If you are reading this blog, you are most likely either engaged or very soon going to be engaged. Congratulations! It is an exciting and happy time, and there is so much to look forward to. 

Marriage is a beautiful journey you are about to embark upon, and your engagement ring, followed by your wedding rings, are an important accessory in this journey. Here at Burrells, we can ensure your jewellery choices will be pieces you will cherish for eternity.



There are many beautiful engagement rings to choose from, and with the trends always on the change, there is plenty of choice for everyone’s taste. However, some may prefer to go the bespoke route, as it is a little more personal and can be created to perfectly reflect your personal taste.

sarel du plessisYou can be involved in as much of the design process as you desire. From selecting the metal and stones, to adding small engravings, bespoke jewellery allows you to make something totally unique and sentimental.

Here at Burrells, we have a fantastic design team led by our head goldsmith Sarel Du Plessis.

Sarel has over 20 years of experience in the jewellery industry, and he regularly creates beautiful pieces for our customers.


If you need more convincing, take a look at our YouTube video below, where our jewellery specialist Jessica talks you through her 7 reasons why you should design your own engagement ring.


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While bespoke items are not at all uncommon, it can be a daunting experience when creating a bespoke piece of jewellery, especially if you are new to the process. Therefore, we have put together a step by step guide with our design team for you, in the hope it will help you get started on making your dream engagement ring!



The very first step in creating your bespoke engagement ring is to make an appointment to meet the design team. The first meeting can be a no-commitment free of charge consultation. We are flexible with our time slots and make sure to find a time that suits your needs. 

book an appointment for bespoke jewellery

When you arrive for your appointment, you will get to know our design team, and get a chance to tell them more about you. You can discuss your ideas, bring any photos or inspirations you may have. We can advise you on the possibilities, risks, design flaws, and outcomes.

On some occasions we may be able to give you a rough sketch, and in some instances we can provide you with a digital CAD image of the design.

Copy of Copy of ring guide blogsYou can really start to visualise the ring of your dreams with these designs

While almost anything is possible to create, we have to look at the practicality of the design especially for an engagement ring which will be worn every single day. 

For example, if you are looking to make a thin band of 1mm or less with a rather large stone, then this piece would not be suitable for every day, as the weight of the stone could potentially cause the band to snap.

For more insight to this stage of the process, take a look at our YouTube video below where our jewellery specialist Jessica features once again. This time, Jessica will guide you through the 4 steps of designing an engagement ring! 


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If you have no clue, that’s fine too! We can show you various designs to choose from and will also give you a quote for the price. If you would like to read more about the designing process and how to get inspired, take a look at our blog post on the process here.

At this appointment, you will get an opportunity to ask any questions you may have, and also express your concerns. You are welcome to take some time to consider your options and think about your decision. After having made a decision, we invite you back into our store to get the ring started.



When you come in to place your order, we take some contact details from you and set you up with a customer profile. If you are bringing your own stones, we will note their exact descriptions, take photos, and also book them into our system under your profile.

We ask that you kindly pay at least a third of the price deposit for us to get started and you will get a receipt for everything.

Copy of Copy of Copy of ring guide blogs (1)

An insight to the craftsmanship process

It can take anywhere between 4-12 weeks to make your ring, depending on the intricacy of the design. Simpler designs tend to take less time as they are straight forward, and more intricate designs take longer due to the amount of extra craftsmanship required.

It is difficult to say anything about the cost in this blog, as so many various factors can affect that! However you can hear some price guidance from the Head Goldsmith himself, as Sarel and Stephanie discuss the cost of remodelling and designing jewellery in the YouTube video below. 


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As Sarel explains, there are many contributing factors to the final price. The metals you choose, the size and quality of the stone, the type of design and how much labour is needed, can all determine the overall cost. Not to worry though, we are very transparent and will advise you on all these factors along the way.



You will now get the opportunity to try your ring on, and once you are one hundred percent happy with the design, you can finalise payment and collect your item.

the finished emerald and diamond ringThe finished product - simply stunning!

If you have a diamond ring made with us, it is important to note that it will come with our diamond guarantee.

Our Managing Director Edward Ferris kindly talks you through the Burrells guarantee in the YouTube video below, to help explain its unique protection to your jewellery. 


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Our diamond guarantees are a great asset and one of the best in the market. If you would like more information on the diamond guarantee, please contact one of our branches, or visit our website. The diamond guarantee will also provide you with a valuation of your ring, should you need one for insurance or other reasons.



Since we ask you so many questions about your bespoke piece, it's natural for you to have questions of your own! Hopefully we can answer some of them now for you, while we go through some common questions we are approached with during our design appointments.



The simple answer to this question is no. After booking your bespoke design in, it will go straight into the workshop where the goldsmiths start work on it. Upon closing of the store, it goes into our safe and then back into the workshop the next day.

The only exception to this is hallmarking, which is when we need to send your item to the Assay offices to be correctly hallmarked, in this scenario it is booked in and out of the shop with the utmost security. 

For more information about hallmarking and why this process is an integral part of jewellery making, please take a look at our blog post on the topic. 



Often customers bring in their own sentimental stones from past generation to be used in engagement rings, or are remodelling some older jewellery. It's very understandable that you may be cautious to hand over your precious pieces. 

To answer this question, we would like to say that we have been in the jewellery business for over four decades now as a company and believe in a trusting relationship with our customers.

Your stones will be booked in with all their specifications, especially those that make them unique. This will all be noted down on your receipt. Additionally, if you are bringing in your diamond for us to work with, each diamond has its very own unique set of internal characteristics.

a jeweller sourcing stones

This is different from the inclusions. In a way, this acts as a fingerprint for the diamond and makes each diamond unique. These ‘fingerprints’ cannot be detected under magnification but can be found with laser technology.

It is also important to note that the said ‘fingerprints’ do not affect the colour or clarity of diamond in any way. This diamond dna ensures you can determine that the diamond you have supplied, is the same diamond in your engagement ring.



Honestly, this can happen, and we understand that. Therefore, we do recommend that where possible propose or surprise your fiancé to be with a dress ring and then design a ring together. A bespoke design is non-refundable as it is a piece created specifically for you.

Having said that, we will ensure that you are happy with the design and the stones every step along the way. The longest part of the bespoke design engagement ring is the initial consultations, so that we can get an accurate picture of your vision for the ring, as there is a minimal margin of error.



And the answer to that is no, definitely not. In recent years, the idea that only diamonds are suitable for engagement rings popularised by the DeBeers group has shifted slightly. Rubies, sapphires, coloured diamonds, aquamarines and even emeralds are common choices for engagement rings now.

One of our jewellery experts Amanda, actually wrote a blog on why you should choose a sapphire engagement ring! It's worth a read if you're debating about choosing a colourful stone.

The choice will obviously be based on your preference, however, once again we will advise you on the practicality of your ring. While rubies and sapphires are on the harder and more durable side of the Mohs scale, stones such as aquamarine and emerald are much softer. So we don’t recommend having a soft stone like Emerald for an engagement ring, as it is more likely to chip and damage over time.

But ultimately, it's up to you to decide!



For any other questions or concerns, please contact one of our branches where any one of our colleagues will be more than happy to help you.

Congratulations on your engagement, we wish you all the very best and look forward to to seeing you soon!

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