By Joseph George of Melbourne
The first ever diamond engagement ring was created for Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477. That took the idea of custom rings to new limits, given that diamond mines weren't established until the late 1800s.
Today, here in Melbourne, Joseph George creates the most exquisite custom engagement rings (although he draws the line at mining the stones himself).
The rarity, durability and strength of diamonds together make an apt symbol of the commitment of marriage, so it’s not surprising that most couples opt to include them in one form or another within the design of their ring. (Or rather rings plural – more and more couples, straight and gay, are opting for both partners to wear an engagement ring – so do check out our engagement rings for men.)
Choosing a custom made ring
There’s a lot to think about when choosing an engagement ring. Which precious stone or stones, for a start. If diamonds, solitaire, cluster or both? Or maybe you could opt for sapphire, ruby, emerald, and so on.
A good starting point is solitaires, where the brilliance of the centrepiece gem really shines through – we've got dozens of custom solitaire rings to choose from.
Rings featuring several stones are another popular choice – for example solitaire and side diamonds, or with sapphire solitaires flanked by cluster diamonds. You'll find plenty to whet your appetite under multi-stone engagement rings.
Symbolism is a constant with engagement rings, and some couples choose to mark this with a ring symbolising the past, present and future of their relationship – in other words a three stone ring.
You can read more on different stones and their grading under choosing diamonds or coloured gemstones.
You may have heard of the four Cs – Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat – but we think the three S’s are just as vital: Shape, Setting and Style. That’s because the geometric shape of the stone matters, before you even consider the angles of how it will be cut.
The setting is always important: yellow gold, white gold or platinum – which will look best? Maybe even a combination of metals? For more details, see choosing metals for engagement rings.
Then there’s the style. What will match the bride to be’s look, lifestyle and preferences? If you’re shopping for a ring together that’s easy, but if you plan to surprise your intended, make sure you read our engagement ring guide for guys
As with all our jewellery, every Joseph George engagement ring is made to order. So once you've found a ring or rings you like the look of, do contact us or drop by our shop in Melbourne’s CBD to find out more and discuss your options. Joseph George himself can guide you through all the possibilities, with no obligation to buy.