The ring you choose says a lot about your relationship. Hence why it has to be the right one! It’s so much pressure on guys though… In my opinion, it should be something that involves both parties. And it’s also fair for the one who will wear it forever (hopefully!). But in case you want to keep it as a surprise (I can see the appeal of it), then this post aims to give some advice on the matter. Hopefully it will help you if you’re still at the very beginning of this journey.
Define your budget
The first thing to do is probably to define how much you can afford to put in the ring. And then understand what you can get for your money. It’s common knowledge to spend at least two months salary on the ring… But let’s be honest, it’s probably a rule invented by jewellers. So do whatever feels right for you! Also ask yourself what’s more important: the real value of the ring, the way it looks, or both?
Diamonds or other gemstones?
When it comes to diamonds, it’s not only difficult to see if they’re real or fake, but their quality defines their price range. It could be frustrating as sometimes the difference is not even visible to the naked eye… Diamonds are the most popular gemstone for engagement rings but you can also consider alternatives. Emerald, ruby or sapphire are also becoming popular for example.
If you’re not sure and don’t want to go wrong though, remember diamonds are a girl’s best friend! No matter where you buy it from, make sure you get a GIA certificate with it. It’s the most recognised institution among diamond grading. It will give you a guarantee of the quality of your purchase, defined by the “4C’s”.
If you opt for a diamond, learn about the 4C’s
- Cut – How the diamond is cut is really important because it affects its sparkle. I would strongly recommend to not compromise too much on this one
- Colour – Diamonds can go from D (colourless) to Z (yellow), it’s usually best to stick within the colourless range (from D to F)
- Clarity – This characteristic is where you can compromise the most because imperfections are often microscopic, although it’s recommended to go for minimum VS2 (very slightly included), as close as possible to FL (flawless) as your budget allows
- Carat – That’s the most obvious one as it refers to the diamond’s weight, which means its size if you compare diamonds with a similar cut/shape (people usually go for between 1 and 2 carats)
Do you research online
Take the time to do your own research. The links below explain quite well what you should look for in a diamond and tell you what you need to know, before you make that big purchase:
How we picked my engagement ring
I’m sure you’re curious about my own engagement ring now, given that I picked it myself! How I got engaged was still a surprise for me but as it happened abroad, my fiancé used a temporary ring instead so he wouldn’t stress about losing it during our travels.
Our thought process behind our choice:
- I knew I wanted to go for a solitaire (classic and traditional, simple and beautiful) but I also liked the idea of a trilogy (representing the past, present and future) so we went for a solitaire with 2 mini diamonds on each side of the stone
- Most solitaire rings feature a round diamond but I liked the idea of something a bit more unique so we went for a cushion shape, a square with rounded angles (like my personality, according to my mum)
- The band had to be platinum because it’s the most durable and solid metal, it’s also hypoallergenic so no risk of getting irritated skin
- Last but not least – It had to be a real diamond from the Earth (not lab created) because our relationship is genuine and we are from completely different ethnicities, representing a big part of our planet’s population (especially if we go back to our ancestors)
We bought it online
We chose the stone and the band separately but on the same website: James Allen. Their engagement ring section is very nice and they have a great selection of diamonds, with an online tool that allows you to design your own ring. We really enjoyed playing with it to create the perfect one for me to wear. The only caveat – unless you live in the US – is that you will have to pay an expensive customs fee (roughly 20% of the total cost of the ring). But overall it was still worth it and cheaper than most jewellers in the UK.
We found the best value for money was online and we were so impressed by their service! We decided to use them again for our wedding rings… Unfortunately we won’t get to wear them until only end of next year. I can’t wait!
Hope you enjoyed reading this and that it gave you some insights about how to pick the right engagement ring, whether you’re doing it together or as a surprise… What type of ring will you go for?
Big Girl x