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Dainty Engagement Rings Do's and Don'ts: When is it TOO delicate?

Nov 23, 2022

Dainty Engagement Rings: Do’s and Don’ts

author photo

LISA

When is Your Ring Design TOO Delicate?

As the first generation to grow up with the internet has begun to settle down, the influence of social media cannot be overstated. Platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest in particular have spread bridal jewelry design to an ever-wider audience. There’s never been a better time to buy or sell unique engagement rings and wedding bands online.  
 
Custom Petite Mandala Flower Engagement Ring
Mandala Flower Engagement Ring 

 
A quickly growing engagement ring trend is what we lovingly call “the Insta Ring,” due to its popularity on social media. The "Insta Ring" is a dainty engagement ring with a narrow band, a unique center stone, and minimal accent stones. Nature-themed accents, like leaves and flowers, are a popular embellishment to this type of ring. We’ve made some of our own favorite pieces in this style, and the results can be spectacular!

An engagement ring should be made to last, though … and that’s unfortunately not going to be true of each delicate piece that floats through your feed. Below are the top “dos and don'ts" when it comes to designing your own dainty engagement ring!

Alternative Center Stones for Engagement Ring
DO: Pick The Right Stone

Many brides prefer the look of non-traditional center stones. Popular requests for an unusual center stone include opals, moonstones, turquoise, and emeralds, in addition to moss agate, crystals, and Herkimer diamonds.
 
Unique, Unusual, and Durable
 
Petite Cluster Montana Sapphire Engagement Ring
Petite Trinity Montana Sapphire Ring
We love beautiful stones. We also love when the beautiful stones we set in custom engagement rings still look beautiful on your anniversary. All are soft enough that you can expect visible wear early in the ring’s life.

Sapphire and colored/colorless moissanite are much harder, and suitable for daily wear. (Both are also easier on the wallet than diamonds, which never hurts!)

If including one of these softer stones is important for your forever ring, then one great solution is to include these as accents rather than center stones. A smaller stone has less opportunity to be damaged and is also cheaper to replace down the line.

If you opt for this solution, then we often recommend purchasing some “backup” accent stones, so that these are ready to go when the originals do need to be replaced.
Dainty Engagement Ring with Turquoise
Petite Cluster Engagement Ring with Moissanite, Blue Diamonds & Turquoise Accents
Rare, One of a Kind Stones
Another thing to keep in mind is whether a past design can even be brought to life a second time. Artists who sell ready-made, one-of-a-kind pieces often build a design around a specific suite of rare and distinctive stones. The market supply of precious stones is not infinite—far from it, especially in unconventional colors and shapes.
 
Why Diamonds for Engagement Rings?
A diamond is everlasting, some might even say forever. The truth is, there are two excellent reasons that diamonds, whether natural or lab created, remain the most popular center stone for engagement rings.

  1. The high refractive index of a diamond means that its sparkle shines through, even when the stone gets dirty.
     
  2. Diamonds are also, famously, the hardest natural substance. This is an especially important consideration for your engagement ring since you’ll want to be wearing this piece for decades to come.?????.
Be Empowered with Knowledge
If a softer, alternative center stone is truly your dream ring, then go for it! Make sure you choose a designer who WILL tell you how easily it will scratch, how expensive it will be to replace, and whether or not it is brittle. Are you fine with replacing it? Can it be replaced? If you choose an unusual stone, fully informed, then when it cracks or scratches down the road, and you know what to do, you won't be devastated, you'll feel confident.
 

Engagement Ring Quality and Durability
DON’T Choose Your Ring Just For The Photos

Your engagement and wedding ceremony are two of the biggest—and most fabulous—moments in your life, so of course you’ll want to look your best from head to toe. But while your dress isn’t likely to see much use after the wedding, most brides wear their rings every day. That is, every single day of their life. 24/7. Doing everything.
 
Will it Hold Up to Everyday Wear?
Unlike a necklace or earrings, rings are worn on the hands and take a serious beating, even if you don't think so. Opening doors, carrying things, washing dishes, and talking with your hands all may lead to dents, dings and scratches on any normal precious metal ring.
 
