The Design Process
The DDS design process focuses on working closely with the customer - all the way through from start to finish - to design their perfect ring.
The customer usually comes into the DDS Diamond Design studios for an initial one-on-one consultation with our highly qualified and experienced head designer, Richard Moser. If they can’t come to our studios, we can correspond entirely over the phone and by email. However, it is always preferable to sit down together in person when possible. DDS also has other jewellery designers on the team who have decades of experience and are outstanding in their field.
The process varies for each customer, depending on how informed the customer is and what they want. For example, there are couples who know clearly what they want from the outset. There are customers who have a vague idea of what they like, and others who are looking for guidance from the designers. Whatever the case may be, Richard and the DDS team are happy to spend time with customers to ensure they are made to feel welcome and comfortable.
The first question is whether a round stone, a square stone or a fancy shape stone would most suit their partner’s character and desires. Once we have determined the shape of the stone, the next decision to make is how it wants to be set.
At the DDS studios we have hundreds of different engagement ring designs in white and yellow gold to try on. Occasionally one of our designs fits exactly with the customer’s wants, but usually the customer sees aspects of one design and aspects of another that we can combine to create their perfect image.
The next thing is the detail of the setting that holds the centre stone. The main choices are either 4 claw or 6 claw, holding the centre stone secure. Then there are a few different styles of the 4 and 6 claw settings to select from.
Once we have decided on the setting style, the next stage is the thickness of the band and whether the band will have a flat profile, very rounded or somewhere in between. If there are diamonds going into the band, the band is usually flat, so the diamonds can be set. If there are no diamonds in the band, virtually anything is possible.
The next part of the process is looking at the size of the stone or stones to be used in the design. The size of the diamonds used by DDS Diamond Design Studios varies from 0.50ct, i.e. ½ of 1ct, all the way through to 5ct stones and more. We look at the estimated budget and start to work out what is possible and consider what shape and style of diamond will match best with both the design and the budget. Richard, one of our qualified Gemmologists, will explain in detail about diamond grading and also listen to what is important to the customer. By showing different grades of diamonds, he can then work out the most suitable grade for the customer.
We then look at the type of metal we are going to use. When looking at an engagement ring or wedding ring, which the customer will probably be wearing every day, it needs to be hard-wearing. The 18ct white gold we use is of exceptional quality, high in Palladium and harder-wearing than Platinum. Although it is whiter than the standard white gold, it needs to be rhodium plated to give it that extra whiteness. If the customer prefers a whiter metal, the most prestigious is Platinum. A pure metal which is exceptionally white, Platinum is perfect for many types of jewellery. There are other metals that can be used, but 18ct white gold and 18ct yellow gold are by far the most popular for engagement rings and wedding rings.
After we have established the basics - style of setting, the materials, the thickness of the band and the size of stone(s), we then get down to the specifics of the design. This includes details such as the height of the ring overall, whether the band will be straight or tapered and any other fine detail the customer would like to include.
Once the design has been decided, one of the DDS designers will commence drawing the ring by hand in front of the customer, confirming along the way the thickness of settings, claws and band and any other relevant details. Our designers draw exceptionally well, at life size, with exact thicknesses, heights and every minute detail required.
The consultation is free of charge and takes about one hour. We trust customers will feel comfortable and confident, seeing our professionalism, expertise and importantly, our very competitive pricing structure.