If it's special to you, it's special to us
Why Choose Atelier?
All our goldsmiths have university degrees from respected jewellery making courses
Atelier is considered the leader with the latest CAD technology for jewellery
We have expert knowledge of precious and semi-precious stones and stocks of unusual, fancy and rare gemstones
Our reputation precedes us for quality, expertise, knowledge and excellent customer service
We are one of the UK's leading engagement ring designers. Every ring we make is completely unique to each individual client's personal style. Also, we can work to your individual budget so you feel completely comfortable at all times.
Atelier is run by Vanessa Frisbee, a well known jewellery designer and expert jewellery historian. Her wide ranging experience means she can help you with any design from the ultra contemporary modern to rings based on a Roman or Greek design or any vintage style, or the most unusual engagement rings you can imagine based on your own design ideas.
Why choose a bespoke engagement ring?
It's simple really. Often, bespoke made rings, weight for weight, don't usually cost any more than mass produced rings commonly seen in a high street jewellers' windows. However, if you have a bespoke ring, you will certainly get better design and you are far more likely to get better quality.
More importantly, this is the ring you will wear all your life - shouldn't it be perfect and original, just like you?
Our Engagement Rings - Bespoke Made And Unique
We believe that you should have EXACTLY the engagement ring you want. Its your celebration of love. Make it unique !
See our guide to commissioning
bespoke engagement rings,
an introduction to how we design
engagement rings and
an engagment ring case study. Click
the following link if you want to know a little about the history
of engagement rings
You want an engagement ring that is a little bit more unusual than you see on the high street but you don't have a clue where to start. We can help you by taking you through the process of defining and consolidating your thoughts into a design for an engagement ring which will be one of a kind, unique and special to you and NEVER repeated - and that's our guarantee to you !
With several thousand engagement rings and unparalleled expertise in design and knowledge of jewellery styles to our name, we have the ability to literally make your dream ring for you.
The thing to remember is that traditional ideas don't have to constrict you in any way. For example, engagement rings don't have to be all about diamonds. Within reason you can have any stone you choose (although we'll advise you if a stone is not hard enough to withstand daily wear or is unsuitable in any way).
Things to consider when choosing engagement rings
DESIGN: An engagement ring will need to fit with your lifestyle and personality, as well as fitting your budget. Like clothes , jewellery is a statement of your personal style. Would you like your ring to be:
Traditional - perhaps a symmetrical cluster head or prong/claw set solitare
METAL: Another important consideration for your choice of engagement ring is metal. Your choice of metal will be down to colour preferance, durability and budget. See our metal guide for the main types of metal used in jewellery, along with some basic facts about them.
GEMSTONES: Here at Atelier, we have a great deal of knowledge about stones. We can often show you stones that most jewellers don't even know about, let alone source. We have a wide range of trusted and experienced stone dealers whom we use to get you the best prices, and the best quality stones available whatever your budget. If you want a ruby, we'll find you at least four or five to choose from in varying shades within the price range you choose. See our gemstone and metal guide for more information
You want diamonds? Choose from white or "fancy" diamonds in yellow, pink, brown, black, blue, orange, green or even purple. Don't like modern cuts ? No worries - we have cutters who can produce traditional or more subtle cuts such as rose cut, or be daring and choose an engagement ring set with an uncut diamond in its natural state.
We can show you a world of star sapphires and rubies, rough diamonds and other unusual and hard to source gemstones. See our gemstone guides by following these links - diamond guide , other gemstones , understanding gemstones , gemstone lore
How much should I spend on an engagement ring
Now there's a question we get asked a lot. Various aspects of tradition dictate that you should spend at least one months salary, some say two or three months. We say, spend what is right and comfortable for you. Getting engaged is a time to celebrate, not be worrying about how much you've run up on your credit card. We've made engagement rings for as little as £250, and we've also had customers who have spent into the high thousands - which ever it is, remember, its the sentiment behind the ring that matters. Some couples even opt for simple silver engagement rings more in keeping with a "credit crunch engagement". So whatever your budget, talk to us, we can help you find the perfect solution.
With us, the world is your oyster - all we ask if you guide us along the way so we can produce the engagement ring of your dreams.
Most of our clients arrive at our door when they have exhausted all other avenues. They have tried traditional jewellers, and even been to see other jewellers who specialise in bespoke wedding and engagement ring design and drawn a blank.
Why? Nearly all jewellers who design inhouse still rely on hand drawn images to show you how your finished commission will look leaving a gulf between their drawing and your dream. Whilst we too can draw designs by hand, our mastery of state of the art CAD/CAM (computer aided design /manufacture) technology leaves nothing to your imagination. Using our design knowledge and expertise we can create, with ease, jewellery that many other master goldsmiths would find extremely challenging or impossible. And most importantly, before we've even sat down at a jewellers bench to start you commission, you'll have seen beautiful photographic quality images of your piece which will only be bettered by the real thing.
