When it comes to engagement rings Bond Street's finest are just that, but for many of us they blow the two-month salary guideline out of the water. Or perhaps the idea of someone owning the same ring as you just isn’t personal enough. To find out how to design your own bespoke ring, from realistic budgets to remodelling inherited jewellery, we asked the experts at W&W bespoke jewellers what to consider when commissioning your perfect ring...
Is it expensive to design your own engagement ring?
When you think bespoke, you automatically think high value – and whilst this is true in some respects, commissioning a bespoke engagement ring doesn’t necessarily mean it will be more expensive. Choosing bespoke is about more than a price tag, it is driven by a desire for distinctiveness and your idea of what’s perfect. The actual price will vary based on materials and method, but most customers find designing their own rings invaluable.
Is there a starting price for commissions?
Part of the beauty of choosing bespoke is that you can set the budget to some extent; our portfolio comprises engagement rings that range from £2,000 to £25,000.
And how long does it usually take?
Around eight weeks from design to completion, depending on the intricacy of the design and how soon it’s required.
What’s the process?
You’ll start with a consultation so we can understand the story behind the commission before we head to the drawing board to bring these ideas to life. Once the design is approved, we use highly skilled British goldsmiths who have years of jewellery expertise to create each piece. Clients are in control, sharing their ideas, overseeing the design process and hand picking each gemstone.
What should you consider when designing an engagement ring?
The most important thing to remember is that you’ll wear the ring every day for the rest of your life, so the design has to be something you’ll still love in 50 years’ time. When going bespoke you can ignore convention and trends, instead, capturing your own style. Often couples share the experience together, to create a ring inspired by their relationship – reflecting their favourite pastime or with a hidden message.
Always remember: colour and quality are important. Whether a sapphire or a diamond, the colour should be meaningful and, above all else, of the best quality for you requirements. There are endless possibilities but with expertise and guidance, sourcing the right stone is simple.
That said, we recommend avoiding fragile or softer gemstones as they will wear too easily over time. As a rule, engagement rings are made from superior precious metals, such as platinum, 18ct gold or a combination of the two. Both have benefits but platinum takes the crown as far as we’re concerned, due to its high polish.
Be bold and brave when designing the ring. Think about what inspires you, what your personal style is, whether you favour traditional or avant-garde jewellery. Fashion periods you love can also be a useful indication of what you might want – set out your vision and ideas and trust the experts to turn them into a beautiful piece of jewellery.
What styles are popular right now?
Modern interpretations of vintage and classic engagement rings are increasingly popular – vintage cut stones such as cushion or asscher cut are having a serious revival. But the best thing about bespoke is that you’re unrestricted by trends or fashion, so the design possibilities are endless.
What styles really stand the test of time?
New interpretations of classic designs aren’t likely to date, but as a general rule, going bespoke gives you the freedom to create something truly unique, so design something that tells your story.
Can you remodel inherited jewellery or loose gemstones?
Absolutely! Breathing new life into a treasured heirloom gives extra sentimentality and history to a ring, adding yet more individuality. And this isn’t just confined to engagement rings; inherited jewels can be transformed into a bespoke bridal suite or celebration rings.
Is it possible to design a ring that could be added to further down the line?
Yes – whether it's eternity rings, stacking rings or jacket-style rings, there are any number of opportunities to embellish the original piece, and each addition can be tailored to perfectly complement the engagement ring in fit as well as style.
Finally, any tips for getting a bigger end product with a small budget?
Adding shape and proportions to the design is a clever way of creating a standout piece without necessarily incorporating a large diamond or gemstone. Always keep your budget in mind and ensure whoever you’re working with is aware of this, they’ll know how to design what you want within your limit.
For more information on W&W Jewellery visit W&WJewellery.com or contact a member of the team on 020 7924 2386.