The Best Custom Engagement Rings of 2016

  • 01 of 19

    19 Custom Engagement Rings You Have to See

    Artist Angie Crabtree shows off her custom engagement ring by Erika Winters. Angie Crabtree

    If you're thinking about getting a custom engagement ring, the possibilities have never been so plentiful and beautiful, whether you're looking to work with a designer on a modern design for an heirloom diamond. or have a specific vision that requires the skills of a talented jewelry designer to interpret your ideas with a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

    When Angie Crabtree, one of the jewelry world’s most beloved and recognized visual artists, began thinking about her engagement ring earlier...MORE this year, she knew her search would be as easy as it was difficult. Specializing in wildly graphic, hypnotic paintings of diamonds in all their faceted glory, enlarged to dazzlingly kaleidoscopic effect, Angie was laser-focused on an emerald-cut diamond (her favorite diamond cut, though she also loves other step cuts like Asschers and baguettes) but how to choose? Angie’s friends and colleagues at specialty diamond wholesaler Perpetuum Jewels made the decision quick and painless by sourcing a slender, 1.6-carat emerald-cut diamond of exceptional quality (E-color, VS clarity). “I chose the first option they showed me,” says Angie. “It has a 2:1 ratio which is unusually long for an emerald cut and it was exactly what I was looking for.”

    As for the engagement ring’s design, Angie collaborated with jewelry designer Erika Winters to create the perfect showcase. Together they decided to customize Erika’s Laurel solitaire engagement ring by placing the diamond in an East/West setting. “Although it's a clean and simple setting with a modern diamond, we paired platinum prongs with a yellow gold band to give it a little touch of Edwardian-era style,” says Angie. Not surprisingly, she’s already begun a painting of the design—check out Angie’s Instagram for updates! 

    Of course, this is just one custom engagement ring success story to inspire you — there are 18 more dazzling examples of seamless designer/client collaborations in the slideshow to follow.  

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  • 02 of 19

    From David Alan...

    David Alan

    “Our client wanted a ring that embodied both old and new, and reminded her of her Great Grandmother’s engagement ring,” says designer David Alan. “So I recommended an emerald-cut diamond center stone because of its simplicity and Old World charm, and a pair of rose-cut diamond accents. A vertical, North/South three-stone layout is typical of the Art Nouveau and Victorian eras. Combined with sleek simple lines and clean diamond pavé , this platinum engagement ring a true modern classic.”

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  • 03 of 19

    From Greenwich St. Jewelers x Sholdt...

    Greenwich St. Jewelers x Sholdt

     “We created this 18k yellow gold custom engagement ring in collaboration with one of our designers, Sholdt,” says Jennifer Gandia, of Greenwich St. Jewelers in New York City. “The client had an Old European cut heirloom diamond and wanted a timeless design that could be modernized through the use of black diamond accents. We presented many styles, including a three-stone design where the center diamond would be flanked by two black diamonds but then the client saw this Sholdt ring. He was drawn...MORE to the unique design of the halo, with its four prongs placed at points North, South, East and West. We suggested using tiny black diamonds in the halo—he loved the idea and more importantly, his fiancé loved the finished piece.”

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  • 04 of 19

    From Elliot Gaskin...

    Elliot Gaskin

    “For this 18k yellow gold custom engagement ring, the gold and diamonds came from the client's family ring,” says designer Eliot Gaskin. “The design was inspired by her mother’s wedding ring. Carved from wax and turned into gold using the ‘lost wax’ casting process, it pairs a very architectural and modern setting with a 1.20-carat Old Mine cut diamond center stone.”

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  • 05 of 19

    From Delphine Leymarie...

    Delphine Leymarie

    “My client wanted a ring for his beloved that carried the warmth of a sunny tropical beach year-round, as the couple met in Tulum,” says designer Delphine Leymarie. “He fell in love with idea of the turquoise cabochon as sea water, surrounded by the warm hue of 18k yellow gold in lieu of sand. We used our oxidized sterling silver Boheme band for the shank of the ring as its organic beaded texture reminded him of patterns on sea urchin skeletons, another reminder of the tropical beaches they love...MORE to visit together.”

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  • 06 of 19

    From Mark Patterson...

    Mark Patterson

    This platinum engagement ring was the result of a long collaboration with a client who wanted something very special to enhance her 4.03-carat emerald-diamond. The baguettes in the halo were custom-cut to fit design. “It took almost 6 weeks just to cut the baguettes,” says Josette Patterson of Mark Patterson

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  • 07 of 19

    From Melanie Casey...

    Melanie Casey

     This custom 14k yellow gold engagement ring is based on an existing Melanie Casey design—the delicate, antique-inspired (and wildly popular) Through the Mist ring. The client asked to swap out the center marquise diamond for a colored stone and worked with the designer to select a mossy green marquise sapphire that was then set amid a cluster of white diamonds.

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  • 08 of 19

    From Hannah Blount...

    Hannah Blount

    “This was a really fun project for us, as the clients are longtime fans of the studio,” says designer Hannah Blount. “Our client’s fiancé has long loved single-stone rings. We waffled between accenting the morganite center stone with rubies or diamonds, but went with white diamonds, which added a touch of contrast to the 14k rose gold setting. We’re excited to be designing this couple’s wedding bands in the New Year!” 

