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Custom Make Wedding Rings: Personalizing Your Ring

A beautiful gold wedding ring from Marion Cage, who can custom make wedding rings that are personalized for you and your spouse.

So you’ve decided to enter a new chapter of life with someone you love. Congratulations! Getting married is one of the most important milestones in life, and your wedding rings are likely the most important jewelry purchase you will ever make. You’ll wear them daily, and they will forever be deeply personal symbols of your love and your union.

One of the ways to make getting married even more meaningful is to have your rings custom designed, just for you. There’s no better way to be sure your rings are perfectly suited for you and your spouse than to custom make wedding rings.

There are different ways to approach personalizing your wedding rings. You can start by customizing an existing design, or you can have something designed from the ground up. You might have a special stone you want to use in the design, perhaps one that came from a family heirloom.

There are several things to consider when selecting or creating your bridal jewelry. We’ll go into detail about why you should consider custom rings and the process of customizing your rings with a designer.

6 Reasons to Custom Make Wedding Rings

1. Custom make wedding rings that are one of a kind.

This one-of-a-kind Champagne Diamond Shield Ring from Marion Cage features a pave diamond halo, the kind of unique detail you can request when you custom make wedding rings.One-of-a-kind Champagne Diamond Shield Ring with pave diamond halo

There is something very special about owning and wearing a design that you know isn’t going to be seen anywhere else, on anyone else’s hands. Just like your chosen partner, you want your ring to also be special and uniquely suited for you. If your rings are custom made, you’ll work with a designer to create something just for you.

One-of-a-kind jewelry also carries more monetary value than designs made to be reproduced, because rarity carries a premium. While jewelry purchases are usually emotional as opposed to practical, they do also have the benefit of becoming a small asset, and jewelry can be a sound investment when quality materials, great craftsmanship, and unique design coexist.

2. Create a matching set of wedding rings.

A matching engagement ring and wedding band set, which can be made to match if you custom make your rings with a designer like Marion Cage.

If you prefer to have the traditional engagement ring and wedding band set, it is advantageous to create a customized set so the two will perfectly match. When shopping the ready-made market, you may find an engagement ring that you like, but the options for the matching band may not suit you—or vice versa. If you build a custom set from the ground up, this will never be an issue, because you can tailor each piece of the set to suit your taste and match back to the other.

Similarly, your partner may have surprised you with an engagement ring, which you did not personally select. It may be a family heirloom, or perhaps they picked it out from a store alone without consulting you first. Customizing your band to coordinate with the engagement ring gives you the opportunity to make your own choices, while still honoring the gift that your loved one selected for you.

Not only are you able to create a matching set of your own when you choose to custom make wedding rings, but you also have the opportunity to coordinate your ring or set with your partner’s.

3. Get the exact wedding rings you want.

A set of matching gold wedding bands from Marion Cage.A set of matching gold wedding bands

You know what you like, and you have a pretty good idea what you would like your wedding rings to look like. You could spend hours searching the web and going from store to store, shopping for the design that you’ve dreamed of. Or you could choose a designer whose work you admire, tell them exactly what you have in mind, and have them custom make wedding rings for you.

This alternative saves you the time and headache of hunting. Plus, you get what you want, and you’ll have a personalized experience along the way. As an added bonus, you’ll know that you’ve supported an artisan, possibly even in your local community.

4. Add personalized details to your wedding rings.

Adding special details to your wedding rings that are unique to you can go well beyond the simple tradition of engraving when you custom make wedding rings.

Perhaps there is a flower that is special to you or a symbol that is meaningful to you and your partner. There might be a particular stone or combination of stones that have a special meaning for you. Maybe you like stacking your rings in a certain way.

You may not be able to find a ring on the market bearing these special details. Yet all of these unique elements can easily be incorporated into your wedding ring design when you communicate your heart’s desires to a designer who will custom make your rings.

