Designing and Buying a Custom Engagement Ring in CT

Just about ready to propose, are you? Time to get a ring and you’re considering a fully personalized one? Having given this some thought, I met up with Jill Keith, the owner of Enchanted Jewelry in Plainfield. We talked about how to make a custom engagement ring in Connecticut.

Owner Jill Keith, and staff members Victoria and Lori, pose inside jewelry store Enchanted Jewelry in Plainfield, Connecticut.

How long does it take to make a custom engagement ring?

On average, it takes about six weeks to go through the entire custom engagement ring process.

This could be as short as a few weeks (i.e. the stone and setting are readily available and there aren’t many revisions to the design) or as long as three months (e.g., if heirloom jewelry is being used, complicated redesigns occur, or issues pop up).

Note that this does not necessarily apply to handmade custom engagement rings. If you opt for a handmade custom ring, it will generally take much longer.

The Steps for Getting a Custom Engagement Ring

1. Learn what your partner is looking for in an engagement ring

Jill put it perfectly when we talked: “Be a good communicator with your partner.” This makes perfect sense. Your spouse-to-be might be perfectly happy with whichever ring you propose with. Or, they might have specific desires that they want met.

Custom wedding bands with a Lord of the Rings theme are pictured.

The point is, you won’t know unless you make an effort to listen and/or ask. Here are some of the important factors your partner may care about in a custom engagement ring:

  • Overall style. While this should be obvious, don’t overlook it. Your partner’s overall preference and style should be at the forefront of your customization.
  • Details of the center stone. There’s’ more to it than the four Cs. Not everyone wants a diamond, or any stone at all, for instance.
  • Use of a family heirloom ring. Some people like to keep it all in the family and reuse/incorporate a loved one’s ring.
  • Unique sentimental factors. The quantity of side/accent stones might represent some important dates in your relationship, for example.

2. Educate yourself by reading up on the basics of engagement rings

As part of your preparations to propose, you need to educate yourself a little. Fortunately, when it comes to engagement rings, it just takes a little bit of reading. Enchanted Jewelry has a ton of educational info about rings on their website.

Enchanted Jewelry owner Jill Keith shows off an engagement ring in her shop.

In my opinion, here are the four things you should know before you pursue a custom engagement ring in Connecticut:

a. Not every engagement ring has a diamond (or any stone at all)

The stone, or lack thereof, is the foundation of your custom engagement ring. This goes back to Jill’s earlier advice about knowing what your partner wants. Onyx, turquoise, and ruby, for example, are gemstone alternatives to diamonds.

If you’ll be proposing with a custom wedding band (or just want to think ahead), familiarize yourself with the different types that you can start from.

b. The four Cs of diamonds

If you do go the diamond route, you need to know the four Cs:

  1. Carat (weight, which correlates directly with the overall size)
  2. Cut (biggest factor in how sparkly a diamond is)
  3. Color (the more colorless, the better, in general)
  4. Clarity (the fewer inclusions that can be seen with just your eyes, the generally more expensive)

c. Setting types

The “ring part” of an engagement ring is called the setting. There are multiple types that you can start from on your way to creating a custom engagement ring.

d. Ring metal/material

Whether you’re getting a custom engagement ring or custom wedding band, you need to have an idea about the metal that it’s made out of. Most people probably think of yellow gold off the bat. Titanium and rose gold, however, are options these days.

3. Consider the specific sentimental customizations for the engagement ring

The last thing that you’ll want to do before leaving the house to go and get a custom engagement ring in Connecticut is list out the specific custom attributes that you’d like.

A custom wedding band with an inscription of "forever" is pictured in a wooden box with another band and an engagement ring.

I’d say there are two overall categories for this:

General preferences

Yes, there are tons of solitaire engagement rings sitting in jeweler inventory everywhere. But if you know your partner wants a platinum solitaire setting, an opal center stone, eight diamond accents…well, that’s pretty unique.

These are, however, just preferred attributes. It’s the specific combination that makes this example custom engagement ring one of a kind.

Sentimental attributes

Simply put, issues such as cultural designs, numbers/quantities, colors, inscriptions, etc. are very specific and unique to your partner. Another big one is any inclusion of a family heirloom ring.

Don’t be afraid to ask your partner questions

Enchanted Jewelry staff member Victoria pointed out, “My advice is not to stress too much over it, because we have plenty of options to [help them] find what they’re looking for.” She added that people sometimes people visit their shop with Pinterest inspiration or hand-drawn sketches of their ideas.

Jill added, “My advice is that…the partners are good communicators with one another and that they feel comfortable asking each other what they want.” She elaborated that while some people will accept any engagement ring, others have specific details that they want.

4. Head to a local jeweler and tell them what you’re looking for

Trust me: if you’re wondering where to buy a custom wedding band or engagement ring, the answer is a local jeweler. Victoria told me, “It helps to at least have a starting idea to [start with]. But if they don’t, we definitely have plenty of samples for them to see and get that starting point, then go from there.”

Engagement rings and wedding bands are showcased in the Enchanted Jewelry store in Plainfield, Connecticut.

The immediate, in-person interaction with a live human being is going to be irreplaceable. Of course, the ability to see examples of finished rings will be very helpful, too. At Enchanted Jewelry, there’s a showcase of engagement rings and wedding bands.

You should also consider that buying small can include perks. Enchanted Jewelry, for example, offers complimentary resizing, free cleanings, and a trade-up program.

Visualizing stones

Those of us who don’t look at jewelry on a regular basis would obviously have no idea how the value system of diamonds and gemstones really works. A reputable jeweler like Enchanted Jewelry will help you navigate this, both with their online inventory and in person.

“If we know that people want to stay in a certain value range, that’s usually when we’ll get samples in for them to view, [at] no cost,” Jill explained. “What the internal characteristics are…we can show them with a loupe so that they know it’s their diamond, for piece of mind.”

Looking online is great, but having a professional right there with you to answer questions and educate you can’t be beaten.

A custom engagement ring takes time

When it comes to time, you will obviously have to wait. Lori, another member of Jill’s staff, told me, “Three months at the most, unless it’s extraordinarily designed.” Jill elaborated that on average, it’ll be about six weeks before you receive your custom engagement ring.

Factors and tools such as computer-aided renders and wax models can help along the way.

Work together with your jeweler

Jill admitted that when it comes to off-the-shelf rings, a local jeweler might not always compete directly on price with a big box ring seller. But when you’re purchasing a custom wedding band or engagement ring, the personalized experience you’ll get with a local jeweler can’t be matched. Much like planning a wedding on a budget, establish your price limit for the ring and communicate this.

Jill Keith of Enchanted Jewelry demonstrates computer-aided design of a custom engagement ring in Connecticut.

As far as customers pursuing custom engagement rings in Connecticut, Jill explained, “We’ve been told by many people…’well, I’ve already shopped other places…I already know I’m more comfortable being local.'”

Victoria had this to say: “We’re very welcoming to the people and their ideas.” Lori added, “It’s just about making the perfect ring.” Jill threw in: “Our focus is definitely them, and their wishes, and them being comfortable. I think the environment being comfortable, that’s what we hear a lot from people.”

This isn’t much different from being an independent wedding photographer; my next booking depends on how great I treat my current one.

Go to Enchanted Jewelry for Your Custom Wedding Band or Engagement Ring

You can contact Jill and her Enchanted Jewelry team by phone/text at 860-317-1014, via their website, or in person at their store in Plainfield, CT.

By the way, I’m a wedding photographer

I photograph proposals and weddings like it’s my job (because it is). Just click below to learn more!

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