Engagement Ring Design

postal, I'm in this stage of my life... I finally got up the nerve to head into to a Jewelers to talk Diamonds today...

I probably looked like a nervous wreck, but that's besides the point...

anyway, over the jeweler's shoulder i spied a percular picture of a printscreen from rhino... and then i noticed the wax prototypes in the case... so that got me thinkin'...

anybody here design an engagement ring? or a custom ring and have it made? there's probably a couple jewelry designers on this site anyway...

now, i have no idea about the logistics of jewelry design, but i think i'll fire up the laptop after my girlfriend falls asleep and see what monstrous creation i can come up with. any tips? any pix of your own work?

May 14, 07 6:07 pm

the engagement ring i gave my wife was my grandmother's engagement ring from the 30's. a nicely filigreed piece of art deco splendor. single diamond set off with two sapphires.

simple and elegant is the way to go.

that being said though, our wedding rings were custom. still simple, but i sat down with the designer and talked it out. he made a wax prototype which i redlined (ha!) and we were off to the races.

good luck, and is congratulations in order yet??

May 14, 07 6:12 pm

There's a guy in Portland, OR named Gary Swank that uses Rhino to design all kinds of custom jewelry. He has a store where you can go in and watch his machine make a wax dummy that he then casts in platinum or whatever. It's very cool. (His own designs could use improvement, however.)

You might be able to send him a Rhino model and have him make a ring from it....

His prices were reasonable a few years ago too.

May 14, 07 6:16 pm

I met a friend of a friend this winter who does tension settings for diamonds. Don't know how much room there is for customization, but it's a good look if you ask me. I can't even remember his last name off hand, but google for 'tension settings' & you should find some info.

May 14, 07 6:18 pm

My best advice is to find out what she wants.

Chances are she has an idea in mind.

May 14, 07 6:21 pm

you sound like a wise man, waterhouse....

May 14, 07 6:24 pm

i took my GF to a diamond shopping too, i agree wtih waterhouse...when it comes to engagement rings, girls can be VERY particular...find out what style she's in for and the sort...then you will know for sure what she does/doesn't like....i figure that if i'm going to be dropping 10k i better be gettingsomething that she likes...

nonetheless, its never easy finding a good girl to settle down with...looks like you found yours...congratulations!

May 14, 07 6:36 pm

yeah, the simple and elegant is definately what it'll be... and it won't be modern or a tension setting, (even though, i think some look cool).. i know my girl and she would give me a definative "do you still have the reciept?" if it was anything modern...

btw, i'm not necessarily interested in suggestions for a design... she's pretty much explained it to me in detail ad nauseum, but what do jeweler's think about when designing...

and no congrats yet... i'm the most superstitious baseball fan ever... i'll let you know

May 14, 07 6:44 pm

I used Max to design my wifes engagement/wedding ring (I designed it to function as both - since I knew she would want to wear the engagement ring after marriage anyway). I just used a print of the model w/ various views to give to the jewler. He made the wax model from those images...then the rest is history. I'm at work now, but i'll dig up and post the images that I gave him when I get home.

May 14, 07 6:47 pm

yeah, ask her advice... very disappointing to find out that someone who supposedly knows you so well has no idea your taste in jewelry.

May 14, 07 6:47 pm

that's funny because when i asked my then girlfriend - now wife what she wanted: she just said "come on - you should me well enough to know what I want." good thing she was right.

i will say though that is prob. a rare response - most girls do have specifics they prob. want to show you...

May 14, 07 6:52 pm

I designed his and her rings which we had made unfortunately for her the week before I had to present the final detail design I had a chance to go heli-skiing, needless to say my wife got a diamond that was smaller by what I spent heli-skiing... always said I would make it up but 15 yrs later I haven't gotten around to it ..shame on me. Maybe after the new house is finished I can find a little extra for her. I did all the drawings, sketches by hand and have the sketches framed in our room... even did them on yellow trace for that extra old school "architect-style" !

May 14, 07 7:24 pm

a bigger problem--what do you do when you're the designer half of the relationship, but also the GIRL? I can't very well hint around about my own design, since who knows when/if the question will arise...

you lucky men.

