8 Steps to Designing the Custom Engagement Ring of Your Dreams

An expert breakdown on the process of choosing a personalized sparkler
Photos courtesy of Sholdt Design

Sponsored by Sholdt Design

You're about to embark on one of the most exciting times in your life. Before you pop the question comes the task of selecting the ring, which may seem both nerve racking and daunting, but it certainly doesn't have to be. There's something fun and particularly romantic about personally designing this future heirloom, and choosing to go with a locally made custom ring ensures you can be involved every step of the way. So, what exactly are those steps?   

To ease the stress and make it a fun and relaxing experience, we've broken down how a custom piece is created in our studio. While the exact process may vary from jeweler to jeweler, if you're in the market for a custom ring, this should give you an idea of the typical timeline, keeping in mind that depending on the design, a custom ring can take anywhere from a week to over a month to complete. 

Step 1. Consultation: This initial meeting typically ranges from a half hour to an hour.

Here you’ll meet with a designer to nail down the design and the budget. Ideas will be fine tuned, numbers will be reviewed and a timeline will be set. 

Step 2. Diamond or stone selection: Depending on what you're looking for, it generally takes 1-2 days for ordered stones to arrive in store. 

A variety of diamonds within your budget will be ordered for you to look over, giving you the opportunity to choose the one that's perfect for you.  Seeing the stones firsthand is another benefit of working with a local jeweler, especially since buying a stone sight unseen can be a bit risky.  

*Note: If you’re simply interested in a fabulous stock design or a temporary solitaire so your partner can be involved in the design process, you can skip steps 3-5.   

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Step 3. CAD (Computer-Aided Design): A custom CAD can take anywhere from 2-5 business days to complete. Once completed, it can be e-mailed directly to you.   

After you’ve selected the center stone, a 3D CAD rendering will be created, giving you an idea of how the finished ring will look.  At this point in the design process, you should have the ability to change the design, make tweaks to the piece, or simply go ahead with the next step. 

Step 4. Wax: Approximately 2-3 business days from CAD approval. 

If you so choose, once you approve the CAD, an appointment can be set up for you to see the wax of the ring design.  

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Step 5. Ring is cast: Approximately 2-5 business days, depending on the desired metal. 

Your masterpiece can be cast into whichever metal you'd like (platinum, 18kt white/yellow/or rose gold, 14kt white/yellow/or rose gold, palladium). 

Step 6. Clean-up, set stones and finish: Approximately 2-7 business days, depending on the design of the ring. 

This is where a team of jewelers will put the finishing touches on the ring and the true beauty comes to life.   

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Step 7. Pick-up: This timeline is up to you.   

We love this part! An appointment will be set for you to pick up the finished piece. An appraisal will be prepared, we'll go over warranty details and finalize payment. 

Step 8. You’re engaged! Congrats!   

We encourage our couples to come in post-engagement so we can go over cleaning and maintenance together. If the ring doesn’t fit like a glove, we’ll size it while you wait at no charge. 

Sholdt is a 4th generation, family-owned and operated business. We have been creating custom jewelry and building relationships with our clients in Seattle for over 80 years.