Creating your perfect bespoke engagement ring

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

We go behind the scenes with Rob, Production Manager at FANCI, to find out all about the process that goes into these very special rings and to answer questions they are often asked.


An engagement ring is the most important and meaningful jewellery purchase that most people will ever make. The FANCI team is expert in this area and they love nothing more than working with a couple (or an individual if they are choosing to surprise their partner!) to guide them through the process of finding the perfect engagement ring for them. 

They understand that the sentiment and love symbolised by the engagement ring makes it an incredibly cherished piece and they always keep their customers’ wishes front of mind, and at the heart of the process, every step of the way.

What diamond should I choose?

Your options are almost limitless. First of all, there’s the shape. You can have the classic round brilliant cut, or an oval, heart, square, pear or any other shape you can think of that to suit your design. 

Then, you can look at the various different sizes, depending on what will best work with your design, the wearer’s finger and hand size, and your budget.

We will also talk you through the different qualities of the diamonds – the four ‘C’s: clarity, colour, cut and carat weight, and whether a natural or laboratory formed diamond will be right for you.

It’s really useful having our store in Southampton for you to visit and see all your options close up, holding the diamonds and trying rings on. 

You’re probably focusing on the main glittery stone in the centre of the ring, but you may wish to consider side stones, too. 

Depending on your preference, there are a few different setting styles that we can use for the side stones. Some people like them to sit quite proud and be a really prominent feature of the ring. Other people just want that little extra subtle sparkle added by smaller stones set in the background.

What options do I have for the ring’s band?

There is only one rule regarding the band of your engagement ring, and that is that it needs to fit the wearer’s finger comfortably! Apart from that, we can make anything that you can think of. It can be thick, thin, plain, twisted or patterned. It can be inlaid with gemstones and engraved on the inside with a special date, with names or with a quote that is significant to you. 

Which is a better metal for the ring - white gold or platinum?

If we’re comparing white metals, your options are generally a 9 or 18 carat white gold, or platinum. I would say that platinum is the superior metal. It used to be a lot more expensive than gold, which is why it wasn’t always the automatic choice, but it now works out a lot better value. The most important benefit of platinum is that, unlike white gold, it’s naturally white throughout the metal so there is no colour change over time.

White gold, on the other hand, is naturally yellow and has to be plated to give a white finish. Over time, this plating rubs off and the natural yellow gold starts showing through. Like all metals, platinum will still scratch and show signs of wear over time, but it can be polished and brought back to look like new again.

Should the metal for the engagement and wedding ring be the same?

Ideally, yes. This is because you’ll be wearing the two rings together and so they’re likely to be constantly rubbing against each other. If the rings are made of different metal, one will be a harder metal than the other and the softer metal ring will wear quicker. If both rings are made of the same metal, they will wear evenly, at the same rate, and won’t scratch and wear each other away. 

This is especially important if you have very fine settings. If you have a diamond set wedding band, for example, with tiny claw settings, these could eventually be worn away which could cause the diamonds could fall out.

What is the FANCI process for a bespoke engagement ring?

We encourage you to start the process with a consultation in our Southampton store. We have so many resources here, it’s the best place for us to show you lots of examples of other rings we’ve designed and made before, as well as showing you samples of stones and so on. Looking at all the options together, and listening to your opinions and feedback, is hugely effective for us to really get to know what you like and don’t like and, most importantly, what you love and what you’re wowed by!

How long does it take to make a bespoke engagement ring?

Our process from your first appointment to presenting your beautifully made and packaged bespoke engagement ring is between three to four months. 

Usually, the first month of this process will be the design process, which progresses from discussing designs at your consultation, to then using our sophisticated CAD design software to render the initial design in almost photographic quality, which enables us to zoom in and show you what your actual ring will look like, rotating it from all angles.

Next, we print a 3D model to scale, in the actual size it will be, for the wearer to try on and see how the proportions look on their hand, and for you to check that you’re happy with the sizes of the diamond/s and any other gem stones that you’ve picked, and the width and design of the band.

Once you are 100% happy - and we have all the patience in the world to make sure that we work with you until you are absolutely 100% happy - we put your engagement ring in the loving and extremely capable hands of our goldsmith, gem setter and final polisher where it is worked on over the next two to three months. All right here in Southampton.

Can I design my own engagement ring?

Of course. The great thing about our bespoke service is that we are completely flexible and open to any creative ideas you may have. This is all about you and it’s really important that you get the ring you’re dreaming of. All I would say, is that we recommend that you take our advice on board, as we will be using our years of experience to consider the practical elements of your design - appraising whether it’s going to be possible to make, comfortable for the wearer and that it will stand the test of time.

Do I have to choose a traditional-style ring?

