Searching for an engagement ring can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. With so much choice out there it can be confusing where to start and what to look for, so let us help you with some hints and tips to make the process and experience as enjoyable and exciting as it should be.
- Surprise or selected?
Did you know that 4 out of 5 engagement rings we sell involve the couple coming in together for an appointment to choose the perfect ring? Often customers are astonished when we tell them it's perfectly normal to choose together, it takes the pressure off finding the perfect ring as a surprise and with jewellery being such a personal choice it makes sure that the recipient is 100% happy with the ring choice, not to mention avoiding any awkward conversations after the engagement has happened!
Of course if a surprise is what you'd like then this is such a romantic gesture and many clients come aided with hints that might have been given as to the style they are looking for. We are always on hand to help with your decision making and can advise on which ring might be best for you.
When selecting an engagement ring its important to consider how and when the ring will be worn; is it a ring that the recipient will be wearing everyday? What sort of job and lifestyle do they have? Engagement ring settings and gemstones can vary greatly and it's important to choose a piece that will live up to the demands of the wearers every day life. Diamonds are the hardest of all gemstones but are still not unbreakable and even the strongest precious metals can undergo wear and tear, so it's vital that care is given to your jewellery especially if you're considering an antique piece.
The metal that the ring is made of is important to consider. Generally, engagement rings are made in precious metals such as gold or platinum. These are also the right consistency for setting gemstones in. Gold is naturally a very soft metal, so 9ct gold is harder wearing than 18ct gold as it contains half the amount of pure gold, however most diamond rings are made in 18ct. White gold is not a pure white metal and so over time the rhodium plating will wear off and the underlying tinged metal will show through, so the maintenance of re-rhodiuming white gold is also important to consider. Platinum is the hardest wearing and is a pure white metal. It's very durable and hypoallergenic so is a great choice for an engagement ring.
How much you choose to spend on an engagement ring is a completely personal choice. Some people decide to spend a few hundred and others a few thousand, there is no right or wrong and old sayings like spending two months wages on an engagement ring have long been forgotten. The most important factor is finding a ring you both love especially as this is an important piece of jewellery that will be worn for a long time.
Choosing a gemstone should be an informed and considered choice. Some gems require particular care and attention, for example Opals and Emeralds, both of which are more brittle and should not be put in ultrasonic jewellery cleaning machines. Gemstones which grade lower on the MOHS scale of hardness than diamonds can be prone to surface scratches and wear so it's important they are taken off during any activity where they might get scratched so it's best to consider which gemstone in an engagement ring will most suit your lifestyle.
Some gemstones are chosen because of a special meaning such as a birthstone or meaningful colour.
- Environmental impact
Like every purchase made in the modern day, the impact it has on the environment should definitely play an important factor. For every 1 Carat of diamonds mined over 250 tonnes of earth has to be excavated, the energy used to do this and destruction to delicate eco-systems caused can be catastrophic to the environment. Even the latest technology used in 'lab'-grown' diamonds and their eco-friendly claims are being disputed as the energy used to create them is a huge polluter, not to mention the fact that their value depletes completely once purchased.
Choosing an antique or vintage ring is the most eco-friendly and ethical choice you can make, using pieces that are already here prevents new gemstones and metal being mined and uses far less energy than those created in a lab. Plus you also get something totally unique and with history!
7. Ring size
Finding out their ring size can be a tricky business. If you're planning a surprise this can be particularly difficult if you don’t want to give the surprise away. If you're really unsure then the safest option is to wait until after the proposal and then have their finger measured accurately, most rings can be re-sized easily. If they wear a ring that you know fits the third finger on their left hand then you can always bring that along to your appointment for measurement. If you choose your ring together then you can get measured at the same time to find the perfect fit
Do they like modern clean lines or intricate details? The style of their engagement ring should reflect their own personal taste. Choosing something classic is always a good choice as it will always stand the test of time, for example, a single diamond on a plain or diamond set band is timeless. However, if hints have been dropped about the style they like then these can be a helpful guide to choosing the perfect ring.
Hopefully you now have a better idea for choosing the perfect ring. If you need any help, have further questions or would like to book and appointment then do get in touch. We'd love to help you choose the perfect engagement ring!