The process of commissioning a bespoke engagement ring in the UK

Posted by Paul Milligan on

Bespoke engagement ring by Alexander David Bespoke London Engagement and Wedding Ring Designer

The process of commissioning a bespoke engagement ring in the UK

Gifting your loved one a jewel or ring is one of the most romantic ways you can express how special they are to you. This is even truer when done in conjunction with a special event like an engagement. If you’ve already decided on sealing the deal with the special person in your life but are still looking for the correct way to make it as special as they are, a specially crafted bespoke engagement ring could be just the right for you.

A bespoke engagement ring allows you to put a little bit of your heart and soul into this special occasion. You get to decide every small detail that goes into it and the outcome is your very own masterpiece to present to the person of your life.

If you’re considering a bespoke engagement ring for your partner, getting it right might look like a difficult job (particularly if you’ve never done this kind of thing before). Perhaps, you’d like to design a ring to make something that’s uniquely yours but you are not certain where to start?

In any case, this article contains a full step-by-step guide on the process of commissioning a bespoke engagement ring in the UK for this very special occasion. Ensure you check it out if you want to make sure that the bespoke engagement ring you commission turns out just the way you want it.

Regardless of the reason, Alexander Davis Jewellery is honoured to work with every client to commission a special engagement ring that’ll last forever. So, if you’re ready to start the procedure, follow the commissioning steps below:

Process of commissioning a bespoke engagement ring in the UK


Step One 

Starting the bespoke process – The procedure of having a bespoke engagement ring made starts with a chat by email or phone. We’ll discuss your inspiration and ideas and can provide suggestions based on this.

You might already have a clear idea in your mind or might want proper guidance on the gemstones, metal and design of the ring. For inspiration browse our wide collection, inspiration galleries, and journal to see some of the design possibilities.

If you see a bespoke engagement ring you love we can use this as a starting point for your design. We’re always happy to chat so please do get in touch with us if you’d like to talk through the options.

Step Two 

The cost – There are no extra charges for our bespoke engagement ring service. Every piece of jewellery is individually made by hand in our workshop using both traditional and modern processes and with equal precision and care. Please let us know if you have a budget in mind and we’ll design a bespoke engagement ring to suit your exact requirements.

If you do not have a clear budget in mind, we’ll guide you through a whole array of possibilities and advise you on the gemstone and diamond options and the costs involved.

Step Three 

Refining your design – The next step is to refine the ring design into a series of designs for you to pick from. To do this we’ll normally sketch on paper, do design renders using Computer Aided Design (CAD), and might also make a model in metal or wax. You’ll be closely involved throughout the procedure and the design might evolve through several iterations before the final look is reached.

If you’re based outside of our reach, we’ll email images and sketches to guide you throughout the design process. We work with our clients around the UK and throughout the world in this way. Once the ring design has been finalised we’ll take on a non-refundable deposit before making a start.

Step Four 

Sourcing gemstones – We can source a range of coloured gemstones and diamonds to suit your requirements and to meet your budget. Our gemstones are sourced from trusted suppliers and we only use high-quality diamonds that are conflict-free.

Each year we travel the globe in search of premium gemstones to add to our collection, seeking out luxury jewels with unusual cuts, and with exceptionally beautiful and vivid colours. You’re welcome to browse and pick from the huge range of coloured gemstones in our collection. If you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, we’ll source an array of gemstones for you to pick from.

Step Five 

How we made bespoke engagement ring – Depending on the exact design, making your bespoke engagement ring might involve processes such as hand-carving in wax, 3D printing, casting, forging and hammer-texturing, gem setting, and engraving. Every piece is designed, handmade, and set in-house from start to finish and we complete all work in our state-of-the-art workshops in London for precision and perfection.

At we have years of experience in manufacturing bespoke engagement rings so you can be confident that your piece will last for generations.

Step Six

Seeing your beautiful ideas come into reality – Seeing a bespoke design come to life is very exciting – the bespoke engagement ring-making process never loses its magic, even for us after all this time!

If you’d like to see your bespoke engagement ring in progress, you’re welcome to visit us. Please do get in touch with us if you want to do this.

Step Seven 

Completion and delivery – Every bespoke ring project presents a unique design challenge, and these precious objects take time to create.

It’s vital to bear in mind that the commissioning procedure in the UK is often not a quick one, as there are a lot of different elements to the process. We generally have lead times of about eight weeks for a bespoke commission, from when the final design is agreed, though this timescale might vary. If you have a specific deadline, please discuss this when commissioning a bespoke engagement ring, as it’s sometimes possible to fast-track the procedure.

