COMMON QUESTIONS -
WHAT DOES A CUSTOM PROJECT COST?
This one is tricky for us to answer because there are so many variables when it comes to a custom piece (metal, style of piece, stone size and type, etc). That said, our custom work usually starts around $1,300 for wedding bands and $1,500 for a 14k ring setting (not including stones). We would be happy to talk through pricing with you if there's a particular style or design you had in mind!
WHAT SHOULD MY BUDGET BE?
We often get asked about budget. How much should be spent toward a ring? What do diamonds cost? How much will a nice ring cost? The truth is, no amount of money spent on an engagement ring or wedding band is right or wrong. It’s all about your comfort level and the budget you feel comfortable operating within. We firmly believe there is no one way to buy a ring—and no silly questions either. It’s one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make and we want to support you through the process. You should budget the amount that you're comfortable spending on this piece, and we would be happy to create something within that range.
WHAT IS THE TURNAROUND TIME FOR A RING?
Our custom designs usually average about -812 weeks which includes initial consult, stone selection, and more.
If you are special ordering a ring from one of our featured designers, the lead time will depend on a number of variables including time of year, stone and metal choice, etc. The average lead time for most of our designers is 5-8 weeks. We will do our best to ensure an accurate and timely delivery of your ring(s), and are also happy to try and accommodate any special dates or deadlines.
I DON’T KNOW WHAT SIZE RING I AM. CAN I GET SIZED?
Absolutely. For the most accurate size, stop into the shop to get sized by a SHELTER team member. As an alternative, you can order a try-at-home sizer from us.
A few things to consider: We size to the quarter size and we air on the side of slightly tighter, rather than looser. If the band is thick, you typically need to size up slightly. If you’re stacking several rings, it’s often more comfortable if the rings fit slightly bigger.
The general rules of fit include:
• There should be a little resistance pulling over your knuckle
• You shouldn’t struggle pulling the ring on or off (if it requires soap or water, it’s too tight)
• If you can pull the ring on and off with a lot of ease, or you find it’s slipping off when your hands get cold, that’s a sign that it’s too big
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH RESIZING?
First and foremost, we want you to be happy with your ring! We always try our best to size rings as accurately as possible the first time around; however, if you purchase an engagement ring through SHELTER and feel the fit isn’t working for you, we offer a one-time complimentary resizing for our customers. There are a few exceptions to this: We cannot resize eternity bands (rings featuring diamonds that go all the way around). Rings with softer stones like opal, moonstone and aquamarine, as well as certain vintage rings cannot be resized. We’ll always note before you complete a purchase at SHELTER if we foresee any issues with resizing.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY FOR ME TO CARE FOR MY ENGAGEMENT RING?
Great question! We get this one a lot and we’ve developed some guidelines for our customers to reference. Check them out here!
CAN YOU USE STONES FROM AN EXISTING PIECE I HAVE TO CREATE A NEW PIECE?
Short answer: yes! Longer answer: we are able to work with most diamonds and sapphires, so long as they are in useable condition (we require a full inspection of the stone before agreeing to take on the project, but are happy to have a consult beforehand). Other stones, such as aquamarines, garnets, rubies, amethysts and others we evaluate on a case by case basis. There is inherently more risk involved in removing and resetting these stones, so we want to make sure you understand the full risk of us working with these. We do NOT work with customer provided emeralds, opals, pearls, tanzanite, turquoise, and other extremely soft or chip-prone stones.
CAN I BUY MY OWN DIAMOND ELSEWHERE TO SAVE MONEY ON THIS PROJECT?
Again, we handle this on a case by case basis but usually no. Here's why: we totally respect and appreciate people who are seeking something within a certain budget, and want to find a great deal on a stone. As a smaller shop, we simply cannot compete with many of the prices you see online - and that's ok! However we pour a lot of time and energy into finding the perfect stone for our customers, and we've spent years learning the ins and outs of the diamond industry. We pride ourselves on working within a budget you have (while also being realistic about what you can get) and combing through options of stones to find a perfect fit - that's a lot more than any internet service can provide. We also inspect every stone that comes through our door, and have sent many back that don't reflect our quality standards. When working with us, we help guide you through things like what the 4 C's mean, when you might see big jumps in prices, why some stones seem to cost way more money than others, what quality factors you should focus on, and more.
We view our custom services comprehensively, and don't feel that we can achieve that fully when you are piecemealing a ring. So while we never say never, this is usually a scenario where the job isn't a fit for us.
I’M INTERESTED IN USING LAB DIAMONDS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL REASONS FOR MY ENGAGEMENT RING. DOES SHELTER WORK WITH LAB DIAMONDS?
Yes! We are excited to feature engagement rings and metals that are environmentally and socially responsible. All of the stone vendors we use follow strict, ethical guidelines for how they source their stones. If you feel more comfortable using a lab diamond, we can absolutely source one for you. We also suggest looking to vintage, antique and estate pieces for a wonderful way to be more environmentally mindful.
WHERE DO I START?
Another wonderful question. If you are new to this process and have absolutely no idea what you like, we recommend looking through our site, Pinterest and Instagram to get a feel for styles and stones you may gravitate toward. If you have a general sense of style but would like to discuss specifics or need help honing in on some ideas, we recommend booking an appointment with us to discuss next steps!