Lucie Loves… Sarah May Jewellery // Part one | Designing my bespoke engagement ring


On Saturday morning, JMG and I headed over to Richmond to meet with jewellery designer Sarah May for our first appointment.

I took with me the rings I’d been given by various family members, including my mum and nan and JMG’s mum and dad.

Whilst JMG nipped out to get us both a coffee, Sarah showed me round the many jewellery collections in her shop. We talked about the styles I liked and selected a few to take into the back to look at in more detail. I’ve been pinning ringspiration for a few months now and have amassed quite a collection. 

I want something that looks quite organic. Something that incorporates the pieces that I’ve been given by loved ones. Something which encompasses that sentiment but also allows me room to add a new piece to represent my new love and our future together.

During our first session with Sarah, we laid out all of the rings and bit of gold and then looked at the colourful collection of new stones that Sarah had to hand. These ranged from not-so-precious-but-still-incredibly-pretty £7 indian emeralds, to the £70 semi-precious lemon citrine and the very-precious £2000 1 carat diamond. W.O.W!!! My eyes were on stalks when that beauty came out to play. 

However, our budget is very modest meaning the 1 carat diamond will not be the star of the show. We would love to include a new diamond to add to the little collection of existing stones that will be upcycled for my new ring, but it’s only going to be around the £100-200 mark. Watch this space…

Sarah brought out a ring shank for us to play around with. A shank is essentially the body of the ring. It’s the stage on which to place your beautiful stones.

By adding blutack to the the shank we were able to piece together various colour combinations and get an initial feel for what did and what didn’t work well together.

It was great fun trying to recreate some of the ring styles that I’d spotted using my own family pieces.

Our next appointment with Sarah will be once she’s removed the little sapphires, rubies, and diamonds from our family rings and weighed in the gold. We’ll be playing around with the loose stones, working out how much budget we have to play with to buy a new diamond and then finalising the bespoke design. I can’t wait!

If anyone has created their own ring or piece of jewellery from scratch, please share your stories info[at] - I’d love to hear how you got on.

Photography © Lucie Kerley

Photos taken using a combination of Nokia Lumia 1020 and iPhone 5S