Diamond engagement rings are rich with meaning. They represent a committed relationship that’s about to grow stronger. Special care goes into shaping the jewels that go into the rings. The band too undergoes many steps before it’s ready for wear.

How engagement rings are madeBefore starting with diamonds and precious metal, designer engagement rings are rendered in wax. This allows the jeweler to see the ring in three dimensions. From there, they determine if the ring looks as good in person as it did as a sketch. Since wax is soft, it’s easy to modify the ring until it’s perfect.

In the meantime, rough diamonds are examined to find the best ways to cut them. After marking details directly on the stone, the jewel is ready. For round brilliant cut diamonds and similar shapes, the gemstone is bruted, or rounded. The next steps involve giving diamonds the facets and polish they need to showcase brilliance.

After the wax model is perfected, it’s used to make a mold. Liquid metal is poured inside this template and left to harden. The ring is then removed and polished to improve its luster and remove any rough edges from the casting process. If prongs weren’t included in the mold, they’re shaped from the current band.

Before mounting, the ring is examined for burrs and smoothed as needed. The jeweler places diamonds in the setting to make sure they fit. If all goes well, prongs, bezel or other metal is pushed into place. During this process, the setting is checked to make sure everything is properly aligned. After mounting, more polishing removes any remaining rough spots.

To bring out the most brilliance and luster, diamond bands must be cleaned. One method involves placing the rings under a jet of high pressure steam. Tongs are a must to hold them in place while keeping hands safe. Ultrasonic cleaners are less dramatic but still effective. Engagement rings go into a tub of liquid, where soundwaves help to loosen dirt and other debris. Both methods leave the rings pristine and ready to wear.