Custom Engagement Rings

Things To Consider During The Design Process

Step 1: Selecting the Style of Your Setting

Oval Cut Diamond Solitaire Ring - Vanessa Nicole


Micro Pavé Engagement Rings Round Halo Ring


Oval Cut Diamond Three Stone Ring - Vanessa Nicole

Three Stone

These are the three styles Vanessa Nicole specializes in – each one has its own variations based on the center diamond shape.  Read our complete guide with videos and image inspiration on these various custom ring design options.

Step 2: Select the Center Stone Diamond Shape

Diamonds come in many shapes and are not limited solely to the six most popular listed below. The term "cut" refers to the shape the diamond has been cut into, which is not to be confused with the 4C's 'Cut' grade. Read our complete guide with videos on the different diamond cuts or shapes for an engagement ring center stone.

diamond shapes

Round Brilliant Cut

The round brilliant cut is the most popular choice for an engagement ring – timeless and classic.

Cushion Cut

If you’re looking for a vintage-inspired ring or something that will stand out from the rest, then a cushion cut diamond may be the perfect choice for you. This shape has been around for over 100 years and was once the most popular diamond shape before being replaced by the round brilliant cut.

Oval Cut

The oval cut diamond is a beautiful alternative to the traditional round brilliant. This elongated shape can make your finger appear longer and slender. It can be found with varying ratios of length and width.

Emerald Cut

The emerald cut is a classic rectangular shape with angled corners. The linear facets make this one known for its elegant and sophisticated look.  This diamond cut can be traced back to the Art Deco period when it was first introduced and looks more modern than other cuts.

Radiant Cut

The radiant cut diamond is similar in shape to the emerald cut with angled corners, however the faceting on the radiant cut emulates the scintillating sparkle of a round brilliant vs. the modern, linear facets of an emerald cut.

Princess Cut

The princess cut diamond is a traditional square with pointed corners, although it can also be found with a rectangular shape.

"The proposal went amazingly well! Andrea fell head over heels for the ring! She absolutely loves it. She still just stares at it all day. You did an amazing job with the ring and we couldn’t be happier.
Sincerely, Andrew"

Step 3: Selecting the Material for Your Setting

white gold wedding bands

White Gold

yellow gold band with engraving inside

Yellow Gold

platinum diamond solitaire ring with eternity band


Settings can be made from gold or platinum, depending on the hardness and color of the metal you desire. Gold settings offer more variety in color: white gold, yellow gold and rose gold. Yellow gold is a popular choice because it is flattering on many skin types. White gold and platinum are also a good choice for complementing the whiteness of the center diamond.

What is the difference between white gold and platinum?

Platinum is softer so it can bend easier, but it doesn't have to be rhodium plated like white gold. It is also more expensive than gold because it is a rarer metal and takes more effort to extract from the ground. 

Decorative Elements And Personalization Ideas To Consider

platinum engagement ring with milgrain setting


Engraving Example


Example of Hidden Blue Sapphire inside band

Hidden Birthstone Set Inside The Ring


Milgrain is a jewelry design technique that features a row of small beads around the edge of the band. The beads are made of metal, and they are spaced evenly around the circumference of the ring. Milgrain settings add a touch of elegance and vintage flair. 


Engraving a message inside the band of your ring is a great way to add a personal touch. Not only will it be a constant reminder of your love for each other, but it will also serve as a unique identifier if your ring is ever lost or stolen. When choosing what to engrave, keep it simple and concise. A date or initials are always popular choices, but you can also choose something that reflects your shared interests or inside jokes. 

Hidden Gemstone(s) Set Inside The Ring

Most people know their birthstone - the gemstone that is traditionally associated with the month in which they were born. But did you know that there can also be a hidden gemstone set inside your wedding ring?  Whether you choose a diamond, sapphire, emerald, or ruby, a hidden gemstone inside your wedding ring will serve as a secret only you two know about. Aside from your birthstone, if she's traditional, it can also be a blue sapphire to represent her "something blue".

“I sincerely could not be happier!”

"I think Vanessa is an angel from above! She and my fiancé designed my engagement ring, and I sincerely could not be happier. My ring is perfectly me; I could not have done any better. Vanessa is so sweet and completely empathetic towards budget. The quality is there ten-fold. I would recommend her to anyone! She is super helpful, knowledgeable, and a joy to encounter."

~Alicia R.

What Size Diamond Should You Choose For Your Center Stone???

When it comes to picking the perfect diamond size, it is important to keep in mind that the size of the diamond is not the only factor that determines its quality. The cut, color, clarity, and carat weight are all important factors to consider. That being said, clients often wonder what a particular size and shape will look like. This guide here outlines Diamond Price Secrets that many of our clients find very insightful.

And as important as the diamond is, the ring setting is the "house" which keeps it safe, so it's important to ensure that it is high quality so it lasts a lifetime and beyond. 

We’ve heard so many horror stories from women who have purchased their ring setting online, from a big box store, or a mall jeweler only to find that the craftsmanship is poor quality. Most engagement rings are made on an assembly line overseas, creating the ring from a mold with the metal being as thin as possible. This keeps the cost low, but you have to continually visit the store again and again for repairs.

Below is an example of the type of diamond video we create for clients showing gorgeous diamond options for them to consider for their custom engagement ring.

