Custom Diamond Engagement Rings: A Step-by-Step Guide

There are a few major purchases in life. Some are defined by their value - house and car - and others by their intrinsic emotional value. If you spend a huge amount, a diamond engagement ring has a foot in both camps but any engagement ring of any cost is one of the most symbolic of purchases.  The choice of engagement ring is of huge importance regardless of how much you are going to spend.

Finding the perfect ring is a bit of a mission and even harder if you are making the proposal as a complete surprise without input from your partner as to the type, style and size of the ring.

We know just how difficult it can be when there are so many different engagement ring styles out there on the market. What precious metal is best, do you go with the popular choices for diamond shape and center stones, do you want a modern design or something vintage-inspired? Should it be a solitaire or a halo diamond engagement ring? So many questions.

One solution is a custom-made diamond engagement ring. There is nothing like a custom design engagement ring when it comes to a piece of jewelry that is truly personal.

Getting a custom-made ring is a process that can be undertaken by the person who will be making the proposal with or without input from their prospective fiancé and there are many excellent engagement ring retailers who offer a bespoke service with experienced designers and skilled craftspeople alongside their pre-designed rings.

You might wonder why you would want a custom piece rather than go engagement ring shopping in jewelry store windows. Here are the reasons:

  1. It's a straightforward process and is easily accessible.
  2. It can save time searching for the perfect ready-made ring and avoid being completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of different engagement ring designs.
  3. You can customize the design to your exact preferences
  4. The design can include as many personal and intimate touches as you like.
  5. It is the only way to get a truly one-of-a-kind engagement ring.
  6. It is sentimental and romantic and shows great commitment to your future spouse
  7. It is probably not as expensive as you might imagine it to be.

You'd probably like more information so you can make an informed decision as to whether you choose from pre-made beautiful diamond engagement rings or a piece of bespoke jewelry. Here is a step-by-step on how to design a custom engagement ring to make your proposal a truly special moment.

  1. Research to inspire your ideas or confirm what you already have decided.
  2. Choose and meet with a designer
  3. Establish a budget and timeline
  4. Choose your diamond(s)
  5. A designer will use CAD (computer-aided design) to produce diagrams of your ring
  6. A wax model is made of the ring
  7. When you're happy with the wax rendering, the ring will be cast in the precious metal of your choice
  8. Stones are set into the ring
  9. The ring is finished, cleaned, and polished.

Do Your Research

Free A Person Wearing a Silver Diamond Ring Stock Photo

You should familiarize yourself with the basics of diamond ring design. You'll need to decide on these design features to create the ring that want. This will mean picking a ring style, a diamond cut, a ring setting and ring metal.

Each option is beautiful and elegant in its own way but it is all about how you put the individual features together to create the perfect diamond ring. Take into account the personal style and preferences of the person the ring is being made for but work within the budget you set.

To give you a good idea of what you can choose from, here is a list of some of the popular and common options in each category.

Ring Styles

  • Solitaire
  • Solitaire with Accent Diamonds
  • Three Stone
  • Halo
  • Vintage

Diamond Cut

  • Cushion cut
  • Round cut
  • Oval cut
  • Pear cut
  • Princess cut
  • Emerald cut
  • Marquise cut

Choice of cut is important for many different reasons but chiefly because it affects the ways that the ring looks the most. For example, a round cut is popular because of its ability to reflect a lot of light thanks to its larger surface. On the other hand, something like a Princess cut is preferred by some because lots of modern brides love the classic and timeless look of the stone.

Ring Settings

  • Prong
  • Bezel
  • Basket
  • Trellis
  • Invisible
  • Cluster
  • Bar
  • Pave
  • Micro pave
  • Cathedral
  • Channel
  • Split Shank
  • Twisted Band
  • Tension
  • Flush
  • Hidden Halo

The setting is the ring's foundation as it is the way that the stones are held on/in the band. The best way to decide on the type of setting is to look at illustrations online.  Illustrations are better than photos because a line drawing clearly shows the intricacy of how metal is worked to hold the diamond(s).

