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How to Design Your Own Diamond Ring

by David Weliver

An engagement ring is one of the most important pieces of jewelry you will ever own. Not only is it a profoundly emotional expression, but it is also something you will wear every day of your life. The perfect engagement ring symbolizes your unique relationship and reflects your style.

When an expression is so important, it’s no wonder that many people choose to design their engagement ring instead of selecting an existing one. If you want a uniquely significant ring, here is everything you need to know to on how to design your own diamond ring.

Online Design Tools

Most jewelers, especially large companies with a substantial online presence, allow you to design your ring online, customizing your engagement ring to your preferences. When using these types of online engagement ring design tools, here are some things to keep in mind:

Product Line

The options available to you within these online design tools are limited to the product range of that company. In other words, if you want a band made of palladium but they don’t carry palladium, you cannot choose it during the customization process.

Range of Customization Options

Most tools are designed to help you match your preferred stone with your preferred setting within the stones and settings offered by the company. Some of these tools will also allow you to choose a different band material or add accent stones, but the range of options is limited.

Conditional Designs

In most cases, specific settings are designed for particular ring shapes, and vice versa. As a result, you aren’t able to match settings and stones in unusual ways. 

In other words, most online engagement ring design tools offered by major retailers do not allow you to design your own ring. However, they will enable you to customize an engagement ring within their product offerings. They work best when the retailer offers a ring you like but you want to customize it in a few specific ways.

Before using the online ring design tool, review the existing engagement ring inventory offered by the jeweler to see what metals, settings, and stone options are available to you. 

Start From Scratch

If you want a custom engagement ring and don’t want to mix and match, you can start from scratch and design a truly unique ring.

In most cases, this service is offered by boutique jewelers rather than large retailers, and it can be more expensive and time-consuming than customizing a pre-existing ring design. Here is an overview of the process of designing your own engagement ring.

Find Inspiration

Start by determining what you want in your ring design. Consider different stones and settings and what you like about them. Next, collect reference images of existing rings you like and are inspired by. Make sketches.

Set Your Budget

Your budget is essential in your ring design, so it’s important to be clear about how much you can spend and your financial priorities.

You may be willing to choose more affordable metals or stones to achieve the right size and style, or vice versa. Of course, your jeweler will work within your budget, but it’s an important consideration.

Choose a Jeweler

Every jeweler has their own skills and specialties and will use their own process in designing your custom engagement ring. This step is so important that we’ve written a whole section below.

Initial Designs

After a consultation with you, your jeweler will use your reference and inspiration, requirements, and budget to create initial designs, often sketches.

Many jewelers will also create a 3D version of the design, so you can look at it from all angles and make sure your custom ring is perfect before production begins.

Wax Model

Traditionally, diamond engagement rings are made using the “lost wax” process. This means that the jeweler will carve the final ring design into a wax model, creating a perfect replica of the ring in wax.

How to Design Your Own Diamond Ring

Cast and Set

After a diamond engagement ring is carved in wax, the wax model is cast into a plaster mold. The plaster perfectly captures all the detail of the wax ring.

Once the plaster is set, the mold is heated, so the wax melts, leaving a void (this is why the process is called “lost wax”). Your chosen metal is then poured into the now-empty mold, perfectly replicating the design of the wax ring.

Finishing Touches

Once the metal ring is removed from the mold, it needs a great deal of refining and polishing before the stone is added and the ring is complete.

What to Look for in a Custom Ring Jeweler

A custom engagement ring is a significant investment, and choosing the right jeweler is crucial. When looking for a custom diamond ring designer, here are the most important factors to keep in mind:

Look at the Jeweler’s Gallery or Portfolio

It’s essential to choose a jeweler with an existing style that meshes with yours, even when creating something new. Examine the jeweler’s engagement ring portfolio, especially their custom rings, to ensure you like their work and style.