May 14, 07 7:28 pm

or, what if you're both designers? I mean, aren't you then screwed? It would have to be mutual, or else someone is going to be upset....

May 14, 07 7:35 pm

post the .3dm or .mb file on your myspace, for all prospects to see/download ;P

May 14, 07 7:41 pm

Garys Wank

May 14, 07 7:43 pm

I'm sorry...

I like the idea of sending him a .3dm file.

May 14, 07 7:45 pm

gary's wank indeed (seriously, his stuff looked ugly...)

I could have sworn that there was a old thread about this very topic but the best I could find was this . Sorry.

May 14, 07 7:56 pm

there TOTALLY was an awesome old thread about this. it got pretty big, too. the search function in the forums ain't the greatest. (not that i'm complaining, big green head!)

May 14, 07 7:59 pm

Oh! for anyone who already has designed their rings, can you post a render/ picture for us to see, please???

May 14, 07 8:02 pm

My wife and I didn't use Gary Swank because we thought his designs were bad. But I did like the fact that he was willing to take a Rhino model that I had done and just fabricate it on the spot for me.

Maybe there are other shops that will do this with more care and attention to design.

In the end, my wife and I drew a sketch and a jeweler (an 80 year old dude) made it for us in the old school way -- carving it out of wax. It came out great.

May 14, 07 8:16 pm

I couldn't find that old thread about the rings but I did find this one:

sporadic gets engaged

...and I figured postal would get a kick out of it. :o)

May 14, 07 8:22 pm
liberty bell
I'm such a flippin' archinect geek - here is the old thread


My ring was designed by my husband and cast in silver for about 30 bucks. And THAT is the benefit of designing it with your own hands - a $30 ring means so much more to me than some $10K impersonal rock.

But that's just me.

May 15, 07 2:22 am
liberty bell

Oh and myriam - I came home one day and said "I need a ring from you". So far so good. Maybe you should announce to your bf that you have started designing the ring you want him to give you.

May 15, 07 2:22 am


Postal, here's my two cents...

I have a very good friend who designed his and his wife's wedding rings. He did exactly what you are talking about.. designed it in rhino and gave a jewelry designer the files. The jewlery designer happened to be a good friend of his wife.

Short story is that the rings are not that great... and i think i know why. Jewelry designers ( at least the ones i know) aren't contractors. They have a craft which is intimatly connected to a way they work and for lack of a better way of putting it, they are artists...

I think my friend thought he could hand off the rhino designs like construction documents one week before the wedding and everything would turn out great. The design was complex and i think the ring designer didnt have enough time to iterate design and work out the kinks.

Rings arent that complex and the coolest ones are usually a product of riffing on simple age-old jewlery production techniques. 3d design is best used as a place to start.

My advice:

1. Make sure your design is both something she wants and is not easly found in the case.

2. Pick a ring maker who is more than willing to work with you.

3. Be prepared to spend alot of time refining it... at least a month of prototyping.

good luck... i think its definatly worth it.

May 15, 07 2:35 am

i designed and had a bracelet made for my now fiancee. i'll post images tonight (don't have them with me at the office). i also second bluesteel's advice. it takes a lot of craft to make nice jewelery and there are quite a few things that you won't realize are difficult to do until you get the design in their hands. i also recently took my fiancee to look at engagement and wedding rings at the niwaka office (they don't have a store in nyc currently). they are gorgeous and relatively affordable. plus they do so much with rather small diamonds, if you get the right design. in the end it's all just about visual impact.

May 15, 07 9:16 am

my husband, the engineer, designed my wedding ring and took his design to studio vincent in minneapolis. it is an amazing ring, studio vincent does work with a lot of 3-d programs as well. Check out their website...

May 15, 07 12:27 pm

alright well im not propsing to anyone but i just looked at and the single small diamond set in that stainless steel band is incredibly beautiful... postal, get that one... you know your better half would loooooove it...

my .02$

1. get a ring with dolphins circling about an uber fat rock

2. deliver the ring dressed as a giant pink elephant

3. explain that the dolphins swimming represent the perpetual nature of your love for her since 'see, the dolphins are swimming in circles, and circles never end'

4. keep the receipt

May 15, 07 12:56 pm

5. explain that the pink elephant represents how drunk you must be to pull off #3.

