Its about 11 months until my wedding and my wedding planning is temporarily on hold as the Festival season begins. Plus it’s starting to get annoying to have to think about it and since the excitement of wedding dress shopping has passed I really can’t be bothered at present.
BUT I thought I’ll share you my experience of designing my engagement ring. Yes, my other half and I picked our diamond, drew up our ring and got the guys at Jogia Diamonds to make it for us. So, it wasn’t so much of a surprise that he was going to propose, but when and how was.
As everyone knows about engagement rings and diamonds there are the 4C’s…
And really there is a balance between the 4 C’s and budget.The most important balance is to make sure that the cut is brilliant, excellent and symmetrical so that light that goes in can go out and make the diamond sparkle. Then after that the next important thing to consider is the clarity and colour of the diamond. This is because clarity and colour determines HOW much it sparkles, WHAT kind of sparkle it is.. is it going to be white/omit light or is it cloudy (cloudy is NOT good) and last but not least is the carat.
People focus too much on carat, but what is the point of having a HUGE diamond that doesn’t sparkle because the quality o the clarity and colour is below par? I wouldn’t want a diamond like that. We opted for lower carat so we can have higher clarity and colour with a triple excellence cut.
I don’t want to go too much into the 4 C’s as there are so many articles out there for your research purposes. I want to go beyond that and into the designing of the ring.. the thing that will be holding that gorgeous rock.
Trust me there are many things to consider, and I’m hoping this will help you out (because I wish I had this article when I was designing!).
So to get started the first thing to consider is how that precious stone is going to be held..
PRONGs or CLAWs:
What are prongs or claws? WELL.. it’s those little metal arms that hold the diamond in place. You can decide whether you what 4 claws or 6 claws. I prefer the 6 claw with my round diamond simply because it keeps the “circle” shape of the diamond. Also in my head it is more secure, after all there are 2 extra claws to hold the diamond. But in the end it’s up to you.
Then you need to consider the shape of the prongs themselves. Do you want them rounded? OR do you what something a little sharper, literally pointed prongs (known as cat, bear or eagle claw prongs)? Alternatively, why not forget the prongs altogether and go for a bezel setting?
The next thing to consider is whether you want to add any more diamonds to your centre stone.
The first of those consideration is to..
HALO or SOLO:
Basically halo means that your centre stone will be surrounded by a circle (or two or more!) of smaller diamonds or would you rather just want the main diamond to shine on it’s on and go solo (otherwise known as a solitaire setting).
Halos look great with pretty much any size diamond… up to a point. Once you’re in the 1.50ct+ range, keep in mind that the halo will make the center stone appear even larger. NOT only that keep in mind that when you have to buy your wedding band, having a halo engagement ring means that your ring may not sit flush and if you do want it to set flush you will have to get one with a U-shaped band, meaning if you want to wear your wedding ring by itself, it may look a little strange.
Personally, I’m not a fan. I mean why hide the star of the show with diamonds around it?
Diamonds down the band?
Both solitaire and halo style engagement ring settings look beautiful with or without diamonds down the band.
A traditional classic solitaire does not include any diamonds other than the center stone, but adding diamonds down the band can lend some extra sparkle.. if that’s what you’d like.
I’m generally not a fan of diamonds down the band, because to me I want the centre stone to shine and if it is a pretty diamond I don’t think anything else is needed. But my other half really wanted me to get it, so my engagement ring has it. The extra bling is really growing on me. After all, it is more diamonds and they are a girl’s best friend right?
After all that design around the stone the next important and often forgotten thing is the band.
And trust me, after trying on so many different designs at the jewellers, the band can totally change the design of the whole ring.
The biggest question is STRAIGHT or TAPERED band.
Personally, I love the tapered band. It lifts the centre diamond up and gives it the illusion of it being bigger. I love the taper look where the band gets skinnier as it get to the diamond. BUT you can have the reverse taper where the band gets wider as it gets to the centre stone. OR you might not like it tapered at all and just have a straight no-fuss band.
The next thing to consider with regards to the band is the SHOULDERS.
Yes your engagement ring has SHOULDERS. What this basically means is the height of the band as it approaches the centre stone.
They can be as low as the band with the basket sitting on the top or they can rise towards the diamond as they approach it – known as a cathedral setting. The higher the cathedral the more “elegant” the diamond appears, but also the more cumbersome the ring becomes to wear as it is likely to get caught on your clothes.