5. Combine aspects of different wedding ring designs into one.

Four gold wedding rings with diamonds made by designers Rebecca Overmann and Ruth Tomlinson—all of which can be customized to your liking.Rings by designers Rebecca Overmann and Ruth Tomlinson—all of which can be customized

What if you’ve seen rings that have certain elements you really like, but others that don’t suit you? Maybe you love the setting from one ring and the band of another, wishing the two could be put together. The good news is that they can!

Having rings custom made for you means that you get to pick and choose which elements go into your design. Starting with an existing design or two that you want to alter or combine is a great way to get to a single design you love—one that feels uniquely yours.

6. Repurpose a family heirloom into a wedding ring that suits you perfectly.

One of the most common requests we have for custom wedding rings is to reimagine a piece of jewelry that has been handed down in someone’s family.

Oftentimes the bride (or groom) will have a piece of jewelry that is close to their heart because of the loved one who previously owned it, but the aesthetic may not suit their personal style. In this case, a great solution is to take the stones from the existing heirloom and incorporate them in a new, more personalized design.

Repurposing a family heirloom gives you the opportunity to show off your own style and your loved one’s treasured jewelry simultaneously.

The Process of Customizing Your Wedding Rings

A gold ring featuring diamonds, made by Marion Cage and customizable to your liking.

After considering many of the benefits of customizing your wedding rings, you probably want to know what to expect from start to finish. While every designer and artisan has their own unique process, the basic steps tend to be similar enough from one designer to the next.

Below we’ll explain the steps to custom make wedding rings at Marion Cage and share details and photos from one of our custom projects.

Step 1: Initial Consultation on Customizing Your Wedding Rings

Jewelry designer Marion Cage speaking with a customer. Consultations like this are the first step to custom making wedding rings.

The first step of customizing your rings is to have a conversation with our team. This is your opportunity to outline all of your desires and requirements.

You might bring in photos of designs that have elements you like. If you have an existing piece or stone you want to utilize, you could show it to us. You might also browse our store inventory for inspiration, telling us what you like about certain pieces that grab your attention.

We ask questions that help us to better understand what you have in mind. If you have a budget, let us know up front. The more information you give us, the better we can serve you.

During this meeting, we measure your finger for ring size and verbalize some initial ideas. At this point, we also advise if there are any design fees for us to move forward.

Recently, a customer came in with a somewhat bulky and very traditional family heirloom ring with a five-carat diamond. His fiancée wanted something less traditional and showy, with a contemporary design to match her personal style.

A bulky, traditional family heirloom wedding ring with a five-carat diamond, which was brought to us to be repurposed as a custom made wedding ring.

Step 2: Sketches of Your Custom Wedding Ring Designs

Our design process usually starts with a series of hand sketches. From there, we continue to refine the design, making alterations as necessary until we arrive at a final concept drawing that is approved.

Below are some of the initial sketches that we did for our customer, Bryson, and his fianceé, Desi. Drawing on the feel of several of the pieces that he had purchased for Desi in the past, notably our talon pendant and talon studs, Marion incorporated a similar aesthetic to create a design to showcase the stone and reflect Desi’s style.

Because of the size of the diamond, Desi asked about the possibility of two rings—one incorporating the larger stone and another smaller ring for everyday. Marion proposed a set of “jackets”—smaller bands that could be worn both on their own or with the larger ring.

Initial sketches of a custom made wedding ring design.

Initial sketches of a custom made wedding ring design.

Step 3: 3-D Modeling and Pre-Production of Your Custom Rings

Once we have your approval on a final hand sketch, we determine the best way of making the design. Depending upon the design, we may be able to begin fabricating the piece directly from the hand sketch.

More often, as was the case for Bryson, we see fit to model the design digitally using 3-D software. This allows us, and the customer, to see what it would look like from every possible angle. We can even print a plastic model for the customer to try on! We are able to make edits and print it again until we are satisfied with the design.

