Jewellery Guides

6 Steps to Designing Your Own Engagement Ring

Written by Sarah-Jane Santos
January 8th, 2021 • 5 min read

A custom engagement ring can be one of the most important purchases in your life. When you find that special someone, there is something almost ethereal about finding the perfect engagement ring to propose to them with. However, if you have a particular vision or symbol in mind, it can be hard to reach perfection. This is where designing your own engagement ring can help you to fashion the perfect symbol of your relationship.

If you’re interested in creating a custom ring, read through our 6-step guide created by diamond ring experts, to help you better understand the process.

1. Choose your centre diamond

Diamonds are the classic choice for engagement rings. Diamond engagement rings are traditional - for some, the stone choice is obvious, but there may be more options than you might first consider. Natural diamonds that have formed over tens of thousands of years are a romantic choice, however, lab grown diamonds are growing in popularity in the UK due to their lower price point and identical, lustrous aesthetics.

Choose between a lab grown or natural diamond - could you tell which of these rings were lab created?

If diamonds aren't your thing, think about a sapphire. Whilst blue is the obvious choice for a regal-like engagement ring, sapphires can be found in a rainbow of colours, meaning the perfect colour for your loved one does exist - our gemmologists will search high and low to source that perfect hue. Rubies, which are a red variant of sapphires, and emeralds make beautiful, striking centre stones for a distinct, personal engagement ring.

2. Choose a ring style

Solitaire engagement rings are more diverse than you may anticipate. From claw-set to rubover, the style of setting you choose can say a lot about your style. Claw settings feature usually 4 or 6 prongs, evenly spaced, to hold the centre stone in place. The look is traditional and timeless, but can be modernised with such features as a 'compass setting', in which the claws are set in a North-East-South-West fashion. Rubover, or ‘bezel’ settings are a more contemporary choice, where the metal is crafted right around the edge of the centre stone, for a sleek finish.

You can further customise your solitaire ring with unusual claws, like a triple claw, or a twisted band.

Diamond band rings feature a series of diamonds along the band, which can be a beautiful opportunity to add refined sparkle. This is one of the most popular choices for engagement rings in recent years. The look is super sparkly yet refined in style.

Trilogy rings contain three diamonds - typically one larger diamond at the centre, with two smaller diamonds either side. The centre stone of a trilogy ring is said to represent the 'present' of your relationship, while the side stones represent the 'past' and 'future'.

Halo engagement rings offer a great opportunity to increase the size of your engagement ring: a smaller centre diamond and halo of melee diamonds will be far more cost-effective than a single diamond of the same carat weight. Those looking to achieve the look of vintage engagement rings should consider a halo: choose a pavé halo for an Art Deco style engagement ring, or intricate patterns and flower halos for designs reminiscent of Victorian engagement rings. Simple halos, like our Classic Oberon, are modern and timeless.

3. Choose a diamond shape for your engagement ring

Your diamond shape will be the ring's most defining feature - this will have a huge impact on the style and characteristics of your engagement ring. This is a great place to get personal - which shape best reflects you or your loved one? Love sparkle and tradition? Then a brilliant-cut diamond engagement ring will work perfectly. Perhaps you’re less concerned with sparkles and prefer enduring, clean designs. A step cut may be the perfect choice.

Round Brilliant Cut

Emerald Step Cut

‘Brilliant’ diamonds, like round, cushion, pear or oval, are cut to maximise sparkle, using plenty of symmetrical facets to encourage total internal reflection of light. Step cut diamonds, like emerald and Asscher cuts, are much more of a stylised look; a large table and small number of parallel facets means the clarity is important, and the stone is a little less sparkly than a brilliant cut. From oval to heart shaped, cushion to square princess cut engagement rings, there’s a style for everyone. Contemporary cutting has seen a rise in more unusual shapes too, including triangular and hexagonal diamonds, for a non-traditional engagement ring.

Discover styles you love, with our gallery of custom rings.

Browse our inspiration gallery, featuring unique, one-off rings and some of our most popular designs. Get inspired, with ring styles you'll love.

4. Choose your engagement ring metal colour

There are essentially three contrasting tones to choose from: the silver hue of platinum or white gold, the warm pinkish tone of rose gold and the sunshiny, radiant yellow gold. The tone you select should be complementary to the centre stone you choose; pink sapphires look beautiful with rose gold, yellow gold can be a great way to contrast a blue sapphire, and diamonds look their best surrounded by colourless platinum. Learn more about ring metals.


18K Yellow Gold

18K Rose Gold

18k White Gold

At Queensmith, we craft rings in platinum and 18K white, yellow, or rose gold. 18K gold contains the perfect blend of alloys to make a durable metal, as well as looking at its optimal hue.

