As many of my male friends have come to a certain time in life, I thought it might be useful to write one of my first blogs on engagement rings and some of the choices you need to make.
Firstly, I get asked a lot how much an engagement ring costs. Well isn’t this the million dollar question… Let me put one old wives tale to bed. You don’t need to, nor in this day and age are you expected to, spend three months worth of your salary! My biggest piece of advice is to have a realistic and comfortable figure in mind when shopping for an engagement ring. Be honest with the shop assistant or designer and ensure you stick to it rather than be fooled into a purchase you may later regret.
Now for the design… I believe that it is always best to start with the centre stone as this will inform the rest of the ring.
Colour – speaks for itself. In diamond terms colour is measured on an alphabetical scale starting at D being colourless. Don’t let any shop tell you otherwise!
Cut – the shape of the stone.
Clarity – also speaks for itself. This refers to the amount of flaws in the stone.
Carat – the weight and consequently the size of the stone. In diamond terms a carat is 1/20 of a gm.
I like to refer to these as ‘the 4 compromises’ as it is important to establish which are the most important to you. We can then compromise on those that aren’t to ensure you get the perfect stone for your budget. Please see our blog on the 4C’s of a diamond for further details.
If you have a colour in mind, great… colour can make for a really unique engagement ring! However be aware of the hardness of the stone, try to go for a harder stone so that time does not damage your ring for example. Rubies and sapphires are both hard enough however emeralds and aquamarines may not be ideal. For more information on coloured stones please refer to our blog and instagram series “Behind The Stones”
TRADITIONAL RINGS & THEIR SETTINGS
Once you have decided on the centre stone. It is time to think about the setting for the stone, the ring design itself. It is vitally important at this stage to think about the lady in question – and what she will be comfortable wearing everyday. Here are a few of the most popular/traditional ring styles.
White Metals Coloured Metal
Platinum Rose Gold (18k or 9k)
White Gold (18k or 9k) Yellow Gold (18k or 9k)
Platinum – The hardest, purest and also the most expensive of the precious metals. Platinum is a pure white material.
Gold – Available in a variety of different karats referring to the percentage of pure gold in comparison to other metals present. Gold is a naturally a soft material hence the inclusion of other materials, 9k is the hardest gold because it has the least pure gold content, where as 18k gold is quite soft as it has a higher gold content. White gold is never pure white and is often plated with rhodium to get a white surface.
Palladium – Is a relatively new material to the engagement and wedding ring market, it is hallmarkable as with other precious metals. It has become an incredibly popular material because of its similarity to platinum with a price tag lower than gold.
One last thought for today…
Many people forget to think about the wedding ring when buying an engagement ring. It is important to think about the wedding ring at this stage as the two will have to sit alongside each other. Some people like their rings to sit tight, where as others are happy with a puzzle ring or a ring that does not sit tight to the engagement ring…