Figure out your budget
It’s vital that you’re comfortable with the cost of the engagement ring. Choosing a ring on a budget may take a little romance out of it; but it’s so important not to overspend. Remember that you’re setting yourself up for the future so splurging all your savings on an engagement ring is simply ill-advised. The truth is that spending two to three month’s wages on a ring is completely unnecessary and you should never feel obliged to do that if you’re in any way uncomfortable. It’s about finding a ring within your budget that is also a perfect match. If that ring only costs half of what you had intended to spend all the better; use the rest of the cash to have an extra special honeymoon!
Choose your metal
There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing a metal. It is largely based on personal preference but budget will come into play.
- € € € € Platinum
– Platinum is generally heavier than other metals but its high density makes it easier to set diamonds and other stones. It is much less likely to fade over time as it’s hypoallergenic..
– Platinum is a rare metal so it is an expensive but very popular choice for engagement rings.
- € € € Gold
– Gold is by far the most popular metal for engagement rings because of its style and durability.
– 24 carat gold engagements rings are 99.9% pure gold. It’s generally more cost efficient to buy 14 or 18 carats as they’re more equipped to withstand everyday wear as they are mixed with alloy metals. 18 carat gold is still 75% pure gold and 14 carat gold is 58% pure gold.
- € € Palladium
-Palladium can be as white as Platinum but is far less expensive. It’s a very good choice for people who don’t particularly like wearing jewellery or find it uncomfortable.
- € Silver
– Silver is another very popular choice for engagement rings and a far more affordable option than platinum or gold. Sterling silver bands are the most popular and they are 92.5% pure silver.
Understand the four C’s
- People sometimes think that carat is a measurement of size, but they in fact measure weight. Small differences in carat weight can sometimes make a big difference to price but will be indiscernible to the eye.
- Most diamonds sold today are considered close to colourless – generally between G and J on the colour scale.
- The D grade is at the top of the scale and is the most expensive ring to buy.
- Diamonds are rarely perfect – it is a thing of nature after all! Cutters will attempt to work with a diamond to hide flaws but they are still present.
- Again, it may be difficult to see flaws just on sight unless you look closely; it will largely depend on where the imperfections are positioned in the diamond.
- Cut can be hard to quantify as it varies from diamond to diamond. It will depend on how the cutter decides to shape, polish and facet the diamond.
- Cut can be the most important C and when done well has a massive impact on the quality of the diamond.
|How the light reflects from the diamond.||How the light flows through the diamond, like a prism.||The sparkle that occurs on the diamond when under light.|
Choose your diamond shape
- Round is a classic and timeless shape for a diamond. Generally, around 50% of brides will choose this style.
- Princess-cut diamonds are square and fast becoming one of the most popular shapes for engagement rings.
- Pear diamonds look like tear drops and have a narrow end.
- The tapered end is towards the hand of the wearer.
- There really is something special about oval shaped rings.
- They make the hand look longer and your fingers look slender.
- Heart shaped diamonds are for the hopeless romantics out there.
- If you do choose a heart diamond, check for any flaws as this type of ring can be difficult to execute.
- An emerald diamond looks incredible, and rather than having a brilliant cut effect, it produces an amazing hall and mirrors effect.
- The asscher diamond has a square cut as opposed to a rectangular cut.
- It was a particularly popular ring in the 1920s but has seen a resurgence in recent years.
Choose your setting
- A bezel setting is great for holding the diamond securely.
- It doesn’t require much protection so is good for women who lead very active lifestyles.
- In this instance, the diamond is placed into a metal channel.
- When done well, the channel setting locks all diamonds safely into each individual seat in the band.
- A great choice for women in love with their fiancé – and timeless fashion!
- It literally means to pave the surface of the ring with tiny diamonds, but it still looks subtle.
- Prong is the most common and popular choice for diamond engagement rings.
- This setting rises up to grasp the diamond as if it were a claw.
- The halo engagement ring is a good combination of the security of the prong and the beauty of multiple diamonds.
- It is a particularly popular choice for celebrities.
Match your ring with finger & hand size
Finger length x width + ring shape + style = the perfect match
Some rings suit hands better than others, so when going through the different rings, consider the length and width of your finger and the overall size of your hand. This can influence:
1. The size and shape of the stone you choose
2. The style and width of the actual ring
Also consider the typical length of your nails, are they usually trimmed very short or do you prefer them long, manicured and shaped? Longer nails will make your finger longer, so this can influence your decision as well.
|Long fingers||Short fingers|
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|Large hands||Small hands|
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Give yourself time
As you have found out, there’s a lot to keep in mind, so don’t rush into a decision. Do plenty research and don’t put yourself under too much pressure time wise. Even after you think you’ve found the perfect metal, shape, and setting for your ring; give yourself a few days before finalising your decision.
Don’t forget the insurance
Engagement rings are a large financial investment and they also have great sentimental value. It’s generally a good idea to insure the ring in case it is ever lost, stolen, or even damaged.
- Many home insurance policies will let you add expensive items like engagement rings to your insurance.
- Remember that with this type of insurance you may not be covered if you lose the ring outside of the house.
Actual Value Policies
- These policies will pay you the value of the ring minus the depreciation from being used.
- This is generally the least expensive option as the insurance will not pay back the full value of the ring.
Replacement Insurance Policies
- These policies refund the market value of the lost ring.
- If diamond and gold prices have increased in the intervening period; you will be paid the going rate for a ring similar to the lost ring.