Choosing an engagement ring is probably the hardest part of a proposal; it can be tricky when there are so many choices when it comes to designs and places to shop. Most engagement ring retailers have stunning ready-made rings and endless choices. However, have you ever thought about designing your own engagement ring?
Designing your ring from scratch is a beautiful way to be creative as a couple. You can get the most out of your budget and get precisely what you want.
If you want to find out more about why you should get a custom ring read our full article here!
Ok, let’s say you’re sold on the idea and you’ve decided that you’d like to design your own ring. But how do you go about getting it made?
Keep reading. In this comprehensive guide, we take you through all the ways that you can get your engagement ring designed and made from scratch.
Let’s begin with…
How to Find Inspiration for Your Ring Design
The best way to start getting your ring made is to have the design clear in your mind.
Most successful design projects start with a mood board and the more work you put in here the easier it will be to pick the best way to get your ring made. Remember, this is just one way to go about it but it will make the job much easier for you!
Begin gathering photographs of jewelry and designs that you already like and other aspects important to you. It’s smart to include some photo of your fiancé so that anyone you work with can get an idea of the person they are and their taste in style. Pinterest is a great place to keep all this information and some design services offer a place to store your inspiration.
Make sure you also look at the jewelry you or your future fiancé already own as you might spot some trends to help with the design. Is all your jewelry silver? Then maybe a white gold or silver band is the perfect metal color for you. Does your jewelry have lots of color in it? Perhaps this is the perfect indication to go for a colored gemstone rather than a traditional clear diamond.
Any mood board that you put together will start to help you answer questions like what setting do you like or what cut would you want the gemstone to be? Do you want a gemstone at all? Any information you collect can help a designer or jeweler get some vital insight into the piece of jewelry you are trying to create.
When designing your own ring, you have the chance to add a touch of your personality to the ring and aspects that are meaningful to you.
For more inspiration, check out our article on meaningful engagement rings where we detail a number of ways to add a touch of meaning to your ring.
How To Get Your Ring Design Made?
There are a few different ways that you can have your ring custom made for you. These range in prices and convenience.
Option 1: Build-Your-Own-Ring Websites
Websites like James Allen and Lebish Co offer powerful tools to help you design your own ring online without having to leave the comfort of your home! While these offer you lots of choice in terms of settings, metals and stones, you are still limited to those on offer. We have picked James Allen and Leibish as they are the best when it comes to online shopping for engagement rings and colored diamond/gemstone rings respectively.
James Allen Design Your Own Ring Feature
With this option, you are given the chance to begin by selecting your ring setting or your diamond/gemstone. Once you have made one of the selections, the site takes you through the next steps and helps eliminate unsuitable choices.
You can filter your choices to find exactly what you are looking for. This screenshot of the James Allen site shows you all the numerous filters that you can adjust.
So, let’s say you want to start with an emerald cut stone. You then filter and narrow your search down by picking the clarity and color grade for the stone. It’s easy to change the sliders to see what price effect each choice will have or if budget is your biggest constraint you can use the sliders to set your budget and view all the results.
Once you’ve selected your ideal stone the James Allen website shows you all the ring settings that match the diamond or gemstone you’ve picked. They have a large selection, including more complicated settings such as tension and beautiful vintage inspired designs.
Once you’ve chosen the setting and the stone, it’s just the final decision of the metal color and the ring size. For a personal touch, you can add an engraving to your ring.
In the final stage you you can review the ring and see the cost break down between the stone and the setting plus all the other services included in your purchase such as shipping costs, warranties and packaging.
Leibish Design Your Own Feature
The Leibish Design Your Own Ring is user-friendly. They offer you all types of colored diamonds as well as several gemstone options, so you have a lot to choose from. What’s more, Leibish has a very large selection of settings some of which are quite unique and spectacular.
On the Lebish website, you start with the setting choice and then pick your stone. A point of difference here is the wide range of coloured diamonds and gemstones that Lebish offers. However, the filters and sliders on the site are very similar to James Allen. We recommend trying a few of these websites with the same criteria to see what different results you get.
The most significant pro to using a ring builder and designing your ring online, from a site like James Allen or Lebish, is that you can use any criteria to start your design. Whether you’re looking for 1-carat diamonds but don’t mind the setting as much or if you want to make sure the color and clarity are exactly what you are after, it’s easy to start your creative journey.
However, the primary downside of using these tools is that you won’t get as much help when it comes to the design choices as you’re choosing from a lot of pre-set designs.
Option 2: Custom Design Your Ring from Scratch
Build your own ring websites are incredibly useful, but if you can’t create the ring of your dreams with a build your ring website how do you go about getting a completely bespoke design?
Some retailers, such as James Allen, Custom made and Green Lake Jewelry, offer fantastic design services where you can have a stunning ring made based on your specifications. Their process includes creating a Computer Aided Design (CAD) or 3D rendering of your design based on your sketches and inspiration. You get to see a 3D mock up and once you approve it, they will start crafting your design.
Designing and creating the CAD of an engagement ring on James Allen.
The best part?
You’re still working remotely while also having the creative services of a jeweler.
The most useful feature of websites like Green Lake Jewelry is they offer design advice to help take your ideas to a professional level and they will be able to advise and guide you to build your own ring without limiting your choices.
The steps you have to take when designing your ring with Green Lake Jewelry.
However, all good things come with a price and although you will get an original piece of jewelry, services like these could be considerably more expensive as you’re also receiving the additional creativity of an artist.
Not sure whether to go with option 1 or 2 mentioned above?
We’d recommend trying both the Build-Your-Own-Ring feature and perhaps starting the conversation with a site like Green Lake Jewelry to see what fits your needs best.
Option 3: Find a Local Engagement Ring Designer
Our third option is to find a local jeweler to help you design the ring. Some people have family jewelers that they’ve collaborated with all their life on bespoke pieces. If you can ask friends for advice or recommendations, don’t be shy as they might be able to give you some great tips on the process if they’ve been through it themselves.
A local jeweler may not have the range that an online site will have, so be prepared to say if you do not see what you want. After all, an engagement ring is very personal. Many well-known jewelry designers also provide bespoke services that you might not be aware of so if there are any designers you especially like don’t be afraid to get in contact to see if they would be interested in working with you to create your perfect engagement ring.
Working with a jeweler in person can have a real impact on the piece, as a jeweler may be able to provide suggestions that you probably wouldn’t have thought of based on the design details that you give to them.
Most jewelers now offer remote bespoke services, which means that you can contact the jeweler, have meetings with them, share your ideas for your ring and check on the progress of your ring without ever having to meet them in person. It’s always more personal if you can meet the jeweler in person, but you have more options this way.
Although it’s not something you want to think about you might need to exchange the ring, and with bespoke or custom-made items, your options may be more limited. Before you finalise any purchase, you should always triple check the exchange or returns policy. You may need to get the ring re-sized, and it’s still best to know that any of these changes can be quickly sorted before you’ve made a final decision on your design and purchase.
If you’re designing a ring together with your partner, this can be an excellent first step in your marriage. Many couples go this route as they are able to share the experience together. If you are getting a ring made in secret, we recommend showing your design to another person, ideally someone who knows your loved one, so that they can offer any advice or insight into the design choices.
Designing a custom engagement ring from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated. It should predominately be about you as a couple. Try out a few different options before picking the one that suits you best as you’ll be creating an original piece of jewelry that symbolises the love and special connection you have with your future fiancé!
Want to try your hand at designing your own engagement ring? Check out James Allen’s Design-Your-Own-Ring feature.