Engagement Story: Tania and Chris

custom jewelry engagement rings wedding rings

The alternative title for this blog post is "My First Engagement Ring". So glad it was for my sister!

On Halloween weekend in 2009, my sister Tania and her boyfriend Chris came to the city for a Halloween house party in South Philly. Tania's always been a little craftier than me, so while she helped my boyfriend whip together a last minute costume, Chris and I went out to the corner store. On that walk, Chris asked if I'd be willing to design an engagement ring for Tania using a diamond he had researched and sourced from Blue Nile. My answer? Of course! I was so excited.

At the time, I was still in graduate school at the Tyler School of Art for Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM. I was working on a lot of art jewelry: large, 3D printed plastic brooches and necklaces. I had never designed an engagement ring!

Chris sent me all the hints and clues he had gathered from Tania, and with this information I designed several rings to show him. After a little back and forth and several revisions, we settled on a bypass style ring with an organic, swirled design. Simple, yet unique.


Christine Alaniz Designs custom swirl diamond engagement ring

I sent my final CAD design to a local casting house to be 3D printed and cast in platinum. I hadn't worked in platinum before, so I bought myself new buffs and compound specifically for polishing platinum.

When my casting arrived, I polished the ring, then hemmed and hawed before carefully and nervously setting the center diamond. This was my first time setting a diamond, too. Sensing a trend?

The Proposal

My sister walked out of the shower one night to find Chris dropped on one knee. He nailed the element of surprise. She said yes!

The Revisions

There were revisions. This was my very first engagement ring, after all! The original design called for a contour matching wedding band, but it turned out that Tania really preferred a straight matching wedding band. This is an important design aspect to know at the beginning of the creative process. Nowadays, I always ask clients about the wedding band style when I start a custom engagement ring. An engagement ring and wedding band are going to be a set, so they should be made to match!

We decided to redesign Tania's engagement ring with accent diamonds on the sides (a remake is a great time to add bling!), and made it fit better with a straight wedding band.

Christine Alaniz Designs custom engagement ring and wedding band set

I loved having input from Tania the second time around, because she's the one who wears and looks at her rings every day. I really appreciated getting the chance to revise and adjust her ring, and make it exactly what she wanted.

The Wedding Ring

We decided to go with a 3/4 pavé diamond and platinum band. Simple, timeless, and classic.

Thank you to Chris and Tania for letting me create your one-of-a-kind engagement ring and wedding band set!

Interested in your very own custom engagement ring? Send me a message through my Contact Page to get started!


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