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Everything You Need to Know About Custom Engagement Rings—According to a Gemologist

Photo Credit: Theresa Regan Photography

Lauren Priori is a GIA Graduate Gemologist and owner of L. Priori Jewelry in Center City and King of Prussia. Here, she answers your questions about why the custom engagement ring process is the easiest and most meaningful way to select the perfect ring.

Why are custom rings becoming so popular?

An engagement ring is so much more than just something sparkly. It’s a symbol of your relationship, a token of commitment and a key piece of your personal style. Picking something out of a jewelry case can work, but the process of creating a custom ring allows for a truly perfect ring. The good news is that working with a skilled ring designer can make a complex purchase fun and easy. You’re able to look at a selection of diamonds under magnification to choose the perfect stone. From there, your ring designer will translate your tastes, preferences and budget into a perfect setting. Along the way, you’ll have input on the design and make edits down to the millimeter. You can even see a 3D printed model of the ring. The real question is, why wouldn’t you want a custom ring?

When should I start looking for a ring?

There’s no such thing as too soon! The custom engagement ring process can take 8 to 10 weeks, but it’s helpful to start narrowing your preferences well in advance. When it comes to custom, the options are truly endless—and that can be a bit overwhelming if you haven’t done any research. It’s a great idea to come in for an initial appointment as a couple to talk about your preferred stone shape, metal color and setting styles. In the meantime, stalk Instagram and Pinterest, check out bridal mags and even look at your friends’ rings! Inspiration is everywhere.

How much should my engagement ring cost?

There are no rules anymore. Your engagement ring will be worn and loved every day, so it’s important to invest in something beautiful. This is the one purchase from your wedding that you’ll have for the rest of your life. On the other hand, you want to strike a balance between getting the perfect ring and not going deeply into debt. If you’re concerned about budget, there are ways to work within any price point and still have a stunning ring. Great budget-friendly options include lab-grown diamonds, moissanite or a hard gemstone, such as sapphire. You can also use an heirloom diamond from a family member, an option that is both budget friendly and meaningful. No matter how much you choose to spend, make sure the ring you choose is imbued with meaning and care.

To set up a custom engagement ring appointment, click here.