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    Your Fine Jewelry Questions Answered: Custom Jewelry, Selecting a Center Stone and More!

    Thinking of designing a custom engagement ring but don't know where to start? Not sure what stackable or non-stackable rings mean and how to choose between them? We've got you! We've compiled the most commonly asked questions from our Gem Breakfast community and we're here with answers.

    Don't see the answer to your question? Send us a message or schedule a free 30 min virtual styling session to see rings and stacks on a hand plus get all your questions answered by an expert!

    I like this engagement ring you made! Can you make me the same one?

    Absoutely! We love to recreate any of our custom settings. In terms of the center stone, we do our best to find a gem that looks alike but since we're dealing with nature, it can be tough to find two stones that look exactly the same. 100% of the time though, we'll find you a similar stone that you love more than the original within your price range.

    I want an emerald or pearl center stone for my engagement ring! Can you do that?

    We don’t recommend pearls for an engagement ring. Pearls are rated 2.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning they’re very easy to scratch or chip. Pearls can also dehydrate and crack in intense sunlight and are easily damaged by chemicals in cosmetics, hair products, perfumes, cleaning products, and even sweat. Extreme care needs to be taken to preserve pearls and they just aren’t suitable for a wear-everyday engagement ring – you can literally wreck it with a spritz of your hairspray or favorite scent! We want you to love your engagement ring for years (and generations) to come so we can’t with good conscience make you a forever ring with a non-forever stone.

    We also don't recommend emeralds for an engagement ring even for the most careful, conscientious jewel wearer. Rated a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, they have “fair to good” toughness, meaning they can become scratched or chipped fairly easily just doing day-to-day life. They also don't hold up well against intense light or the chemicals in everyday items like lotion, perfume, and cleaning products.

    emerald ring

    If you love the look of emeralds but want a more durable, easy-to-care-for stone, look into green sapphires! Read our blog for more about green sapphires and their differences/similarities with emeralds!

    I have a bunch of inspiration pictures I love but I can’t decide what would look good - can you help me design?

    YES! This is what we’re here for. We love translating your vision and inspiration photos into a final design you’re obsessed with. Book a free consultation with us anytime to chat custom!  

    For more on the custom design process, read our in-depth blog.

    I’m new to all of this! Can you explain what stones work best for engagement rings and why?

    Since you’ll be wearing your engagement ring every day, you want a durable stone that will hold up to the demands of your life and last forever. So, what makes a stone durable? The most important factor is hardness which is rated by a system called the Mohs hardness scale. Diamonds are rated a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale - one of the three hardest materials on Earth. This means they’re very difficult to scratch, chip, or damage. That’s why diamonds are the most popular stone for engagement rings – and also because they’re stunning, obvs!

    Sapphires are our second choice for engagement rings – with a hardness of 9, they’re almost as durable as diamonds and are the hardest colored gemstone on the planet. Sapphires come in every color of the rainbow (even white which looks just like a diamond except much less expensive). Rubies, which are actually just red sapphires, are also rated a 9 and are a unique and regal engagement ring stone option. For more about sapphires, read our Ultimate Guide to Sapphires.

    Other gemstones like spinel and chrysoberyl are slightly softer but still make a great engagement ring stone for those who are careful with their jewels. Read our blog on diamond alternativesfor more on which colored gemstones we’d recommend for engagement rings and which ones we’d avoid.

    Of course, regardless of hardness, we always recommend taking off your engagement ring at night and during strenuous or abrasive activities. For more on caring for your engagement ring, read our blog.

    Should I make my ring low profile or stackable? What are the pros and cons?

    Low profile engagement ring on the left & stackable engagement ring on the right

    Stackable rings

    "Stackable" or high-set rings have a lifted head (which holds the stone), allowing straight bands to nestle in underneath the setting and sit flush alongside your engagement ring.

    Pros of stackable or high-set rings

    • Makes the diamond appear larger and more prominent.
    • Allows your diamond/gemstone to sparkle more with extra access to light.
    • More options for stacking straight wedding bands.

    Cons of stackable or high-set rings

    • The added height can make your ring more susceptible to snagging on clothing and hair.
    • It can be more prone to damage as it’s lifted higher off your finger.  

    Stackable or high-set engagement rings

    Low-profile rings

    Non-stackable or low-profile rings either sit very low or totally flush against the finger, leaving no room for straight bands to fit underneath the setting. For an uninterrupted fit, these rings pair best with tiara bands or curved bands which will frame your center stone in an ultra-aesthetic manner. There’s also nothing wrong with a gap in your stack if you’d rather a straight band!

    Pros of low-set or non-stackable rings:

    • The lower setting better protects your gem from damage and snagging if you have an especially active or high-impact ifestyle.
    • Can be more comfortable to wear for some people.

    Cons of low-set or non-stackable rings

    • Usually only suitable for smaller stones or rose cut stones with a flat bottom. Larger stones need a lifted basket to accommodate them.
    • A gemstone’s sparkle may be dulled slightly when placed in a lower setting.
    • Less choices for stacking straight wedding bands (unless you don't mind a gap - we don't!) Having said that, there are infinite options for curved bands and tiara bands that add so much to the overall design – this might be a big pro for those who want a stack with height!

    Low-profile rings

    I don’t see the perfect loose stone on your website - can you source more options for me?

    Absolutely! The stones on our website only represent the inventory available at Misfit Diamonds, one of our favorite dealers of alternative and original stones you won’t find elsewhere. Beyond Misfit however, we have an extensive network of trusted diamond and gemstones dealers all over the world that we regularly source stones from. Whether you’re looking for something simple like a classic round brilliant diamond or something avant-garde like an octagon bi-color sapphire, we will find the stone you can’t stop staring at.  

    I have heirloom stones from my family - can you work with them?

    At this time, we don't work with customer provided stones for custom rings.

    I love this design from another jeweler - can you copy it?

    No, we will never copy another Jeweler’s designs but we can use other rings as inspiration and a guide to discover what you like - maybe you love the raised basket on this ring, the gemstone color on that one, and the side stone shape on another.

    Many custom designs begin with a Pinterest board of former Gem Breakfast rings and other rings a client loves. We specialize in translating your inspiration into a one-of-a-kind design that is incredibly distinctive yet forever timeless, that feels like you and the unique energy and history that’s yours and only yours. After all, why make a ring that someone else has when you can have an only-one-in-the-world ring, am I right?!

    Do you make renderings of your engagement rings? I am struggling to imagine the final look.

    Absolutely! We use a digital design program called CAD to design your setting. You’ll see true-to-life 3D renderings of your ring that show every angle of the design.

    Once you’ve approved the CAD design, we make a wax rendering of the final design that looks exactly like the ring, except you know, in wax.  

    What if I don’t love my rendering? Can we edit it?

    Of course! All custom designs include 3 rounds of design edits. Each round takes around 3 days (or more depending on the complexity of changes) until we reach your perception of perfection.

    Once the design is finalized and approved by you, we move forward with production. At this point, no further design changes can be made. 


    Have any more questions about custom design, gemstone sourcing, or literally anything fine jewelry related? Send us a message or book a free consultation to chat with a Gem Breakfast Chef!


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