Wedding Wednesday No. 2: Custom Engagement Ring
Back on Thanksgiving Day 2020, my mom gifted us with the option of having my great grandma's Victorian diamond, which was currently in my mom's engagement ring setting. Alec and I talked it over, and I loved the idea of carrying on the legacy of these strong Christian women who have worked hard to be the best wives to their husbands and mothers to their children. We accepted this generous gift with very grateful hearts.
Why custom? We knew that no generic setting would do the diamond justice, and so the route would have to be custom. And that was the extent of my involvement in the process. I did send some Pinterest screenshots, and we talked over my likes and dislikes, but other than that, I was in the dark. I didn't even know he went to Greensboro either time! Alec was determined to make a ring where the heirloom diamond was highlighted and respected but still felt very me. And Alec, with the help and talents of Jacob Raymond Custom Jewlrey, did just that. I absolutely love my ring and will cherish it always.
Now on to how he made it happen...
Alec's Custom Ring Story:
The process all started with Rebecca sending me a bunch of pictures on Pinterest of rings and telling me what she liked about each one and what she didn't like about each one. She never sent me one that she liked 100%. It was all just bits and pieces. There was one particular ring that she sent that I really liked, but there were things about it I wanted to change. I was not too fond of the prongs on the smaller diamonds, and I didn't like the way the bezel looked on the center stone. Also, the band was way too fragile and thin. Once I had some ideas, I started looking for custom ring makers. I don't like the thought of buying something that expensive and having it shipped sight unseen. So I knew I wanted someone who makes them in-house within driving distance to see the progress. After some research, I found a few options in North Carolina that I liked. So I took the pictures and the ideas I had and emailed each of the places I saw. As luck would have it, only one responded out of 5. And it was a blessing. That person was Jacob of Jacob Raymond Custom Jewelry. He is a highly knowledgeable and very talented jeweler. But I digress. I was able to set up a time to come in, show him the ring ideas, and tell him what I wanted to be done. So the following week, I set out on the 2-hour trek to Greensboro, NC. When I got there, I didn't know what to expect. I had never done this before, but Jacob guided me through the whole process. First, I let him look at the diamond that Rebecca's mother gave me. Then we looked at the pictures I sent of the ring that gave us a good starting point. We started with the center diamond. With the design, a bezel with prongs would be the best option because I wanted it to be sturdy, but I wanted to show off the center diamond more and give it more light. So Jacob said he could scoop out the bezel between the prongs exposing more of the diamond, which I thought was a great idea. Next, we started talking about the side diamonds. We needed to figure out the size of each diamond and how far apart to place them. Jacob took out a few different sizes for the largest side stone, and I picked the ones I thought looked best next to the center stone. After that, Jacob grabbed the next sizes of the other four stones that he thought would look good, and they were perfect, each getting smaller as it went down the band. I liked them a bit bigger and closer together than the starter image. After that, we talked about how to place them. I thought the way they were placed on our example was sloppy. So Jacob recommends just the bezels because the prongs really are just getting in the way of those smaller diamonds. I didn't like the thickness of the bezel, but Jacob assured me they would be much thinner with how he set them. So I trusted him. Last was the band. I went with a 14k band because it's a little more durable than an 18k and so on. I also like the color more. Since I picked the metal now, I needed to decide how large the band would be and the shape. He pulled out a few, and I picked one that didn't look flimsy but also not too big as to look kind of masculine. I knew Rebecca would like the rounded top and flat underside of the band more than completely round or completely square. The last thing he needed was Rebecca's ring size which I already knew because we bought a bunch of the plastic sizer things, and her ring finger is pretty much the same size as my pinky. I left the diamond with him, and now it's just a waiting game. A few days later, he sent me some C.A.D images of what the ring will look like, and it looked great, but I still thought the bezels were too thick. Again Jacob assured me that he couldn't get the image exact and that the bezels would be much thinner. A few weeks later, I got an email saying the ring was ready! I drove back up to Greensboro and then had to figure the rest of the proposal out...
From the C.A.D Images:
To the Final Product:
Photos by Erin Daniel Photography