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How To Budget For Your Dream Custom Engagement Ring

How To Budget For Your Dream Custom Engagement Ring

The time has have found “the one”. Your perfect friend, soulmate and love story. Now to find the dream engagement ring. If there’s one thing you know, you don’t want a solitaire from want a custom design. But is a custom engagement ring in your budget? We hope to say yes! This article is aimed at helping you understand the process a little better and the pros when going with a custom design. The great the fabulous that “custom” and “bespoke” is not code for expensive! In fact, depending on the piece, a custom engagement ring can actually save money. Let’s discover how.



If you have a very specific design in mind, your jeweler will probably start by letting you know how much the ring setting itself will be. What is a ring setting? A ring setting is the entire foundation of the ring without the center stone. The price of a ring setting is impacted by the following criteria:

  • Precious metals: your choice of precious metal will impact the cost. Platinum is more than white gold (but well worth it!) White gold, yellow gold and rose gold will all cost the same amount, but the higher the karat, the more it will be. So if you want variance in price range, ask for the options of your ring design in 14K and 18K.

  • Intricacy: the more detailed and intricate the design, the more labor is involved. Remember, each and every custom engagement ring is hand crafted by an artisan! Keep the most important details and forgo anything you may not love to focus all of your precious budget on the key design elements.

  • The diamonds in the ring setting: the more diamonds you have, the higher the price will be not only for the diamonds but also for the labor.

Once you decide on the overall custom design and narrow down the specifics above, you will have a firm idea of how much the ring setting itself is. Now you can take your total ring budget, deduct the ring setting and you’re left with a certain amount for the center stone. Choose from the following options:

  • Natural diamonds: natural diamonds are mined from the earth and can provide that truly one of a kind experience to your beloved.

  • Lab grown diamonds: lab grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as natural diamonds but they are man made. They are a fraction of the price of earth mined diamonds so if you are working with a budget, lab grown diamonds will allow you to get a larger carat center stone.

  • Moissanite: moissanites have a very similar appearance to a diamond, but they are in fact a gemstone. Fun fact! Moissanites test as diamonds on the diamond tester, however, a trained jeweler can easily identify one with magnification (sometimes with the naked eye).

  • Gemstones: opt for a gorgeous gemstone to not only enhance your one of a kind piece but also to be budget friendly. Sapphires and rubies make an excellent choice as they are rated high on the Mohs hardness scale. If you are exploring other gemstones, especially if a birthstone is high on your desired list, be sure their hardness matches your sweethearts lifestyle (if she plays baseball in her jewelry perhaps a softer gemstone is not for her!)

Ask your jeweler to provide options in your budget. Remember, the more the ring costs, the less you will have to work with on the center stone if you have a fixed yet realistic budget.

If your perfect engagement ring is quite detailed, be sure to discuss wedding bands at the time you are designing the engagement ring! You will want to know that when the time comes to craft your wedding band that you still love the overall look of the two rings together. There is no harm in asking your jewelry designer to work on the wedding ring at the same time as the engagement ring.



If your main focus is about finding the perfect diamond, gemstone or lab grown diamond, start your design process and ring shopping there. Once you have found the carat size and specific diamond shape you want, the ring can be made around any dimensions. This means your engagement ring design won’t be limited by any feature or measurements on the center stone! Yay!

A few notes about choosing a center stone:

  • Some diamond shapes have more brilliance than others, so if sparkle is your jam, research and choose wisely!

  • Some diamond shapes appear smaller than other diamond shapes. This is because some cut diamonds have to be cut quite deep in order to get the sparkle to reflect back to your eye. If you want maximum size out of a specific carat weight, be sure to try on various shapes to not only get an outline you love but also the most bang for your buck when it comes to the visual appearance.

  • Bonus for lab grown diamonds: they are always conflict free!

  • Explore heirloom cuts if your jeweler has access to them. Rose cuts, old European cut and English cut diamonds may be the perfect complement if the ring of your dreams leans into romantic, vintage inspired or floral designs.

If you are all about the center stone, be it a natural diamond, lab grown diamond, moissanite or gemstone, focus most of your budget on this. But always save some of the budget for the ring setting. A simple solitaire ring design will open at about $1000 and go up from there depending on karat of gold and added details.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a realistic budget?

You need to consider what is a realistic budget for you and your finances. At Perrara, we firmly believe you can get a beautiful ring with a custom design within many budgets, but ultimately you have to decide what is most important: staying in budget or getting what you want. Always be up front and candid with your jeweler to allow them to provide the best options.


What is the three months salary rule?

The old adage is three months salary should be spent on a diamond engagement ring. But you do you! Some people find that out of reach. Some would rather put that money toward a family home purchase. Decide what is important to you and your honey and budget accordingly. We’ll help you design something amazing and be respectful of the budget!


How do I shop ring styles?

We love when couples come in who desire a custom ring style but use our vast in store selection to inspire them on the journey. Try on a variety of carat weight diamonds, lots of diamond shapes and get inspiration from our gorgeous designers. Maybe a tweak to an existing ring is all that is needed to give you that bespoke element you need!


In Summary:

A custom engagement ring design is not just another piece of jewelry. It’s the one that tells your unique love story. Our promise to you is not to be another jewelry store you visit but the one to help you bring your vision to life. We will give you the options and guidelines to make the best choice. The design process can be fun & rewarding....visit today to get started!

With Love, Perrara

Author: Lisa Maloney, Proprietor

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