Picking The Perfect Engagement Ring Materials

Knowing the type of stones and metal you want to work with is a huge step in the path to getting an engagement ring. What’s important is that you understand what it realistically costs to get what you want. Picking a number out of thin air that you would like to pay can lead to disappointment, as can browsing rings online without a sense of the quality of materials. One note: you can find anything on the internet. Educate yourself and be diligent about asking questions. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Consider durability

How Your Materials Affect Price


The type of metal and the amount of metal needed both affect cost. Generally, yellow gold, rose gold and white gold are less expensive than platinum or palladium, but if you’re design requires a lot of metal (like a thick band) or it’s a complex design, the price will go up accordingly. Because custom engagement rings are made only one time, the design is precisely engineered just for your ring and the metal case just once. Therefore, the cost of metal may be factored into the overall price in a bigger way than a mass-produced ring. Compare engagement ring metals here. 


The average engagement ring has a 1.0 carat diamond center stone. This is what most people envision when they think of an engagement ring, and one carat diamond rings typically fall in the $10,000 – $15,000 range, though the diamond’s cut, color, and clarity and exact carat weight will affect the price. We have designed rings in the $6,000 – $10,000 range that have a diamond center stone under 1.0 carat, or the center stone is the client’s heirloom stone that we have cleared for quality, durability, and design compatibility. NOTE: we require proper documentation on heirloom diamonds.  A 2 carat diamond engagement ring will typically be in the $30,000 – $50,000 range; a 3.0 carat in the $50,000 – $80,000 range; and a 4 carat between $80,000 – $100,000+.

A note on diamonds:
No two diamonds are the same. You can find a 3.0 carat poor quality diamond that is very visibly flawed and cloudy for much less than mentioned above. Conversely, you can pay much higher prices than listed above if you want a near flawless stone.

At Abby Sparks Jewelry, we only use certified, eye clean, great quality stones. Please expect to find lower price points for rings created at high volume with similar sized stones that are not eye-clean or great color. Likewise, you will pay more for a ring created with stones at the most “perfect” grading. We find most people are happy somewhere in the middle. Learn all of your diamond options, including more budget-friendly options like lab created and rough diamonds here.


One of the top drivers of the cost of custom engagement rings is the rarity and size of the center stone, and some gemstones are much rarer than diamonds and other gemstones and command a price tag to match. Generally, a 1.0 carat gemstone engagement ring will be between $6,000 – $10,000 with the price going up as carat size and/or design complexity and additional stones increase. A 5 carat gemstone may be possible at the $30,000 – $50,000 range. Compare all stones here

A note on gemstones:
Only a select few gemstones are strong enough for everyday lifetime wear. Make sure you have chosen a gemstone that’s realistic for your lifestyle. Learn about engagement ring gemstones here.

Lab-Created Stones

Lab created diamonds and lab created gemstones are chemically and structurally identical to their mined counterparts, except that instead of being formed naturally in the earth, they are grown in a controlled laboratory environment that simulates the conditions they typically grow in. Lab created stones are more budget-friendly than mined stones, but the exact savings depend on the stone type. Roughly, a 1.0 carat lab created diamond or gemstone ring could be in the $10,000 – $15,000 range.

How Your Design Choices Affect Price


An engagement ring setting is the entire metal part of the ring that holds the all diamonds and gemstones in place. Your setting not only secures your stones, it sets the tone for the entire design. Settings can vary widely in terms of complexity and this affects price. For example, a simple, plain metal band will not cost as much as a band with intricate filigree cut outs or one with hand carved designs. Similarly, the more metal (gold, platinum, or palladium) used, the higher the price tag. At Abby Sparks Jewelry, all of our rings start at $6,000. Learn more about settings here.


Aside from giving the stone its shape, the cut of a stone determines brilliance and sparkle. Round brilliant cuts are by far the most popular choice for all engagement rings and they are typically the most expensive of all cuts. Conversely, asscher cut is one of the least popular cuts as it can only be performed by an experienced master cutter, but because of this and its general rarity it can also fetch a higher price tag. Learn more about cuts here.

Alternative Rings

An alternative engagement ring means different things to different people, but generally, any engagement ring that is not a white diamond is considered pretty alternative. As a general rule, gemstone engagement rings are more budget-friendly than diamond engagement rings, unless you want a very rare gemstone. Learn more about alternative engagement rings here.

Browse Rings

View our portfolio and narrow down by material and design choice to see how your budget could be affected.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a design meeting consultation cost?

Our one hour design meetings are totally complementary!

Can you give me a quote before my design meeting?

Because each piece we make is built from the ground up and is so unique, it is difficult to give an accurate quote without having a full design meeting. We encourage you to browse our engagement ring portfolio to see the range of projects we’ve made in the past.

How much does custom jewelry cost?

Our Custom Engagement Rings typically start at $6,000. Many factors impact the price of custom jewelry such as gemstone preferences like type of stone, carat weight, cut and clarity.  Additional price influences include metal type, overall dimensions of a piece, design complexity and detail, rarity of gemstones to be sourced, quantity of gemstones to be set, and more. To learn more about our pricing read our blog How Much is a Custom Ring or give us a call at 303-957-6502.

Can you work with my budget?

We typically have two approaches to designing. We can design around what the client loves or around a budget. If you have a particular budget above our base starting point for custom fine jewelry of $4,000 and custom engagement rings of $6,000, we pride ourselves on guiding people with designs and corresponding metals, gemstones & diamonds that best suite their financial needs but that still provide a great value, both visually and in quality. Designing around what you love means that there isn’t a fixed budget, but rather a determined budget range for the general look and materials. Either way, design parameters are part of a conversation that we have at the initial design consultation. Financing available.

When do I pay for my custom jewelry?

Payments for custom jewelry are divided into three installments. First you pay a $500 design deposit to get the ball rolling. Then we require a fifty percent deposit for all custom pieces, to be paid before commissioned jewelry goes into production. You’ll pay the final 50% installment upon delivery.

Do you offer financing, payment plans or layaway?

We offer our Layaway program. Learn more here! We also offer financing.

Ready to Start Designing?

We can work with you in-person at our studio or set up a video call to help you take the first step toward designing a ring. Design consultations are complementary and we will give you a quick call beforehand to make sure we can help you.