The best places to buy a bespoke engagement ring in London

Here’s our list of the top London jewellers to go to for a truly one-of-a-kind engagement ring

An engagement ring is probably the most significant piece of jewellery you will buy in your lifetime, which is why it’s important to choose a ring both you and your fiancée - not forgetting future generations - will cherish forever. And, to find a ring as personal and meaningful as your own love story, choosing to embark on a bespoke engagement ring commission will enable you to work alongside a jeweller to design a completely one-of-a-kind piece that’s tailored to your exacting tastes and requirements. To create the dream ring, you’ll need to select the best jeweller to craft your unique vision, and from contemporary independent brands to jewellery houses steeped in tradition, here is our list of the finest places to buy a bespoke engagement ring in London.

1. Blackacre

The Blackacre team in Sri Lanka

If you or your fiancée prefer dinner dates at newly opened restaurants, or weekends away at boutique hotels, then it is the jeweller for you. Favouring quality, discretion and a sense of adventure over the regular mainstream picks you’ll no doubt want to search for an engagement ring from a jeweller that reflects this too.

Enter Blackacre, a brand that has seemingly risen out of nowhere, but is rapidly becoming London's best hidden gem of a jeweller. Indeed, think of this small team of experts as adventurers, seekers of the exotic, traversing far-flung corners of the earth to discover the most exquisite stones. Taking its clients on an immersive, educational and collaborative creative journey, each bespoke design is crafted around the unique personality and properties of every stone and tailored to a personal story. With an ethos centred around designing bespoke, personal and limited edition creations, each bespoke engagement ring is entirely tailored to a couple's own story, and, as a testament to the quality and service on offer, the brand has grown almost entirely by word of mouth.

Like the idea of a bespoke commission, but not sure you’ve got time to dedicate to the process? Fear not - Blackacre’s simple, supportive, highly-detailed and modern approach has made its bespoke experience a go-to for time-short professionals, with a showroom conveniently located close to Chancery Lane. From the moment you submit an enquiry, you’ll be promptly taken care of as if you were a member of their family… "Focusing on truly bespoke jewellery ensures we only create thoughtful, timeless pieces that are tailored to a couple's own story," explains founder Samuel Stirrat. "Our expeditions across the globe shine a light on the lengths we go to in creating each and every piece, as well as our desire to constantly exceed our customers’ expectations.” This isn't your typical bespoke jeweller...

2. Boodles

For those who favour classic style with a contemporary twist, the establishment of iconic Bond Street jeweller Boodles dates back to 1798, bringing a wealth of knowledge, expertise and innovation to its bespoke engagement ring designs. Indeed, one of the key trends the house is seeing is that people aren’t looking for what they were twenty years ago - today there is a shift towards simplicity, with people wanting their rings to reflect their personality, and to have the option of wearing their engagement rings daily, not only for specific occasions. So, if your fiancée needs their ring to work with a varied and active lifestyle, Boodles’ creations are intuitively designed to be both beautiful and practical for busy everyday life.

The Ashoka cut has become an incredibly popular choice at Boodles, owing to the unique beauty of the stone and the way it can sit low on the finger, and there has also been a rise in demand for coloured stones to be featured in its bespoke engagement rings. “Boodles is setting many of its engagement rings with white diamonds, alongside small very pink diamonds on the shoulders, or sometimes the surround on a vintage ring," explains the company’s Chairman, Nicholas Wainwright. “Pink diamonds are extremely popular with our customers and they love including them in their pieces. Yellow diamonds are more reasonably priced and we have sold a lot of one carat intense yellow colour, together with white diamonds.” Managing Director Michael Wainwright adds: “The main colour we sell for engagement rings is yellow diamonds, by a long way. Big blues and pinks tend to be too valuable for engagement rings. We do often use a little pink diamond in the underside of the setting, which is rather indulgent, but very special as it can't be seen in wear, but the wearer knows it's there.”

3. Jessica McCormack

While every client and piece is different when it comes to bespoke engagement rings, what all Jessica McCormack’s clients have in common is that they are looking for something unique, and they value craftsmanship. While signature styles such as the Georgian Loop and classic Button Back are popular, many clients go to Jessica McCormack because they want a design with a bit of a twist – such as the jeweller’s tilted pears or Toi et Moi collection. If you’re looking for something totally individual that feels both modern and timeless, and you and your fiancée prefer to think out of the box rather than being bound by ‘trends’, Jessica McCormack’s bold and often playful pieces will appeal to you, and with its bespoke design service, you can create your dream one-of-a-kind engagement ring.

You’ll have the option of either customising a signature design, or starting from scratch to create a one-off future heirloom that can be passed on from generation to generation, with Jessica McCormack’s expert team guiding you through every step of the bespoke process. They encourage customers to go beyond the technical details and choose the diamond that they feel most drawn to, selecting every diamond - whether antique or modern - for its individuality and charm. From sourcing the stones to the first hand-drawn sketches and crafting of the ring in the in-house workshop, you can rest assured you’ll be well informed but never overwhelmed.

