8 Designers Share Tips On How To Design A Custom Engagement Ring
When it comes to engagement rings, there is nothing romantic about the one-size-fits-all approach. The perfect ring is not only a symbol of love, but also a symbol of your own unique style. With that in mind, we invited eight celebrated jewellers to share their tips—and a unique design—for custom engagement rings to set your heart aflutter:
Sally Ryder is the director of bespoke diamond jeweller Ryder Diamonds, which she founded in 2009. With a passion for the age-old traditions of handcrafted jewellery, Ryder has assembled a team of Hong Kong’s most talented fine jewellery designers and established her brand as a go-to destination for bespoke diamond jewellery pieces.
“The majority of the rings we design for our clients are engagement rings. Often the ring’s recipient isn’t involved in the design process so it’s important that our designers work closely with the client to help them choose a style their partner will love. Our goal is to make each ring totally unique and special, and our attention to detail ensures that we produce a stunning result every time.”
Find out more at ryderdiamonds.com
Sarah Zhuang is an award-winning Hong Kong-based jewellery designer who founded her namesake brand in 2016. Her elegant, youthful and trendy creations, designed to be worn in multiple ways, empower women to express their unique personalities.
“Designing an engagement ring has unique challenges. What might be a grand design in a client’s head may not translate perfectly to the finger. It’s also much harder to design something that’s simple but at the same time special. When I design an engagement ring, I want it to conjure up memories of the client’s partner and their wedding day. I also believe engagement rings should be versatile, offering a simple, classy look for daily wear that can be transformed for a more extravagant look.”
Find out more at sarahzhuang.com
Cindy Yeung is the chairperson and CEO of Emperor Watch and Jewellery, a family business founded in 1942. A certified gemstones expert, Yeung is genuinely passionate about jewellery and gemstones. She personally curates the pieces sold in stores and designs pieces for the brand’s L’Atelier Cindy Yeung High Jewellery Collection.
“Unlike fashion or statement rings, an engagement ring is meant to be worn daily, and this to me is an important consideration in my designs. The ring must be comfortable, assuming the wearer almost never takes it off, but at the same time the aesthetic is just as important—it needs to be timeless and defy trends. An engagement ring must also be unique, unconventional, and made with exquisite craftsmanship.”
Find out more at emperorwatchjewellery.com
See also: We Asked: What's Your Proposal Story?
Born and raised in Romania, Corina Larpin now lives in Geneva, where she runs jewellery design brand Stéfère. A designer driven by passion and instinct, she considers people her main source of inspiration—people she observes in the streets, those she’s met and has shared moments with, and, of course, the people she loves. Among her A-list clients are Elton John, Lady Gaga, Victoria Beckham and Madonna.
“It’s always a challenge to design an engagement ring because it really is more than just a piece jewellery. It’s a token of love and loyalty that will be worn, hopefully, for many decades. It must also suit the taste of the bride-to-be and remain timeless. The ideal engagement ring is discreet, yet remarkable enough to remind the wearer, and others, that he or she is engaged.”
Annoushka Ducas is the founder and creative director of British jewellery brand Annoushka, which she started in 2009. Before that, she and her husband founded the Links of London brand, which was sold in 2007.
“Designing an engagement ring is a very special and exciting experience. I designed my own 25 years ago, and it was also the very first piece I worked on. I couldn’t find anything I really loved so I decided to do it myself. I think it’s important for the design to be timeless and classic, and for the wearer to continue to love it every time they look down at their finger. Every woman wears their engagement ring in their own way—it is all about what suits the individual’s personality—and to be a part of the design process is extremely exciting and an honour.”
Find out more at annoushka.com
Sarah Ho, an award-winning London-based jewellery designer, founded her eponymous brand in 2007. She is known for her use of extraordinary gemstones, exquisite craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. Her inspired jewellery creations are sold in major department stores worldwide, including Harvey Nichols in London. The brand also offers a bespoke design service.
“The process for designing an engagement ring is extra special because it’s a very symbolic purchase—a gift of love that will be cherished forever and worn every day. It not only needs to be unique and tell a story but it must be practical too. When I design an engagement ring, I like to get to know the couple so the ring becomes very personal to them; I often include their initials in a very subtle way. If there are other special symbols, stones or stories that can be reflected in the design, I love to include these too.”
Find out more at shojewellery.com
Anabela Chan is a London-based designer who arrived at jewellery from a background in architecture, fashion and art. Chan has received accolades from Vogue, Harpers Bazaar UK and The British Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council, and counts Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Selma Hayek, Jennifer Hudson and Camila Cabello among her clients. Her flagship boutique is located in London’s Ham Yard Hotel.
“An engagement ring has to be personal and timeless; it should be one of a kind. For something so small that can be held in the palm of your hand, it holds a world of emotions and memories. A symbol of love and promise, it is worn on the body, close to our hearts. With my designs, I like to bring out the person’s personality, optimism and eternal love. My ideal engagement ring is a radiant emerald custom-cut white diamond set in rose and white gold, surrounded by sapphires and Paraiba tourmalines from ultramarine and sky to neon blue—colours that remind me of summer and the glistening turquoise sea.”
Find out more at anabelachan.com
Dante Dizon co-founded of Manilla-based bespoke jeweller 13 Lucky Monkey with Noli Coronado. The design duo specialise in edgy handcrafted pieces inspired by tattoos, biker culture and religious iconography. Their custom-made wearable sculptures, including the signature Skull rings, are retailed at their workshop in Manila, Dover Street Market in Ginza, Tokyo, and online.
“Getting engaged is one of the biggest moments in one’s life, so it’s something we take to heart—pun intended. For this design, I chose the Sacred Heart, a revered symbol of divine love in Catholicism. Burning passion is symbolised by the flame, while the golden thorns represent the hurt you may subject yourself to by giving your heart entirely. I find designing engagement rings tougher than normal rings because through this ring you’re communicating a very important message, and you just need that oomph and impact. Ordinary, humdrum designs don’t have a place.”
Find out more at 13luckymonkey.com