Check Ratings and Reviews

You may think that a specific custom ring is gorgeous, but if it wasn’t what the customer wanted, that’s essential information. You can often find ratings and reviews on websites like Yelp or by searching for terms like “[jeweler name] reviews.”

Search “Best Of” Lists

You can often find great jewelers by searching for the best jeweler in your city, the best website for custom engagement rings, the best engagement ring designer, the best ring boutique on Etsy, etc.

If you find a jewelry designer whose work you love, they may be willing to create a custom ring for you, even if that isn’t an advertised service.

Request Recommendations

It’s always a great idea to reach out to friends and family and ask for recommendations. But, again, personal experience is a great way to know that you are choosing the right jewelry designer for your needs. 

Custom Engagement Ring Cost

The cost of your engagement ring depends on the stones’ size, the metals’ cost, and the design complexity.

Custom diamond rings can range in price from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Here are a few things to consider when determining the cost of your custom engagement ring.

More Affordable Than You Think

In many cases, working directly with a jeweler to design and make a unique diamond ring is more affordable than you think.

While the cost of one-on-one, handcrafted, unique designs drives prices up, the lack of middlemen and retail markups brings costs down. So in many cases, a custom ring can cost less than you imagine.

Provide the Stone(s) Yourself

A great way to save money on any engagement ring is to provide the loose stone yourself rather than purchasing it with the ring. This allows you to update gemstones that may have been passed down in the family or choose the perfect loose stone that fits your budget.

Invest in Quality

Engagement rings see a lot of wear and tear over your lifetime. Choosing a great jeweler, designing for durability, and using quality materials can save you thousands in repair costs over time.

Your jewelry designer will discuss the budget with you during the design process and can help you determine where to save and where to spend on a custom engagement ring.

Weighing different factors will help you come up with a custom ring you can afford and love.

How to Design Your Own Diamond Ring

Related Questions

Why choose a custom-designed engagement ring?

There are three main reasons to choose a custom-designed engagement ring:

  • First, you have a particular requirement that isn’t met by retail rings. For example, if you must have a tungsten band or require an unusual centerpiece stone.
  • You want a completely unique wedding ring. Perhaps you like the idea that no one else in the world will have a wedding ring precisely like yours, or you want your ring to tell a unique story.
  • You have existing jewelry to incorporate into your wedding band. Perhaps you want to use your mother’s diamond or include a family heirloom in your wedding band.

How long does it take to create your own engagement ring?

The exact time to create a custom engagement ring depends on your design and your jeweler. In most cases, it takes several days or a couple weeks to create a custom ring from scratch, with most of the time invested in the design phase. However, if your jeweler is extremely busy, it may take them longer to complete custom orders.

How many carats should an engagement ring be?

There is no rule for how large a ring should be: it should be a ring you love at a price you can afford. The average size of an engagement ring diamond is 1.5 carats.

Still, studies show that carat weight is not the most essential factor; the shape and cut of a diamond influence how large it looks, and the cut and setting determine how the ring looks on the hand that wears it. For example, a .8-carat diamond, cut and set properly, and scaled correctly to the finger, looks as large or larger than a 1ct diamond.


A custom engagement ring is a fantastic way to ensure that the ring you wear is the one you love, reflecting your individual style and the unique story of your relationship.

In many cases, designing your engagement ring is affordable and lets you stand out. However, consider designing your own if you want the perfect diamond engagement ring. 

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James Allen

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James Allen is the most competitive diamond vendor with more than 150,000 loose diamonds in inventory. They have been a leader in selling diamonds online and pioneered 3D imaging so you can see the exact diamond you're buying in exquisite detail. You'll find it hard to beat James Allen in terms of price or selection. Read our James Allen review.

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Blue Nile is the world's largest online jeweler. Their reputation for quality and customer service is unparalleled in the industry. Blue Nile offers free shipping, a 30-day return policy and satisfaction guarantee. Read our Blue Nile review.

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