Minimum Standards for Structural Integrity
Petite Sapphire Engagement Ring
Dainty Teal Sapphire Engagement
Ring with Thin Band 
No matter which center stone you go with, you’ll want it set in a mounting that can hold up to regular wear. At Krikawa, we have a diverse portfolio of dainty designs, however, we have a minimum width and thickness. We can't guarantee that your ring won't bend (nobody can). We will make sure that every ring is as structurally sound as possible for everyday wear, given the design considerations.

It’s not hard to find jewelers and crafters who will create more fragile designs; if you want to wear your ring regularly during your engagement and marriage, you’ll save yourself grief down the road by purchasing an heirloom-quality piece that can hold up to that regular wear.

Custom Engagement Ring Reviews
DO Work With The Experts

 
Custom Petite Cluster Moissanite Engagement Ring
Pear Moissanite, Champagne Diamonds,
and Rose Gold Engagement Ring 
There are countless talented artists who showcase their design and fabrication acumen on social media like Instagram or Pinterest and sell directly to consumers on Etsy and other platforms. These pieces are often gorgeous but may be more suitably worn at the odd special event than regularly for decades on end.

That’s not to suggest that the answer is some cookie-cutter bridal behemoth either! Indeed, many of the pitfalls we’ve looked at so far apply equally to major jewelry chains.

When choosing a jeweler to work with, you’ll want to consider whether they have a proven track record of delivering high-quality pieces which stand the test of time. Online reviews are a great way to take a business’s temperature; folks tend to let the world know if their engagement ring fell apart months after buying it!

As you consider which jeweler to give your business, make sure that you feel comfortable asking questions and don’t feel pressured into making decisions that benefit the jeweler more than yourself.

Understand Your Options
DON’T Limit Yourself

 
Custom Petite Silver Mist Diamond Engagement Ring
Petite Trinity Engagement Ring
with SilverMist Diamond
This brings us to the next point: If you have an image in your head of the piece that you want, Krikawa can guide you around any long-term pitfalls. But you still have virtually infinite options to make the piece your own—with a custom jeweler, the sky is the limit!

Do you want to include a sentimental stone or two? Create a nature theme, with delicate leaves and small accent stones? Do you want a tiny little bee on one of the leaves? (We’ve done this.) Maybe you’d like a custom engraving that a ready-made jeweler cannot accommodate—non-Latin characters, a personal symbol, or even a fictional language. (We’ve worked with some very passionate Tolkien fans!)

Custom design isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely an option to explore. With the amount of planning that goes into most proposals and weddings, why not plan the ring as well?

Delicate Ring Trauma
DO Your Research

It’s wedding season—so ask around to find out what experiences your friends and family have had with their dainty engagement rings after a year or two of wear!
It's All in The Timing
Custom Petite Tourmaline Engagement Ring
Swirl & Curl Engagement Ring
with Tourmaline and Rose Gold 
It’s also important to have your timeline in mind. If you plan on purchasing a ring off the shelf from a major retailer, then time is no object.

If ordering online from an individual craftsman (eg Etsy) or a smaller retailer, then you’ll want to take shipping and potential returns into account.

Naturally, custom jewelry requires the greatest time investment, balanced out by the payoff of getting the ring of your dreams, made just for you!
The Wedding Day Bends
Here's a personal anecdote from one of our staff: A Krikawa employee attended a wedding where the bride was wearing a delicate “Insta ring.” After all the dancing, hugging, and hand-holding, her ring was already bent and distorted before the reception was over. This ring was proudly purchased from a major, name-brand retailer.

Have Confidence in Your Forever Ring
DON’T Stress Out

With all of the considerations surrounding petite and delicate engagement rings, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Here at Krikawa Custom Jewelers, our friendly design experts have seen it all, and stand ready to answer all of your questions. While there are limits to how delicate a piece can be made while retaining heirloom-level durability, we want you to love your piece.

No matter where you purchase your engagement ring, know that the process can and should be a joy. There’s time enough to stress out about the band, catering, and seating charts—this engagement ring is just for YOU.
Petite Marquise Diamond Engagement Ring
Pear Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring
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