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  • 09 of 19

    From Michelle Fantaci...

    Michelle Fantaci

    “When the client said he wanted to incorporate a red stone into the design of our 18k yellow gold King ring, I recommended he see some rubies,” says designer Michelle Fantaci. “I sourced a number of rubies for him to consider, but knew that he would pick the one he did—it was exactly what he described. It’s a natural, pear-shaped 1.10-carat ruby with great color and clarity from Mozambique, ethically mined by Gemfields. We decided to invert the stone when we set it in the four prongs as a final,...MORE unexpected finishing touch.” 

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  • 10 of 19

    From Digby & Iona...

    Digby & Iona

    This 18k yellow gold engagement ring is a customized version of Digby + Iona’s Oona ring featuring a 1-carat antique round brilliant-cut diamond center stone in a halo of pavé white diamonds. “The client wanted to add a little bit of hidden detail and requested that the pavé details on the side of the band be set in black diamonds,” says designer Aaron Ruff.

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  • 11 of 19

    From Kaali Designs...

    Kaali Designs

    “As a nature lover, the client was attracted to the organic textures in my designs,”  says Anit Dodhia of Kaali Designs. “After speaking with her, I created a 14k yellow gold engagement ring that was both delicate yet powerful, and that allows light to show off the prong-set gemstone—a 5.88-carat rose-cut tanzanite—to its best advantage.”

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  • 12 of 19

    From Salt + Stone...

    Salt + Stone

    How excited was I when this thoughtful groom wanted to custom craft a ring for his beautiful bride?” says Jacqueline Stone, of Salt + Stone. “He was open to suggestions, but had one request: he wanted to use his family's two heirloom diamonds. Could I find a way to make it work?  When I found out the bride was a floral designer, I was inspired to hand-craft two tiny trees to represent each part of this magical love match. Eleven tiny rose gold flowers were added to the platinum design’s...MORE ‘roots’ to represent the couple’s eleven years together; we also added some tiny diamond ‘rosebuds.’ It’s an engagement ring that reflects a love story come to life, and a groom’s desire to always support his wife and her dreams. I think he got his message across, do you?”

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  • 13 of 19

    From Fran Barker...

    Fran Barker

    “My client was lovely,” says U.K.-based designer Fran Barker. “She had always wanted a sapphire engagement ring and after 17 years of marriage the time was right to treat herself to a whole new wedding set. The specification was that she loved our 18k gold Mimosa rings and bands, and the engagement ring’s sapphire needed to be unique. We searched far and wide for that perfect sapphire, a pear- shaped cabochon coming in at just over five carats. We will never find another like it; I would keep it...MORE for myself if ever I found one that compared! The client also loved all shades of blue, which is where the ombré sapphires on the wedding band came into play.”

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  • 14 of 19

    From Megan Thorne...

    Megan Thorne

    This custom 18k gold engagement ring was created for a former Megan Thorne employee. The small single-cut diamonds around the head of were from a piece that belonged to the client’s grandmother, with whom he was extremely close. Together he and the designer chose a 1.5-carat Old European cut diamond center stone that was inspired by another larger stone from his grandmother’s collection that they decided not to use because it was already in such a beautiful setting. 

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  • 15 of 19

    From Page Sargisson...

    Page Sargisson

    “I took a client's approximately six-carat family emerald to recreate something new that did not look like a typical engagement ring,” says designer Page Sargisson. “She wanted something very different so we cast it in rose gold and added black diamond accents. She is a photographer, and uses her hands, so she didn't want anything too delicate. I think we came up with something perfect - and definitely not traditional.”

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  • 16 of 19

    From Evelyn h....

    Evelyn h.

    “Originally, the engagement ring design was much more extravagant on the top,” explains designer Evelyn Huang of Evelyn h. “It had a halo made up of princess cuts and baguettes which the client loved, but felt it would be too much for an everyday-wear ring. She loved the side design and asked to customize the top to make it more simplified. This platinum ring was quite challenging to make because we had to custom-cut every single diamond to fit the design. And because the design called for a mix...MORE of two different types of diamond shapes—baguettes and princess cuts—it took a longer time to execute, as well as a few re-dos in order to get the setting exactly right.” 

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  • 17 of 19

    From Shaesby...

    From Shaesby...

    For this custom 18k yellow gold and champagne diamond ring, “the client chose to have 27 white diamonds set in the band for his 27-year-old fiancé,” says designer Shaesby Scott of Shaesby. “He also wanted to include one small diamond that had belonged to his grandmother on the inside of the band to honor and symbolize the importance of family.”

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  • 18 of 19

    From Sylvie Collection...

    Sylvie Collection

    The client was looking to transform her simple solitaire diamond engagement ring into a statement design. The end result: An 18k white gold three-stone engagement ring with the center stone surrounded by a diamond halo, plus two half-moon side stones and two strands of diamonds along the shank. Custom design by Sylvie Collection

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  • 19 of 19

    From Antoanetta...

    Antoanetta

    Designer Antoanetta Ivanova of Antoanetta was commissioned to create this 14k white gold wedding ring for a client who wanted an eternity band with an industrial, geometric and minimalist feel. “The height and dimensions of the stones had to be very carefully calculated, as only a certain number can fit,” says the designer, who was also willing to use a mix of round diamonds and CZ baguettes to meet the client’s budget requirements.