There were several compelling reasons for using 3-D software to complete the design of Desi’s rings:

  • Using 3-D scanning, we obtained an accurate scan of the diamond, which enabled us to literally sculpt the setting around the stone.
  • 3-D modeling software lends itself well to creating highly sculptural and organic forms, such as those we used in the design of Desi’s ring.
  • 3-D modeling enabled us to make a very precise and snug fit between the ring and the jackets.

Check out the 360-degree view 3-D rendering video below!

Step 4: Final Production of Your Custom Wedding Rings

Once finalized, the 3-D model is sent to our casting partners, who print the model in a castable wax. The wax is then used to cast the designs in metal by the lost wax process.

Next, the raw castings go to our expert jewelers, where the stones are set before finally being polished to perfection.

Here are photos of Desi’s final fabulous rings!

Finalized custom made wedding rings from Marion Cage.

Contact Us to Custom Make Your Wedding Rings

Having wedding rings custom made is an exciting, personalized experience that helps ensure you say, “I do,” with the perfect rings for you and your partner.

To custom make wedding rings with Marion Cage, contact us at the studio today to set up your consultation.

How to Match Jewelry with Your Outfit

It’s that time of year again! Holiday parties and get-togethers are a fun opportunity to dress up and show off your flair for fashion. That said, choosing the right jewelry to coordinate best with the clothes that you wear takes thought and doesn’t come easily to everyone. It’s important that your jewelry reflects your personality and compliments your outfit. When the time comes to accessorize, do you sometimes imagine Joan Rivers giving you a harsh critique? To help eliminate some of the guesswork, we’ve put together a few guidelines on how to match jewelry with your outfit. The next time you find yourself in doubt about your accessory options, refer to these simple suggestions and you’ll keep the fashion police away.

Dress for the Occasion: Matching Jewelry

The first rule of fashion is to wear an appropriate outfit. Being overdressed or underdressed can make you feel out of place, and you don’t want to be the center of attention for the wrong reasons. Below are some general guidelines on what type of jewelry works for different types of occasions.

1. What type of jewelry to wear to work:

This depends on where you work of course, but generally, this is a time to be understated. Do you work in an office, school, hospital, or otherwise serious environment? Choose simple, classic pieces such as small hoops, stud earrings, small pendants, chain bracelets or simple single bangles. Diamonds or gemstones are appropriate but stick to solitaire rings and studs or small amounts of pave.

 Large Disc Pendant and Offset Circle Stud Jewelry for Work

Large Disc Pennant in 14k yellow gold on 14k yellow gold chain with brown diamonds (left)
Offset Circle Studs in 14k Yellow Gold/White Diamonds (right)

If your job is in a more casual environment you can show a little more personality with your pieces – larger hoops and small dangle earrings, layered bangles, large pendants or layered necklaces – but stay away from statement pieces or too much sparkle. Simple jewelry, especially pieces made of alternative materials such as wood and leather, are also great for laid-back looks.

O ID Bracelet and Oval Wood Totem Pendant from Marion Cage

"O" ID Bracelet in Sterling Silver with Brown Leather (left)
Wood Point Scatter Necklace in Bloodwood/Bronze (right)

2. What type of jewelry to wear to dinner, drinks, or a night out with friends:

Typically this is a smart-casual or dressy-casual occasion. It’s also a time to really let your personality shine! Almost anything goes but don’t come to the table (or bar) dripping in jewels meant for a special occasion. This is a great time to break out those long dangle earrings you’ve wanted to wear, stack on several rings, some fat bangles or wear a tiered necklace. It’s okay to draw a little attention. You’re out to have a good time!

