Do you or your partner long for a ring that's unlike all those cookie-cutter engagement rings on the market today? It's simpler (and less expensive!) than you think to get a unique engagement ring custom designed to suit your tastes and budget! Join us on a journey through our process and learn how to get exactly what you want.
In order to design a ring, you must start with the center stone, since all the rest of the elements have to flow around it. Knowing the exact size is very important to create the ring to scale. And this doesn't have to be a diamond! This year alone Charles has created engagement rings with purple sapphire, tanzanite, and more!
When you begin your design consultation with Charles, whether it is in the studio, via e-mail, or a Skype session, our team will begin researching to find a perfect center stone. You can tell us the gemstone, cut shape, color, and size you're interested in. We'll help you find what you're looking for, even if it's really unusual. Typically we will offer several options in different price ranges for you to choose from.
Once you have selected your engagement ring's center diamond or gemstone, we will look at pictures together to determine what you want your design to look like. If you don't have inspiration pictures at the ready, don't worry! We have a vast stockpile of images of Charles's previous client designs to work from, which we can use in the studio or via Skype to show different elements and features from which to choose.
Then Charles will go to work with CAD software to build your ring design in virtual reality. This allows us to produce computer renderings in different views and any possible combination of metal and stones so that you can see your ring before it ever goes into production!
These are examples of computer renderings. And in fact, while these have exquisite detail and are accurate representations of the finished ring, we have found that the final product always manages to outshine the render version.
At this stage, if there's any part of the design you're not totally happy with, changes can be made. You'll also get a price at this stage, though of course we'll discuss budget ahead of time. We often match or beat chain store prices even though our craftsmanship and the quality of the stones we use is far superior! All our fabrication is done locally right here in North Carolina, which helps us pass our savings on to you.
After you approve your design, we use our rapid prototyping machine (a type of 3d printer) to create a wax model of your ring. The wax is then prepared for casting, by being molded in a plaster material which is dried and placed in an oven. The oven melts out the wax overnight and brings the steel flask to the proper temperature to have molten gold (or platinum, or sterling silver) poured in.
From there, the castings get some polishing before the stones are set, then a final polish afterward. If they're white gold, which is the most commonly requested metal for engagement rings, we use an electroplating process to coat them in a micro-thin layer of rhodium for an extra-white finish.
When your ring is complete, which generally takes only about three weeks from approving the design, you can pick it up or have it shipped directly to you. It will be beautifully boxed and we supply you with an appraisal so you can easily have your new ring added to your homeowner's or renter's insurance, a jar of jewelry cleaner, and a polishing cloth to keep it sparkling.
Excited yet? Schedule a free consultation with Charles by contacting us via this link and browse the shop for ideas for your perfect engagement ring.