Not at all. There are no restrictions whatsoever. Of course, there are always the traditional options to choose from but we’re finding that, more and more, people are being bold and creative and creating completely new contemporary designs to reflect their personal style. It’s so easy to find infinite inspiration online, and we can incorporate anything you like into the design for your bespoke engagement ring. That’s the beauty of it being bespoke! 

Some people like their design to include an element that represents a hobby, interest or an item that they’re passionate about, which can be really fun for us to work on.

Can my wedding band match my engagement ring?

It certainly can. In fact, that’s one of our specialities. The same hands that personally made your bespoke engagement ring will be able to perfectly match up, with absolute precision, the depths and heights of your engagement ring so that its shoulders fit closely together with your wedding band. We can match up the style of setting, the style and shape of the bands, the distance the diamonds travel down. We can create a wedding band shape that fits around the curvature of the engagement ring. Even if we haven’t made your engagement ring, we’ll still be able to design and make a wedding band that perfectly matches your engagement ring.

How can I make sure I get the ring size right?

Ideally, we’ll have the wearer in our store, so that we can measure the ring properly with our special kit. If it’s not possible to have the wearer visit us at FANCI in Southampton, don’t worry. We can get surprisingly close to the right size by looking at a photo of the wearer’s hand, or by referring to another ring the person wears, even if it’s on a different finger. And it’s no trouble to adjust it later if we need to.

Can engagement rings be resized?

Definitely. In most cases, we can cleverly size a ring up or down a few sizes without any problem at all, and without it showing. The only time it can be a little trickier is if there are diamonds set in the shoulder of the band, but nothing is impossible.

Can a damaged engagement ring be fixed?

I haven’t seen one yet that couldn’t be fixed. We had a situation once where a customer’s engagement ring had come off in a car park and was run over by several cars before the customer realised it had gone, retraced their steps, luckily found it and retrieved it. We managed to completely re-build it, straightening it out and resetting the stones. By the time we’d finished, it looked as good as the day it was first made. We know how much an engagement ring means to a couple, and would always bend over backwards to restore a beloved ring to its original glory.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

That’s impossible for me to say! Most people have a budget they’re working to and, for us, our priority is to advise the best way possible for you to make the most of your money and get the finished bespoke engagement ring that you’re happy with. We would never want you to feel like you’ve had to compromise on your dream choice because of budget restrictions, and we can be creatively clever in working around any potential budget constraints if we need to, for example in how we set various sized stones.

Do couples look at engagement rings together?

Absolutely! Some people like to surprise their partner and present the engagement ring in a flourish, as part of their proposal, but lots of couples decide to choose the ring together. We encourage it! 

We see the couple really focusing on each other’s preferences and wanting to both love what they’re buying, and it’s a really special moment when they find exactly what they want and you see them look at each other, beaming with excitement, knowing that they’ve found the perfect ring for them.

A small selection of the many engagement ring styles available…

There’s the classic round brilliant cut diamond solitaire ring, meaning there’s only one stone. It’s usually set into platinum, with four claws holding the diamond in place and, underneath, you have a cross-under detail which sweeps underneath the stone.

Some people like to add extra sparkle to their diamond ring with a line of much smaller round cut diamonds running down either side of the shoulder of the band.

Another popular choice is the trilogy or three stone ring, with each of the three diamonds set into four claws. A trilogy ring carries special symbolism for some couples, who like the idea of the three diamonds representing the past, the present and the future. Three diamonds equals triple the sparkle!

A halo ring describes a centre diamond surrounded by a circle of tiny diamonds, which not only increases the appearance of the head size of the ring but also gives you lots of ‘light play’ and extra sparkle from all the little diamonds as well as the larger centre diamond.

Our show-stopper ring is so called because it’s festooned with diamonds wherever there’s space for them! Typically, it has a one carat round brilliant cut diamond in the centre, with diamond set shoulders on the top. It is also decorated with little diamonds all the way down the sides, up each of the claws and even into all six tips of the claws. The sparkle factor from each and every angle is quite spectacular.

You can view a wide range of options on our website.

How can FANCI help me find the perfect engagement ring?

We would love to help you find your ideal engagement ring. It’s the most satisfying part of our job. Step one - we welcome you to come into our Southampton store for your initial consultation. We can talk through all your ideas, preferences, budget, and cover off any practical considerations we need to take into account to suit your job or your lifestyle that might affect the delicacy of a ring design. We can show you lots of samples and options and give you as much advice and guidance, both creatively and technically, as you would like us to.

How can I contact FANCI?

You can call us on 023 8020 1717, email us at or fill out our online contact form. However you get in touch, you can be assured that our team at FANCI Bespoke Fine Jewellery will be delighted to hear from you and answer any questions you may have. 

If you choose to work with us, it will be our honour to create an exquisite bespoke engagement ring that’s perfect for you.