You might think this sounds expensive, but actually it saves our time and resources and in turn saves your money. Additionally, you might be told by some bespoke jewellers that CAD/CAM is not used by real jewellers - anyone who tells you that "CAD is great for companies that only use pre-cast parts" is simply trying to hide behind a veneer of misunderstanding and fear.
CAD/CAM systems are used by many of the worlds major high quality jewellers. The learning curve to using this technology is very steep and not many can achieve the expert level of skill that we have developed. Also, these extremely complex systems do not use pre-cast parts - all of our designs are drawn, if you like, not using pencils but using a mouse, entirely from scratch.
Design Your Own Engagement Ring - Your Own Concept
Whilst we are more than happy to design a bespoke ring for you, we also encourage you to come to us with a ready designed concept of what you want. We've seen rough sketches on scraps of paper to plasticine models - anything you can put together works to give us a clearer concept of what you want. Whatever happens you'll be advised and involved with the design and manufacture of your bespoke ring all the way along.
Clients sometimes ask if they can come in and watch their ring being made - we normally gently suggest you don't do this as making your ring may take many hours, but we will ask you to come and sit at the gallery whilst we put the finishing touches to your bespoke design. This may take some time, depending on the complexity of your design, so we will always keep you refreshed with a selection of organic teas, coffee, hot chocolate or any thing else that takes your fancy!
With their ideas firmly at the forefront, we used the computer to produce a 3D model of a three band ring with diamonds in a modern settng (see fig.1 below). Then we prepared a series of renders (computer generated pictures - see fig.2 below) to show them what the finished ring would look like.
The clients loved the design and made an appointment to come and see us to finalise it. They had decided to use just platinum instead of the mixed metal, but asked if we could suggest anything to add more colour to the ring. We suggested coloured diamonds and re-rendered the ring with assorted coloured diamonds in different positions. They settled on cognac diamonds as the best choice in the positions as you can see in fig. 3. This left the symmetry of the ring unbalanced, so we added some smaller diamonds to the ring and it wasn't long before everyone agreed that this bespoke design was perfect - the final render can be seen in fig.4
Now it was time to find the actual diamonds that we were going to use in the ring. We needed 12 diamonds for this design, nine white and three cognac, each one a different size.
We sourced three sets of white diamonds which were matched to the exact sizes in the ring design. A group of DEF VVS (high white colour, very very slightly included) diamonds were selected by the clients with our help to complete the ring to the best possible quality within the budget.
We also sourced about 30 examples of natural fancy cognac diamonds directly from one of our suppliers in Antwerp. We advised that choice should be made on colour (in this case red brown) and intensity of colour. Three diamonds, a 0.41ct for the centre stone, a 0.23ct for the top right in the picture and a 0.13ct for the bottom left, were selected.
So now we had all the components we could proceed with making this unusual engagement ring. We finalised our CAD design using the exact diamond sizes and made the ring casting in platinum. The ring was cleaned, set with the diamonds and finished at our workshop. As soon as they could, the lucky couple came over to see us to collect their bespoke ring, which was absolutley stunning and, even better, came in under budget
We have literally made 1000's of engagement rings - here are a few examples
It is believed that the ancient Romans began the practice of placing the engagement ring on the left ring finger, which they thought contained the “vena amoris” or vein of love which supposedly connected directly to the heart. The Romans gave rings as a token of affection, and this may also have contributed to the act of giving an engagement or betrothal ring. The Romans held that Marriage essentially transferred a woman from the authority of her father or male head of the family (pater familias) to the authority of her husband. In theory that control extended even to life and death, but in reality it was limited to economic matters. Any dowry brought into the wedding was then the property of her husband, so a wedding, betrothal or engagement ring effectively "sealed" the bargain between the two parties. A ring may also have formed part of a bridal price or dowry.
Other ancient cultures, including the Egyptians, also used the Roman symbolism of the left finger - and even today the tradition persists both with engagement rings and wedding bands. In fact, wedding bands are placed first on the left ring finger to be closest to the heart.
The first recorded diamond engagement ring was exchanged in 1477 when Archduke Maximillian presented the token to his betrothed Mary of Burgandy. Prior to that event, engagement rings were either plain metal bands (iron for commoners, while gold and silver were used among royalty) or used less expensive gems. Engagement rings are ultimately circles of metal, and the circle is a part of very sacred, symbolic geometry. Circles have no beginning and no end and thus represent eternity, renewal, wholeness, and perfection. They are also symbolic of the sun, moon, and planets, bringing together all life just as an engagement ring brings together the lives of two people.
These days we formalise an engagement with the exchange of a ring. Traditonally we might choose a solitare, but now there are lots of other choices - the world is your oyster when it comes to design and stone selection. In fact the most difficult decision you'll need to make is deciding what beautiful ring you want to spend the rest of your life with !!