Design Your Own Engagement Ring – The Insider’s Guide

design your own engagement ring review with round diamond

I designed and built this stunning diamond engagement ring from scratch for less than $3,000.

Nothing says “I love you!” or ‘You are special to me!” more than an engagement ring you had designed yourself. In this write up, I’m going to reveal everything about creating your own engagement ring and where you can get high quality craftsmanship at affordable prices.

Contrary to what most people think, it is really easy to design your own ring.

In fact, I’m going to show you exactly how I build my own diamond ring for less than $3,000. I’ve also made a video review the craftsmanship and quality of the ring I received.

Let’s dive in with a list of topics we will cover:

2 Simple Steps to Creating Your Own Engagement Ring
How I Created My Own Ring From Scratch in 60 Minutes (With Video)
3 Proven Methods to Save Money When Designing Your Own Ring
Recommendations: Top 2 Places to Build Your Own Ring
Summary – Custom Your Own Diamond Ring for Better Quality

2 Simple Steps to Creating Your Own Engagement Ring

selecting a setting and a loose diamond help

If we break it down into parts, an engagement ring only has 2 elements to it: the setting and center stone. With a budget in mind, there are only 2 steps you need to do when building your ring.

The first step is to make your decision on the choice of setting. Think about her likes and dislikes. Is there any specific design that she prefers? (e.g. a pave, halo or solitaire design).

You may also want to consider other aspects like her lifestyle, occupation or even the size of her hands when making a selection. For example, if she is an active person or enjoys activities like gardening or trekking, simple solitaire settings would be suitable for the recipient.

On the contrary, if she works in an office or her daily activities doesn’t require heavy usage of her hands, then it would be OK to select a setting with more elaborate features and sidestones.

Once you’ve narrowed down your setting, the second step is to select a diamond to complete the ring. After accounting for the setting’s cost, you will now have a very clear budget to work with for the diamond.

Having a fixed budget for the diamond will save you time and prevent you from running around in circles with unrealistic expectations. Based on your own preferences, you can make a selection based on the 4Cs (carat, color, clarity & cut) and diamond shape.

For a more detailed read on choosing a diamond, I encourage you to check out this section of Beyond4cs.

When it comes to creating your own engagement ring, I recommend James Allen and White Flash. You can easily browse through 100s of beautiful ring settings and cherry pick a diamond from their extensive inventories.

How I Created My Own Ring From Scratch in 60 Minutes (With Video)

custom made diamond engagement ring online

Shopping for a diamond ring with a budget of three thousand dollars…

I recently designed and customized this pave diamond ring at James Allen and was pleased with the purchase. Compared to other vendors (both physical and Internet), James Allen offers a transparent shopping process that can’t be matched.

They do this by offering 360° videos of their products in HD and providing tangible data for you to make educated decisions. Using the exact steps outlined above, the choice of setting was the first thing I browsed for.

14k white gold petite pave ring design 800

Since I had a $3,000 budget, I’m left with $2,200 for the center diamond. Now, my philosophy when buying diamonds is that cut quality is KING as it determines brilliance and sparkle. I’m also a very practical person and would not pay for features that my eyes can’t see.

To balance out the 4Cs, I decided on a 0.57ct H color SI1 diamond that is eyeclean and faces up white. This combination will enable me to get the most value for money. Cut wise, this is as good as a round brilliant diamond can be cut to.

Check out the listing below and interact with the diamond upclose…

loose diamond 2000 dollars cost

And that’s all there is to it. Customizing your own ring is pretty straightforward and an enjoyable process. Here, I also want to debunk the common misconception that designing your own ring will lead to higher costs and prices.

The truth is far from that.

Get this, there are NO additional costs when you build your own ring. Regardless of buying an off the rack item or a DIY ring, the prices for a ring are always calculated based on the setting plus the center stone. It’s just a matter of seeing the costs on a granular basis when you DIY.

Unlike preset rings that are available off the rack, creating your ring from scratch gives you control over prices and quality. Compare this to walking into a store where they might only have a G color VVS1 diamond ring available in stock.

In a typical scenario, there are few options to choose from and you are often FORCED to make a selection on whatever mediocre stuff they have at the moment. Essentially, if you take the preset route, you are surrendering control to the jeweler.

So, expect to suck up price premiums and end up with something you may not want in the first place.

With that said, here’s a video I made when I received the ring. You can see for yourself the quality of the craftsmanship and performance of the diamond below…

 
 

The biggest advantages of designing your ring at James Allen is that you can visualize your completed ring and see how it looks like. If you don’t like what you see, simply change the style, metal or diamond to fit your needs.

3 Proven Methods to Save Money When Creating Your Own Ring

I’m pretty nobody wants to pay more for a service or product than they have to when they go shopping. So, how do you save money when buying an engagement ring without compromising quality and performance?

Here are 3 proven methods you can use…

Tip #1 – Shop Online For Better Quality, Selections And Prices

When it comes to creating your own ring, you need to go online in order to get better selections and prices.

You see, the diamond industry is a capital intensive and no physical store can afford to keep a sizable inventory of diamonds in store. This is because the insurance premiums, security and storage fees will rack up really quickly.

