The search for an engagement ring is one that is often fraught with stress, confusion, and misinformation. The number of decisions involved in the specific design and details of a ring can be overwhelming for even jewellery industry experts, so what hope does the average man have in navigating this mine field?
While this may seem obvious, when most people they start out on the journey of searching for that perfect engagement ring to represent their love, they aren’t aware of what they actually get for their hard earned. Knowing how much you want to spend will allow the jeweller to advise you the best course to take with your search for the perfect engagement ring!
Coloured stones are a popular way to get more bang for your buck, as you can get a much larger stone than a similarly priced diamond. Since Princess Diana’s ring was given to Kate Middleton, the popularity of Ceylon Sapphires has driven a trend in coloured stone engagement rings!
To maximise your budget, look for stones with a good “spread” meaning the width of the stone as a 1ct stone with slightly more width will look larger than a 1ct stone that has a deeper cut.
When choosing a ring, the whole design will revolve around the shape of the centre stone. By narrowing down your search to within the boundaries of 1 or 2 cuts, you will be then able to focus your attention to the other factors that will make your future item of jewellery the perfect ring for you.
If you don’t have a certain preference for any shape in particular, the safe options are the ‘classics’ such as a round or a square shape. If you want to be a little more adventurous, shapes such as pears, ovals and marquise diamonds look larger on the finger due to the weight of the stone being distributed in a narrower stone depth.
CUT / COLOUR / CLARITY / CARAT:
Cut: is the scale by which a diamonds sparkle and brilliance is measured. The quality of workmanship of how a stone is cut is crucial to how the finished stone will appear. The proportions and angles at which a stone is cut will determine the quality of the stone. The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) grades all stones on a grading system from ‘Poor’ to ‘Excellent’
>Colour: The GIA grades diamonds colour on a scale from D to Z, with D being the highest and most valuable grade of stone. D-E-F stones are seen to be ‘colourless stones, while the further down the scale the grade is the stronger the yellow or brown colour may appear.
Clarity: Like any stone, diamonds have ‘inclusions’ within the stone which are a result of the formation of the stone under heat and pressure. Stones with less inclusions are seen to be more valuable due to their purity and rarity.
Carat: The carat of a stone is often mistaken to be its size, but it refers to a diamonds weight. Carat is a unit of mass equal to 200mg or 0.2 grams.
If she hasn’t dropped any hints or straight out told you want she wants for an engagement ring, take that as an open license to design your own masterpiece, or choose whatever design you like the most. Chances are she will love it too!
Of course, if you find yourself being completely lost in the process, you can always just propose with a stone and go through the design process together so she gets exactly what she wants!
If a larger diamond in your engagement ring is most important to you, you can compromise on lower grades of colour or clarity to keep the stone within your budget.
Consider buying diamonds that are slightly smaller than the full or half carat weights. Diamonds just smaller than the 1ct, 1.5ct or 2ct weights will be significantly cheaper than above those marks.
Consider what she does for work and the size of her finger. If she uses her hands all day then an engagement ring that is less delicate might prevent damage to the ring or loss of stones. If she has tiny fingers the same diamond will look much larger than on larger fingers!
The most important thing to remember is that all engagement rings are created to be pretty, and she will love it no matter what because you have designed or chosen it yourself!