Creating a custom engagement ring is much easier than most people think it is. When you work with a jeweler who specializes in creating custom engagement rings, they’ll be your partner through the design process, then do all of the work to bring your vision to life. However, if you want to have the most seamless and enjoyable custom creation experience, there are a few things you should do before you make your first appointment with a designer. Wondering what you should do before you create a custom engagement ring? Read on to learn the five steps you should take if you’re thinking of creating a custom engagement ring!

1. Consider Your Timeline

If you want to create a custom engagement ring, the first thing you should do is consider your timeline. Creating a custom ring takes longer than just buying an engagement ring off the shelf does. Even before you meet with your designer, you’ll need to think about what you want in your design, which can take some time. Then, once you’re ready to move forward with the process, you’ll need to allot time to collaborate with your jeweler to design your ring. This collaborative process typically includes a consultation, creating and reviewing sketches, and reviewing and adjusting 3D renderings. Lastly, once you’ve settled on your final design, you also need to allow time for your jeweler to craft your custom piece.

So, creating a custom ring takes some time. But how much time does it usually take? Creating a custom ring can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months. We generally recommend starting the custom design process as soon as you can, well before your planned proposal date. And if you think your timing may be tight, be sure to discuss your timeline with your jeweler to make sure that they can accommodate your needs.

2. Set Your Budget

It’s best to set your engagement ring budget before you start the custom design process. Having a maximum budget in place will help you and your jeweler make decisions once you begin the ring design process. If your jeweler knows your budget, they can help you figure out which design choices will help you maximize your budget so that you can achieve your vision for your ring without going overboard.

3. Get Inspired

Once you’ve decided you’re going to go custom, you should start searching for engagement ring inspiration. We’d recommend starting this process by browsing existing jewelry. Browse images of engagement rings, wedding rings, and other jewelry, and save images of the pieces that you like. If you like one specific thing about a piece but not the entire piece, note that as you save your images.

Spending some time taking in different design styles can make a huge difference in helping you figure out what you do and do not like in an engagement ring, which will help you with the next step of the process: narrowing in on your desired design elements.

4. Narrow in On Design Elements

You don’t have to decide on every single element you want for your engagement ring before you meet with your jewelry designer. Your designer will help you create your final engagement ring design. However, it will be helpful for both you and your designer if you narrow in on at least some design elements that you do and do not like before your first consultation.

There are three basic elements of an engagement ring that we recommend you consider before heading into a design appointment: your center stone, your setting style, and your choice of precious metal. Note that when you consider these elements, you want to keep both your desires and your partner’s personal tastes in mind.

Center Stone

The most popular choice for an engagement ring’s center stone is a round brilliant cut white diamond . However, there are many other options. There are also other diamond shapes you could choose for your center diamond, like emerald cut, asscher cut, oval shaped, and princess cut diamonds. Then, there are colored diamond and gemstone options to consider, like pink diamonds, yellow diamonds, black diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. Before you head into a design appointment, consider what you’d like for your center stone’s type, color, shape, and carat weight.

Setting Style

Engagement ring settings come in so many styles, which can range from simple and classic to extremely detailed and unique. When you browse inspiration images before your design appointment, consider which setting design styles and elements you’re drawn to. Do you love a simple solitaire setting or perhaps a glamorous halo setting? Do you prefer classic prong settings or streamlined bezel settings? Do you like sleek designs or perhaps ornate designs with engravings, cut outs, and numerous pave set side stones?

While you don’t have to know exactly what type of setting you want before you make a design appointment, it is a good idea to get familiar with different engagement ring styles and think about your opinions on them. That way, you’ll have a solid starting point when you begin collaborating with your designer.

Precious Metal

The four most popular precious metals for engagement rings are yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and platinum. When you’re creating a custom gemstone or diamond engagement ring, your choice of precious metal is very flexible-- you can typically have your design made in any precious metal you like. When you’re deciding on your precious metal, consider the following: whether or not your partner has a precious metal preference (do they usually wear only one color of jewelry?), which precious metal you prefer, and which precious metal may go best with your other design choices.

5. Choose Your Jeweler With Care

Once you’ve set your budget and done some research on what you’d like for your engagement ring, it’s time to make a consultation appointment with your jeweler. When you’re choosing your jeweler, it’s best to look for a jeweler that specializes in (and is highly experienced at) creating custom bridal jewelry. An engagement ring is something that’s meant to be worn for a lifetime, so you want to work with a jeweler that fully understands how to create a beautiful, finely-made ring that will stand the test of time.

Once you meet with a jeweler, you also want to make sure that they’re there to help you achieve your vision and guide you through the design process. Your jewelry designer should be there to help you create your perfect design, whatever that may be. If you have a very specific vision in mind, your jeweler should help you figure out how to bring that vision to life in reality and within your budget. If you have a looser idea in mind, your designer should be ready to help guide you through your options and work with you to figure out your exact ring design.

Closing Thoughts

To close out our guide, we’ll leave you with one final tip: remember to enjoy the custom creation process. We know that designing your own engagement ring can sometimes feel overwhelming, since it requires making a lot of decisions about an important item. However, if you ever find yourself getting stressed as you design your ring, try to focus on why you’re creating it in the first place. And if you still feel a bit overwhelmed during the process, know that you can always turn to your jeweler for guidance. Your jeweler is there to guide and support you so that you have a wonderful, memorable engagement ring creation experience.


If you’re in the Chicago area and you’re ready to create your perfect custom engagement ring or wedding band, make an appointment at Chicago Bridal Jewelers. The expert consultants at our jewelry store are ready to help you bring the vision of your dream ring to life, taking it from an idea to the perfect ring you’ll propose with.