/How an Engagement Ring is Made

How an Engagement Ring is Made

When you gaze lovingly down at your sparkling precious, do you ever wonder how an engagement ring is made? I never used to. Quite frankly all I cared about was that it came from one of my pre-screened and pre-approved selections of various ring styles (halo, three stone, etc. with subcategories for each shape of center diamond. What?)

Tacori Petite Crescent

Tacori Petite Crescent

Anyway, as long as it was SHINY, I didn’t much care for the process behind any milgrain, scrollwork, split shanks, pave, shared prong, channel set finery. This, of course, was before I knew what any of those words even meant.

Once I was #blessed to join the industry, and I learned more about the building blocks of a ring, my curiosity was piqued. One day, as Jeff was explaining to me what a gallery was, it dawned on me that perhaps there was more to making an engagement ring than selecting different elements on online ring builders. Maybe, just maybe, those master jewelers in our workshop were doing more than making a lot of noise and playing with blowtorches all day. Kidding. Mostly.

A. Jaffe Quilted solitaire engagement ring

A. Jaffe quilted solitaire engagement ring

So our jewelry designer got down to brass tacks with me, and explained exactly how an engagement ring is made. It’s something that everyone knows happens, obviously. But the why’s and specifics aren’t really explored in a world where all that matters is the picture perfect ring selfie end result. But it really is a fascinating process.

So, let’s pretend we’re designing a custom ring. These steps are pretty much the same for any designer rings, they’re just designed before they reach the showroom and sweep you off your feet. But we’ll start from scratch.

Tacori Dantela three stone ring

Tacori Dantela three stone ring

First, you’d meet with a designer to discuss your vision. It could be as specific as ring elements you’ve seen and liked, or as abstract as inspiration from the botanical gardens you visited on one of your first dates. A skilled designer can incorporate both. He or she will prepare a sketch for you, and will work until it’s perfect on paper.

Next, we go high tech. A Computer Aided Design (CAD) gets created so that you, the designer, and the jeweler(s) who will make it can take a look at it from every angle. This hypothetical lets you see the way different elements of the ring will play off each other, it lets the designer maximize the beauty of the ring’s architecture, and it lets the jewelers make sure it’s structurally sound.

Gabriel NY Engagement ring

Gabriel NY Engagement ring

Next, a wax mold is created. Liquid metal will be injected into the wax to create the actual basis of your ring. Different jewelers have different burnishing processes, but ideally they will burnish the metal so its the least porous it’ll ever be, for maximum shine and longevity.

While all this metallurgy is going on, your designer will hand pick the perfect accent diamonds, if there are any. This can mean painstakingly sorting through thousands of pinhead sized diamonds to match just the right colors and clarity for an all over even shine. These diamonds are then expertly set by the jeweler in pave, shared prong, or channel settings.

Princess cut solitaire engagement ring

Princess cut solitaire engagement ring

Next, it’s time to add the center stone. You and your designer will select the perfect diamond for your budget, using the 4 C’s to get the best deal. It’s set securely in the head of the mounting, before the entire ring gets a steam and polish. Then it’s finally ready!

If you’d like to create a custom engagement ring, you can read even more about the process at Diamonds by Raymond Lee’s site – and shop our selection of already-created designer engagement ring settings, just waiting for your perfect center stone!

I'm the marketing director for Raymond Lee Jewelers, the voice behind Designers & Diamonds, and the crazy woman obsessively live Tweeting the lack of jewelry coverage at red carpet events.