A low shoulder is also a very nice look, and slightly more modern. BUT you have to remember not to make it too low otherwise your wedding ring can’t sit flush to your engagement ring.. unless you don’t want it to sit flush.
The last thing to consider is… if you have side diamonds or halo design, you need to consider what kind of setting you want those diamonds to be set into. NO, they can’t just be carelessly placed… YES, you need to think about the how they are going to be set and how it is going to be designed. Again, the way it is designed and set greatly affects the overall aesthetic of the engagement ring.
So the question is do you want..U-set, bead-set, channel-set, we all set?
You are probably thinking.. what does this all mean?!
U-set diamonds have spaces for them drilled into the band, creating small u-shape windows from the profile view. This is a classic, end-to-end look as all you see is diamond from the top view. The diamonds themselves are held into place by tiny prongs formed out of the metal, giving the entire piece a uniform and smooth look – also known as “pavé”. Because I like simplistic clean lines, I’m not a huge fan of this as it can look a little messy.
Bead-set diamonds are also set with tiny prongs formed out of the metal, as per u-set, but a slight border accompanies them. This is a very elegant and classic look. I think this kind of setting goes well with vintage designs as you can also have little carving designs on the border.
Channel-set diamonds are contained within a border as per bead setting, but rather than being held in place by prongs they are held by the border itself – basically held by tension. This is for those lovers of simplicity, clean lines and minimalism. This is what I have.
There you go…
A lot to think about right?
The best advice I can give you is to really think about it. Try a lot of different designs at your jewellery stores. Make note of the little details that you like about the rings.. and make note of things you don’t like. And if you can take a photo take a photo!
And when you are ready.. take photos.. draw.. search on the internet. And when you finally approach a jeweller to design your ring make sure the jeweller can show you a 3D image of your design.
Having said all of this, make sure you are 110% happy with it, after all you are going to be wearing this for the rest of your life. It is an investment.
Yes, there is a lot to think about and a lot to consider, but I think designing it together makes it so much more special.
Where did I design mine? I got my diamond wholesale and on the advice of Jogia Diamonds (We picked a couple of different diamonds and they advised as on which one is the best of the ones we’ve chosen – and trust me the ones we chose also required a lot of understanding of the 4 Cs).
Then we did the above processes and emailed and made appointments with Jogia Diamonds (about 4 appointments!). We gave them copies of our drawings and designs, along with changing our minds about 5 times and then getting them to redraw on their 3D imaging twice. They were brilliant about it all though. Very patient.
And the end product?
Absolutely amazing and dazzling (see the top photo.. yes it is a side view but meh got to save some of the photos for the engagement session).
I’ve had such beautiful comments from everyone I know and from complete strangers.
So if you are looking to design and chose your own diamonds.. make sure you check out Jogia Diamonds (they are based in Perth BY APPOINTMENT ONLY and can also ship to anywhere around the world).
Anyway, I hope this helps out those who are thinking of designing their unique engagement ring.
Let me know your thoughts on this article and how you go with your design!
The one thing I learnt from exercising over the years was making sure that whenever I exercise I try to target every area of my body, to have what the trainers always say “full body workout” (there is NO SUCH THING AS SPOT TRAINING PEOPLE!). I also found that my body gets used to one form of exercise very very quickly (GOD damn haemostasis… normal physiological reaction).. So I like to mix things up by making sure that I have at least 1 day of weights, 1 to 2 days of cardio (and I don’t mean running.. I HATE running) and 1 day of stretching (YOGA!). And the best cardio/strength workout that targets your abs, shoulders, arms, chicken fillets etc. was BOXING.
I don’t mean boxing in a ring, although you could do that.. but that really isn’t my thing. I meant boxercise. But the best ones aren’t the ones that just make you do sprints and skips in between your boxing, the best classes are the ones that conducts circuit training with their boxing. WHY? Well.. Circuit training builds strength and lean muscle which helps you box better, while toning you up! and.. Boxing is a great cardio work out!
So I was so glad when I found the Boxing Circuit Training, that does it outdoors and has 7 sessions at CONVENIENT times.. for a reasonable price I was sold.
Boxing Circuit Training is run by 2 experienced personal trainers who used to work out Goodlife Gyms (and now have started their own business) and who are very passionate about helping people change their lifestyles.