Online stores like operate with a lean business model that eliminates unnecessary overheads like store rental and sales staff. As a result, the savings are often passed onto you.

And if we compare a like-for-like diamond ring between a typical store vs the online retailers, the difference in markup are usually in the range of 30-50%. In absolute figures, this can easily translate to thousands of dollars!

Tip #2 – It’s Perfectly OK to Go Lower in Color/Clarity

best color best clarity expensive
cheaper diamond deal identical

Both diamonds look identical to the naked eyes but one costs $13,570 (left) while the other costs $8,420 (right)

For most diamond engagement ring purchases, the bulk of the costs actually comes from the center stone and prices are largely determined by the 4Cs. Due to rarity and market demand, a 1 carat D color, internally flawless diamond can cost significantly more than a 1 carat G color VS2 diamond.

Yet, in a side by side comparison, both diamonds can look exactly the same to the naked eyes. The thing is, you don’t need a high color or clarity stone in order for it to look amazing (cut is the factor that matters).

My personal recommendation is to look for eyeclean VS2/SI1 and G/H color so that the diamond faces up white. And simply by being practical and shopping smart, it can make a huge difference in costs.

Tip #3 – Choose 14k Gold Instead of 18K or Platinum 

When it comes to the choice of metals for settings, 14k gold is the most affordable material while platinum is the most expensive. For a typical design, the price differences can be up to 2 times more.

So, unless there’s a specific reason for you to use platinum (i.e. hypoallergenic to nickel or if you like the denser weight), I recommend using 14k gold for practical reasons.

If you approach engagement ring shopping with a practical and rational mindset, there are actually a number of features that you don’t have to spend money unnecessarily on.

Recommendations: Top 2 Places to Build Your Own Ring

The best places to build your own ring are James Allen and White Flash. Notice that both are online retailers instead of your traditional brick and mortar stores? Well, that’s because you get TRANSPARENCY and risk-free shopping at these places.

Besides better prices, selections and craftsmanship, you also get to shop in peace and away from annoying salespeople. More importantly, you get the depth of inventory and designs to find something that fits you perfectly.

#1: James Allen – 360° Diamond Display Technology at Its Best

solitaire diamond engagment ring 3d visualization
halo engagement ring in real life video

James Allen makes it really easy for consumers to see and visualize how the final jewelry looks like in real life with their video listings.

Even if you are completely clueless about choosing a ring design, you can simply browse through their “Previously Purchased” section and review actual rings other customers have bought.

#2: White Flash – Super Ideal Cut Diamonds And Designer Settings

pave swirl ring setting design platinum
4 prong white gold vatche ring review

A wide range of breathtaking engagement ring designs for you to choose from.

White Flash has a plethora of beautiful designs that you can readily select to make an unique engagement ring. They also have one of the best in-house workshop that can bring any design you can dream of into reality.

Summary – Custom Your Own Diamond Ring For Better Quality

In today’s market, the process of designing your own engagement ring is very easy and streamlined. Compared to shopping for a preset diamond ring, it doesn’t require a lot more time or effort to create your own ring.

Unlike buying one off the shelf, you get full control of your engagement ring’s appearance. You also get to dictate the final price by picking your setting/diamond based on your budget.

I hope you found this article useful and helped you out. If you have any questions or need help with a selection, feel free to get in touch via the comments or email.

If you haven’t yet, I recommend checking out both James Allen and White Flash. Both vendors are highly reliable and enable you to custom design your own ring with ease.

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4 Comments

  1. jared-
    February 2, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Superb article that addresses a number of questions I had. Very eye opening for sure. I wonder what the downsides are when building your own ring especially if one can’t see the completed ring before purchase.

  2. Paul Gian-
    February 4, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    The problems with preset or ready-made rings off the shelf have far more cons than buying one designed to your specifications. In terms of prices, building your own ring doesn’t cost you more as prices are always based on the cost of the setting plus the cost of the center stone.

    That said, there are some downsides to making your own engagement rings. Unlike off the mill rings where you have to trust your jeweler to do the right thing (instead of taking advantage of your naivety), you have to know a little more about jewelry if you DIY.

    This means basic stuff like cut quality, color, clarity are things you need to spend time to read up on. Some people may view this as a deal breaker but for guys like me, it isn’t too much of a problem.

    That’s because if you are shelling out a few thousand dollars for a purchase, you will be better off knowing your stuff anyway. Even if you are a preset kind of person or just lazy by nature, blindly believing what the jeweler says will probably get you ripped off and deserving so.

    The other disadvantage of creating your own ring is that it may take a week or two longer as they need time to be made. Unlike cash and carry with store purchases, building your own ring is not meant for people who need the engagement ring super urgently and immediately.

    Here, I want to point out that people who don’t plan ahead often fail to make the best decisions. And that goes for people who shop for rings with a tight time frame. It leaves you little options to choose from and this usually leads to bad purchases.

  3. Oscar E.-
    October 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    What happens if I get the diamond ring size wrong?

  4. Paul Gian-
    October 7, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    You can send it back to the vendor for a free resize. Most reliable retailers do this for free and this applies to both offline and online. My advice is to get it right the first time round.

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