How to design a bespoke ring from scratch
Prince Harry has done it again. First, he designed a stunning engagement ring that not only wowed with its flawless diamonds and elegant design, but was also packed with sentimental value (two of the stones came from his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales personal collection, making it truly priceless).
Want an engagement ring that sparkles like the original Markle? Take a look at our three stone diamond ring in yellow and white gold.
Now, Harry has really knocked it out of the park, as his American wife might say, with his latest jewellery offering to her. Marking both the couple’s first wedding anniversary and the birth of their first child, the delicate diamond eternity ring (a classic choice for both occasions) also features three hidden stones on the underside, according to Harper’s Bazaar. Each one is a member of the new family’s birthstone: an emerald for baby Archie, who recently celebrated his christening, an olive-green peridot for Meghan, and a sapphire for Harry. The Prince worked with New York-based jeweller Lorraine Schwartz, who also modified the Duchess’s engagement ring band to include extra diamonds (well, a girl can never have too many), to create this beautiful, meaningful piece of bespoke jewellery.
Meghan is said to be overjoyed with the ring and extremely touched by her husband’s gesture (something tells us she won’t be making any adjustments to this one). Designing your own bespoke ring has become increasingly popular in recent years and we love helping our clients create stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces that are guaranteed to become family heirlooms. Some of our clients prefer to design the ring themselves and surprise their partner with it when they propose, while others like to share the design experience with them. We find that roughly six out of 10 of our bespoke ring appointments involve couples coming in together. Either way, we’re happy to support you through the process at every stage. But how does it work? Here’s our guide on how to get started…
Know your partner’s taste
If you’re planning to surprise your partner, try to get an understanding of what they would like first. There are lots of ways to do this, from looking at rings they already own, (stealthily) checking Pinterest boards, or even asking family and friends. This is the trickiest part, but remember, the more thought that goes into the ring, the more likely it will be well received. For instance, does your partner have a favourite diamond shape? Do they prefer gemstones instead? Which metal do they wear the most? These are some good questions to start the process off.
Set a budget
The limits of your design will be determined by what you want to spend. Decide this in advance and we can help you to find something within your price range. If you’re choosing a diamond, your budget will dictate what carat size you opt for, as well as its cut and clarity, which can vary greatly and hugely impact the price. As always when buying a diamond, consider the four Cs: carat, colour, clarity and cut. We offer finance options to make your budget more affordable.
Come with ideas
We always recommend that you come in and see us armed with a few ideas about the design you or your partner would like. This isn’t a must, but it can help our jewellers to visually understand what you’re looking for. Bring your inspiration and ideas with you in the form of photos, drawings or notes. If you’ve been admiring a certain celebrity’s ring for some time now, we can work on a design that uses similar elements. Failing that, we can always show you a variety of rings in our showroom. You can also take one of our classic ring designs, such as the prong-set Chloe, with its diamond shoulders and halo setting, as a starting point. You can mix and match metals, stones and styles and go from there.
Choose a metal
The precious metal plays a big role – for a classic look, you could choose platinum, or either white or yellow gold. If you want something a bit different, however, you might want to consider rose gold. You can even mix your precious metals for a more distinctive look.
Choose a stone
If it’s an engagement or eternity ring you’re planning, then diamonds are the most traditional choice of stone, but they are also the most expensive. It’s worth remembering that there are other options, such as the vivid kaleidoscope of colours offered by sapphires or rubies. They’re not only cheaper but can also create a more unusual look. Or, you might take another leaf out of Harry’s book and opt for your partner’s birthstone, or even include yours. This is the perfect way to make to really personalise a ring, as each birthstone is said to have its own meaning and significance. For example, in Meghan’s eternity ring, the sapphire is believed to protect those close to you from harm, a peridot instils power in the wearer, while the emerald is considered a symbol of rebirth and love.
It’s also worth considering a range of shapes. If you’re going for a more unusual gemstone, you may want to keep the shape traditional to give the ring balance. Alternatively, if you’re sticking with a classic diamond, why not go for a more daring shape, such as an elegant marquise cut? Or perhaps an on-trend cushion cut? Choose a setting
Settings offer a wealth of choice for personalisation. A traditional favourite is the classic solitaire setting, where a single stone is placed in the centre of the ring, but you can always opt for something less common, such as a three-stone setting. This is where one prominent diamond is featured in the centre with a stone on either side. See our guide to ring settings for more information on how to choose.
Finalise your design
If you’ve opted to customise one of our pre-styled rings, then by now you’ll have a good idea of what your final piece looks like. If you’ve designed your ring from scratch, however, you can watch your creation come to life as our jewellers create a mock-up using computer assisted design (CAD) software. This gives us the chance to make any final tweaks before our jewellers start making your piece. No two people are the same and by designing your own ring from scratch, you not only create something that perfectly fits your partner’s character but is truly unique. You’ll need to allow between two and four weeks for the ring to be made and we will keep you updated throughout.
If you’ve been inspired to create a one-of-kind ring from scratch, check out our Design your own ring section or contact us for more advice. You’re only limited by your imagination!