Proposal ideas: bespoke ring or choose together?

Rose gold and diamond ring by Polly Wales

For the creative, discerning and intelligent readers of this blog, a standard, traditional solitaire diamond engagement ring just isn’t going to cut it. Those who seek out interesting design, craftsmanship, uniqueness and a non-definable edge to everything they wear are not going to be happy with an average looking ring, however much it costs. Which makes the actual proposal a lot harder. But fear not: we’ve got all the options covered. And also some very beautiful non-traditional engagement rings that we helped to find in 2014 for inspiration…

Bespoke engagement ring with diamonds and sapphires by Hannah Martin
Bespoke 18ct gold engagement ring with channel set sapphires by Hattie Rickards
Rose gold and diamond engagement ring by Hattie Rickards

Option 1: Go for it.

Fortune favours the bold. It’s true – for the numerous brave and bold boys (and girls) who wanted a bespoke, unique engagement ring made from scratch, the rewards will be reaped for many years to come. Incredible gemstones, use of colour, unconventional design and undeniable quality of craftsmanship are all within reach when commissioning a designer to make a one-off engagement ring. We helped many, many people find a designer whom they felt best represented their partner’s style and taste, and guided them through the options and ideas that eventually become a final, one-off piece of beautiful design. This option is best for those confident in their partner’s taste and ideas, as well as those wanting to take 100% credit for years to come and a story to tell.

Bespoke engagement ring by Hattie Rickards
Rose cut diamond bespoke engagement ring by Hattie Rickards

Option 2: Stunt ring.

If you want to propose with a ring, but not THE ring, just in case your other half would want to be involved (it’s the 21st century after all) there are lots of options. Once we’ve helped find a designer who fits your style and taste, they can quite often produce a stunt ring, or a ‘maquette'; less precious than the final offering and easily changed or swapped. This is a great idea for proposers who want some input (and credit) but know their other half has an annoying habit of knowing what they like when they see it, rather than being explicit or single-minded in liking one particular style.

Baguette diamond ring by Nixin

Option 3: No ring / crazy ring

Essentially the ring-pull/Haribo ring/sea shell proposal; you can propose with anything. A necklace, a pair of shoes (we heard of this last week) or a crazy cocktail ring – or nothing. Actual words may be hard to get out in the moment, but if you’re the erudite, eloquent type, the question, intention and reasons are all that really matters.

Life should be punctuated with big moments, moments when things change forever, and a proposal is your chance to try and tell or show someone how you intend to spend a long, long time with them. Happy new year.

Bespoke emerald, sapphire and diamond ring by Hannah Martin
Bespoke emerald engagement ring by Hattie Rickards

For free advice, recommendations and engagement ring inspiration get in touch via email or call Kate on +44 7971 582 983.

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Behind the designs: New jewellery designer Flora Bhattachary

This week in our ‘Behind the Designs’ series, we meet new jewellery designer Flora Bhattachary, fresh from her win at jewellery boutique EC One’s ‘Unsigned’ Awards where we were on the panel of judges.

Recently graduating from an MA course at Central St Martins, Flora’s debut collection is entitled ‘Lubhati’, the Hindi and Sanskrit word for ‘Desire’, and reflects the evocative tales Flora uncovered whilst researching her ancestry. Tracing family members back to 18th century South Asia, Flora explored historical artefacts, personal stories and objects, and brought these together to develop the designs.

Overlapping elements of different cultures reveal themselves gently through different parts of the individual pieces, fusing Islamic, south Asian and Flora’s own London roots to create an aesthetic as exciting as the melting pot of London itself.

Highly sculptural, showing influence from 1920s Cartier and the jewellery designer Suzanne Belperron, her pieces are hand carved in wax by Flora and then developed further using CAD or other methods, and the stones all hand carved to immense precision in the UK.

Complex, undulating designs reference geometry and are undeniably precise, but radiate with opulence and richness, the colour palette as deep and seductive as the stories Flora has uncovered. Evidence of this is seen in her beautiful sketchbooks, which showcase her drawing and sketching skills and obsession with geometry and pattern, as well as a depth of research and detail that only an MA can reveal.

Ideas of migration and the resulting emotional journeys are explored; materials that have ‘travelled’ to and from South Asia are often used as the focal point of a design.

This rich and diverse debut collection manages to balance wearability with a strong story and a beautifully crafted aesthetic that feels authentic and steeped in history, yet also contemporary and fresh. A perfect balance. Available from The New Craftsman now and from EC One in the new year. 

Jewellery Designer Flora Bhattachary


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Quick jewellery christmas gift guide

After being inundated with requests for help on buying beautiful jewellery presents, here’s our quick jewellery christmas gift guide featuring a few of our favourite pieces under £350.

From chunky, slick signet rings, statement party earrings or chic minimalism, these are all available to buy online or in-store from some of London’s best independent jewellery designers this Christmas…

Unisex Signet ring and necklace by Effra
Statement party earrings: Dewdrop Earrings, £185 by Phoebe Coleman
On trend: Double round freshwater Pearl Lobe Earrings in 14ct gold, £300 by Pearls of the Orient
Bold, graphic colour: Enamel Crescent Gold earrings, £120 by Katie Jamieson, available at EC One
Vintage revisited: Deco Taper Ring, £160 by V Jewellery
Cool Minimalism: Simplicity Contour Lobe earrings, £90 by V Jewellery
18ct gold plated ring, £350 by William Cheshire


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