When Simon came to see us ahead of us his proposal, he was certain of one thing – due to his partner Susie’s love for the unique, buying a ready made engagement ring would be difficult.
Fortunately for Simon, the Steven Stone team were here to help him create a design that would last a lifetime.
After his elegant proposal at the Savoy in London, Simon took the time to chat to us about how he found the bespoke process – and most importantly, if Susie said “yes”!
Can you tell me a bit about your engagement ring?
Susie has a love for the unique and puts a great deal of value in the design of something rather than its size or cost. My idea was therefore to try and find something uniquely designed and at the same time a classic design that would look amazing today but also in the decades to come.
Susie’s love for the unique meant that buying a ring “off the shelf” would be difficult. I also wanted to have some real input into the ring rather than just paying for it as I knew Susie would really value that. It was also a process that I was very interested in experiencing.
I knew Susie loved Sapphires and it was actually my original intention (a year or so before the proposal) to have a large Sapphire in the middle with a halo of diamonds. I wanted to include Sapphires to help break up the sparkle of the diamonds so that the centre stone and beautifully cut outer halo could be seen clearly and accentuated.
How did you propose?
I pretended that we’d been invited to London for a dinner party with friends and that we’d meet at the Savoy for lunch beforehand. I had actually arranged for us to have a tour of the Royal Suite at the Savoy, which is where I proposed. We had champagne in the room, then lunch at the Savoy, went to see a show and then out for drinks and dinner with Susie’s closest friend to celebrate. We then spent an amazing night at the Savoy and had a surprise Sunday lunch with Susie’s family to tell them the news.
Where did you get the idea for the design of your piece?
As I am sure other men will attest, hints of the type of rings she liked had been dropped over the years…. I came to Steven Stone with a few different ideas from pictures I had found on the internet of the styles I knew Susie would like. It was then a process of talking then through with Max and David until a final workable design was decided.
How visually did you imagine the new piece before the manufacturing process started?
Initially, Max and I sketched the ring design so we could play around with it. Max then took that away to create CADs. It was amazing to see the ring brought to life in such fine detail in the CAD – and from all angles too. This gave me the ability to make a number of tweaks to the design (such as the inclusion of the sapphires) until we had a design that I was 100% happy with.
How did you find the whole bespoke process?
I really enjoyed the bespoke process. Max and David were so knowledgeable and really made me feel like I was driving the design process, rather than it just being guided by them. There was also no pressure at all to complete the design by a certain date. This made it a more relaxing experience and meant I that was never afraid to ask Max to make small tweaks or simply to ask more questions before finally approving the design. I also know that Susie takes great pleasure in telling people that it’s a bespoke ring that was designed by me (I must admit that I do to!)
How was searching the live market for a stone?
Searching the live market for the centre stone was an experience I never thought I would have had and was one that I loved. I learnt a lot about the grading of diamonds from Max and David and was then able to use this knowledge to look for a stone with them, and also back at home at my leisure. It was quite exciting to search the live markets for the diamond you want as it is constantly updated with new stones. It meant was that I was buying the stone off the market myself (through Steven Stone) and then Steven Stone would use that stone in the final design. It gave me confidence to know that Steven Stone weren’t buying in stones themselves and doubling the price before selling to me. It was very transparent and definitely kept the price lower! I don’t think I would ever do bespoke a different way.
Is your piece as you imagined?
The CADs were so clear, accurate and life like that I didn’t really need to imagine how the ring would look. Having said that, when I finally saw it in real life, it was far beyond how I had imagined it.
Any other comments?
Having bought the engagement ring with Steven Stone we received discount off the wedding bands which was then an opportunity for Susie to be involved as she would need a bespoke band to fit the engagement ring. Once again, this was a fantastic experience and Susie absolutely loved talking through the design. From start to finish, the service provided by Max, David and the others at Steven Stone was outstanding and one I would love to experience again (although let’s hope it isn’t for another engagement ring!)
If you’re interested in creating a bespoke engagement ring our team are always happy to help. Whether you have an idea in mind or want us to create a unique design, we have showrooms in Manchester, London, and Cheshire, so book an appointment or drop us a message.
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