If you’ve been shopping for an engagement ring, you’ve probably come across hundreds of different styles and designs – and the fact that you’re still shopping probably means that you haven’t found that perfect ring. You can keep on shopping, or you can visit your neighborhood jeweler and explore the option of a custom made engagement ring.

Having a ring custom made ensures you – and most importantly, she – will get the ring of her dreams. It will be an engagement ring like no one else’s, a unique and lasting statement of your love.

Having an engagement ring custom made can be an incredibly rewarding experience. And to make it even easier, we’ve put together a checklist of some things you should consider for your meeting with your jeweler.

Ask the Jeweler How Long It Will Take.

If you’re planning to propose on a special day, you’ll need to know when you can get the ring from the jeweler. Assume it will take at least two weeks to make a ring with a straightforward design. A complex design, or one that requires the jeweler to match stones, can take five to six weeks or longer.

Three-stone diamond ring

This three-stone ring is an example of a straightforward design with a quicker turnover. Photo: DeBeers.

Split shank ring set with square-shaped center diamond and smaller diamonds along the shank. Photo: DeBeers.

Split shank ring set with square-shaped center diamond and smaller diamonds along the shank. Photo: DeBeers.

Find Out What Diamond Shape She Prefers.

Expect your jeweler to ask about diamond shape, as the shape of the diamond will help determine the overall ring design. There are numerous choices: round, square, oval, pear, marquise, heart, and more.

If you’re not sure which shape to pick, notice the shape of the gemstones in her favorite jewelry to get an insight into what she likes. The round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular shape and cutting style for engagement rings. However, the square brilliant cut, often referred to by the trade name princess cut, is popular as well. In addition, you can combine multiple shapes into the design of the ring and add a halo setting.

Ring with halo setting.

Mixing and matching shapes makes for endless design opportunities. The smaller round stones in this ring are formed into a halo. Photo: Coast Diamond.

Pick a Ring Style.

You have endless options when selecting an engagement ring style: classic, edgy, vintage, modern, and more.

Two-tone, bezel-set rings

Modern: This minimalist two-tone, bezel-set ring is a twist on the classic solitaire. Photo: Whitney Boin Studio.

Ornate hand-engraved, three-stone ring.

Vintage: An ornate hand-engraved, three-stone ring featuring a diamond center stone with amethyst side stones, and bead-set diamond melee in an 18K yellow gold and platinum ring. The style echoes the Art Deco era.
Photo: Joseph Schubach.

Black diamond ring with textured finish.

Edgy: Asymmetry, textured finish, and a black diamond make this an unusual engagement ring. Photo: Cole Roger. Courtesy: Rona Fisher Jewelry Design’

How do you decide the right ring style for your bride-to-be? Pinterest can be your friend. Ask her friends to share images of rings and jewelry she may have shared with them. Also notice the kind of clothes she likes. Does she have a more tailored wardrobe or is she a fashionista? Is she conservative or does she like to raise eyebrows? How about the décor in her (or your) home: Is it traditional or funky? Is it streamlined or ornate?

The way your partner dresses and decorates the home tells you a lot about her style. Chances are she’ll love a ring that reflects it.

Pick a Color Palette

Platinum or white gold rings with colorless diamonds are a classic choice. But you have lots of alternatives available if you want to experiment.

  • Metals: Platinum, white gold, rose gold, yellow gold, or two-tone combinations are some of your options. The metal can also have a variety of finishes, including a bright polish (shiny), a matte finish (a flatter look), or a textured surface. Alternative metals might be a possibility too if you’re looking for something unusual. Read up on white metals.
  • Diamonds: If you opt for colorless diamonds, check out the GIA color chart to see the gradations of color in the D-to-Z color range. Colored diamonds are another option and can be used to spice up your ring.
  • Colored gemstones come in every color of the rainbow, and can be used as a center stone or as side stones.
Ring featuring different color metals for prongs and shanks.

This ring uses different colors of metal for the prongs and the shank. This shows how color can be added in subtle ways. Photo: Suzanne Kalan.

High karat yellow gold ring.

High karat yellow gold can create a bold contrast to the center stone. The higher the karat, the more saturated the yellow color appears. Photo: Denise James/Tracy Rasinski Photography LLC.

Diamond and pink sapphire ring.

Colored gemstones and diamonds can make an exquisite combination. Here a 3.14 ct cut cornered rectangular modified brilliant (a.k.a. radiant cut) pink sapphire center stone is surrounded by 0.24 carats of round brilliant pink sapphires and 0.83 carats of round brilliant diamonds. Photo: Omi Privé.

14K white gold ring set with near colorless diamonds.

The use of negative space enhances this monochromatic design. Near colorless diamonds set in 14K white gold take on new depth because of the use of a simple pattern. Photo: ZIVA Jewels Inc.

Know Her Ring Size.

We saved the easiest for last. Be sure to know the ring size of your beloved before meeting with a jewelry designer!

Getting engaged is a wonderful moment in your life. So is designing the engagement ring for your future fiancée. Now, go have some fun!

The history of the engagement ring is a romantic tale. Discover how it became the symbol of modern love.