May 15, 07 9:16 pm

It's one of he hardest decision in thу wedding... Look here for some suggestions - how to buy diamonds, I hope they will help you!

Good luck!

Feb 25, 13 8:01 am

Why don't you 3d-print your engagement ring... 

Feb 25, 13 3:13 pm

Try having a jewelry designer with an architecure degree as a fiancee! We're coming up on 5 full months of design, prototyping, stone buying... I considered designing something in Rhino but ultimately it's been better to have her lead the design (with a legit jeweller). Should be ready in a couple weeks, hopefully!

Feb 25, 13 11:49 pm
accesskb  you will find real creative designers, home based jewellers there..  not some rich dude who can't design for shit but calls himself a professional jeweller because he can afford all the machines and tools his uncle handed down to him xD

Feb 26, 13 12:12 am

you can also use, there you can see many beutiful designs of the rings in different styles, it can be very useful

Nov 20, 13 2:59 am

you can also use, there you can see many beutiful designs of the rings in different styles, it can be very useful

Nov 20, 13 2:59 am

Very nice engagement ring!.i bought over mom :)

May 15, 14 11:00 am

The way I did it was buy the rock... they'll give you a generic setting when you spend that kind of bank.  That was the engagement band.   Then we located an artist we liked.  He basically carves the metal with dental tools for fine detail (sort of a vine pattern thing) and set the stone in there.  That way, she had a ton of input on the final wedding ring, but was surprised with the engagement ring. 

Oh, a problem... As we got older, we also got, um... 'thicker' and joints kind of swell up.  So the bands don't fit our new 'plus sized' knurled fingers.  And since they are custom and very detailed, they can't make them bigger. 

I just needed to know the cut of the rock she preferred... Wasn't hard since she'd been circling rings she liked in magazines and leaving the torn our pages around the house for months. :P

May 15, 14 4:56 pm

When you're looking for a custom jewelry design be sure to look at the designer's previous creations they have made. The experience and creativity will show in their masterpieces. Today there is so much jewelry that looks identical. I would say to definitely do a custom piece to really knock her socks off. 

Jan 13, 17 9:44 pm

Special design - awesome idea. I think any somebody’s example won’t help you, they can knock down your initial thought. All you need a good master able to endow the ring with your feeling and associations. Just google "engagement rings Australia" and start communicating with the designers you will find. You should choose intuitively, a designer should be on a single wave with you only then he or she would be able to implement your conception in the smallest details.  

Mar 15, 19 11:06 am

I know this post is old but since someone else just commented I thought I would share....

I designed my engagement ring. My husband had no idea what he was doing (non architect or designer) and was also getting ripped off by jewelers when we went in to try on some I decided to take matters into my own hands (we decided to get married before the actual proposal).

I got diamond measurements off the diamond GIA certificates and drew them to scale, printed them out and put on my hand. From there I did the same with the ring setting, gave it to the jeweler, and they made a wax mold for me to ok. I didn't see the ring until the proposal. Everytime I wear it someone comments on it- strangers, friends, etc. 

It was appraised for double the price he paid for it in total. We bought the diamond online, tax free, and 30-day money back guarantee- no fees. It looks like it is 5 times what it cost. The SETTING is everything, don't settle on just a rock size by carat- the dimensions make a huge difference. The same size rock can have the same dimensions as one much heavier, with a less deep diamond proportion. Looks the same to most, especially when in the setting. 

My architectural design experience paid off I suppose ha. Or maybe I should go into jewelry design since I realized how much these jewelers are making off simple design basics we learned in architecture school.

Mar 19, 19 6:50 pm

I designed the ring for my fiance. The diamond was passed down to me by my mother (originally from my grandmother) and I worked with a local jeweler to create a custom setting. I gave them precedents & sketches, and they were able to model + render a 3D mockup. After two revisions they took about 8 weeks to fabricate it. 

We're both designers (she's a landscape designer), so  I really wanted something that felt personal and intentional. Fortunately she agreed. The wedding is in 29 days!

Aug 9, 19 12:40 pm
atelier nobody

Mazel tov!



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