A Bespoke Engagement Ring in 5 Days? Maybe.

bespoke engagement ring hatton garden where will i find the best engagement ring in london

Is it possible to have a hand made ring ready in 5 days? It depends on how you define 'bespoke'.

There is always somebody planning an engagement – at any time of the year.

Here's our definition of Bespoke versus Made to Order;

  • Bespoke is where the engagement ring is made specifically to the client requirements. This means that the whole ring will come from a design that has been conceptualised and and agreed with each client. A bespoke ring like this is not going to be ready in 5 days, there are too many stages to get through correctly.
  • Made to order is where the client has selected an engagement ring from an existing design, as well as chosen their preferred centre stone. This may well also have been personalised with engraving and other personal touches post production. Sometimes this is referred to as 'bespoke' by other businesses, and indeed, it is still highly personalised and made for the client. But it already exists and can be made faster.

The time of the season affects the time to produce


Christmas and New Year are the particularly busy times for proposals. Some guys plan their proposal with meticulous precision, some juggle it in a time period of their choosing, and some leave it to the last minute before rushing to the shops or online in a panic!  

The main challenge is not about the ring; it is about the process of making the ring.  The jewellery industry is pretty seasonal in the UK.  What might take a workshop 3 days to produce most of the year, could take as long as two weeks in November and December as everyone rushes through their requests.  There is more demand for great diamonds and gemstones. Designers are busy trying to fulfil orders and commissions.  So, if your aim is to propose over this period, unless you buy an engagement ring off the shelf; expect things to take a little longer and factor this into your planning.

Find out how long you might have to wait for your engagement ring here.

With this in mind, back to the original question. Is it even possible to produce a bespoke engagement ring in London, in just five days?

Watch the full process of how an engagement ring is made here.

You can see it will depend on your definition of ‘bespoke’. The more customised an engagement ring is to individual specifications, the more bespoke the process. This could be;

  • choosing the perfect stone which forms the heart of the ring.
  • choosing a particular setting style for the stone, or having some little diamonds set into the band.
  • Working out your ring with the aid of a designer.

Any one of these approaches offers a custom feel. Taking things beyond what is in store, a client may well have access to over a quarter of a million ‘potentials’!

Bespoke Engagement ring vs Bespoke Service?

It is worth noting that a bit like a quilted Chanel handbag, or the Dr Marten boot, a bespoke engagement ring is often a variation on a theme. This means that sometimes, it is just worth taking the theme, and enhancing what is out there, especially if you need the ring relatively quickly. We narrow down the preference (some men have been given clearer instructions than others!) and then work on the options from there.

When this is just finding the right stone and setting (made to order) things can be moved quite swiftly. A brand new design (bespoke) will take longer. We look at the impact of each below;

Choosing the stone

This client has the option of bigger or better for his diamond budget. It is which stone has the greatest appeal to the individual, they are all great diamonds.

When I’m showing clients diamonds or other precious stones, these are already finished. They have been cut and polished. So what is shown is ready to go. The challenge sometimes is when a client wants to move thorough details. For example, one time I created a ring for a client who originally was looking for a 2ct, but had to revise this when he learned about what a good quality 2ct diamond cost!

I then showed him some sensational 1.5-1.7ct stones, versus some other stones that you might find anywhere. Maybe this is a mistake, we then moved into the ‘stone quality combination price vortex’ which is basically when a client says “I love your stones, but could your find something bigger with just as much sparkle for the same price"..

Going back to my earlier point about all diamonds being unique, we pick pretty stones. So if there is a stone with that specification out there at that cost, we would have already shown it!  In this situation, you either need to have left yourself enough time to wait, pay up, or compromise on stone size.  We always go and look, and a suitable compromise was eventually sourced, but this added time, in the case of my poor 2ct chap, it was three weeks and I worried he was going to have a nervous breakdown as we still had to sort out the setting!  Which moves on to the next point.

Choosing the setting

The stone may be at the heart of the ring, but the setting is what will make it look amazing.  It is also the part of the ring which takes the time to make;

Made to order

Once the ring design has been chosen that is an existing design, we’ll work out an acceptable finger measurement, and off it goes to be cast up.  This can take between 24 hours and two weeks. Two weeks means a ring will come back perfectly finished, and ready to set.   A three day production timetable speeds this up, but more work will be required refining the setting. In addition, a few ring settings are carried by workshops, due to their popularity which means that they just have to be collected and sized correctly.

When the ring setting is ready, it will go with the stone(s) to the workshop.  A stone can be set and ring finished in a matter of hours.  What affects the lead time is the complexity of the setting, the stone shape, and how busy the workshop is.  One of my setters requires five days because the ring is going into a queue! Yes, he's that good. The ring will also require hallmarking, and the option is there for personalised engraving which might add another 2-3 days.

Between January and September, a made to order setting can be turned around in 5 working days.  A key factor is the client making their mind up quickly – sometimes the decision making is what takes so long!

A more unusual style, but no less beautiful for it, Anjuli is one of our made to order settings. You can even buy her in our online store.

A Note on Modified to Order

Some settings are very popular due to their appearance on the hand, and as such, good workshops always keep a couple in stock.  I can take the finished setting to a client, to show him what his diamond choice is going to look like in it.  All that is required to be done afterwards, is for the ring to be resized, and the claws properly shaped and finished around the stone. This takes about 48 hours, with another 24 hours for engraving.

This may be one full ring, or a band and a setting.  If the pieces already exist, this does save a lot of time in production.

Lottie is a stylish and elegant engagement ring, and with her crossover claws, a design classic. We usually have one of these rings settings in stock, as you can’t go wrong with this design. Here the client has chosen a cushion shape diamond, she's also great for Asscher shape stones.

Bespoke : Having your ring designed

If you have something very specific in mind, and you have struggled to find it online, then if you don’t mind the additional outlay, having a design tailored to your needs may be the best option.  This is a truly ‘bespoke’ ring where you are in full control of every detail.  That said, it involves a weightier outlay because you are paying for a CAD specialist, who also understands ring production (as anyone can make a pretty 3D image) and has a respect for other people’s designs.  Although this last point is moot – some companies make their money from creating cheaper versions of designer jewellery..

Time is of the essence

To summarise all that, here is how long it takes Heirloom London to help curate your perfect bespoke engagement ring;

How long will it take to make an engagement ring?

Can't you go any faster?

The answer from us is no, not to deliver the quality we insist on.  There are some remodelling jobs when I receive client jewellery where I’m amazed the stone hasn’t already dropped out!   Our workshops make rings to last, but we need the time to do this properly, and check, check and check again it has been done to perfection.  Ideally we like three weeks to ensure we get everything right. We have discussed timings with our clients pre to starting a commission, so we know what we recommend.

However, if you are in a real hurry, this is the beauty of the retailer.  You can walk into a store and pick up an engagement ring that day!  It may not have been exactly what you were looking for, but the message that the ring is already delivering out is the most meaningful part of the proposal I think.

And in the rare instance that it wasn’t quite what she was looking for again, if you chose an off the shelf engagement ring you should be able to exchange it.  Your retailer will then be able to help you pick out something more appropriate.  If not, well.. there is always our jewellery remodelling service!

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