How To Choosing an Engagement Ring She’ll Love
You may have found your dream bride, but you’ll have to pick out the perfect engagement ring to make the wedding a reality. Popping the question is a monumental occasion for all involved, but getting the ring right can be stressful when you aren’t sure where to start. From the shape of the diamond to the band, there’s plenty to think about before you head to the jewellers. Kick off your romantic search the right way by following our five steps to choosing an engagement ring she’ll truly love.
It may be tempting to just buy the biggest diamond you can afford, but bigger doesn’t always mean better. There’s no point buying an extravagant ring if your partner never normally wears jewellery, nor is there much thought in buying a dainty band for someone who prefers lots of bling.
Pay attention to what your other half wears in their everyday life. They’ll soon have to factor a ring into these outfits, so try to avoid choosing a ring that clashes with jewellery they already wear regularly. If they wear silver jewellery, opt for a platinum or white gold band so they can easily incorporate it into their everyday style.
As well as looking at what they wear, think about their personality and how the ring will represent them. An engagement ring is often thought of as a reflection of the wearer, as well as a symbol of eternal love. Someone who loves all things vintage, for example, won’t want a heart shaped ring but would probably adore an emerald cut.
Once you have an idea of your bride-to-be’s style, you’ll find it much easier to pick out the perfect cut.
Most popular engagement ring shapes:
- Round: Classic circle style.
- Princess: Square shape with pointed corners.
- Cushion: Square or rectangular with rounded corners.
- Emerald: Slender square or rectangle shape.
- Pear: Shape is similar to a teardrop with a tapered end.
- Oval: Round oval shape with no pointed edges.
- Radiant: Rectangle or square with trimmed, rounded edging.
- Marquise: Elongated with a pointed top and bottom.
- Heart: Modern heart shape diamond.
If none of these immediately jump out at you, have a look at any current jewellery your partner wears and compare it to photos of these cuts. While you shouldn’t stick with the obvious and pick something exactly the same, it’ll give you an idea into what look she may prefer.
It may surprise you, but the style of the ring is a completely different thing than the cut. The cut usually refers to the shape of the diamond itself, whereas the style is the setting or layout of the ring.
Styles of engagement ring:
- Halo: Typically a main diamond framed by a series of smaller stones. Look at the examples of this ring style on Diamond’s Factory.
- Solitaire: A setting using prongs to hold a single stone.
- Side stone: Usually has a centre stone with smaller ones encapsulated in the band surrounding it.
- Trilogy: A ring consisting of three stones, often thought to represent a couple’s past, present and future.
- Bridal set: Matching engagement rings and wedding bands that fit together perfectly.
- Contemporary: Unique designs usually featuring entwined bands.
- Cluster: A series of smaller stones that look like one bigger one.
Have a look at your chosen cut and see how it works using the above styles. You can get a visual of how the choices look together by heading into a shop. You’ll be able to browse a bigger selection without the pressure of buying a ring on the spot.
The style you go for can completely change how you view the cut, too. You may find that you prefer a different cut with your chosen style, which is why it’s so important to see all of your options look together before putting in an order.
When it comes to the band, there are a few options available. You can typically choose between white gold, yellow gold, rose gold and platinum, each bring a different character to the ring.
Platinum and white gold are quite similar in appearance, but they couldn’t be more different. From the weight of the band to the creation of the metal itself, there are many pros and cons of both types of metal. It’s worth noting that platinum is more expensive, mainly due to the fact that it is a purer metal, whereas white gold is a mixture of yellow gold and alloys like nickel. The ring is then dipped in palladium to give it a shiny, even coating that will need to be refreshed every few years.
Alternatively, yellow gold is another classic option that is often paired with a matching wedding band. Known for exuding a classic but luxurious look, yellow gold is a great choice for those who want to stick with a more traditional ring.
If you want to pick up a more modern style, consider choosing a rose gold band. Romantic and feminine with a delicate pink hue, rose gold has become incredibly fashionable in the last few years.
