend on an engagement ring?
- How Diamondport can help you create your perfect engagement ring
And you’re welcome to visit my studio for an obligation-free consultation to peruse designs, diamonds, and answer any questions you’ve got about engagement rings.