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Are custom engagement rings really more expensive than off the shelf?


The phrases ‘bespoke’ or ‘custom made’ can seem 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.

So how about engagement rings? Are custom 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 don't need to be a design genius to create a truly exquisite engagement ring.

Here’s why custom made engagements can actually be cheaper than off the shelf

To be clear, this largely depends on where you’re commissioning your engagement ring - so it’s important to select jewellers with a transparent bespoke process, where there are no hidden costs or middlemen to hike up the prices. So why are independent jewellers like Hearts of London 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 expertised efforts of in-house gemmologists, designers and goldsmiths.

 Large blue sapphire bespoke engagement ring hand crafted in Hatton Garden

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! 

You're likely to shop around and compare prices, but whilst doing so should remember the importance of online reviews and testimonials of past clients. If one jewellers is a little more expensive than another, take into account the level of their service, and most importantly, 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. 

And how expensive are bespoke engagement rings? That, of course, depends on the complexity of the custom made ring you commission 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 ready made ring of the exact same size, style and quality - and it could even cost less.

Custom engagement ring being crafted in Hearts of London's Hatton Garden jewellers workshop

Make sure your custom engagement ring is made from scratch for the best value

Some ‘bespoke’ jewellers use ready made, mass produced parts. Find a jewellers with artisanal integrity, where each part of the ring will have been crafted with your unique design in mind. 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 Hearts of London, you’ll be able to see our goldsmiths at work thanks to our workshop being located right alongside our consultation rooms.

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 ring, 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 certified diamonds, graded by the world’s strictest standards - meaning you won’t overpay for a diamond that doesn’t live up to the grades outlined on its certificate.

Loose GIA diamonds ready to be set in a bespoke engagement ring

Find a design you love, 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 cost of custom engagement rings from independent jewellers

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 jewellery quarters such as Hatton Garden that enables independent jewellers to keep their financial outgoings minimal, which in turn means a less expensive bill is handed over to the customer. Located within Hatton Garden, Hearts of London 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 savings we make on diamonds to our clients.

Big oval diamond engagement ring with custom double band by Hatton Garden jewellers, Hearts of London

The sentimental value of custom engagement rings

Not only will you save money on a custom ring made completely from scratch, but you’ll know the sheer amount of expertise and skill that will have gone into it - a invaluable sentiment in itself. Whether you’re planning a surprise proposal or will 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.

Feeling Inspired to Create your Own Custom Engagement Ring?

The process couldn't be simpler - simply get in touch with our experts and give them an idea of what you're after. Once we've got an outline of your rough budget and the shape of diamonds or gemstones you're interested in viewing, our gemmologists will set to sourcing the best stones for your budget - in terms of both beauty and value. During a private consultation, we'll discuss your design - and in collaboration with our in-house design team we'll explore ideas to help you reach the best decision for your bespoke engagement ring.

Ready to get started? Book a consultation here - we'll be in touch shortly!

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