So you’ve found the perfect band to go with your chosen cut and style, it’s time to put in your order. There’s only one thing stopping you now the ring size.
Obviously, this can be difficult to determine when you’re keeping the engagement a secret, but there are a few ways of going about it.
- Bring a ring your partner wears into a jewellers, even if it isn’t one they wear on their ring finger. You should try and note which finger they do wear it on to get a more accurate reading.
- Trace the ring by placing it on a piece of paper and drawing around the inside of the ring.
- Ask family, friends or anyone else that may have purchased them a ring in the past if they know the size.
- Ask friends to take them for a ring fitting under false pretences, such as buying a gift for someone else a little white lie won’t hurt in these circumstances.
If you really can’t figure out an accurate size, always go one bigger. It’s a lot easier to get a ring resized if it’s too big, although you should be able to get an accurate size using one of the above methods.
Follow these five steps and choose a ring she’ll love forever more and enjoy that exciting, newly engaged feeling before the real planning comes later for the actual wedding!
Peek through her current jewelry to determine her general preferences
Choosing a ring is a tricky proposition you want to get something she loves, but also keep it a surprise. The best way to do this is to see what other rings and jewelry she loves to wear.
Use hints, family, and friends to tease out ideas for potential engagement rings
Even if you take good notes on her current jewelry, many women have particular ideas about their perfect engagement rings.
Talk to her about alternative stones if you don’t think she is interested in diamonds
Diamonds account for almost 90% of all engagement rings sold, but they aren’t your only option. Many people, put off by illegal “blood diamonds,” the low intrinsic value of diamonds, and the relative commonness of a diamond ring have decided on alternative stones.
Choose the right metal for the band
The band is the circular part of the ring that sits around the finger. It’s usually made from gold, silver, or platinum, although it can be made from some other combination of metals. Note that, since metals rub and wear on one another, you should only wear rings of the same metal next to each other.
Choose the right style band for your partner, from fresh and funky to simple and traditional
Once you know the right metal, you still have some options with the band. You often have a bewildering number of choices from classic, plain bands to twisted, wrapped, or other unique band designs.
Consider the “setting,” or how the stone will be set in the band
The setting refers to the piece that holds the gemstone in place on the band. The setting can be “pronged” or “invisible”. A setting with a bezel, or at least six prongs for some redundancy, is safer for a ring that is worn during significant activity, though some women may prefer less metal in the way of their stone.
Know your diamonds
Diamonds tend to be the traditional engagement ring choice because they are enduring and match everything. Only deviate from a diamond if you know that your girlfriend loves another stone much, much more, or has voiced her intense dislike of diamonds. When choosing a diamond, be aware of the following 4 C’s of diamonds.
Keep an eye on the diamond’s clarity
Because diamonds are formed naturally, there are imperfections in nearly all diamonds. These are known as ‘inclusions’ and come from tiny impurities being present when the diamond was formed, millions of years ago. The fewer imperfections, the greater the clarity and the more light is reflected from the diamond, causing it to “sparkle”. Naturally, more clarity increases its value. Perfectly flawless diamonds with no internal flaws or surface blemishes are very hard to find as they are extremely rare.
Fix your budget in advance
There is a tradition that holds that a man should spend two months of his salary on the engagement ring, but this is a foolish, baseless rule. You should by the best ring you can afford without going into debt, setting a budget early on and working from there.
Ask for a certificate of authenticity and a warranty to accompany the ring
Certificates are very useful to collect with a diamond to find out exactly where they originated from. They are usually only available with the purchase of diamonds larger or at 1 karat. For smaller diamonds, a certificate adds a considerable amount to the cost of the stone, as you may end up paying an extra several hundred dollars or pounds to obtain one.
Get the ring insured
The ring is likely to be the most expensive piece of jewelry you have ever bought, and the most expensive piece of jewelry your fiancé has ever worn. To prevent her from losing it to appraisal and insurance when she’s just getting used to wearing it, get it all done before you pop the question. Be sure to check that your insurance covers its loss, or ask for insurance from the jeweler’s store if available.