 Ring Metals

  • White gold
  • Yellow gold
  • Rose gold
  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Sterling Silver
  • Tungsten
  • Titanium

The favorite choice for engagement rings is white gold but each metal has its own attraction. Tradition is one thing, but personal preference is all that really matters when it comes to picking a metal for your custom-made engagement ring. You might like to think ahead and be sure that you are happy to also have the wedding band in the same metal.

Each of the four factors above will influence the total price of your ring. The more intricate the setting, the more expensive the metal (platinum is the most expensive) and the number and quality of the stones (depending on cut, carat, color and clarity), the more expensive your ring will be.

Be Frank In Your Discussions

Free Hands of a Couple Wearing Silver Rings Stock Photo

When you have made some initial decisions about all of the above-mentioned elements, you need to be open and frank in the discussions that you have with the jewelry designer you choose to participate in your project.

You want to make sure that you explain and/or demonstrate the type of ring that you are aiming to accomplish, and this can be aided by bringing along and mentioning a few different things including:

  • Any photographic examples of the kind of ring that you are hoping to have created for you, with specific emphasis on any particular elements that you want to be included or replicated.
  • Any diagrams or rough drawings of the actual ring that you have in your mind. Even the sketchiest of sketches can be helpful to a jewelry designer!
  • Any physical examples of rings that you want to take inspiration from. This could be types of metal, stone settings or designs of rings that you have sneaked away from your partner's jewelry box and that you know they love.
  • Go to the meeting with the designer ready with the ability to explain any specific message, purpose or meaning that you want to infuse into the ring.

Decide On A Diamond

Free A Person Wearing an Engagement Ring Stock Photo

One of the biggest advantages of creating a custom engagement ring is that you are free to choose whichever size, shape, cut or quality of diamond that fits best with your budget, rather than having to try to find an existing ring that perfectly matches your finances.

The other advantage of buying a loose diamond to be included in your custom ring is that you can make use of compensating factors to achieve the best for your budget. What does that mean?

The four things that influence the price of a stone are known as the 4Cs - carat, cut, color and clarity. By playing off higher and lower grades of one of the Cs against another, you can see the change in the price of a diamond. For example, you might want to sacrifice color and clarity in favor of size (carat) if you want a bigger, blingier stone. The thing to remember here is that to the naked, untrained eye, the differences in diamonds are hardly noticeable from grade to the next!

In recent years, a new factor has joined the party when considering engagement ring diamonds. Along with natural diamonds, your retailer may offer lab-grown diamonds. Lab-grown stones, also known as lab-created diamonds and synthetic diamonds are classed as real diamonds because they have exactly the same properties in every way as mined stones; they are just created in industrial labs in a much shorter period of time.

The great advantage of lab stones over mined diamonds is the lower price. you can get a much larger diamond size for your budget. Lab stones are typically 40-60 percent cheaper than earth diamonds and they are as equally available whether you choose an online bespoke ring option or get it done in-store.

Your jewelry designer or a diamond expert colleague will be able to explain all the intricacies of the differences between lab-grown and natural as well as help you choose between the variety of shapes of diamonds.

Check Up At Every Stage Of The Entire Process

Free A Woman Holding a Diamond Ring Stock Photo

After you have made your final plans and the design process and manufacturing process has been put into motion, it will often take anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks for a custom ring to be completed.

This will of course vary depending on things like the complexity of the design, the skill of the jeweler and the availability of all the materials, but in general, waiting any longer than 6 weeks is unusual.

You should never be afraid to check in with your jeweler to see how the project is coming along. They will be able to confirm the completion of each individual stage to you, all the way up to the final finishing touches.

Your jeweler will want to present you with the perfect engagement ring and will also ensure that it fits at the end of the process, so if resizing is required, it will be included in the price.

If you are looking for a reputable jewelry designer to collaborate with you on your custom engagement ring, then look no further than the expert team at Diamond & Design. We are committed to bringing your dream design to life so you have a truly unique, attention-grabbing ring with which to propose.  We look forward to working with you.

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