Spicula Dangle Earrings and a Small Point Three Tier Necklace

Spicula Dangle Earrings in 14K Yellow Gold (left)
Small Point Three Tier Necklace in 14K Yellow Gold Points on a Sterling Silver Oxidized Chain (right)

3. What type of jewelry to wear to a cocktail party, black-tie event, formal celebration, or special occasion:

Now is really your time to shine! For dressy occasions, your jewelry should be elegant. Is your dress a showstopper? Then keep your jewelry simple and sumptuous. Try large diamonds or gemstones to make your look pop. If your dress is a solid color with a streamlined cut, use your jewelry to up the ante. Chandelier earrings or a statement necklace composed of multiple stones and tiers will do the trick – but pick one or the other! If your earrings are the focal point of your ensemble, you may want to skip the necklace. On the other hand, if your necklace is the centerpiece, pair it with simpler stud earrings. For a high-drama look, pile on sparkly bracelets and chic stacking rings.

Mirror Trace Necklace and Portail Dangle Earrings

Mirror Trace Necklace in 14k yellow gold/brown ombre pave diamonds (left)
Portail Dangle Earrings in 18K White Gold Plated in Black Rhodium with White Diamonds (right)

Consider Your Neckline!

It’s crucial to think about what accessories will work with the cut of your neckline. If your necklace and your neckline are in conflict, your entire ensemble becomes unbalanced. Always make sure that the length of your necklace is significantly shorter or longer than your neckline, so that it doesn’t get lost in the mix.

Here’s a list of what jewelry common neckline styles, and what type of jewelry compliments them best.

1. What jewelry to wear with a V-neck dress:

A V-neck may be the most versatile neckline when it comes to necklace options. You can either mirror the V-shape with your necklace, or compliment it with a curve. For a short V-neck, a choker or short chain is the way to go. As the V-neck gets deeper, the options multiply! Chokers, chains, and short to medium pendant necklaces are all great for medium V-necks. Deep V-necks are great with a lariat or sautoir necklace, and also lend well to layers of necklaces. Above all, be sure to never choose a necklace that sits below the V.

Jewelry to Wear with a V-Neck Shirt or Dress

Tiered Totem Pendant in Sterling Silver/18K Yellow Gold (left)
Mirror Points Necklace in 18K Yellow Gold with Oxidized Silver Chain (layed with Long Mirrored Points Necklace in 18K Yellow Gold/Oxidized Silver Chain (right)

2. What jewelry to wear with a turtleneck:

Turtlenecks are best with long necklaces or no necklace at all. Long earrings can be tricky with turtlenecks, so it’s safest to stick to studs, hoops, or very short drops if you’re in doubt. If you’re skipping the necklace, add a bracelet or two (or three) to spice things up.

Jewelry to Wear with a Crew Neck Shirt or Dress

Ankole Tassle Sautoir  in Sterling Silver Plated in Black Rhodium/14K Yellow Gold (left)
Totem Amulet in Sterling Silver with 18K Rose Gold (right)

3. What jewelry to wear with a crew neck:

When the neckline goes high, the necklace goes low. Wear medium to extra-long chains and pendants with crew or boat neck tops. Make sure that they sit at least 2 inches below the collar and go as long as you like. Strands of beads as well as tiered and layered necklaces are also great options.

4. What jewelry to wear with a halter or one-shoulder top:

If your top or dress is a halter or one-shoulder style, don’t compete with your neckline. Skip the necklace! This is your opportunity to wear statement earrings like long dangles or chunky cuffs. Jazz things up with bangles or stacks of bracelets.

How to Decide Which Gemstones to Wear: Color-coordinating Jewelry and Wardrobe

Follow the basic rules of color theory when coordinating your wardrobe and jewelry. The color wheel is a great tool to help you determine which colors fit together best. If you've ever been curious what kind of jewelry goes with a red/blue/green, or any color dress, the answers are here.

Gem Color Wheel

Start with the color of your outfit or jewelry and look directly across the color wheel to find its complementary color. Complementary colors create the most vibrant look, because they are in high contrast with one another. For example, if you are wondering what jewelry to wear with a navy blue dress, find blue on the color wheel and look across. Orange is its direct complement, so gold-toned jewelry would be a great choice. If you are dressing up for the holidays, you might be curious as to what jewelry matches a green dress. Look no further than rubies or spinels. For a red dress, emeralds are perfect!

