How Long Does It Take to Get an Engagement Ring? The Complete Guide

Getting engaged is one of the most magical moments in a relationship. And finding that perfect engagement ring to symbolize your love and commitment is an important part of the journey.

But the process of actually getting the ring can be confusing between figuring out your partner’s style, finding a setting that wows, and determining the perfect diamond.

How long does it take to get an engagement ring?

The answer depends on several key factors:

  • Whether you choose a ready-made or custom ring
  • The jeweler you decide to work with
  • How complex the ring design and setting are
  • If you already have a diamond in mind
  • The time of year you order

This guide breaks down everything you need about engagement ring timelines. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Average Timeframes for Ready-Made and Custom Rings
  • Factors That Impact Delivery Times
  • Tips for Shortening Your Wait
  • When to Start Ring Shopping

Let’s dive in!

Average Timeframes for Ready-Made and Custom Engagement Rings

The first thing that impacts how quickly you can get a ring is whether you choose a ready-made/pre-designed ring or decide to create a custom engagement ring.

Here are the average timeframes for each:

Ready-Made Engagement Rings

Ready-made rings are pre-designed styles crafted in common ring sizes and diamond shapes. Jewelers keep selections of these rings constantly in stock and ready to purchase.


  • 1-2 weekson average
  • Can be as fast as 3-5 daysfor simple bands

Benefits of ready-made rings include the ability to take it home much faster. However, you’ll have less flexibility to customize the design or diamond details.

When is a ready-made ring a good option?

If you need the ring quickly for a surprise proposal or upcoming event, don’t want to customize much, or have a limited budget, a ready-made style can be perfect.

Just allow 1-2 weeks to have the ring shipped or resized if needed.

Custom Engagement Rings

Custom rings allow you to craft a unique piece tailored to your partner’s style. You choose everything about the design, from the setting to the metal type and diamond details.


  • 4-12 weekson average
  • Up to 16+ weeksfor complex designs

While customs take more time upfront, they result in a meaningful ring designed for your special someone.

When should you order a custom ring?

The custom process is wonderful if personalization is important and you want to be involved in every design decision.

Just be sure to account for at least 1-3 months for the jewelers to source materials and handcraft your perfect ring.

Key Factors That Impact Engagement Ring Timelines

Several components come into play when determining how quickly you can receive that little velvet box. Here are the main considerations:

1. Jeweler Type and Process

Not all jewelers operate on the same timelines due to differences in:

  • Inventory size
  • Production capability
  • Shipping times

Large retailers (Zales, Kay, Jared): Have extensive pre-made ring inventories and large manufacturing networks. Can often deliver ready-made styles within just 1-2 weeks.

Local/independent jewelers: Offer a more personalized process and unique ring designs. But have smaller production teams and rely on wholesale vendors so that timelines may be 4-6 weeks

Online retailers (James Allen, Blue Nile): No physical stores mean lower overhead costs, so they tend to offer great value for quality diamonds and settings. Inventory is still limited for truly custom orders though, so allow 2 months.

2. Customization Extent

Naturally, the more personalized your ring design is, the more effort and time required to craft it.

Consider aspects like:

  • Unusual diamond shape
  • Complex setting (halo, multi-stone, pave bands)
  • Engravings
  • Incorporating gemstones

Simple solitaire ring: Can be sized and shipped within 2 weeks if diamonds are in stock.

Multi-stone ring with engraving: It could take 12 weeks from initial sketch to final delivery.

3. Diamond Sourcing

Do you already have a specific diamond you want to use, or will you need to pick one out?

Pre-sourced diamonds: Select an oval lab diamond from James Allen’s enormous inventory. Ready within 1-2 weeks!

Custom diamond search: Want an unusually large marquise or ethically sourced emerald cut? That special order from wholesalers or diamond cutters may add 8-16 weeks.

4. Ring Size

Extra production time must be factored in if the pre-made or custom ring needs to be resized before being delivered.

  • Standard sizes in stock:Faster turnaround of 1 week for ready-made.
  • Uncommon sizes:Some resizing needed adds 1-2 weeks.
  • Extreme sizing:Highly unusual sizes that require more metal or stone adjustments may need 4+ weeks.

5. Popular Seasons

Jewelry sales spike by 30-40% around the winter holidays and Valentine’s Day. Increased demand during these periods can lead to:

  • Low ready-made ring inventory
  • Backordered diamonds
  • Production delays
  • Order in off-peak seasons:March-October sees fewer sales and faster production.
  • Avoid holiday rushes:November-February timeline risks delays.

Pro Tip: If you must order during the busy winter rush, have flexibility on ring design. Choosing a style where a diamond shape or metal type can be substituted will help ensure timely delivery!

Tips for Minimizing Your Engagement Ring Timeline

While 1-4 months may seem daunting, there are several ways to help expedite the process if needed:

Give yourself a flexible window: Begin shopping 6-12 months prior if you want a custom ring. Allow for unexpected delays.

Prioritize clear communication: Tell your jeweler important dates or deadlines upfront, so they advise appropriately on feasibility.

Have room for compromises: For faster ready-made purchases, be open to similar styles if the first choice isn’t available in the right size or timeline.

Ask about production stages: Understanding the jeweler’s process helps align expectations for realistic delivery.

Shop local jewelers: No shipping means easier size exchanges and direct communication.

Save custom engraved dates for after. Adding after-purchase avoids production delays.

Splurge on expedited shipping: Overnight or 2-day rush shipping cuts transit time by weeks.

While compromising on ring specifications isn’t always ideal, the most important thing is having clear and honest conversations with your jeweler early about expected timeframes and being flexible if needed.

When Should You Start Shopping for the Engagement Ring?

As a general best practice, you’ll want to begin ring shopping 2-6 months before you pop the big question.

Here’s a helpful timeline guide:

6-12 months out:

  • Begin researching styles and diamonds
  • Browse Pinterest for inspiration

4-5 months out:

  • Identify 2-3 favorite contender rings
  • Start budget planning

2-3 months out:

  • Have clarity on budget
  • Contact jewelers and try rings
  • Order ring!

This also depends heavily on whether holiday proposals are important.

  • Spring/summer proposals:4-6 months lead time ideal
  • Holiday proposals:Shop 6-12 months early to avoid seasonal delays

No matter what, give yourself plenty of buffer in case special diamonds need to be sourced or custom designs require multiple iterations before perfection.

And if you end up needing last-minute ring shopping? Prioritize ready-made inventory at large retailers. Video chat appointments can often still allow seeing many styles without physically entering stores.

Let the Ring Shopping Fun Begin!

Part of the excitement of getting engaged is the entire ring-shopping experience from start to magical finish.

Hopefully, this complete guide provided clarity around average timeframes and factors that impact how quickly you can get that dream ring on your partner’s finger!

The key is aligning your expectations to your jeweler’s production capability, allowing room for unexpected delays, and compromising without sacrificing the strength and symbolism of what your one-of-a-kind ring will represent.

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