Online Wedding Ring Costs vs. Custom Made Wedding Ring Costs

“Why Does My Custom Made Wedding Ring Cost More Than That Online Ring?”
Marquis Diamond in White Gold Engagement Setting

Internet Engagement Ring

Ronnie recently emailed me, her Santa Barbara Jewelry Designer, a picture of a ring she saw on

It cost $795. I had just created a similar custom setting for her priced at $1400. She wondered if she’d paid too much. I compared the two rings. Were they similar? Not really.

Differentiating One Ring From Another

I couldn’t tell just from a picture, but the ring from Overstock looked much lighter than mine. Sometimes the shanks are hollowed out and the gem settings are thinner to reduce the cost.

Would it hold up like mine? Not this lifetime. It was hard to compare the quality of the gemstones from a photograph.

Engagement Ring Hand Engraved with Speed Bumps

Ronnie’s Custom Made Engagement Ring With Hand Engraving and Speed Bumps to Stop it From Spinning.

The Quality is in the Details

The real difference in the rings, though, was in the details. From the side, the Overstock ring was a real plain Jane. My design on the other hand, had an intricate and beautiful hand engraved pattern. It had a thick and well made design for Ronnie’s crazy busy life.

Why a Custom Made Wedding Ring Costs More

A real custom designed ring is a one of a kind piece of jewelry, too. Lots of work and consultation goes into the design and creation of your ring. It starts with talking to you.

You’re Unique, Your Wedding Ring Should be Unique Too!

I like to discuss your tastes, your likes and dislikes, and your purpose for your custom designed ring. I want to know if you’ll be wearing your ring everyday and how much life it’ll be exposed to. Are you a pilot or a road grader? I also want to make sure the design compliments your hand.

Your Custom Designed Ring is Just For You!

Wedding Band with flush set diamonds and drawing

First the Design is Drawn and Then it is Made up

The next step is drawing up your design. (See my blog post, The Sixteen Steps to Your Custom Jewelry Design.) Once that’s done, we carve a wax model for you. Then I show you the wax and you agree to go ahead with casting or to have me make modifications.

When You Were Made They Broke the Mold – Same Deal With Your Ring

Next, we cast your ring in gold or platinum. We set gemstones, and polish the daylights out of it! We might engrave some details or put on a special finish at this point, too.

“What if I Want to Spend Less?”

Sale sign

Not all jewelry has to be custom made—especially if cost is a concern. By all means, go ahead and buy a ring you like at a jewelry store in the mall. Or on Of course, check the details first.

Make Sure Your Wedding Ring Choices are Good Ones 

Ideally examine it under loupe. (See my blog post on How to Use a Jeweler’s Loupe.) Always make sure it’s made with good quality. More than likely, you’ll pay more for a custom designed ring than for one in a jewelry store—or online.

Should You Have a Custom Made Ring?

Palm Trees and Woman Smiling

Ronnie, Happy With Her New Custom Wedding Set

Bezel Setting Used on Wedding Band in Platinum

Ronnie’s Engraved Custom  Wedding Set

Hand Engraved Wedding Set

A well known chain of jewelry stores may be pumping out 100 of the same ring design at the same time to take advantage of the economy of scale.

Your custom designed ring was made once, just for you. Yeah it’ll cost more, but…you’re worth it. Right?

Calla Gold

About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at a distance clients. Santa Barbara jeweler Calla Gold personally designs jewelry that comes from your story and your heart.


  1. KymberlyFunFit on April 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Calla Gold, this is a very clear comparison of aspects beyond cost when it comes to wedding ring setting priorities. Like how I used a jewelry term, “setting” to comment? I paid extra for that and it was worth it!

    • Calla Gold on April 4, 2012 at 6:42 am

      I loved that you have a new word and used it so properly. Go to the head of the class!
      Calla Gold

  2. Jackie Ruka on April 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for.” Jewelry is alot like art: invest in the original, no one else will ever own it and it is worth so much more in love, memories and uniqueness than a knock off or duplicate. By the way the wedding set is gorgeous!

    • Calla Gold on April 4, 2012 at 6:45 am

      I love how you liken custom jewelry to art. And how an original is worth so much more in love, memories and uniqueness. I’ll remember your words and probably quote them to someone who is thinking about going custom with their wedding rings. You have a beautiful turn of phrase there.
      Thank you,
      Calla Gold

  3. Executive Coach on April 17, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Wow, there is no comparison between the off-the-shelf ring and your one-of-a-kind custom ring! It is on overstock for a reason and that is because those rings are “a dime a dozen”! Over the years the extra she paid for her custom ring will be pennies and will bring her endless joy!
    Dr. Lynn K. Jones, Certified Personal and Executive Coach

    • Calla Gold on April 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Dr. Lynn,
      I couldn’t have said it better!
      Thank you,
      Calla Gold

  4. Jewellers Melbourne on April 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    A good article Calla Gold! Sometimes, people buying wedding jewellery really need to know what they are buying and if it’s worthy of the price tag.
    Melbourne jeweler Dane

    • Calla Gold on April 27, 2012 at 5:36 am

      Thanks for responding from Down Under!
      The real value of purchased ring is an issue that comes up a lot when consulting people about repairing a wedding ring.
      The conversation often goes to where they bought their wedding ring and we discuss its strength and weaknesses. Some of the online rings people buy were never meant to be worn as wedding rings and the daily wear just ruins them.
      I call those rings occasion-wear-rings. And I explain to them that rings made to be wedding rings are made to be worn daily and will cost more and why. I had to put it in writing because it’s one of those frequently asked questions.
      Dane I hope you’ll visit the blog again!
      Santa Barbara Jeweler,

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