I hope you’ve found this book useful and informative and that it has shed new light on the whole process of finding the perfect engagement ring for the one you love. I’d be thrilled if it has also opened up options you had not yet considered and raised questions about the impact your choices can make.

And, as for originality, I believe that there is far too much mediocrity in this world and often despair of the creeping standardisation that global business inevitably brings to some important areas of our personal lives.

We all buy into it at some level, and mass production and standardisation certainly have their place – where would modern civilisation be without them? They also bring real advances to a wider community, making a positive impact on their lives. Mobile phone technology in Africa is one such fantastic resource which has changed the lives of poor farmers and would not have been possible without mass production.

But your personal token of love and commitment should be just that: personal and individual. No standard mass produced ring can do that job as well as a ring you have helped to design for her alone.

Starting a new life together is the beginning of an exciting adventure. However you go about making that most important of all proposals, I hope it will be with a ring she will value and love forever, as she will you.

Download each Chapter as a pdf to read at your leisure.


For your FREE SIGNED COPY send your name and address and we'll get the complete Engagement Ring Handbook out to you by post asap.

OR or you can

GET YOUR KINDLE COPY from Amazon here (available in Print too)


4Cs – a method devised by the GIA and popularised by De Beers for classifying the Colour, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight of diamonds

AGSL – American Gemmological Society Laboratories – a certifying body for diamonds

ARM – Alliance for Responsible Mining –

Band – also shank - the part of the ring which goes around the finger

Bezel – means of holding a gemstone in place in a setting using a continuous wire to surround the girdle of the stone

CAD – Computer Aided Design – software used to design a ring and illustrate the design to the client

CAM – Computer Aided Manufacture – programmed hardware which creates the ring model by interpreting 2-D CAM designs into 3-D waxes

Carat – ct/kt – has two meanings. The first describes the proportion of gold in an alloy - 24ct gold is 100 gold, so

18ct is 18/24ths or 75 gold. The second is a measurement of weight for gemstones – 1.0ct is approximately equal to 0.2g.

Claw – means of holding a gemstone in place in a setting using individual wires positioned around the stone

DDII – Diamond Development Initiative International –

EGL – European Gemmological Laboratories - the name for a number of different certifying bodies for diamonds. Each EGL company is independent, so although they share a name EGL USA is not the same organisation as EGL Israel for example

Facets – the cut faces of a gemstone

Fluorescence – the natural tendency of some diamonds to fluoresce when exposed to ultra-violet light

GIA – Gemmological Institute of America – the oldest certifying body for diamonds

Girdle – the widest part of a gemstone where the top facets meet the bottom facets

HRD – Hoge Raad Voor Diamant (Diamond High Council, Belgium) – certifying body for diamonds

IGI – International Gemmological Institute – certifying body for diamonds

KP or KPCS – Kimberley Process Certification Scheme – a now discredited system for certifying the source of rough diamonds

Mohs scale – a logarithmic scale describing the hardness of minerals from the hardest at 10 (diamond) down to the softest at 1 (talc)

NGO- Non-Governmental Organisation

Shank – also band – the part of the ring which goes around the finger

Shoulder – where the band or shank joins the gemstone setting


AGSL – American Gemmological Society Laboratories

ARM – Alliance for Responsible Mining

DDII – Diamond Development Initiative International

GIA – Gemmological Institute of America

Global Witness

RJC – Responsible Jewellery Council

Nickel allergy and nickel release

Fair Trade Gold

Fair Mined Gold;


If you need more information or help here are some resources which you can download or obtain directly from the Julie Peel website. More will be added as they are developed.

‘What’s her Style?’ checklist – Downloads/HerStyle

To estimate ring size – ringsizetools

To receive a free ring sizing gadget by post quote ‘BOOK1’

– include a postal address – to email

For information on choosing a wedding ring and other useful topics see all the available materials and brochures at


Julie Peel has been designing jewellery since 1998 and has more than seventeen years’ experience in jewellery retail. Her passion is to create designs for women who do not want to follow the brand herds, who wear their jewellery as an expression their individual personality, and who care about where their jewellery comes from.

She now specialises in the design and creation of bespoke rings, but in her previous lives she was an academic, worked in overseas development in South America and in the UK charity sector. Her experience in these roles, her values and ethics, inform all her business practices.

Because she does not come from a traditional jewellery background, Julie perceives the jewellery industry from the viewpoint of a critical outsider, but with the contacts and knowledge of the insider. This leaves her uniquely placed to educate and inform her clients, and to arm them with the knowledge they need to make the best decisions for them. Hundreds of happy clients refer their friends and share with family, friends and strangers the story of their engagement ring.

Julie lives in London but travels the world in search of inspiration and glorious gems.

Contact details for Julie Peel:

Email –

Website –

Skype – juliedpeel

Facebook – JuliePeelBespoke

Twitter – @JuliePeelJewels

LinkedIn –

Pinterest – juliepeeljewels


A book is never written by one person alone, so grateful thanks to all of you for your help and support:

Nick Fitzhugh for detailed notes and comments – this is an altogether more concise and better book than it would otherwise have been, a service above and beyond the call of friendship.

Cressida Peever who read my first draft, removed many solecisms and spared my blushes.

For permission to use their inspiring stories – Steven Oddy, Rafael dos Santos, Ruth Buschman and Marcus Imrie.

For moral support and encouragement – my friends Grant Linscott, Caro Crawford, Jackie Marshall, Juan Lopez and Steven May.

All my clients, past and present, who have sought advice and allowed me to help them create such an important piece of jewellery. Without you there would have been nothing to write about.

And this book would never even have been a twinkle in my eye had it not been for the inspiration of Daniel and Andrew Priestley and Lucy McCarraher.

My especial thanks go to Andy Laughton for always being there and helping me make it this far in everything I do, and to Lucy Ellor who not only provided some of the gemmological background, but has worked with me for more years than either of us care to remember. Throughout those years she has been irreplaceable and the greatest support in bad times as well as good.

It just remains to mention Hannah, and she will know why.

Share This - Send a link to this page to a friend

© 2012 - 2021 JP Jewellery Ltd. Reg. No.: 07619844

We use cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this. You can find information on our use of cookies here.