What’s more, the lavish yet welcoming six-storey 19th century Townhouse in the heart of Mayfair is not only a go-to for UK clients, but it’s also a destination store for international shoppers. Indeed, people travel to London just to visit Jessica McCormack, heading to the Townhouse straight off the plane in order to find the perfect engagement ring.

4. De Beers

The ornate facades of jewellers on Old Bond Street might seem a bit intimidating if this is your first serious jewellery purchase, but the team at De Beers will welcome you into their friendly and refined boutique and talk you through the expansive range of all shapes and sizes of diamonds for every budget, each one meticulously hand-selected for its precise alignment of facets and angles. With a scintillating collection of round brilliant diamonds, fancy coloured diamonds, emerald-cut diamonds and oval shape diamonds to pursue, last year De Beers also introduced marquise cut diamond rings to its bridal collection, and this year it has added the beautiful radiant cut.

If you’ve looked at all the options and got some ideas and inspiration, but nothing in the boutique really draws you in, De Beers’ tailor-made service, For You, Forever, is a perfect option. It enables clients to choose the ring setting, the material (platinum or gold) and the diamond, from a wide range of six cuts up to 2.99 carats, to create a truly unique, one-off piece that’s individually crafted in London. Appointments are conducted either in store, or online with one of the brand’s experts via a client facing app, and, from initial consultation to final piece, the whole process usually takes from between two to 12 weeks, depending on the diamond and setting availability. The De Beers experts will remain on hand throughout the process to offer guidance on the design and to answer questions along the way.

It’s also important to know all De Beers diamonds are ethically sourced from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada, as well as being responsibly crafted, so you will have complete peace of mind that you purchase a diamond your partner – and future generations – are proud to own and wear forever.

5. Hancocks London

If you or your fiancée have a passion for antique or retro jewellery, Hancocks London, located at 52/53 Burlington Arcade, is a treasure trove of historical inspiration, believing there is a special charm associated with the vintage cut diamonds and coloured gemstones it specialises in. As London’s oldest independent family jewellers, with over 160 years of experience to guide you and create your perfect jewel, it goes without saying that Hancocks is a very safe pair of hands when it comes to crafting bespoke engagement rings. Offering a fully bespoke service to cater for all budgets, Hancocks prides itself on keeping the process extremely personal, working closely with each client to develop a thorough mutual understanding of exactly what you wish to create, from the initial design stages through to the finished handcrafted jewel. If the appropriate gemstones for your design are not already in stock, they will be sourced using Hancocks’ abundant worldwide contacts for both modern and old cut stones. Indeed,

Guy Burton, Managing Director of Hancocks London, describes how each of its old cut diamonds is special, as they are not mass produced, and the old cut faceting has a magical quality that has been lost with their contemporary counterparts. “We are regarded as one of the top independent jewellers globally, with a reputation for finding the finest and most beautiful examples of antique and vintage cut diamonds and coloured gemstones,” he says. “We combine these exceptional gemstones with the finest craftsmanship to make our one-of-a-kind pieces. Our expert curation, old cut gemstones and the finest craftsmanship give us our USP. Our customers feel reassured that when they invest in a piece of jewellery made by Hancocks London it will have been handcrafted to an exceptional standard in our workshops here in London and feature the most beautiful old cut gemstones on the market."

6. Rachel Boston

Described in Vogue Paris as ‘taking the jewellery world by storm’ with her unique engagement rings, Rachel Boston, founder of her eponymous jewellery house, has become known for her minimalist and refined designs. Indeed, her bold aesthetic has redefined the traditional world of bridal jewellery and has established her as one of the most exciting British jewellers to look out for.

Specialising in bespoke commissions, allowing clients to be part of the process every step of the way, her ethically-minded pieces are created with inspired and curious people in mind, who are seeking jewellery that strikes just the right balance between adventurous and elegant. Appointments can either be made at the East London store, or via a video or phone meetings, where you’ll be sent multiple stone options and 3D video renderings of your piece throughout the journey.

"Whether you choose one of our existing designs or wish to create an entirely bespoke piece, we offer a tailored customer experience,” Rachel Boston explains. “Every single one of our pieces is made to order, in dialogue with our clients so that we can create the piece of their dreams, down to its most minute details.

We have come to be known for our Art-Deco inspired design aesthetic: you'll find modern pieces with clean, graphic silhouettes, unusual diamonds full of character, and more delicate designs with ornate details. Our focus is on making pieces that feel unique and playful, while remaining endlessly elegant and wearable. Our designs are brought to life by our talented team of craftspeople based for the most part in London: it is important to us to champion British craftsmanship, and our pieces are made from start to finish in the United Kingdom. Our aim is to create timeless, quality pieces full of character, set to become future heirlooms."

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