A guide to bespoke engagement rings

Bespoke engagement rings designed and made in Southampton by FANCI Fine Jewellery

If you ask most people about the most memorable occasions in their life, one of them will be the day they got engaged. And, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a proposal? The ring! 

Everyone’s different and each couple has their own shared history that’s brought them to that special moment, but the one thing that remains constant is the ring. The symbol of that important milestone in their lives as they embark on the journey that will join them together in marriage.

Having a custom made engagement ring makes a ring, and all that it represents, even more special. 

It’s unique. A one-off item created with love, entwining past happy memories with the optimism of a million more to come in the future.

What does bespoke engagement ring mean?

A bespoke, or custom, engagement ring is one where you, our customer, are really involved in the whole process from the very first design through to the jewellery-making process and the choice of metals and fine stones. It is unique to you. You may already have an idea of what you want, you may have planned every tiny detail of your dream ring, or you may only know that you want something completely different to everyone else and you’re looking for ideas.

Most people, however, aren’t jewellery designers, which is where our specialist team at FANCI, making bespoke engagement rings in Southampton, can help you turn your vision into a reality, guiding you every step of the way.

Why do customers want bespoke engagement rings?

There are a number of reasons why people would like to have a custom engagement ring. As well as sometimes just wanting something different to everyone else, many people want to go that extra mile to make the moment even more special and romantic, by putting extra thought, time and their own personal touches into the ring, rather than buying one off the shelf. 

And, of course, it is one of the few items in life that we buy to be worn every day, forever - cherished and admired and permanently on display. So, what better incentive to do everything you can to make this item as personal and as perfect as it can be?

Some people have practical reasons for wanting to design their own ring, for example they may need the shape of the ring to accommodate or complement another piece of jewellery that they wear.

Our customers sometimes want us to design a bespoke engagement ring that incorporates a stone from a family heirloom, or that includes a tribute to a shape or pattern in a sentimental piece of jewellery belonging to a family member. Whether you would like us to create a brand new design, or infuse the old with the new, we will work with you to create your perfect engagement ring.

What is the FANCI process for creating a bespoke engagement ring?

Most importantly, we start off by arranging an appointment for you to visit us and enjoy a consultation in our Southampton store. The more we get to know you and your likes and dislikes (just as important!), the more ‘right for you’ your bespoke engagement ring will turn out to be. We welcome our customers from far and wide and are honoured to build a relationship with you through the process.

You may have an idea of what you would like, or we may be starting with a blank page. Wherever we’re starting from, we’ll work with you during this consultation to get to your perfect design. Our years of experience mean that we can smoothly guide you through your options without you feeling overwhelmed or bombarded. 

We appreciate that this is one of the most important purchases you will ever make, and that it’s a choice that will last a lifetime. We really respect that and we will give you all the time in the world to make the decision that is right for you.

After the initial consultation, you may want to go away and think about it, before coming back for a second consultation and finalise your design with us. There’s no rush. Our priority is you being 100% happy with your decision.

Once you have chosen your design, we will discuss your various options for metals and stones, and the benefits of each. We can cut stones to any shape you like. The ‘round brilliant cut’ white diamond is the most often chosen stone cut and colour, but you can also choose an oval, pear, heart or any other shape you like, in any gemstone you choose. Diamonds come in various colours, too.

Obviously, we will clearly outline all the various cost implications of your choices, talking through the differences in cost between natural and laboratory formed diamonds, as well as the cost impacts of the four ‘C’s used to measure the quality and the value of a diamond; clarity, colour, cut and carat weight. 

The next step of the design process is the CAD design. 

Once you have approved the CAD design and sizing, your ring is placed in the loving hands of our specialist goldsmith, our diamond setter and our finisher, before being presented to you – stunning and sparkling and beautifully packaged!

What is a CAD design?

CAD stands for computer aided design. It’s very high-tech software which needs a specifically-trained designer to operate it – being a CAD designer is a career in itself. The CAD designer will be designing your custom engagement ring from the jewellery maker’s perspective, using their computer software to create a transferable template that’s going to be the right size, suitable for our setter to be able to set the stones in the right way, and in a design that works practically,  so that it can be worn comfortably every day. The CAD designer is taking everything into consideration.

The beauty of the 3D computer generated CAD design is that we can keep amending the design on the screen until you’re totally happy with it. 

Then, we produce a 3D print that is a physical replica of your final bespoke engagement ring. This is a really effective way of giving you a ‘real’ experience when we are creating your custom engagement ring, trying it on in the right size to see what it looks like, judge its proportions and see how it feels, just as if you were picking ready-made rings off the shelf to try.

This same file which starts as a CAD design, and is printed as a 3D model, is the same file which creates the final cast for your custom engagement ring, so that you can be completely reassured that what you approve is exactly what will be produced for you. 

How does bespoke engagement ring sizing work?

When we make a brand-new custom engagement ring for our customer, it’s always ideal to make it in the right size because most rings are cast (made) in one single piece. This means that it’s a solid piece of metal with no weaker point than another. If it needs to be re-sized at a later date, we make a discreet cut in the band of the ring, underneath the hand, and insert or remove metal. It doesn’t show, but it can produce a slightly weaker spot in the ring. 

However, we know that a proposal often comes with a surprise flourish of the ring, that your partner hasn’t been involved in choosing or fitting! If this is the case, we have ways to make sure the ring size has the best chance of being right the first time. 

You could bring in a ring that you know your partner wears on the same finger, or we can even do a surprisingly good sizing estimation from a photo of your partner’s hand.

What if I didn’t get the right size engagement ring – how much does it cost to get a ring resized?

In most cases, we will be able to make any sizing adjustments at no extra cost. The only time we have to make an additional charge is if there’s a significant increase in the ring size, i.e. five or six sizes, and we would just ask you to cover the cost of the extra precious metal. 

Why should I choose FANCI for my bespoke engagement ring?

We pride ourselves on our service being second to none, and we are really touched and humbled by the lovely comments and five star reviews that our customers have consistently given us over many years. 

Just as important to us as having satisfied customers, is our unwavering championing of quality. We never compromise on the highest quality workmanship with the best materials for each price point. 

Each member of our specialist team, from the designer to the goldsmith, the setter and the finisher, are handpicked for their finely honed technical skills and for their passion in their work.


How can I contact FANCI?

We would be delighted to design and make your bespoke engagement ring in Southampton, or simply answer any questions you have at this stage. 

You can call us on 023 8020 1717, email us at shop@fanci.co.uk or complete our online contact form which will come straight through to us and we’ll respond as quickly as we can. We look forward to hearing from you!