Most people get to a stage in their relationships where they want to take the next step. Marriage is a beautiful way to physically and emotionally connect to your significant other. Finding an engagement ring, however, can be one of the most stressful parts of getting engaged, only second to waiting to hear those words of confirmation. We have compiled these top 10 tips on buying an engagement ring to help guide you and make the decision process smoother.
1. Decide on a budget for the ring.
The first and possible most important thing when buying an engagement ring is deciding on your budget. Almost everyone knows the “rule”, it is said that an engagement ring needs to cost at least as much as two months salaries. This however is a myth and there is no wrong or right amount to spend on an engagement ring. The best thing to do is keep within a price you are comfortable with, whether it is £100 or £3000. At the end of the day, it really is the gesture that matters.
2. Find out what style your partner likes.
If you’re not fully confident in knowing your partner’s style, try to focus on what jewellery and clothing they already have. Do they wear more bohemian pieces? Are they into contemporary or high-end fashion? These can all be pointers to what ring styles your partner might like. For example, if they wear vintage-inspired clothing they might like a vintage ring or one inspired by pieces from the 20s and 30s.
This ring is inspired by pieces from the 1940s and 1950s. Three emerald-cut diamonds are set in the centre of a cluster of 12 smaller diamonds. The elegant band is made of 9 karat yellow gold. Though inspired by vintage jewellery, the ring still holds a modern tone through its use of diamonds.
3. Know the ring size of your partner.
There are several ways to figure out your significant others ring size while still keeping the proposal a surprise. One option is to ask their family or friends if they already know. On the other hand, if you want it to be a complete surprise you can take a ring they already with you to the jewellers. You can also use it to measure their ring size with a phone app if you’re worried they’ll notice their jewellery missing. Another option is to ask if they’d like their jewellery cleaned. That way you can take their favourite pieces to a jeweller and they can help you with both the style and the size of the ring.
4. Do research on cut, clarity, carat and colour.
Depending on the gemstone you are buying you might need to consider the cut, clarity, carat and colour. Known as the 4C’s, they are a way for jewellers to determine the quality and price of a gemstone. While we would discuss cut later on in this article, clarity, carat and colour are of great importance, especially when buying a diamond engagement ring.
Clarity indicates the presence of inclusions or outside blemishes on the gemstone. The higher the clarity of a diamond is the more valuable it becomes as there are no present imperfections in the gem.
The carat simply denotes the weight or size of the diamond. The bigger the diamond is, the more valuable.
Colour in diamonds can be affected by impurities or structural defects. Traditionally the “purest” diamonds are completely transparent and colourless. These days coloured diamonds, such as yellow, brown or black diamonds have gained popularity within the last few years. Less traditional people are starting to overlook colour in favour of aesthetic.
This ring is simple and classic. Its simplicity however only highlights its brilliance. 3 diamonds have been set into the platinum band. The diamonds are 0.61 karats. They measure as nearly colourless and slightly included in clarity.
5. Choose a metal for the band.
The metal of the band can not only enhance the colour of the chosen gemstone but highlight the complexion of the wearer. Different coloured metals can accentuate different skin tones. For example, gold looks good on warmer undertone while silver and platinum suits cooler undertones. If you’re not sure of the undertone of your partner a safe bet would be to choose a metal that matches your partner’s favourite jewellery.
This ring has a distinctly modern appeal and style. Morganite rings have been rising in popularity and in the last several years, the gemstone has become a staple in alternative engagement rings. The soft pink of the Morganite beautifully complements the 9 karat rose-gold forked band. Diamond’s have been set into the band for an extra luxurious tone. The rose-gold colour of the metal is ideal for warm or neutral skin tones.
6. Choose a gemstone.
Diamonds are traditional but they are not the only option. Though the obvious choice might be to get a diamond engagement ring we urge you to consider alternatives as they might have significance in your relationship or for your partner. Emeralds, rubies and sapphires are just as valuable as diamonds and often overlooked. These precious gemstones, however, were once the go-to for engagement rings.
If you’d like something less traditional, we suggest this elegant opal engagement ring. The twisted band on the ring is made of 9 karat yellow gold. In the centre, surrounded by small diamonds is set a round opal. Opals are seen to symbolise happiness, loyalty and faithfulness. The iridescence of the opal highlights the shine of the diamonds and the warm colour of the gold.
7. Decide on the perfect cut.
The cut of the gemstone gives it its shape. There are many shapes and sizes gemstones could come in. The cut of the gemstone could enhance its brilliance and shine as well as accentuate the shape of the wearer’s fingers. Different cuts have been popular at different points in history. The cut of the gemstone can also influence the overall style of the ring. Currently amongst the most popular rings are vintage-inspired. Cuts such as rectangular, radiant and oval are preferred by brides.
This ring features an oval-cut aquamarine set into a 9 karat white gold band. Swirling detailing set with diamonds surround the gemstone and adds interest to the design. The oval cut of the gemstone enhances the length of the wearer’s fingers as well as the brilliance of the gemstone.
8. Choose a setting.
The setting of a ring is the way in which the gemstones are arranged on the band. A single gemstone is also known as a solitaire, while a larger gem surrounded by smaller gems is a halo setting. Just like the type of gemstone, the metal or the style of a ring, there are many ways in which gemstones can be set into a band. Choosing a setting will also help you hone in on your preferred ring’s style as well as price.
This magnificent emerald ring is sure to make its wearer shine. On a 9 karat yellow gold band is set an oval cut emerald. Two rows of diamonds surround the emerald in a halo setting. This design is perfect for someone who likes being the centre of attention and is not afraid of standing out.
9. Ask about the exchange policy of the jeweller you choose.
No matter how well we think we know our partner or how much we researched their style and fashion sense mistakes still happen. We still might get something wrong and they might prefer a different style of ring. This is something to be expected and you shouldn’t take it as a bad sign. Many people dream of their wedding and want it to be just perfect so the ability to exchange the ring will ensure everyone is happy.
Knowing the exchange policy is also good if you weren’t sure about their style and you bought the ring as a place holder. That way you still get to surprise your partner with a proposal, but in the end, you both get a say in the ring and get to pick something significant for your relationship.
10. Make sure you can bring back the ring to be resized.
When buying the ring also make sure you can bring the ring back to be resized in case it’s slightly too small or too big. It’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan. At First Class Watches we offer a resizing service in our Kenilworth brick and mortar store.
Did you find these top 10 tips on buying an engagement ring helpful? What else do you think is important to know before buying a ring? Let us know in the comments.