- Fashion and Beauty»
Engagement Rings - Design Your Own!
Custom Engagement Rings
Finding the perfect engagement ring solution is more than a demonstrate of your financial liquidity. It is a precious gift that sends your partner a crystalline message, one that in almost every case would ideally need to be customized.
Happily for us, jewelers are beginning to catch on. You won't need to hire a diamond-tipped cutter in order to make the changes you need, nor will you have to bankrupt yourself in the process.
This article was written as a resource for everyone who would like to know what options are available to them when looking for a ring customization service. This is an entirely free, unbiased guide. This is not a paid review, and I will judge the options available as they appear to me.
1. James Allen Design
James Allen, a professional jeweler, makes writing an article titled "Engagement Rings Design your own" quite a bit easier. I found that the online layout was alluring, and user friendly. Right off the bat users are given an ample selection of choices; everything from popular solitaire customization to wedding sets (click on the picture to the right to see what I mean).
After choosing the cheapest setting available (18K, white gold for around $360) I was then ushered gleefully into a second illustrated section with a movie preview and asked to select a diamond cut. There are quite a lot of options (picture below text) all of which are high-quality cuts and stones, so it can add up to be quite an expensive product, but of high quality.
What I like: Clear, efficient website and navigation. A plethora of high-quality settings, cuts and stones. Movie previews and clear images.
What I don't like: I freely admit I had some issues creating my stone with the designer (it wouldnt save my options, but that may just be my fault), and while fluid and efficient, some of the cusomization choices are not beginner friendly (though there are some help options). There don't seem to be many choices here for people in the ultra-cheap category.
2. Abazias Engagement Ring Builder
Custom engagement rings are the main thrust of the Abazias builder tool. It works similarly to the JA tool reviewed above, but runs a little more quickly on my sluggish connection. The settings themselves start from around $250, and appear to accomodate both minimalistic tastes and more intricate designs.
The preview tool, while less flashy is far more functional. I was not able to find an animated 360 degree movie, but saving, viewing and switching options is fast and suggestive. Those who generally struggle with applications of this kind will find it a breeze to navigate.
What I like: Again - a straight forward, if darker, navigation that while similar to JA's layout (and no doubt run by the same engine) seems crisper and less involved. It's more than suitable for the task.
What I don't like: It looks like cheapos such as myself, who don't scorn cubic zirconia entirely, are left to look elsewhere. Also, Abazias seem to share the tool with JA, it also has the subjective flaw of being a little intimidating for the beginner when it comes to customization (especially when small things mean large price gaps).
3. Adiamor - Build your own ring!
On the surface Adiamor seems a little different, and I have to say I prefer the color scheme here, it seems more "fitting".
Now, I'm aware I could be accused to being clueless, but right off the bat, before I get to see any pretty templates or cuts, I am asked to plug in my preferred carat weight as a starting point. The thing is, I'm not going to assume everyone knows what they want, or what is perfect for them. I would have placed this in the "what I don't like" section of the text, but since this step comes before any real reviewing, I can't really omit it now can I?
After initiating the query with a 0-10 variance, I am presented with the familiar, efficient sight of the builder itself which (*gasp*) echoes the other two reviews present. This time, however, there seems to be no inline help (see picture below!). They do offer the services of a diamond consultant if you have the patience to fill out the form and wait for the response.
What I like: Despite my ominous tones, the setting selection page is a lot of fun, with live pop-up previews and the ability to quickly preview different cuts. The tool itself is smooth and echoes the efficiency of the previous popular websites.
What I don't like: I've give you an earful already, but apart from that, what is John Q Budget supposed to do?