Finding Her Ring Size & Style
Like many couples, Sydney and Michelle talked about the possibility of engagement and marriage openly, including discussions about Michelle’s favorite ring styles, stones, and what held special meaning to her. Sydney had known Michelle’s ring size long before marriage was even discussed. Being a jewelry designer may be the perfect excuse to get someone’s ring size. (If you’re looking to design a custom engagement ring or wedding ring and don’t know your SO’s size, Sydney advises “borrowing” their jewelry or asking for friends and family to help.)
“I knew the style that she wanted, something pretty simple and classic but not completely plain. And I wanted it to be very personal, and very us, so I made many changes to her ring. It had to be perfect. It had to be exactly right.”
Designing the Custom Engagement Ring
Custom engagement ring designs start with a sketch. When llyn strong sketches out a custom piece, she intuitively works in her knowledge of stone characteristics, materials, and various styles. llyn sketched a few ideas for Michelle’s ring, one of which was very close to the final design. The focal point—the stone—was the hardest part to nail down.
“Afterwards, llyn told me that I was the most high-maintenance customer ever. :)”
Selecting the Perfect Diamonds and Gemstones
Designers at llyn strong fine jewelry work with colored gem dealers and diamond dealers who specialize in sourcing unique, fine quality stones of all types. The ability to show clients loose gemstones and design a piece of jewelry around the stone truly sets them apart. Naturally, Sydney took the same approach, but deciding on the right stone wasn’t easy.
“After changing the shape and size of the diamond three times, I decided on a faceted 2.5-carat oval diamond with the highest color (D) and VS clarity. It looks like a glacier, which ties into the proposal.”
- A double four-prong setting with diamonds up the prongs would be secure and highlight the stone’s elongated shape.
- A partial infinity band in just the right proportion to the center stone.
- A squared band that would nicely compliment the oval and round diamonds; it was designed to accommodate Michelle’s future wedding band, which will sit flush against the ring.
Personalizing the Engagement Ring with Intimate Details
Next came Sydney’s favorite part: incorporating little details that would not necessarily be visible to others but carry deep meaning for Michelle.
“There is an ‘M’ and an ’S’ on either side of the ring under the center stone, with a small Paraiba Tourmaline (which is the same gemstone type as the center stone of my ring) next to each letter. The coolest part of her ring, I think, is our hand engraving of the Alaskan Range (Alaska is very sentimental to us) with the North Star on the inside of her band.”
“Seeing her wearing the ring that I designed for her, that I made for her, that I gave her when I asked her to marry me, makes me melt.”
After a great custom engagement ring story, comes an even better proposal story. Told in Sydney’s words:“Before I had settled on a time and place to propose, the option of her being in Alaska over the summer for a travel nurse assignment was discussed and eventually decided upon. A lightbulb went off. Of course, I did not want her to be 4,277 miles—and 4 time zones—away, but the idea of being able to propose to my girl, in Alaska—a place that was unbelievably special to us and a huge part of where we are today—was incredible.With a little help from Heather (my Maid of Honor), Allison (my Maid of Honor), “Baby” Llyn (my Bridesmaid, cousin, and the one who introduced Michelle and me), Jacque (Michelle’s Maid of Honor), and Jess (Michelle’s Maid of Honor), we devised a plan. Michelle and I love to adventure, explore, and do new fun exciting things. So I mentioned a fly-in helicopter glacier tour, which is nothing out of the ordinary from what we would normally do. I sent her some pictures, and she said that it looked cool.