Buying an engagement ring can be a daunting task, as it will be one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make and certainly the most important.
Some choose to propose without the ring and buy the engagement ring together, but my experience tells me that popping the question when least expected can be the thrill of a lifetime.
Before you start
Hints and ideas
It may be that your partner or her best friend has already given you hints and ideas of what she likes or does not like, or you may have a good idea about the jewellery she already wears or her style.
Will you choose yellow, red or white gold or the most popular when buying an engagement ring platinum, perhaps a combination of colours?
You may have the answer to this from what she wears now, whether jewellery, watches, or clothes if; not another essential factor to consider is skin tone, job and lifestyle.
Choosing your stone
Diamonds remain a girl’s best friend, but their popularity is waning as moissanite and lab-grown diamonds grow in popularity as the ethical debate continues.
When choosing a diamond, my advice is to go for one with a GIA certificate, as it will give you complete peace of mind. So much has been written about the diamond 4C’s in choosing the suitable stone for you. But at this point of your decision making knowing the shape of the stone would be most helpful, and if you are not sure, I would always advise going with the safety of a brilliant round cut.
In 2015 Charles and Colvard released the forever one moissanite, a colourless stone similar to a GIA certificated E -colour diamond.
Moissanite looks lovely when set into a ring and will save you considerable money compared to a natural diamond.
Diamonds grown in a lab are still entirely new to the market; they allow you to choose your stone much as you would with a diamond with the 4C’s.
As for their price, there is not currently a saving herein compared to a diamond, but if the ethical issue is top of your list, they make a great choice.
With the world-famous De Beers entering the market, they are bound to grow in popularity once they move from only selling them in America.
The no’s here is to avoid emeralds, tanzanite and opals as your main stone as they are just too soft to be worn daily; sapphires in whichever colour you like make the ideal choice as their hardiness is close to a diamond.
Comparing gemstones is more complicated than with a diamond as there is no benchmark, and you have to go by the colour and look of the stone that works within your budget and has the wow factor.
As a word of caution, I would avoid gemstones unless your partner has hinted this is her preference.
If your partner already wears a ring when she is not looking, you can try it on your finger and remember where it went. The jeweller can then measure your finger, if not, take a phone of the intended with you, and an experienced jeweller should be able to give you a size to work to.
How much should I spend on an Engagement Ring?
Please ignore the nonsense that you should spend two or three times your monthly salary; pay no more than you can comfortably afford, as there will be a beautiful ring for you, whatever the size of your budget.
Where should I buy my engagement ring from?
You may have already been window shopping with your partner and therefore know precisely the shop you need to revisit, but if you don’t. You want the ring and the proposal to be a complete surprise. There are many options available to you.
High street Jewellers
Visiting your local high street is still the most popular destination when buying an engagement ring. The advantage here is that the ring is ready-made, and you can take it away. The disadvantage is that it’s not personal or unique, and design choices are limited.
Hatton Garden is your perfect destination if you would like to negotiate on price if you are London based. Or you could choose a jewellery centre close to your home; alternatively, if you are looking for a choice of designs, even if it is only for ideas, Bond Street will not disappoint.
In a changing world, you will, of course, consider purchasing your ring online or, at the very least, try to educate yourself on the various engagement ring styles and the diamond 4C’s.
My advice here is to ignore the headlines such as huge discounts compared to the high street, or they have the most extensive collection of GIA Certificated stones in the world or the most significant collection of engagement ring settings.
Discounts are available if you shop wisely, but these claims are impossible to ratify for holding the most extensive stock of mounts and stones.
By shopping online, you can choose a ready-made ring or a Custom made engagement ring when you select your diamond from a list of stones and choose from a collection of pre-made mass-produced ring settings.
The ring will then be made for you; online jewellers often promote this service as a bespoke ring which is misleading as the unique part of the ring is the diamond, as their ring settings will be used again.
Bespoke independent jewellers
Today the bespoke engagement ring option, when you work face to face with an independent jeweller, allows you to create a true one-off engagement ring be part of the ring creation and receive a personal service.
And with modern technology mixed with traditional craftsmanship, see and try on a prototype of your ring before its handcrafted just for you; you can choose the stones to be used in the ring and be in total control of the design and the final price you will pay
Traditional Hand-Made Jewellery
Your final option is a Handmade engagement ring; it is still the traditional way to make a bespoke engagement ring. It is also the most expensive and does not allow you to be involved in the creation of your ring or see and wear it till it is finished.
Ask a question or seek advice.
If you would like impartial advice or have a question you would like an answer to, call David Law, one of Hatton Garden’sGarden’s most experienced bespoke engagement ring makers.
CALL DAVID TODAY AT 0800 024 8940