Jewellery Guides

6 Steps to a Custom Engagement Ring

Written by Sarah-Jane Santos
January 8th, 2021 • 3 min read

Off the shelf ring? No thanks. Here, we discuss 6 simple choices to build your custom ring, your way.

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 this is?

If diamonds aren't your thing, think about a sapphire. Whilst blue is the obvious choice for a regal-like engagement ring, sapphires can actually 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 actually a red variant of sapphires, and emeralds make beautiful, striking centre stones for a distinct, personal engagement ring.

Sapphires add a charming pop of colour to engagement rings

2. Find your 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 straight around 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.

Unique, large 2ct lab diamond oval solitaire ring with claws that look like three bird talons, set in rose gold

Bespoke triple claw solitaire ring

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.

A halo will enhance the size of your ring, and add intricate design detailing

Diamond band rings feature a series of diamonds along the band, which can be a beautiful opportunity to add refined sparkle. 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'.

3. Choose your diamond shape

Your diamond shape will be the ring's most defining feature - this will have a huge impact on the style and characteristic 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.

Step cut - emerald diamond trilogy ring

Brilliant cut - round diamond halo ring

‘Brilliant’ diamonds are cut to maximise sparkle, using plenty of symmetrical facets to encourage total internal reflection of light. Step cut diamonds 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.

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 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 rose gold engagement rings? Choose platinum claws to secure the diamond, set with a rose 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 diamond band

Pavé set diamond band

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.

Custom diamond set bridge and sapphire set inside the band

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.

Want to learn more about creating a bespoke ring?

View our Bespoke Engagement Rings page to see how simple creating a custom ring can be, or soak in some sublime designs with our Ring Inspiration Gallery.


Co-create your dream, crafted in-house & just for you.

A ring consultation at Queensmith with a professional design expert and gemmologist, working with a happy couple to make their engagement ring

Need help choosing the perfect ring?

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

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