10 Brilliant Jewelry Designers Who Do Custom Engagement Rings
May 01, 2016 @ 2:00 pm
When my boyfriend and I had "the talk" about getting engaged, we decided to tackle this overwhelmingly huge life moment together. That way, the stress and burden of picking out the perfect ring is lifted for him, and I get a design I truly love. We set out to look at engagement rings, trekking all over Manhattan and Brooklyn and scheduling appointments at jewelry stores. But to my disappointment, I didn't find anything that resonated with me. And then a colleague of mine suggested we build a custom ring. Cue the breakthrough moment.
We worked with the great people over at Beladora (if you're interested, ask for Winnie Wang and she'll take care of you), and the whole process sparked this story idea: rounding up the best, coolest places you can customize an engagement ring. We spoke with 10 of the most amazing designers in the business, whose specialties range from modern architectural designs to unique clusters, and who all also create custom one-of-a-kind engagement rings for brides-to-be. Scroll through to read up on each one and learn about their process, and if you're in the market for a ring, maybe—hopefully—you'll find something that speaks to you.
Jack Danziger and Gretchen Anderson
Established: Jack + G in 2015
Their aesthetic: "Modern minimalist."
How to start the process: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
What have previous clients asked for? "People have come to us with a stone they have or a little bit of metal, and we work with them to build a story, letting them be involved in the design."
Do you need your own stones? "Absolutely not. If they have main stones, we'll help source flanking stones and complement the main piece they brought to us."
Do you need to be based in New York? "No, but if you are local, we'll invite you to our studio and show samples of pieces and metals. It makes it a lot easier."
What's the process like: "Before the first design session, we'll ask them to gather a story board of pieces they like—jewelry, design inspiration from anything, from cars to bridges—and put together a package for us to review, to get a sense of their aesthetic and the direction. We'll interpret that and propose three different design options with either hand sketches or computerized renderings. Once they've picked a final design, we'll make a quick prototype. We'll print it in plastic resin that they can try on and give us feedback. If they're completely comfortable with the design, both visually and physically, we'll go into production.
What you should bring to the process: "Budget, design intent, and favorite colorways (example: if you like yellow gold with sapphires or white gold with emeralds). Also, the metal you prefer to wear."
How much time you should allocate: "Around three months. The quickest turnaround has been six weeks, and the longest was 12 weeks."
Fees: "The initial consultation is free, but after a proposal is written up, we ask for an initial design deposit, which can range from $200 to $500. The prototype can be about $100 to $300."
Engagement ring prices: "Anywhere from $500 to $5,000."
What about wedding bands? "Everyone has come back for a custom band so that it nests perfectly against the engagement ring."