Spinel Cascade Necklace and Egg Drop Earrings

Spinel Cascade Necklace (left)
Egg Drop Earrings in Sterling Silver Plated win Black Rhodium with Rubies (right)

Another way to utilize the color wheel is to choose analogous colors. These are the colors that are right next to each other on the wheel. Analogous colors create a harmonious look without being too monotonous since the colors are similar yet different. For example, if you want to choose jewelry to wear with a royal blue dress, go with green or violet gems. A purple gemstone, such as our geo tanzanite necklace.

geo tanzanite necklace

Not sure what jewelry to wear with that little black dress? Black goes with any color! Black on black, looks super chic, too. Our top choice when it comes to black jewelry is black rhodium jewelry with black diamonds.

Arabesque Dangle Earrings and Vertical Shard Necklace

Arabesque Dangle Earrings in Sterling Silver Plated in Black Rhodium with Black Pave Diamonds (left)
Pave Shard Necklace in 18K White Gold Plated in Black Rhodium with Black Diamonds (right)

At Marion Cage, we are always happy to help you make exquisite jewelry selections based on what fits your style.

Whether you’re searching for the perfect piece for a special event or looking for a treasure to wear every day, we are always here for you, online and in-store on Magazine Street!

One-of-a-Kind Designer Jewelry in the Making

In creating our Fall/Winter 2018 Collection, owner and creative director Marion Cage McCollam found a new source of inspiration in the form of geometric gemstones. Each and every stone having its own unique cut meant the birth of a stunning collection of one-of-a-kind designer jewelry. Marion began by laying out multiple combinations and configurations to arrive at the most striking arrangements possible of the tanzanite and spinel geometric gemstones. Then, she worked with skilled artisans to have the stones finely bezel set and finished into a collection of one-of-a-kind pieces. Learn about the details of that process from beginning to end—the inception, the trial and error, the result, and the reward—and discover what makes this exquisite collection so unique.

Geometric Gemstones — The Inspiration

Geometric gemstones like these—which come in a variety of beautiful colors and are hand-cut to achieve unique, faceted, geometric shapes—became the inspiration for the Fall/Winter 2018 Collection from Marion Cage.

Inspiration for a collection can come from anywhere and at any time. It can happen on a trip to a museum, on a stroll through the countryside, in discovering another artist’s work, or in discovering a new medium or method of fabrication. Marion often finds her inspiration in nature and in the materials she uses themselves. Most of our designs are based on a unique source of formal inspiration that is then abstracted through the process of translating it and making it—literally—our own. We typically use gemstones in a pave setting (where very small stones are set closely together) to further accentuate certain curves or angles in the forms of our jewelry.

Our latest collection started a bit differently when a parcel of beautifully colored, hand-cut geometric gemstones caught Marion’s attention on a visit to one of her stone dealers in New York. “For this collection, the starting point was the stones,” said Marion, “specifically spinel and tanzanite that were cut into a myriad of faceted, geometric shapes. From the start, it was clear that stones needed to be the stars of the show.”

Immediately drawn to these unique stones, Marion was reminded of the faceted geometric shapes she developed in both her Facets jewelry collection and her Peak cabinetry hardware collection. “Stones in jewelry are traditionally cut into more conventional shapes, like round, oval, or square, and working with these shapes has never really interested me. As an architect, I have always had an affinity for asymmetry and complex geometries, so it makes sense that the types of stone cuts I choose to work with would reflect that.”