Diamond Halo

There are tricks to making that center stone diamond look larger. Incorporating a diamond halo style into your setting does exactly that.   A halo setting is a type of ring setting that features a central diamond surrounded by smaller accent diamonds.

Vanessa Nicole specializes in what's called a "Seamless Halo" which means the gap between the center diamond and halo is as small as possible.

You’ll see that a diamond with a halo covers the finger with a lot of sparkle – Halos are a great design element that allow you to get more sparkle for less money invested in the center diamond. The result is a sparkling, eye-catching ring that is sure to stand out from the crowd. 

Platinum double halo cushion cut engagement ring

Cushion Cut Halo

White gold halo oval cut engagement ring

Oval Cut Halo

Platinum halo round brilliant engagement ring

Round Cut Halo

How is Vanessa Nicole Different from Other Jewelry Stores for Custom Engagement Rings?

1. You get to work one-on-one with the artist who will be making your ring rather than buying a pre-made ring from a salesperson or jewelry consultant. It allows for your custom engagement ring to be significantly more meaningful and will show you put extra thought into making it special. (Bonus points for you!)  By working one-on-one with Vanessa who is also the owner of the company, you can  be sure that reputation is highly valued, therefore it brings high accountability to make sure you have an AMAZING experience.

2. Vanessa is an international diamond setting consultant who teaches other jewelers and jewelry experts around the world how to create custom engagement rings. She apprenticed with a 3rd generation Russian master jeweler to become an expert diamond setter specializing in micropavé. With millions of Youtube views, Vanessa guides future brides & grooms on the best ways to design their unique ring.

3. A Making of the Ring™ DVD service is available with every engagement ring, which documents the entire design process of creating her custom, one-of-a-kind engagement ring up close. Each person is interviewed about what they love about their future fiancé and what they’re looking forward to in their marriage. This voiceover is then layered on top of the footage showcasing her one-of-a-king ring being made exclusively for her.

Example of a Making of the Ring™ DVD for your engagement ring.

Meet Vanessa, Custom Ring Jeweler, Master Diamond Setter

I’m Vanessa Nicole and I help clients create the perfect engagement ring of their dreams.

My specialty is micropavé, which is a highly specialized diamond setting skill that is performed under a microscope. It is a very popular design element for custom engagement rings.

Personally, I would hate for anything to go wrong with my own engagement ring because there is SO much sentiment behind it. I’m sure you feel the same way.

If you decide to go the route of designing your own custom engagement ring rather than a pre-made ring, I can guide you through the FUN process with inspirational design ideas and digital renderings before we make your ring. You don't have to be a jewelry expert – I've help thousands of clients create a unique ring to commemorate their love story, with a 100% happy client rating. 

I know how important this ring is to you. She’s a very special woman in your life and I take the responsibility of creating an amazing ring for her very seriously. 

I give you my personal promise that so much love, thought, and careful attention will be put into her one-of-a-kind ring, that there will be no other like it… much like she is to you.

Let me know if you need any guidance – I’m happy to help.


Vanessa Nicole

“Vanessa has mastered her craft”

"Vanessa Nicole Jewels Vanessa was a pleasure to work with from start to finish and her work is amazing. My ring is just stunning! I feel like she had a better understanding of what I wanted than I did. Vanessa has mastered her craft and I’m so glad my fiancé found her company." ~Alyssa C.

Worried If She'll Like It?

Some clients are apprehensive about having a custom ring created rather than simply purchasing a pre-made ring because they fear it won’t look like what they want. We have a solution for that!

For all custom rings, a CAD model is created on the computer which shows every angle of your ring before it is actually created in metal. If necessary, you can make any adjustments to your ring’s CAD model until you approve of the final design. We’ve never had anyone dislike their ring once they see it in person.

When you purchase a pre-made ring at a traditional jewelry store, tens of thousands of the exact same ring are being worn by other women. There is certainly value in overseas manufacturing, but not when it comes to engagement rings.

At Vanessa Nicole Jewels, we don’t carry an inventory of rings that were made months or years ago. Each ring is created one at a time, just for you.

Watch Christine Receive Her Custom Engagement Ring:

Working With Us Outside of San Diego

80% of our engagement rings are created for clients who don’t live in San Diego where our studio is located. 

There are many options when it comes to the design of your ring; we can do pretty much anything you desire! You’ll see a lot of designs to choose from, and we would be delighted to discuss the engagement ring of your DREAMS.


Is it always more expensive to custom-make an engagement ring?

No!  Creating a custom engagement ring can sometimes even cost you less money than purchasing a comparable quality ring from a retail store. How is that possible? When working with a custom jeweler like Vanessa, you avoid huge retail markups to account for high rents, stocking inventory and high sales commissions. You only pay for what you want and you are ensured the best quality.

How much does it cost to have a custom-made ring?

The price of a custom-made ring will depend on the materials used and the complexity of design. The cost of the center stone diamond will greatly affect the price. On average, clients tend to invest at least $10,000 for a custom-made engagement ring.

How long does it take to have a custom engagement ring made?

The entire process, from design to delivery, typically takes about 6 weeks, sometimes sooner depending on the complexity of the piece. Contact us so we can best coordinate with your timeline. 

Want Vanessa to create your diamond ring?

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