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Custom vs. Semi-Custom, what is the difference?

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

So you decided to think outside the box and not go with that trendy jewellery store down the road or that online service your friends are raving about, which promises that you can "build your own ring online".

You are probably here because you are looking for:

  • a unique engagement ring for your future fiancé

  • a wonderful gift for a loved one

  • a one-of-a-kind gift for yourself

lady's hand holding a pink macaron wearing rose gold rings

Now what?

The time has come to explore some options when it comes to custom jewellery.

The two main options are Custom (aka Bespoke) and Semi-custom.

Let's take a closer look at each one to see what works best for you.

cushion shape blue zircon rose gold cocktail ring in an light blue hexagonal ring box next to yellow and pink macarons

Custom = Bespoke

A custom or a bespoke piece of jewellery is made completely from scratch and you call all the shots!

Time Frame: 9-12 weeks depending on the design and the rarity of the gemstones

Imagine an experience where:

  • you tell me about your vision for a dream ring, necklace or earrings

  • you share your likes and your dislikes

  • you share what is important to you

notepad and marble rose gold pen

  • you are guided through a gemstone selection process by a certified gemologist (me)

  • you do not spend hours of your precious time doing research

  • you are presented with a selection of ethically sourced gemstones tailored to your taste

round diamond in a brifka next to a black jeweler's loupe

  • you make an informed decision without feeling like you are “being sold to”

  • you are presented with a 3D CAD design which can be altered according to your preference (e.g. adding diamonds, changing the thickness of the band)

  • you give the "go ahead!"

3D CAD design of a white gold diamond engagement ring

  • you only work with one person, me

  • you have my full attention through the whole process

  • you receive your stunning ring, necklace, earrings, beautifully wrapped up and it is everything you wished for

white ring box tied with a light blue ribbon on a silk background

  • you say: “Yes! That is exactly what I was dreaming of!” or..

  • “She is going to love it!”

side profile of a lady's hand wearing a white gold diamond engagement ring

  • you receive an independent, third party appraisal, for your piece of mind

  • you are ready to go!

But that’s no all!

  • you are excited and proud to wear your one-of-a-kind custom piece or…

  • you and your fiancé are both over the moon with the creation of a new heirloom

  • you are constantly complimented on your unique jewellery

  • you can’t stop smiling and you never want to take it off

lady's hand wearing an oval teal sapphire and diamond halo white gold engagement ring and matching wedding bands

Custom ring design can be a longer process than popping down to your local jewellery store or clicking the “add to cart” button on your computer, but the personalised, 1:1 experience truly is priceless.

oval teal sapphire held in tweezers next to a white gold ring and a yellow tulip


Semi-custom means creating a new piece based on an existing design.

pear shape emerald and diamond halo white gold drop earrings

For example, if you see a a pair of earring (or another piece of jewellery) in my Gallery of previous projects, on my Instagram page or from the Ready-to-Wear collection that you like but you would prefer to choose a different centre stone or metal colour, that is possible! (in this case, sapphires instead of an emeralds)

pear shape sapphire and diamond halo white gold drop earrings

I will be happy to work with you on using an existing design and presenting you with a selection of gemstones to choose from, tailored to your taste.

Depending on the modifications you would like to make, the final outcome can cost more or less than the original piece.

Time Frame: 6-8 weeks depending on the design and the rarity of the gemstones

Whether you decided to go for the custom or semi-custom option, you will receive my full attention during the whole process.

What affects the price of my custom piece?

Whether you decided to create a custom or semi-custom piece of jewellery, here are the four things that will affect the price:

  • centre stone (e.g. diamond vs. gemstone, size, weight, shape and quality)

  • accent or side stones (e.g. diamond halo, large side stones, diamonds on the shoulders)

  • metal type (e.g. platinum vs. white, yellow or rose gold)

  • design (e.g. existing vs. brand new designed from scratch)

lady’s hand wearing vintage inspired engagement rings on index finger, round opal diamond halo white gold engagement ring, oval blue green sapphire diamond halo white gold engagement ring, oval padparadscha sapphire diamond halo rose gold engagement ring, pear morganite diamond halo rose gold engagement ring

How do I begin my journey?

Step One is to schedule a complimentary, 1:1 connection call with me here

During your initial, 30 minute connection call, we will discuss your ideas and what is on your wishlist. I would love to get to know you, what you are looking for and what you would like to achieve on your personalised journey.

During this call, I will outline my unique process and answer any questions you have about working together.

Once we decide to work together, we will set up a separate call to dive into creating your perfect, Custom or Semi-Custom ring, necklace or earrings!


Looking for more information on my unique custom process?

Check out my previous blog posts:


Visit Tsarina Gems Instagram page for more stunning jewellery ideas and styling tips


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