Proposals & Weddings • Jewellery Guides

Are Custom Engagement Rings More Expensive Than 'Off The Shelf'?

Written by Monique Daniels Daw
May 10th, 2022 • 4 min read

Are bespoke engagement rings really as expensive as they sound? Short answer - no. Not only is the process of having a bespoke ring cheaper than you might have anticipated, it's also not as intimidating as it might sound - and you needn’t be a design pro to create a truly exquisite engagement ring.

Creating a custom made ring may sound a little daunting. Whether it’s a tailor-made suit or you’re commissioning a piece of art - having something created just for you conjures a fear of expenses you might not incur when buying something ready made. But that isn’t quite the case with engagement rings. Here, we explain why a bespoke ring typically costs the same, if not less than, off the shelf rings.

Why custom made engagement rings can actually be cheaper

To be clear, this largely depends on where you’re commissioning your engagement ring - so it’s important to select jewellers with a transparent ring crafting process, where there are no hidden costs or middlemen to hike up the prices. So why are independent jewellers like Queensmith able to create bespoke engagement rings that are cheaper than ready made rings from big name brands? Essentially, because every step of the engagement ring creation happens in-house, thanks to the expert efforts of in-house gemmologists, designers, goldsmiths and diamond setters.

So how much should you spend on an engagement ring?

Age old myths, conjured as marketing ploys by the world’s biggest diamond retailers, have suggested one, two or even three months’ salary should be dedicated to your engagement ring. Forget these rules, and instead consider what you’re comfortable spending - remember, there will be a wedding to pay for eventually too. Our experts have gone into greater depth including the average spend on engagement rings and simple steps for budgeting in our journal post, ‘How much should I spend on an engagement ring?’ - Check it out for more info!

You're likely to shop around and compare prices, but whilst doing so should remember the importance of online reviews of past clients. If one jeweller is a little more expensive than another, take into account the level of their service, their aftercare and most importantly, the quality of the diamonds available and the quality of the rings they produce. This price difference may be worth accommodating for in the long run, to ensure your ring is crafted to last a lifetime by highly skilled designers and goldsmiths.

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

How expensive are bespoke engagement rings?

The price of bespoke engagement rings starts around £700 for the ring setting, plus the cost of the centre diamond or gemstone.This price does, of course, depend on the complexity of your design, and how much detailing or extra diamonds it will require. Generally, you can expect the following ballpark figure for the setting (without the cost of the centre stone):

  • Bespoke solitaire engagement ring £700

  • Bespoke diamond band engagement ring £1,200 to £1,400

  • Bespoke trilogy ring £900

  • Bespoke halo ring £1,500 to £1750

At Queensmith, this is no extra charge for us to design something totally original versus our signature collection - we don’t believe you should have to pay extra to have something exactly as you want it. The final cost of a bespoke ring depends on the complexity of your design as well as the size and specification of the diamond or gemstone you select. Essentially, like for like, a bespoke engagement ring will cost no more than a pre-designed ring of the exact same size, style and quality - and it could even cost less.. Learn why below.

Custom engagement rings from independent jewellers cost less

Independent jewellers are able to avoid the large overhead costs that big name brands and chain stores incur, such as marketing costs and expensive retail space. There is undoubtedly a humble quality to makers in jewellery quarters, like Hatton Garden jewellers, that enables independent jewellers to keep their financial outgoings minimal, while crafting super high quality. Located within Hatton Garden, Queensmith is able to benefit from the long history of the jewellery expertise that is so innate with London’s jewellery quarter, as well as work alongside the best diamond and gemstone suppliers right on our doorstep, building relationships that often enable us to pass on the savings we make to our clients.

Create your custom engagement ring from scratch for the best value

Some ‘bespoke’ jewellers use ready made, mass produced parts. Find a jewellers with artisanal integrity and an in-house workshop, where each part of the ring will have been crafted with your unique design in mind, just for you. When jewellers need to outsource their labour or ring parts, costs can stack up - which tend to be passed on to the client. Ask to see the jewellers’ workshop and pick their brains about the crafting process! At Queensmith, you’ll be able to see our goldsmiths at work as our workshop is located inside the store. Book an appointment to discuss your bespoke ring and see our goldsmiths at work.

Custom engagement rings can be tailored to your budget

If you set out to create a bespoke engagement ring, you can ensure you’ll spend exactly as much as you’re willing to - and not a thing more. The beauty of customised rings, created from scratch, means each part is tailored to you - including the price. Rely on the expertise of qualified gemmologists to find the highest quality, best looking diamond or gemstone for your personal budget, rather than front the cost of a diamond that’s already been set in a ring, without the discerning selection by either you or a gemmologist. Jewellers can hike up the price of a ready made diamond ring by exaggerating the quality of the stone - but only by viewing, comparing and learning about loose diamonds and their characteristics can you really know where your money is going. At this point, it’s important to mention that you should only consider GIA graded diamonds for natural diamonds, or either GIA or IGI for lab diamonds, graded by the world’s strictest standards so you won’t overpay for a diamond that doesn’t live up to the grades outlined on its certificate.

Find a ring design you love (we recommend a browse of our Ring Inspiration Gallery), and the gemmologist will work out how much budget you can then afford to spend on the diamond or gemstone, using their rich industry knowledge to come up with the best options for your unique budget.

The sentimental value of custom engagement rings

Not only will you save money on a custom ring made completely from scratch, but you’ll feel assured by the amount of expertise and skill that will have gone into creating it - a invaluable sentiment in itself. Whether you’re planning a surprise proposal or plan to create your custom engagement ring along with your partner, there is no sweeter concept than knowing something has been crafted for you, and you only. Creating a bespoke engagement ring is a deeply immersive and massively satisfying process that will bring you that extra bit closer to the ring you’ll look at everyday, for the rest of your lives. It’s personal, it’s thoughtful and it really means something.

Plus, it turns out it’s much less intimidating and less expensive than you might have once thought.


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?

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