The geometric gemstones that inspired the Fall/Winter 2018 Collection from Marion Cage are reminiscent of the faceted geometric shapes in our Facets jewelry collection and Peak cabinetry hardware collection. Our Long Shard Studs earrings from the Facets Collection are shown on the left in 14k yellow gold with white pave diamonds, while our geometric Ingot Knob is shown on the right from the Peak Collection.Long Shard Studs in 14k yellow gold with white pave diamonds (left)
Ingot Knob (right)

Selecting and Arranging the Tanzanite and Spinel Stones — The Design Process

The tanzanite stones shown here have the characteristic rich blue-violet color of tanzanite and are hand-cut as geometric gemstones for our Fall/Winter 2018 Collection.

Once Marion had fallen in love with the unique tanzanite and spinel stones, she knew that these would be the focal point of her next collection and went straight to work, taking the parcels home so that she could carefully select the stones that would create the most striking designs. When choosing stones, shape was just as important as color. She arranged them on paper as many times as necessary, trying multiple combinations until arriving at the final designs. Marion says this was her favorite part of designing the collection.

“I had never worked with cut stones before, so this was a lot of fun for me,” Marion said. “Putting together countless different shapes to make a finished composition as well as discovering all of the amazing ways to combine the colors of the stones with the different colors of gold were also highlights of the design process.”

These geometric gemstones, ranging from blue-violet tanzanite to ruby red spinel, are shown on paper as Marion arranged them for the Fall/Winter 2018 Collection.

Setting the Stones and Fabrication — The Production Process

There are many steps involved in the creation of a collection of jewelry—from design to production—and we’ve come to understand that every step of the process is important. As designers, dreaming up new ideas is where our hearts lie. However, it is equally important that ours designs be properly engineered so that they are not only beautiful to look at, but comfortable and durable to wear.

Once the stones were selected and the designs were all laid out, it was time to bring the pieces to life in gold. For this step, Marion worked closely with her team of fabricators to design and construct the bezels and components by hand and to carefully set each stone. Not without a bump or two in the road, the collection finally materialized beautifully.

“I am always looking to test the limits of the materials I work with in my designs,” said Marion. “That said, I have learned to rely on and respect the knowledge and experience of the craftspeople that I work with. My stone setter and I went back and forth for weeks about how thin he could get the metal around the stones. I wanted it to be as thin as possible. When I insisted he use a thinner gauge wire than he recommended, I paid the price. In the end, some of the bezels were not strong enough to hold the stones, so those pieces had to be completely redone in order for us to have a salable design.”

Geometric gemstones become one-of-a-kind designer jewelry in the Fall/Winter 2018 Collection from Marion Cage. For example, these Geo Tanzanite Dangle Earrings feature 18k rose gold with blue-violet tanzanite stones, and these Geo Spinel Stacking Rings in 18k rose gold feature pale pink spinel stones.Geo Tanzanite Dangle Earrings in 18k rose gold with tanzanite stones (left)
Geo Spinel Stacking Rings in 18k rose gold with spinel stone (right)

The Appeal of One-of-a-Kind Designer Jewelry and Our Fall/Winter 2018 Collection

There is something very special about owning and wearing a design that you know isn’t going to be seen anywhere else—ever. Many customers find this to be the icing on the cake when falling for a particular piece of one-of-a-kind jewelry.

When asked about the type of customer she hopes this new collection will appeal to, Marion said, “I don’t really have a ‘target audience.’ I like to think there is something for everyone in my work as a designer.” For this collection in particular, however, the stones were cut such that each is a one-of-a-kind, helping to distinguish this jewelry collection from others.

“Because each stone is unique, so is each setting,” Marion said. “All of these factors combined make the audience for this collection one that appreciates handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry. I am most drawn to the uniquely beautiful combinations of geometry and color in this collection, and I feel sure our customers will, too. I also think customers will feel very special knowing they are wearing unique, one-of-a-kind designs.”

Along with the unique colors and shapes that characterize this collection, customers are sure to appreciate the exclusivity factor of these pieces as well. Shop our Fall/Winter 2018 Collection today online or in our gallery, and feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about this one-of-a-kind designer jewelry.