We shop for EVERYTHING online these days. But it can be truly nerve-wracking to buy one of the most important purchases of your life online, and that’s your engagement ring! From big name retailers to even Etsy, there are more and more places to buy custom engagement rings and wedding rings online, but there are only a handful that offer a truly bespoke experience you can trust.
After all, you’re spending a lot of money, and you want to make sure you’re getting the most beautiful engagement ring you can buy for your budget. And while the larger name retailers are (mostly) trust-worthy, you will likely pay a premium if you buy an engagement ring from them. So, what’s the best option, especially if you want to safely buy custom engagement rings for a great price online?
We were recently introduced to Taylor & Hart, a London and New York based jeweler that is completely redefining the bespoke engagement ring industry. Specializing in custom design engagement and wedding rings, we started learning more about the company and how they work, and we can honestly say it has quickly become one of our favorites. Here’s why:
Founded in 2013 by two friends with years of experience in the diamond wholesale industry, the company started off as a traditional online jeweler. However, after receiving a ton of requests for custom engagement rings, they soon realized there was a need for a bespoke jewelry experience online, and evolved to offer one of the best custom design experiences out there. It wasn’t easy, but after getting the right team together they soon perfected the process, and Taylor & Hart was born.
A Jeweler For Life
Named after the quintessentially British service of tailoring (Taylor) and the “heart” (Hart) that comes from creating your own design, founders Nikolay and Shane wanted to create a “clicks and bricks” model that allowed customers to shop in store or online. The goal was to create a “jeweler for life” relationship with clients, offering not only a lifetime of care for the pieces they invested in, but a host of other services that are rarely found online (or in store), such as:
- Ethically sourced materials and transparency in their sourcing and process
- Personal service from your very own design consultant
- The ability to return the ring within 90 days if you’re not 100% happy
- Free resizing
- Lifetime manufacturer warranty
- Over 150,000 GIA graded diamonds, all backed by their “Price Match Promise”
- Diamond Upgrade Policy
- Annual complimentary clean, polish and inspection
Now that I knew the backstory, I wanted to start the engagement ring design process myself to test it out. I also wanted to compare prices to my own engagement ring that we purchased from a friend who dealt with wholesale jewelry. (More on that below). Here’s how the custom design process with Taylor & Hart works, which is completely complimentary with no commitment to buy.
The Custom Engagement Ring Process
Step 1: Meet Your Designer
Your personal design consultant will connect with you via video call. Or, if you’re nearby, you can visit the Taylor & Hart showroom in New York City. During this initial meeting your designer will get to know what you’re looking for, your budget, and answer any questions you might have.
Step 2: See Your Ring Design Options
After you share your vision, your designer will present you with several custom engagement rings using 3D CAD (computer-aided design). You’ll even get to see the rings on hands, which is super helpful when determining the look you like. At this point you can also review the type of setting you want, including the metal. Taylor & Hart has settings available in either 18 karat white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and 950 platinum.
Step 3: Discuss Diamonds and Gemstones
Not sure about the 4 c’s of diamonds (cut, clarity, color, and carat)? Or maybe you’re curious about lab grown diamonds or gemstones, such as yellow and blue sapphires or emeralds? Your personal designer will go over the best options for you.
Have your own diamond or gemstone? You can still create a bespoke ring. Just ask!
Step 4: Customization
From there you can customize even more, and make big (or small) changes that are truly unique to your engagement ring. Your design can be amended up to three times to make sure you find exactly what you want.
One of our favorite things about Taylor & Hart rings is that they come with a complimentary ruby set inside the band (and an engraved inscription). Want something besides a ruby? You can swap it for a signature gemstone for only $35 more. Options include emerald, sapphire, aquamarine, and tourmaline among others.
If you want to see how your bespoke engagement ring looks in person, Taylor & Hart can also create a resin. This will allow you to get a feel for the scale of your ring, which is a great option if you’re unsure about your exact design.
Step 5: Ask any additional questions you might have
The entire design process typically takes 2-5 days. Once you approve the final design, Taylor & Hart will create and deliver your bespoke ring in around 30 days. They will also stay in touch with you throughout the process.
First up is the design stage, which takes place in London with their talented team of experts. Next is production, where your design is 3D (wax or resin) printed and then cast into its chosen metal.
After your setting is complete, the diamond or gemstone (primarily sourced from India, the US, and Hong Kong) are then carefully selected. . From there, all U.S. orders are hand-finished by master craftsmen in Washington State before they are luxuriously packaged. Your ring will be insured and tracked via USPS to your preferred address. The packaging is free from branding so you can also be sure it will be a surprise (if you want!).
Pricing for Custom Engagement Rings
Pricing for custom engagement rings starts at $1,600. If you have a New York shipping address or would like to collect from their NYC showroom, sales tax will be included at checkout. Otherwise, they do not currently collect sales tax when delivering to any other US state. This is a BIG cost saver!
In addition to bespoke engagement rings, Taylor & Hart has a large selection of jewelry–including vintage inspired rings–in stock and ready to shop. You can also view their collection designs at their New York showroom. Pricing for settings in their collection start at $675, and diamonds at $395.
Shop and Compare
Out of curiosity, I looked for both a similar diamond and setting similar to mine, and while I won’t reveal that actual cost, I can tell you that the Taylor & Hart equivalent was $4,000 less than mine! I was shocked, especially considering we supposedly got a great deal on my engagement ring.
If you’re looking for custom engagement rings or wedding rings, Taylor & Hart is a cost-effective and great option for quality jewelry you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Their design process is free, which means you can try it out and see what beautiful jewelry you can create!
Click here to schedule your online virtual consultation, or visit Taylor & Hart’s New York City showroom and start designing your dream engagement ring!