Engagement 101

Natural and Lab Grown Diamonds
Your Engagement Ring Cheat-Sheet
Go from ``Just Looking`` to ``Just Engaged`` with our foolproof roadmap.
You’ve found your “forever person!”  Now it’s time for The Ring.  Shopping for an engagement ring can feel overwhelming and intimidating at first, but I promise:  you will be an expert in no time flat.
Although the jewelry industry has many unique terms, choices, and details to learn, the path to finding your perfect ring is actually much easier than you might think.
From Just Looking to Just Engaged, follow our Engagement Roadmap for an easy, fun, and sparkly path to proposal.
Choose the right metal for your design
Intel Gathering
The framework on style, sizes, and timeline.
Some of our clients’ partners want to be very involved in every step of the process, and some want to be completely surprised.  This first step should be stress-free and easy.
I encourage every couple to discuss basic ideas like finger size, metal color likes/dislikes, and whether they appreciate diamonds or gemstones.  Lastly, don’t forget to discuss timeline expectations.  You might be surprised to hear that your partner wants to get engaged within the year, within 6 months, or within the next 2 months.
This conversation doesn’t have to feel like an interrogation.  You might causally mention it to your partner, or send them images of things you like.  Get in touch with friends or family to fill in related details, such as finger size or general jewelry style.
If your partner is comfortable doing so, I encourage the following:
    • Make a Pinterest Board, or save images of liked jewelry
    • Look at stone shapes and styles
    • Think about your general & jewelry style
    • Consider your occupation & how you wear your jewelry
    • Take The Style Quiz to define your style
    • Decide on a generalized budget
    • Discuss gemstone/diamond size or look
Finer Details
Materials, Proportions, and Silhouette
Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to get into the finer details.  This step should happen once you’re within 6 months of popping the question.
Make a Design Appointment online, and come prepared with your basic details.  You might include your partner, or come alone.  Both are great!  This meeting should be used to generally get to know your jeweler, have fun with the dreaming process, make a game plan, and review the jewelry creation process.
During out meeting, we will look at metal types, diamond/gemstone education, compare diamond sizes, make notes about ring widths/setting styles, record the needed finger size, and look at some sample price points.  You can expect to learn all about jewelry craftsmanship, steps involved, typical timelines, and jewelry quality.
After our meeting, you will walk away with next steps, a personal Design Board, contact information, and expert understanding of your heirloom-to-be.
Here at The Leake Co., we don’t charge for the initial design appointment, as I believe that the first meeting should be all about getting to know each other…rather than a high-pressure sales pitch.


  What metal is best for my/my partner’s lifestyle?
  If I have a metal allergy, which metal is best for me?
Could you help me compare the cost between diamond/gemstone qualities & types?
  Is there a Warranty or Care Plan included?
Can you walk me through the payment options?
How long do you think my design will take?


The Key to A Successful Appointment
Pro Tip:  your jeweler is your advocate!  My goal is to find the best value for your goals, not max out your budget or rush you.  The more information that you provide will help me guide you accordingly, and also ensure we meet your deadlines.


Forget about any mainstream jewelry stores, I only trust Sarah from this point on! I came to her with a ring design I’d had in my head for years, and she brought my design to life while adding some concepts of her own for a truly original piece. The whole process was fun, and was done in a reasonable time frame with very reasonable pricing.

All Systems Go
Bringing all of the details together & crafting your ring
Now the fun begins.
Using your Design Board to communicate, we will start narrowing down all details.  Your partner can join the fun for all or part of this step!  We will ping ideas back and forth & answer questions while your ring is designed in Computer Aided Design (CAD).  Review renderings, give feedback, and make changes all within your board.
If keeping the cost of the ring secret is important to you, we can even create a secret area of your board just for pricing.
We will meet for a second time to review diamonds/gemstones, examine quality, and make a final selection.  Simultaneously, we will make edits to your CAD rendering until it’s just perfect, then 3D print a Resin Try On for final approval.
Review your contract online, pay your Design Fee and Production Deposit, and sign.  Then, we’re off to the races.
The Proposal
Get Ready For the Big Ask
About 3 weeks after signing your Design Contract, your heirloom is all ready for delivery!  You’ll receive an email or phone call to schedule pickup.
Everything you need will be included:
  • Ring Box
  • Appraisal for Insurance
  • JM Care Plan (if chosen)
  • Cleaning Cloth
During your pickup, I will guide you through your paperwork, how to care for your ring, and (best of all) reveal your creation.
Don't Forget These Important Steps
Schedule your jewelry on your insurance policy ASAP.
If you touch your diamond/gemstone before the proposal, use your cleaning cloth to wipe clean.
And most of all: HAVE FUN.
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