A diamond often looks best set in platinum, due to the lack of interfering colours entering the otherwise colourless stone - but what if you’ve always had a thing for yellow gold engagement rings? Choose platinum claws to secure the diamond, set with a yellow gold band. Sorted!

5. Optional diamond embellishment

Choosing to add diamonds to the band of your engagement ring means injecting a little extra sparkle - always a good idea. It is, however, important to consider the style of this diamond setting.

Scallop set

Pavé set

A scallop setting is designed to allow for maximum light to reach each melee diamond. Pavé settings are nostalgic, and when paired with milgrain detailing give the look of antique engagement rings. Channel and bezel settings can look minimal and modern. This can also be a great way to add colour to your ring - consider using gemstones, or alternate your favourite colour gem with colourless diamonds for an alternative engagement ring look. Learn more about ring styles.

6. Adding personal & unique details

The whole process of creating a ring with Queensmith is personal, whether you build your dream ring online or visit us in-store to discuss a truly bespoke design. With the professional guidance of our experts, you’ll make each and every design choice - so even the smallest touch is personal. Get in touch to book your consultation.

If the gift of a bespoke engagement ring wasn’t personal enough, there are a number of ways to add sweet detailing that for the recipient to notice and cherish. Engraving provides the opportunity to inscribe a short love note, memorable date or your initials - whatever feels right for you. Alternatively, adding subtle diamond detailing says a great deal without so many words: a diamond set bezel or bridge can be a refined and romantic touch. You can add this touch to most of our designs, including rings available online like the Bardot, Bardot Scallop and Portman Scallop.


What you need to know before designing your custom engagement ring

How to find out your partner’s ring size?

There are multiple ways to find out your partner's ring size; you can look at the rings they already own and wear on their engagement ring finger, ask family or friends who have bought them jewellery before, or you could even ask one of your engaged or married mutual friends to get them to try their ring on. However, it’s vital that you cook up that plan in secret so they aren’t suspicious. Alternatively, if you have a picture of their hands and know their height and clothes size, our in-house ring experts can take an educated estimate of their ring size. If you do get it wrong, there’s nothing to worry about as we provide free resizing on our rings.

What metal do they prefer?

This one involves knowing your partner's tastes in jewellery, but if they rarely wear it, asking friends or family usually does the trick. Luckily, this can usually be asked and raise little suspicion if it isn't paired with other proposal-related questions.

If they don't often wear jewellery, platinum is probably the safest bet. If your partner prefers yellow gold or rose gold, you'll probably know this already but the jewellery they wear.

Where will you have the ring delivered to?

If you live with your partner, it might seem worrisome to get your ring delivered in fear that they’ll know what it is and you’ll lose the element of surprise. However, our discreet delivery means the package will have no mention of Queensmith or engagement rings on the outside. We'll also prearrange the time and date of delivery to make sure you're in to receive it.

Alternatively, you could order the ring to:

  • Your family home

  • Your partner’s family home (if they know you’re planning to propose)

  • Your workplace

  • A trusted friend's home

But please confirm with our team that you're happy to do so. It must be you who receives the package. If none of these are an option, we are more than happy for you to collect from our Hatton Garden showroom.

How long does it take for a custom engagement ring to be made?

The manufacturing process takes around 4-5 weeks, so give yourself 6-7 weeks for the whole process so that you have time to decide on your design and place the order.

For a shorter time frame view our Quickship collection.

Can you create a custom ring with a family heirloom?

Yes, if you have an existing gemstone that’s been passed down through generations we can usually incorporate it into your engagement ring. If you speak with our gemologists they’ll assess the stone to see if it’s suitable for resetting in a new band - please note we are not always able to use heirloom diamonds or gemstones, and they must be assessed for their suitability to reset. We cannot reused heirloom gold, platinum or other metals, as they need to be refined and we cannot guarantee their purity.

How will my custom engagement ring be shipped?

We offer free UK delivery with Royal Mail’s special delivery service or with Addison Lee’s courier service, which is only available in London. With all our deliveries being tracked and insured. Check out our about us page for more information on our delivery services.

Do you have discreet packaging?

Yes, we offer discreet packaging that doesn’t mention Queensmith, jewellery or anything else that might arouse suspicion from your household. We also provide a complementary ring box for when you pop the question.

Customer Support

Do you have additional questions? No problem, let us help you through the process

Design your own engagement ring with Queensmith

Let our expert team of professional gemmologists, goldsmiths and designers guide you through the process of creating a truly personal piece of jewellery. With expert in-house designers, workshops and goldsmiths, we help create your dream custom engagement ring, giving you the ability to design, tweak and personalise.

Book a consultation or explore our ring gallery to get inspired.

Need help choosing the perfect ring?

Get in touch with our experts - we’re on hand to help.

Sign up for our newsletter

Keep up to date with our latest offers, competitions and news, and be a part of the Queensmith community!

Subscription successful. Thank you.

All Next