They have 7 different class times across two locations, Macaulay Park in Inglewood and Scarborough Beach. They run it like a 12 week challenge weighing you every 4 weeks so that you can see your progress OR you can just apply for a Starter, Premium and Unlimited Class packs (more information on their site here).
Each session has different set of exercises and none are the same. There is a decent boxing component, which I love, because I find some boxing circuits to be more running than actual boxing! This is then paired with circuit workouts from squats, push ups, burpees, squat jumps, planks, mountain climbers, lunges, etc.
The best thing I think though is that you don’t have to be extremely fit and it’s not like a crazy bootcamp, where there is a crazy lunatic screaming at you! There are people of all fitness levels at the sessions and they are all encouraged to do the best their can at their pace with class guidance from the trainers. OH and the class sizes are nice and small, which is great because it feels like you have your own personal trainer without the $$$ of it!
The other awesome thing is that unlike other bootcamp classes where you just go get screamed at then leave feeling sore and somewhat deflated at times, the guys motivate you AND they will also provide a nutritional plan for you!! As long as you provide them with a honest 7 days food diary. I am yet to do that because I know I haven’t been so good.. but that’s the point though isn’t it? No point tweaking your food diary before the assessment then going back to your old habits!
So far, I’m enjoying it. and I can’t wait to see the transformation.. and some food and protein advice from the guys once I have the guts to actually write it all down..
For more information on the boxing circuit I go to check out the following link here.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS POST NOT AFFILIATED with Boxing Circuit Training (BCT) Perth. I wrote it up simply because I think the sessions are great and I just wanted to share it with you all.
The greatest challenges of being a food blogger (and a foodie) is the unavoidable adverse reaction… weight gain.
And really, it’s no surprise. It’s guaranteed weight gain. The “glamourous” world of food blogging is that you are more than likely to be poor from trying all these new places.. and of course.. fat.
It’s horrible. BUT… YOU are the product of what you consume… It’s cliche.. but it is true.
I’ve been lucky perhaps that the weight gain has slowly come on over a 2 years… pfftt as if it is ever lucky to gain weight! Originally I put it down to my lack of commitment to the gym . I went from 4 times a week gymming to 3 times.. then 2 times.. then skipping a few weeks then getting back into it then having hiatus because I had injuries then.. yeh well.. you get the picture… OH THE EXCUSES.
Paired with disaster of inphysical activity there was the food. Usually on a weekday I’m pretty good. I eat healthy, I eat 2 fruits daily, paired with almost 5 serves of vegetables. THEN.. I got invitations from restaurants and PR events. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE IT. I think it’s an ABSOLUTE PRIVILEGE! BUT.. it meant my cheat day went from being Saturdays to Saturdays and a week night with a function, a weeknight which I would have gone to the gym. The cheat days went from 1 day a week to 2.. maybe 3.. because you know you also had to catch up with friends and family too!
Before I knew it.. my favourite dress went from a tight fit to not being able to zip. The scales was even worse! I had gained 5kgs! I went from a big size 6/small size 8 to a comfortable size 10. Which isn’t bad, but what is bad is that none of my clothes fit me. And honey, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the income to buy a new wardrobe.
So the last straw was when my Aurelio Costarella and my Helmut Lang dresses didn’t fit. To top it off it was now SPRING. Although WINTER is the best time for a SUMMER BODY. SPRING is great for the spring clean.
IT WAS TIME TO SPRING CLEAN MY HEALTH. After all I’m a health professional and I know better than what I’m putting myself through. It’s also great incentive when you have your own wedding to look fabulous in.
SO as to motivate me I’m going to post my progress here. I got measured and weighed last Saturday, 17/10/15.
Chest (across your boobs): 87cm
Waist (not the smallest area, but where your belly button is.. because your waistline will change as you lose weight but your belly button always stays the same so always measure it there): 81cm
Hips (the widest part of where your booty is): 96cm
Current weight: 58kg
GOAL WEIGHT: 50kg to 52kg and TONED.
I’ll post up my workout schedule in the next post and what I have done this week. BUT of course.. even if I did excuse.. it’s 80% what goes into my mouth so really it’s almost as important and that… the food bit …for me.. will be my biggest challenge.
Won’t you come along and do it with me? and lets KICK BUTT and become toned and fit and have a complete lifestyle change while still enjoying life and the fine food and wine!