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How to design a personalised wedding ring

01 Apr 2020

Looking for the perfect ring for you? Here’s Justin Duance Jewellery’s starter guide on how to design a personalised wedding ring

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Image gallery

Justin Duance is best known for his unique rings cast in beach sand or inlaid with salvaged woods. All his rings are handmade to order by Justin and his team in Cornwall and offer lots of room for personalisation. With two decades of experience, here Justin shares his expert advice.

The easiest way to design a personalised wedding ring is by visiting the workshop. However, we realise that's not a possibility for everyone, so we have put together this guide that covers the elements of a design that we go through during a workshop visit. From the basics of choosing the right width of ring, to the details of including your own beach sand in the making process.  

It may seem a little overwhelming, but lots of these steps do come quite naturally. Especially in the 'basics' section. You may find you don't need to even contact us before simply placing an order online to your specifications. As all our rings are made to order, even if we haven't spoken to you, your ring will be made especially for you. 

Begin by getting an idea of what you would like. We know this can be easier said than done, but start with collecting pictures or bite the bullet and try some on. Visit a local jewellers or gallery where you can see and try a wide range of designs. This is also a great opportunity to find out your ring size if you don't already know it. Simply ask if they have a ring sizing service, most will. 

While trying rings on, make a note of the elements you like. Things to think about are: 

  • Metal
  • Profile
  • Width
  • Shape
  • Stone/s
  • Budget 

If visiting a shop isn’t an option, get in touch and we can help you over the phone or via email. A huge amount of our jewellery is made having never met the customer it’s made for in person, although it doesn’t feel that way.  

The Basics 

Metal 

Our sandcast rings can be in all carats of gold and silver, including your own heirloom metal – more on that later. Our other designs can be made in any precious metal. 

Different metals are different colours, weights and strengths. Here are some guides:

Silver is the most budget friendly precious metal. However, it is also the softest, making it less durable and therefore not ideal as a wedding ring. 

Gold comes in different carats and colours. The higher the carat, the heavier and also more expensive it is. Read more on choosing your gold

Consider alternative metals, such as titanium. Titanium is super strong and super lightweight. Because it's not considered a precious metal it's not as expensive. However, you may find yourself a little limited with design as it's such a difficult metal to work with due to its strength. It's a great choice for wood inlay rings, as it offers the wood maximum protection.  

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Profile 

Our rings fall into two categories: Flat or Comfort. You may have seen variations or combinations of these profiles, which we can certainly make if that is preferable to you. 

Choosing the shape of your ring is based on look and feel. 

A comfort profile can also be referred to as a court profile, it is curved inside and out. The rounded edges make the ring more comfortable to wear. 

A flat profile ring is as the name suggests, flat inside and outside. It doesn't necessarily mean it's not comfortable, plenty of people choose this profile and there aren't any sharp corners. 

If you like the look of a flat ring, but the feel of a comfort profile, just ask us for a flat-comfort ring. Likewise, if you like the look of a comfort profile ring but find the flat profiles more comfortable, ask us for a D-shape ring. 

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Shape 

Your ring can be any shape you like. From classic shapes such as straight or wishbone, to the more organic curves and varying widths of our sandcast rings. If you are fitting your ring around your engagement ring, that may inspire the shape of the final design. Here are some examples. There's really no rule book you have to stick to because we make all our rings from scratch, whatever your requirements. 

If you are designing or choosing an engagement ring, bear in mind that a wedding ring is intended to be worn next to it – sometimes the perfect design for an engagement ring means a little extra effort will be needed for the design of the wedding ring in order to for the two rings to be worn together. 

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Width 

You may already have a preference for chunky or dainty jewellery. That is a good place to start. If trying a selection of rings on isn't an option, a good exercise can be done with paper. Cut a few strips of paper in different widths and see how they look on your hand. It is very rudimentary, but quite effective. 

Again, if you are designing or choosing an engagement ring, the wedding ring worn next to it will take up yet more space on the finger, so it can help to have that in mind if you’re planning to go for a wider engagement ring. 

Budget

It's good practice to have guide prices for the pieces that are catching your eye. If you have a set budget, mention it to the jeweller you are speaking to. We always strive to work within our customer's budget and can often offer suggestions on variations to reduce cost. We'll never take a hard sell angle, it's not in our ethos. We ultimately want you to end up with a ring that suits you, your lifestyle and your purse. 

As a rule of thumb, the higher the carat of gold and the more intricate the design is, the more expensive your piece will be. There is no additional cost for using your own wood or beach sand. Using your own heirloom materials can reduce the cost, but the complexity of the design will still have an impact on the price. 

The Details 

Unusual personalisation - beach sand and own wood 

Because our ring designs are cast in beach sand or inlaid with wood, you can actually send us your own. It's a lovely way of adding a unique and personal touch, especially as it’s one that can’t be discovered unless you choose to tell.

Have you been holding on to a chunk of the cherry tree from your childhood home? Here's your chance to use it. Or perhaps your partner proposed to you on a beach? Your wedding rings could be cast in that very sand (from that very day, if you're super organised). Read about how to send us your own wood or sand.

We do have extensive collections of both wood and sand at the workshop that you can choose from. Simply add a note of what you’d like to your order at checkout, or get in touch. We're always happy to help and there is no additional charge. 

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Stones

Gemstones are a great way of adding a bit of sparkle or a pop of colour to your ring. 

They can also be very symbolic - add birthstones to represent your partner or loved ones. This is a lovely touch if you have children, as a way of including them in your wedding ring design. 

Stones can be added to your ring design in a variety of styles, from a simple flush setting to a full eternity ring. Other options include a starry scatter of stones around the ring or little bead set diamonds in the crevices of a textured band. 

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Engraving

An engraving is a great way of personalising a wedding ring, from classic dates and names to more intricate laser engraving. We have laser engraved fingerprints, doodles, hand-drawn designs, contact details, parts of the coastline, Elvish... You name it and we can engrave it for you. 

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Using your own heirloom metal 

Nothing adds sentimental value like using your own materials. If you have heirloom gold, we would be more than happy to cast your ring from it. This also extends to including heirloom diamonds or gemstones in your piece. Just get in touch, and we can let you know what is possible. 

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For further information, visit justind.co.uk.  

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