A guest post today from bride to be and jewellery designer Alexa Thomas……

Recently, my beloved boyfriend took me out for a very romantic evening of dining and dancing, ending with a moonlit stroll through a small park. As we turned a bend in the pathway, there, in the middle of a small group of trees, was a picnic blanket laid out with candles, champagne, chocolates and a small brown box. I could barely contain my tears of joy as my sweetheart knelt on the ground and proposed to me, opening the box to reveal a beautiful emerald-cut diamond. He knew how much I love designing my own jewelry, so, instead of buying me a complete ring, he bought me a diamond I could use as the centerpiece. Through my experience designing my ring, I’ve discovered several positive and negative aspects of the process.
Because my diamond was provided, there were several parts of the design process that were simplified. If I had to pick my own diamond, I would have looked for a loose diamond seller, like Blue Nile, that would allow me to search based on shape, carat, color, cut, clarity and price. The options can seem overwhelming, but in the end it’s all about personal preference and budget concerns.
I also had to choose what materials my ring would be made of, which came down in the end to platinum or gold. In the end, I chose 14 carat white gold, for the price, color and ease with which it can be formed.
The next part of the process was deciding what type of setting I wanted and whether or not I wanted a solitaire or side stone design. Because I had an emerald cut diamond, I went with a simple four-pronged center setting with baguette side-stones. Different diamond shapes look better with different settings; listing the appropriate settings for various diamonds is out of the scope of my article, but there are plenty of places to go for information on settings for various diamond shapes.
While it would have been easy for me to go crazy on the design of my band, including Celtic knots or complex engraving, I chose to stick with a classic, rounded band, mostly to keep the cost low and reduce the time it would take to make my ring. I also wanted to make sure that my band didn’t distract from the presence of my centerpiece diamond, but enhanced it instead.
One of the most time-consuming and difficult parts of the whole process was finding a jeweler who could translate my design into the reality of a quality piece of jewelry without charging me and arm and a leg. I had to do a lot of research and visit a lot of jewelers before I finally found one I was happy with, but it was definitely one of the most important parts of the entire process. If I had gone with the first person I found, I could have ended up being charged a lot more and ended up with a lower quality engagement ring.
My ring ended up being exactly what I had wanted and it fits my personality perfectly, something I don’t think would have happened otherwise.

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