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Using an Engagement Ring Designer

If you’re recently engaged, or looking to pop the question, the idea of using a designer to create a bespoke ring may seem appropriate but a little daunting. Many of us have little to no experience of the jewellery designing process so finding a creative you can trust to deliver exceptional service and quality is a must.

A personal favourite of mine is Baroque Jewellers in Brighton, East Sussex. I adore their unique designs and attention to detail. I met with them to find out more on what to expect when seeking out a designer and why a bespoke piece may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Design tools and Jewel ring sat on top of ring design drawings

About Baroque

Baroque first opened its doors in Brighton’s renowned jewellery quarter, the Lanes, in 2006 and are previous winners of the Best Boutique Retailer at the UKs Jewellery Awards. Their shop stock, many of which are considered one off pieces themselves, are individually designed and created in house.

Baroque offer one of the widest catalogues of ethically sourced stones that I have ever laid eyes on and only work with recycled gold. On top of all of this their individual design service is a major pull, attracting many a loyal customer.

About the process

When it comes to design, nothing is off limits. From a classic simply set single stone to a wild multi-dimensional masterpiece nothing goes into production until the customer is completely satisfied. Their customer service is exceptional and completely authentic.

Customers can expect to have somewhere between 2 to 4 meetings, but there is no limit. This covers everything from the initial consultation, design, stone selection, mouldings (wax or silver) and final fittings. Yes, hearing it like that it can seem a bit overwhelming but its Baroques expertise and gentle guidance that will make you feel at ease, informed and above all part of the process.

In terms of getting the ball rolling is it best to start the process before or after the proposal? You’ll be relieved to hear, ‘It’s up to the customer’!

If your preference would be to propose with the ring in hand then you may want to consider recruiting the help of siblings, friends or parents to wingman you. If the thought of that is too stressful, and you have no idea where to start, another option is to purchase and propose with a single stone. This can then be incorporated into the design once your partner is involved.

Alternative Salt and Pepper Diamond Engagement ring and wedding band. Engagement ring with large oval salt and pepper diamond with classic diamond shoulders set in yellow gold band. Yellow Gold curved wedding band with clear round and baguette diamond's with central pear shaped salt and pepper diamond.

There is no strict way of starting the design process. It may be that you know exactly what you want. Some clients have images of the design they would like, which naturally progresses into drawings. Others may prefer to begin with selecting their stones and arrangements. While others, you guessed it, have no idea! (N.B. this happens a lot!)

Baroque holds an impressive and extremely diverse library of stones and are happy to source anything they don’t have immediately available. Naturally this can take some time depending on the rarity and specificity of the stone desired but they will be able to advise you and offer alternatives if needed.

Obviously I asked what happens for customers who venture in a little uncertain. “In some ways these can be the most enjoyable, as there are no preconceptions. We use our stock for initial inspiration to dig a little deeper and create a design that is a perfect fit for the individuals taste and style.” Reassuringly it seems that most people do know what they want, its just hidden in what they like and don’t like. “If you don’t like something it gets you closer to identifying what you do! It’s somewhere in your subconscious, a little treasure hunt!”

Another popular choice is to have old stones or heirlooms reset in a new design, and Baroque are happy to reuse metals where possible. Depending on the design this can work in favour of the overall cost for the customer.

For a recent customer Baroque incorporated the diamonds and gold of a fathers signet style ring to create two bespoke pendants; one for his son, another for his daughter. Though there were similar characteristics in both, each was unique and included both theirs and their father’s birthstones alongside the original rings diamonds.

Selecting the Materials

What stones and metals you decide on may come down to a number of considerations; budget, how often you want to wear the piece, what your hands are exposed to (some stones are porous or less hardwearing) and, above all, personal taste.

In todays world it’s important to know the ethics behind where you are putting your money. Baroque prides themselves on fully traceable gemstones, conflict free diamonds and recycled gold. They were, in fact, the first jewellers in East Sussex to offer fair trade gold.

The Boring Bit

You should allow 8-12 weeks for a design. Some may be quicker but when you take into account design, build, hallmarking etc. its easy to see how this is a very reasonable turn around time.

Designs can be tailored to budget and Baroques designers will be able to guide you on this. A 50% deposit is usually required once you have decided to proceed with the design.

The Take Home

It’s near impossible to say one thing that stands out for Baroques particular design service. Aside from their expertise and love of what they do they are a refreshing contrast to many of their competitors. Other designers can be very rigid in their offer, make assumptions and constantly try to upsell. Baroque delivers on everything it promises and more. Once you’ve met its likely to be the start of a very long love affair.

Get in touch by visiting their website at or by popping into their Brighton based shop at 9-10 Union Street, Brighton, BN1 1HA.

Assistant with all wedding jewellery selection and sources can be utilised as part of the Wedding Planner or Search and Rescue packages offer by Uniquely You Ceremonies.

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