When Princess Eugenie (daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and granddaughter of the Queen) and her beau Jack Brooksbank announced their engagement in 2018 the couple shared the news during a press call where we also glimpsed a first look also at Eugenie’s incredible engagement ring—a stunning round pink padparadscha sapphire, surrounded by diamonds. In an interview with the BBC, Eugenie and Jack revealed that Jack had purchased the sapphire prior to the engagement, and only after Jack proposed did the couple design their ring together (Jack proposed without a ring!)
But wait, the bride and groom designed the ring together? Toronto-based jewellery designer Erin Tracy says this is a trend has become popular in the last few years; it turns out royals are just like us!catching on. “I am seeing more couples design the ring together,” Tracy shares. “I think it’s a great idea, especially if the bride has a strong opinion about her ring and wants something different and unique.”
According to Tracy, there are many good reasons why a couple should design the engagement ring together. “Each person can have a little bit of their style and personality injected into the ring design,” Tracy says. “And to be honest, it takes a lot of pressure off the person proposing.”
Even though it takes away the element of surprise, Tracy says this shouldn’t deter the couple from undertaking this unique project. “There are other ways of adding little surprises, such as secret engravings or details the other person isn’t privy to,” she explains.
So how should you go about designing your engagement ring with your partner? For most of the couples Tracy has worked with, the design process happens before the proposal. “Only when the ring is finished does the proposal happen,” Tracy reveals. “I’ve had a few clients who waited six months afterwards to propose to make their partner sweat a bit and try to keep it a surprise.”
But what should someone propose with if they’ll be designing the ring with their partner after the fact? Tracy says she was actually proposed to with a “temporary” ring. “My husband proposed to me with a very simple band that had engraving on the inside that was made by a very good friend of mine who’s also a goldsmith,” Tracy recalls. “He husband knew I would design my own ring, but it was agonizing waiting for the ring to be done while we were engaged because, of course, everyone wanted to see it.”
This is why Tracy recommends having the ring done prior to the proposal, or even prior to the announcement. “That way you can have your big announcement and ring reveal at the same time.”