Last updated: April 12, 2023

Custom Engagement Rings | The Jewellery Design Process

Custom & Hand Made Engagement Rings

Got a ring design in mind? We design and make custom engagement rings right here in Brisbane

Diamondport is a boutique team of Brisbane jewellery designers, and we specialise in custom designed engagement rings and other diamond jewellery. It will be my pleasure to help you design your engagement ring.

Hi I’m Ashley Portas

I was a diamond merchant for many years, and I’m still completely enchanted by diamonds. It’s an exciting industry and I loved grading, buying and selling these fascinating and precious little gemstones. I also love people – and it was a natural progression to begin Diamondport, where I provide a full service of custom designing and making jewellery, right here in sunny Brisbane. Let me step you through the jewellery design process so you’ll know exactly what to expect. A huge part of a ring’s value is in the diamond, so how do you ensure you’re getting some serious sparkle for your investment? Well, that’s where Diamondport comes in. We have a simple 5-step diamond selection and design process that really helps. Let’s break it down:

The jewellery design process

Step 1 – Take Note

Perhaps your girlfriend has dropped a few hints on the engagement ring design she’s after? If so – fantastic! That gives us a great starting point and together we’ll custom design her ring. If she hasn’t given you any clues about the style of ring she’d like, don’t be too concerned, no worries, we’ll talk in detail about her style and taste, browse some rings and designs, and I’m confident we’ll create something she loves.

Step 2 – Decide your budget

Before you head to the jeweller, it’s vital that you have a firm idea of a budget in mind. otherwise, you might find yourself making a rash purchase decision and suffering from some serious buyer’s regret later. The old rule of thumb (or should that be finger?) is that you ought to be spending two month’s salary on a ring, but at Diamondport we think it’s important to consider other financial factors. Of course, you want to buy the most beautiful ring, but that doesn’t mean you need to bankrupt yourself. We make exquisite custom engagement rings to suit all budgets, and we won’t pressure you to spend big bucks.

Step 2 – Let me take the hard work out of the process

Come in for an obligation-free appointment with me, Ashley Portas. I’ll step you through the jewellery design process and guide you each step of the way.

Step 3 –  Choose the main diamond

The core diamond is usually the main attraction of any engagement or wedding ring. There are two key factors to consider here:

  • Shape: All diamonds are fashioned in different ways, known as shapes. Some popular types include the more traditional round brilliant cut, the fashionable cushion cut, the classic princess cut or the more unusual pear shape
  • Carat: Carat is the industry term to describe the weight of a gemstone. Since 1913, the international standard has been 200 milligrams per carat, so a 10-carat diamond weighs more (and costs more) than a 5-carat diamond

The next step, we’ll choose the diamonds. I’m a diamond merchant of 12 years, so I have access to a portal where I can browse and buy from hundreds of thousands of diamonds. I was just checking prices of 1.00 carat diamonds and there were 3,246 diamonds of 1 carat weight alone. I’ll happily share plenty of info about diamonds – what to look for, what to avoid and how to get the best value – and we’ll pick out the perfect diamond for your design.

The True Love Guarantee: if your fiancée doesn’t love her engagement ring, I’ll remake it free of charge.

We’re one of the only Brisbane jewellers to offer this guarantee.

Step 4 – Choose the metal

You need to decide whether you want the gemstone set in platinum, yellow gold, rose gold or the most popular, white gold. It can be a tough choice, so if you haven’t been given strict instructions, we recommend checking your partner’s existing jewellery to guess what they’d prefer. It’s also really important to check if your future partner has any allergies – you don’t want to give them a ring that brings them out in a rash.

Step 5 – Choose the design

Do you have a fair idea of what you’re after? Fab! We’ll sketch your jewellery design and refer out, referring to rings I have in stock. If you’re starting from scratch we have a wide selection of designs and rings from which to choose. I’m sure we’ll select a ring that reflects her tastes and style and if for some very rare reason she doesn’t love it, I’ll remake it for free, that’s absolutely guaranteed. Okay, so there are a serious number of design options, and it can feel little overwhelming. It’s a good idea to come to our studio prepared, and if you’re trying to keep everything a surprise, we recommend:

  • Checking out your partner’s existing jewellery, and perhaps take a few photos on your smartphone to show us
  • Asking your partner’s family and friends for ideas
  • Flicking through a few wedding magazines to find ideas

To make your life easier, we’ve included a selection of popular ring designs in our gallery and don’t worry, we’ll talk you through the options on the day.

Step 6 – Let’s get it made

At this point, we decide whether your ring will be handcrafted or handmade.

Computer Aided Design – a handcrafted ring

When you’re happy with my sketch, I design your ring in CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and 3D print a model for your approval. Once we’ve made any refinements and you’re happy, elements of the ring (usually a setting and shank) are cast in a mould – then cleaned, joined, set and polished by hand.

Ring design in cad software
Claw Set Diamond Engagement Ring Design in CAD Software – Preliminary Stage


A handmade ring is made from scratch. A small bar of metal is rolled, bent, twisted and shaped to form a ring. We don’t use CAD for handmade rings. My sketch is passed onto the jeweller who specialises in handmade rings, and is based on the Gold Coast. He produces a detailed hand-drawn design for your approval. Once signed off, the jeweller brings your design to life, completely by hand.

Handmade vs Handcrafted

Handmade vs handcrafted? You’re getting an exceptional quality ring either way – so we can discuss the finer points and pros and cons when we meet.

Step 7 – Get ready to propose

After you’ve visited our studios, your ring will take an average of 3 to 4 weeks to be handcrafted by our team of diamond experts. We’ll call you back in when the ring is ready and give it to you in a beautiful, stylish presentation box. While you’re waiting, you can put the finishing touches to your proposal plans: find that amazing location that’s special to you, book a trip away, find the fanciest restaurant in town and practice getting down on one knee. Our head diamond specialist, Ashley Portas, has helped hundreds of people design the perfect custom ring following the steps above. He’s confident you’ll create the perfect ring. We work hard to help you find the right style, choose the highest quality diamond and ultimately walk away with a ring that will melt her heart without breaking your budget.

Read what our happy customers have to say

Google review paul mahoney “I had the pleasure of designing a ring with Ashley all the way from Ireland and it couldn’t have been easier. He makes the process very simple.. keeping you in the loop of the designing process and helps you every step of the way.” – Paul Mahoney Google review nicole foyster We have just gone through the process of designing our custom made engagement ring with Ashley. The experience was an absolute pleasure from start to finish, informative, easy and fun! Ash was great at listening to our requirements and delivering a superior finished product which was more cost effective than other bigger branded options” – James and Nicole Foster Google review thomas beattie “an excellent experience from top to bottom. His expert guidance helped me come up with the perfect ring and he made the experience as smooth as silk. Great service, communication and final product.” – Thomas Beattie “I highly recommend contacting Diamondport for a quote before you buy anywhere else. Ashley is a true professional and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to diamonds, materials and styling. Ashley was able to draw, design, size and create our dream wedding bands after just one conversation. Ashley kept us updated on progress throughout the process…” – Casey Robertson Google review trent christey “Ash knows how to listen effectively and once your exact outcomes/objectives are established, he will recommend/tailor the most beautiful piece for your consideration. That’s how it worked with me and during the entire process, Ash was extremely personable, always respectful and made the exercise enjoyable.” – Trent Christey Google review cams “I have been going to Ash for all jewellery for almost a decade now and always walked away happy. He has always given honest opinions and advice when comparing different options and I feel that I always come away with the best price.” – Cam S

What would you like designed? Pop in for an obligation-free chat with Ashley and his team of Brisbane jewellery designers.

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