Guide to buying an engagement ring

About My Guide.

When choosing an engagement ring, wedding ring or diamond, there are many factors to consider: What shape, what size, what colour, what quality, what cut, what setting?  The list can be overwhelming.  When investing your money to buy jewellery it is important to understand how those characteristics affect the appearance and price.

I love to help with your decisions and so I have created a comprehensive guide to help you make sense of the many options.

An engagement ring should represent your love and commitment to your partner, so choosing the ring can be daunting.  My guide aims to help you with the key decisions such as size, shape, setting and budget.

How Much Should I Spend?

This is a big decision and should be the first step in choosing your ring.  Tradition suggests an investment of between one and three month’s salary, but I really think it is most important to spend what you are comfortable with.

What Setting?

Once you have a budget in mind, a great second step is to choose a setting or collet as it’s sometimes referred to.  I would recommend picking a setting prior to the diamond as this allows you to choose a setting to compliment the diamond.  A further advantage is that you can work out how much money you have left for the diamond.

The two main types of setting are claw and bezel, with claw being the most popular.

Claw and Bezel

Claw Setting

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This setting holds the diamond in place with ‘claws’. You can have up to 8 claws to hold your diamond.  This style of setting allows light to freely travel through and around the diamond, ensuring maximum brilliance and sparkle is achieved.  It also draws emphasis to the most important part of the ring, the diamond.

The number of claws you have is determined by the shape of the diamond and personal taste.  Four claws are a good place to start and will let in most light.  Six or eight claws are a little more secure, but allow less light to shine through the diamond.  Four claws are still secure, as long as the diamond has been set correctly and is checked every 12-18 months.

Bezel Setting
Bezel SettingThis setting creates a rim or collar around the diamond and the main difference between it and a claw setting is its style.  Although claw settings are more popular, the bezel setting is sometimes considered more modern or contemporary. The bezel setting offers better protection to your diamond as the diamond is sunk into the metal and so is recommended for people with active lives. The disadvantage of this setting is mainly the lack of light that penetrates through the diamond.

Side Diamonds
13Another option for your ring is to add side diamonds, these can really set your ring apart. The aim here is not to distract from the main diamond, but to enhance its allure. Again, this is personal taste and I could advise you as to what might be suitable during an appointment.

What Rock?

The obvious choice and by far the most popular is a diamond, but I can use any rock you desire. Maybe your girlfriend has dropped hints that she would like something different?!  Perhaps a Sapphire or an Emerald?  Generally, you can’t go wrong with a girl’s best friend–the diamond.  For a comprehensive guide to buying a diamond follow my link to my website: diamond guide

What Metal?

I work with both gold and platinum.  A good starting point would be to choose a colour and this can often be based on what your partner already wears.  The options include yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and platinum.  The most popular trend at the moment is white (White Gold or Platinum).  White gold is a silvery grey in colour and platinum is virtually the same.

Coloured Golds

Court_Profile_Full_3 ColoursYellow, rose and white gold are all ‘real’ gold.  When gold is used to make jewellery, pure gold is not used as it is too soft.  Instead alloys of other metals such as silver, palladium and coper are added to it.  The type of alloy used determines the gold’s colour.  All colours retain the same percentage of pure gold and therefore both their cost and quality characteristics are very similar.  The percentage of pure gold determines the carat (not to be confused with carat, a diamond’s weight).

Carat Gold

If you have decided to go for gold, then I would recommend using 18 carat (18ct) gold.  It contains 75% pure gold and is the best quality for making rings.  If a cheaper option is specifically requested, we can use 9ct (which is 38% pure gold).  Higher carats such as 22ct are too soft for making diamond jewellery and so are not recommended.

Platinum vs White Gold

 

In short, platinum is a more durable, hardwearing, heavier and expensive metal than

 

white gold. It also remains white and shiny for its lifetime unlike white gold.

The process of making white gold ‘white’ includes a plating of rhodium.  This plating

 

gives white gold a better initial shine in comparison to platinum; however, this plating wears off over time.  Because white gold is made from pure gold, as the plating wears off a tinge of yellow will be seen.  We therefore recommend that white gold is re-plated approximately every 18 months.

Engraving?

Having engraving on the engagement ring, or not?  Again, it’s personal preference.  If you’re going for a vintage look, then some rings can look great with hand engraving around the shank.  If however you’re unsure, then it may be best to go without engraving; you can’t go wrong with a classic look.  You could always opt for engraving after you have proposed.  Engraving the date you got engaged is always a nice personal touch.  Engraving is one of my specialities and lots of our designs incorporate hand engraving, making them truly unique to you.  From patterns to dates and names, just ask; the possibilities are endless.

To conclude, there are many different variations of styles and metals and diamonds, so my best advice is to give yourself enough time.  You know your partner better than anyone, so you are the best tool in choosing the perfect engagement ring.  Ask questions if you’re unsure about what you’re buying. You can never ask too many questions.

I hope I’ve helped in some way.


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