You have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you want to take the relationship to the next level. It is now time to find an engagement ring that will symbolize the love that you share.
For some people it will be the first time they will have bought jewellery and there are many different things to consider which can make the process a bit overwhelming. We have put together this guide to simplify the process of buying the perfect engagement ring. There are three main factors to consider, first and the most important is defining a budget. Secondly, choosing the size and shape of the diamond and finally choosing the setting.
If you need any help during the buying process or have any specific questions do not hesitate to contact us! We have a lot of experience and will be happy to help you throughout the process of selecting the perfect engagement ring.
Set a Budget
The first step in buying an engagement ring is to define a budget. Only you can decide how much to spend, however, quality should never be sacrificed. It’s likely you have heard that your budget for an engagement ring should equal three months salary. What you may not know is that this rule was originally an ad campaign created in the late 1940’s by DeBeers, the world’s largest diamond producer!
Engagement rings hold symbolic value and last a lifetime but every couple is different. There are no rules or guidelines for the budget you set and you should buy the nicest ring you can afford. Many people spend more than three months’ salary on an engagement ring, and many spend less, know, that there is no right or wrong answer. Whatever your budget is, our goal is to help you to select the perfect engagement ring. After all its not about the money you spend but the thought and sentiment that you put into finding that special engagement ring is what your partner will appreciate.
Choose the Right Diamond
Diamonds are the traditional choice for engagement rings. The diamond is the focal point of the engagement ring and the greatest part of your investment. There are two main factors that must be considered when selected a diamond: the shape of the stone and its quality.
To learn more about diamonds we invite you to visit our Diamond Guide.
When choosing a diamond shape, you will want to take into account the personality and preferences of the person wearing the ring. The most popular shape choice is the round diamond due to its incredible brilliance, fire and light performance.
Round diamonds make up approximately 75% of all diamond purchases followed by princess cut diamonds since they offer the brilliance of a round cut diamond at a lower price. Cushion and asscher diamonds are best suited for people who like vintage and romantic styles. Based on the laws of supply and demand, you can currently save up to 40 percent by selecting a non-round diamond.
Every diamond shape has a different aesthetic. Round diamonds offer maximum sparkle, while princess diamonds feature an angular, contemporary beauty that looks gorgeous in classic and geometric settings.
Cushion diamonds are an ideal choice for vintage-inspired settings, and radiant diamonds are a stunning alternative to princess and cushion diamonds for those preferring a rectangular shape.
Asscher and emerald diamonds are step-cut, for a sleek, elegant appearance. They emit less fire or sparkle than round diamonds but are more transparent. Marquise, oval, and pear-shaped diamonds are more distinctive shapes, and help fingers look long and slender due to their elongated appearance. Heart-shaped diamonds express your sentiment with a flourish and are often favoured by the romantics.
Marquise or pear-shaped diamonds may appear to be larger, given that more of the stone shows from the top view (looking down on the diamond).
Click here to discover more about each diamond shape.
The 4 Cs
A diamond's value is determined by four basic features: Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat weight. Often referred to as The Four C’s of a diamond. To choose the best combination of these four features refer to our Diamond Buying Tips section.
Cut: We recommend selecting the highest cut grade within your budget. The reason is simple: of the Four
Cs, no other characteristic has a greater influence on a diamond's appearance. The best cuts result in diamonds that are perfect in their symmetry and proportion causing the diamond to act as a prism and refract a high percentage of light. Learn more about Diamond Cut
Colour: After cut, colour is generally considered the second most important characteristic when selecting a diamond. This is because the human eye tends to detect a diamond's sparkle first and then its colour. Learn more about Diamond Colour
Clarity: Small cracks, fissures and scratches referred to as 'inclusions' or 'blemishes' are almost always present in even the most perfectly formed diamonds. They detract from a diamond's beauty and value meaning that the highest quality diamonds are those with the fewest and smallest inclusions. For engagement rings, we recommend choosing a diamond in which there are no inclusions, or tiny imperfections, visible to the eye. This means choosing a clarity grade of “SI1” or higher. Learn more about Diamond Clarity
Carat Weight: 'Carat' may be the most familiar term of The Four Cs. A diamond's weight is measured in carats. A diamond's price rises with its weight since larger diamonds are less common however the relationship is not proportional. Learn more about Diamond Carat Weight
Choose a Setting
Once you have set your budget and selected the shape of the diamond it is time to choose the setting, but with such a wide range of options, what is the best engagement ring setting? The setting will determine the overall look and set the tone of the engagement ring. It will showcase the centre gemstone, as well as hold it securely in place.
The best option is to consider what fits your partner's lifestyle and personality. Her personal style and her daily activities are the main considerations that should be considered when selecting a setting. These days it is quite common for couples to shop for an engagement ring together, but if you are looking to surprise her with a ring then you are going to need to do some research. The easiest way you can get a sense of your partner's personal taste by asking her best friend or a family member. Just make sure they keep it a secret! Your partner's jewellery collection will also give you a lot of information that will help you to develop a picture of the perfect ring.
What type of engagement ring do you think your partner would prefer? Traditional and elegant? Outgoing and glamorous? Contemporary? Is your partner a nature lover and someone who prefers being outdoors? Does your partner love all things romantic and vintage? Which is their preferred metal? Is it white gold, yellow gold or platinum? Pay attention and make a note of the jewellery she is wearing to determine her preferences and style.
Solitaires, which are rings that feature one centre diamond, are the most popular style for engagement rings. Click here to learn more about different ring settings
Choosing a Metal
The two most popular metals for engagement rings are platinum and 18kt gold. Platinum, the rarest of metals, is a mixture of 95% pure platinum and 5% alloys. Platinum is a dense and durable metal that maintains its colour for a lifetime. It gradually wears to a cool, satiny finish, so maintenance of a platinum engagement ring includes just light cleaning and surface polishing.
18kt gold is softer, but is still very strong and resistant to scratching. Slightly less expensive that platinum, 18kt gold is made of 75% pure gold and 25% alloys, and has a higher gold purity than 14kt gold. Different alloys create the colour variations of gold – white, yellow and rose – and make the gold harder, more durable, and better suited for jewellery.
18k yellow gold has a rich, warm colour that can make diamonds with a slight hint of yellow or brown look colourless in contrast.
18kt white gold is a naturally lustrous precious metal that is usually rhodium plated to add a bright, reflective finish. Because this metal’s bright white finish beautifully complements the whiteness of a centre diamond, it is an extremely popular choice for diamond engagement rings. It is important to know, however, that 18kt white gold must be rhodium plated periodically to maintain its bright, white finish, whereas platinum maintains its whiteness.
Learn more about metals here
Choose a Ring Size
The best way to determine your partner's ring size is to have it measured by a professional jeweller. Most jewellery stores will happily measure your ring size free of charge, but if you are looking to make the proposal a surprise then you might consider asking your partner's family and friends for her ring size or try borrowing one of her rings. Just make sure that it is for the correct finger!
Using our online ring sizing guide you will easily be able to determine your partner's ring size. This section includes tips and suggestions to obtain the most accurate measurement. If you have doubts please do not hesitate in contacting us. We are here to help you!