I have had a few clients recently start their journey to wedded bliss with some very good questions. Questions like ‘How do I get an engagement ring from you?’ and ‘How much would it cost me?’ and ‘How does the custom design process work?’.
I’m sure we all have a degree of jargon and industry knowledge that comes with our job and I am no different. When I get questions like the ones above it reminds me that for many people getting a custom-made engagement ring can be a bit of a bewildering process. I am sure that (like I feel when I walk into an expensive designer clothes shop) there is a degree of apprehension that you are getting in above your head. That maybe you need to be arty too and have amazing design ideas for a ring. Or that you need to be very rich as I’ll probably charge like a wounded bull for even replying to an email.
Happily none of these are true. Most clients who come to me with an initial enquiry have a few pictures of rings they like, or have an idea of a stone their girlfriend (or boyfriend) likes, or have seen something on my website that is in the style they are thinking of. Some clients have no idea and some have an exact idea. Either way we can start the design process by me doing a few sketches or tinkering with an existing design and preparing a quote.
The next area of anxiety is the financials. Most clients like to have an idea of what they are in for before they are in for it, which is fair enough. Asking ‘how much?’ is always a bit nerve-racking, as I found out today whilst coveting a pair of boots only to find out they were a silly price. However, ‘how much?’ for a custom engagement ring is a bit tricky. There are many variables such as gold price (up and down like a nun’s habit), finger size, gems, difficulty of design etc. So, when clients ask me how much I always try to give a few examples of rings from my website and how much they cost. Many people have an idea of how much they’d like to spend and so I ask for this and then work within that budget – most things are possible. It’s ok and expected to ask ‘How much?’ so don’t be afraid!
The other area is using an existing design. The beauty of having a custom-made enagegement ring is you can choose the detail. If a client really likes one of the rings on my website but would prefer a pink diamond to a white one, no problem. Or if they would prefer one main stone and a few surrounding stones instead of a solitare, that’s fine. Or if they have seen a ring they like on the web but would prefer it in yellow gold with a square stone instead of a round one, that’s fine too.
Again, most things are possible. The only thing that’s not possible apparently is finding a PVD electroplater who can put black ion onto 425 stainless steel. (now there’s jargon for you…) but that’s another blog.