During the process, we’ll give you progress updates on the creation of your bespoke engagement ring and we’ll contact you to arrange an appointment to collect it (alternatively we can ship it to you). All of our bespoke engagement rings are presented in beautiful presentation boxes ready for that special moment when you propose.

 Bespoke engagement ring in a box by alexander Davis Bespoke London Jeweller

Questions to ask when commissioning a bespoke engagement ring in the UK

Have you ever fancied working with a bespoke jeweller to create a unique bespoke engagement ring for your partner? Perhaps you are after something for yourself to mark a big life event? Or maybe you just fancy a specially designed piece that you know you will treasure forever?

In all of these situations, a bespoke jewel might be just what you are after. After all, bespoke just means something that is specially designed for you, so the type of piece could be anything from an engagement ring, wedding rings, or even a cocktail party ring. We also make all sorts of other pieces of bridal jewellery from earrings and necklaces to tiaras and cufflinks.

It is such a fun process to have something custom-made, rather than being bought off-the-shelf. People are often quite daunted by the idea of working with a pro jeweller on something bespoke. What if it ends up being too expensive? What if I do not like it? What if the recipient does not like it?

So, if you like the concept of owning a unique engagement ring, but are not sure where to start then read these five questions to ask when commissioning a bespoke engagement ring in the UK…

What is my ring style or aesthetic?

Some people will have an extremely clear idea of what bespoke engagement ring they would like, whilst many others might be less sure. Either way, it pays to do some essential research on the aesthetic that resonates with you and the style of jewellers who’re producing the kind of work that you love.

We would advise staying away from something very trend-led and instead select a more classic design that’ll stand the test of time. You don't want to invest in a bespoke ring that’s not going to be timeless.

What level of input am I expecting to have into the final piece?

Wearability is key, and this is worth spending a bit of time thinking about as it can determine the choice of metals use and finish of the jewellery piece. Is this going to be a piece of jewellery that is worn every day? Or will it be a super special showstopper that only comes out on special occasions? Do you do a job a hobby that involves a lot of wear and tear on your hands?

All these things are crucial to consider as some metals are softer than others and some stone settings more vulnerable to being damaged or knocked. Your jewellery designer should be able to advise you on what will work best.

Also, how will this bespoke engagement ring sit with a wedding ring?  Should they be designed as a pair?  Can the design inspiration carry across from the engagement ring to the wedding ring?  Can my wedding ring be inspired by the design of my partner’s wedding ring?

What is my budget for a bespoke piece?

It is always a great idea to be ultra-clear with your jeweller from the outset about how much you have available to spend, If your budget is small, it might be that you can achieve your dream piece in alternative materials, substituting one metal for another or selecting different gemstones to fit your budget or needs.

Both 18ct gold and platinum are costly so if your budget does not stretch to that you might consider 9ct gold as an alternative. Once your designer has enough information about what you want, they’ll produce designs and projected costs. You’ll expect to pay a specific deposit amount once you decide to go ahead, typically 50% of the total cost, with the remainder due upon completion of the work.

How long will it take to make the final piece?

Designing and creating a bespoke engagement ring from scratch takes time… lots of it. There might be a few iterations of a design that go back and forth between you and your jeweller before they can start work on the final piece.

The making of the piece itself will also take some time from sourcing the diamonds, gemstones and other components, to the handcrafting of the jewel, hallmarking, polishing, and finishing. Let your jeweller know if you have a specific deadline in mind like an engagement ceremony or party or wedding and do not forget that many good jewellers will have a waiting list of weeks or even in some cases months before they can take on your commission, so please do the factor that in. Essentially the more info you can give them from the start then the more efficiently they can realise your vision.

I do hope you found this blog useful. Whether you are buying for yourself or someone else, these principles still apply and as a leading fine jewellery designer, Alexander Davis recommends you to consider these points before you approach any jeweller as you will save yourself lots of time, hassle, and quite possibly money!

The process of commissioning a bespoke ring is an unforgettable experience. Unlike at other jewellery retailers, every bespoke client is invited to visit to book a one-on-one appointment with our designer team. An opportunity to share passions, love, and inspiration with our designers; they have years of experience in generating and crystallizing ideas and will guide you through every step of the process.

If you would like to discuss a bespoke piece with us, then please contact us. We would be happy to work with you to assist you to create your dream piece of jewellery.


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