Never Have I Ever… Designed My Own Jewelry

Article by Stephanie

This summer marks not only my 40th birthday, but also the 10th wedding anniversary for my husband and I. It's time to celebrate! Especially considering everything we’ve been through in recent years, as working parents raising two little kids and navigating a global pandemic. Thankfully, MiaDonna has the perfect way to make a super personalized, thoughtful, and heirloom-worthy way to commemorate the year— a custom-designed ring!


I’m the Senior Digital Designer for MiaDonna, and have designed many, many things in my career, but never fine jewelry. Thankfully the process doesn’t require a professional’s skills. MiaDonna’s Sales Director Justine helped me through the entire process with patient professionalism and great suggestions.

First I made a LOT of rough sketches— on post-it notes, in the margins of notebooks, in my day planner. I wanted to find a visual representation of those 10 years of marriage, with Lab-Grown Diamonds or Gemstones representing the years our kids were born. I collected images of similar rings that I found on Pinterest and used observations from that (like which styles I was drawn to and where prongs should go) as reference.

step 1 concept phase to designing a ring

Initially I was thinking it would be a thin yellow gold band with simple beading representing the years, and two staggered, emerald cut Lab-Grown Diamonds for the kids’ birth years. It would be a bit asymmetrical (love that look), simple, sweet, and within budget.

step 2 digital rendering of custom ring via a cad

Once I started pricing things out I realized I could go even bigger for our buck, thanks to how affordable Lab-Grown Diamonds and Gemstones are! From there it became eight small Lab-Grown Diamonds and two emerald cut Lab-Grown Rubies (my birthstone!), with the design turning into a symmetrical cluster of sparkle. I referenced MiaDonna’s loose stone finders for both Lab-Grown Diamonds and Lab-Created Gemstones for stone size and cost.

step 3 the wax model of concept ring

After all of that research, I did a very rough layout in Photoshop and sent that to Justine, with a couple of my reference photos. She recommended a minor change here or there, and within two business days sent me a fully-visualized digital rendering of the ring from two angles! I absolutely loved it. For the final personalized touch, I decided to add a custom engraving inside of the ring— the year we were married and the current year.

step 4 the ring casting

The ring arrived in less than two weeks and I was floored by how pretty it is. It is so special to see something you imagined turn into this gorgeous, enduring product. I was able to debut the ring to friends and family at a big birthday celebration, and am pretty sure MiaDonna has a few custom orders coming their way as a result. Everyone found it stunning.

step 5 the final custom engagement ring

It feels great to not only be able to design such a personal piece that I will hand down to my children, but also that its creation wasn’t detrimental to people or the planet. Obviously by working at MiaDonna, I am fortunate enough to help with that cause every day! But there is so much more of a poignant story behind this ring beyond an anniversary. This ring represents love in every capacity— love for my husband, for my family, and for our global community.