Birdie deQuay

Posted on July 24 2018

I was talking to my mum the other night and she was telling me about the time that a potential suitor was trying to woo her. He was playing the romantic and turned up to her door with a large bunch of flowers. Little did he know his choice of carnations happened to be dear mum’s most disliked floral delight.

It is hard choosing the right gift for someone. Birthdays and Christmases seem to be forever spooling out and around each other in a continuous loop, with the brief times in between spent wondering just what to buy for your most cherished ones. So the prospect of buying someone an everlasting symbol of your complete and pure love is understandably an undertaking that many people lose a good deal of sleep over.

Today I’d like to discuss why going for bespoke is a much better option than buying ‘off the shelf’ when it comes to a commitment ring. 


Image: Monarc's London-based studio. Old Street roundabout, London.


So buying that token of undying love for your special someone is daunting to say the least. On the plus side for all of the would-be suitors out there, the rules around commitment rings have changed a lot over the years. No longer is the proposer expected to present the perfect diamond ring at the time they pop the question. More and more, I and other London jewellers have customers get in touch, knowing that their partner is a potential carnation flower hater, and that the decision on exactly how their ring should look is already planted firmly in their mind. 

"For this reason, more people are purchasing a save-the-finger or 'stunt' ring, which combined with a proposal definitely gets across the intention while allowing for you both to work on a final ring design together. The great thing about a stunt rng is that they can be more playful than an engagement ring and certainly don't need to cost the earth."

Others choose to present an unset stone to ask that big question. The advantages of this method are many. If a family member has passed on an engagement-worthy treasure, lucky you! If this heirloom isn’t a perfect match to your partner’s style, re-setting stones into a new design breathes new life into a treasured possession. Perhaps you know what sort of cut your sweetheart favours but aren’t so sure on the setting.

Some people dream of designing their own ring – they’re the ones who’ll wear it for the rest of their life, after all. This makes proposing with an un-set stone a smart compromise to selecting an ’off the shelf’ option.



Let’s get on to the ring itself...

An engagement or commitment is of course very personal, so the person receiving the proposal should be involved in the process of designing this symbol of your love. There’s nothing like creating something completely unique and when it’s done together it further emphasises your bond.

You’d be mistaken if you thought that choosing bespoke automatically means paying more than an ‘off the shelf’ option. In the majority of cases, it is definitely less costly. But the advantages go beyond this basic one: you also have much better control over the materials and you will be able to make more educated decisions when choosing bespoke, as you will be working directly with the jeweller across the entire process.

The scope of bespoke design options is endless; there is something for the minimalist, the maximalist and everybody in between. 

The diamond is likely the most exciting and considered purchase of a commitment ring design. Choosing a stone shouldn’t feel intimidating, but some of the technical terms can definitely make you want you to zone out. Here’s a hot tip to help you get started: based on style preferences, choose the shape of the centre diamond first.

In terms of the diamond itself you will want to consider the ‘5 Cs’ of colour, clarity, cut, carat, and cost. As this is quite in depth, we will cover this in a future post.


You and your partner should discuss the fundamentals of what they’re after with the jeweller and consider the practicalities:

  • For example, some people have an aversion to settings with too much height as this design feature would be impractical with their lifestyle; others wouldn’t say yes to anything other than a prominent and statement-making design.
  • Match the metal to their current jewellery: are they a platinum, white, yellow or rose-gold kind of person?
  • Speak to their nearest and dearest to reconfirm their style. It is worth doing some low-key detective work to unearth the essentials!

If you’re lacking in inspiration and want to see some stones up close, there are a huge amount of engagement ring and wedding rings in London in its jewellery district of Hatton Garden. Our Monarc Studio is located just up the road from Hatton Garden - drop us a line and come say hello.

For a bespoke Monarc commitment ring, Monarc will help you and your partner throughout the entire process, explaining every part in easy to understand language. At the end of this process, we will make sure that you come away with a truly unique piece of jewellery that will become a part of your journey together.

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