So you’re thinking it’s time to pop the big question? Congratulations! You've found the love of your life and you're ready to take the next step, but if you’ve never spoken about ring designs with your partner or you’re hoping for this to be a complete surprise it can be a bit daunting thinking about where to start when choosing a ring. We’ve thought about the most important things to consider when choosing your design.
I’d love to put an end to the idea that you should spend three months worth of salary on an engagement ring. The truth is, you can get an equally beautiful ring whether you choose to spend a few hundred or many thousands. The most important thing here is to determine how much you're comfortably willing to spend on a ring and that will always depend on your situation, desires and priorities. This is personal to you and something that only you and your jeweller needs to know. It's important to have a realistic budget in mind so you don't overspend or feel like you're settling for something less than what you want.
Take note of your partner's style and taste. Are they more classic or modern? Do they prefer simple or intricate designs? Look for clues in the jewellery they already wear or ask their friends or family for advice. If you have a good idea about these things your jeweller can help with some suggestions for the style ring that might be suitable.
The metal of the ring is another important consideration. Traditional options include platinum, white gold, and yellow gold however alternatives such as rose gold, blackened metals and even wood offer a unique look. Take note of what your partner normally wears for some clues about what colour and type of metal they might like.
The stone is the centrepiece of the ring and should be chosen with care. The most popular choice is a diamond whether natural or lab grown, however we are seeing a huge interest in other gemstones in recent years. Sapphires, rubies and moissanite are amongst some of the most popular gemstones since they are quite hard wearing and not as easily damaged as other stones. For something truly unique and special many are choosing alternative stones such as tourmaline, emerald, opal, salt and pepper diamonds and even quartz, the bottom line here is that no matter what you choose it should be meaningful.
The cut of the stone determines the quality and ultimately the price point. The cut can either enhance or detract from the stones its shape and brilliance, so no matter your stone choice I’d always recommend prioritising the cut even above the stone colour. Round cut stones are the most popular, but other options include princess, pear, and cushion cut and fancy cuts would include marquise, kite and even coffin or portrait.
The size of the stone should be proportional to your partner's finger. Consider their finger size and hand shape when selecting the stone size. The size you choose will also partly come down to personal choice and budget since in most cases the bigger the stone the bigger the price tag!
When choosing diamonds, you should aim to choose a stone based on how you perceive it with your eye rather than what colour it’s been graded on the certificate, I’ve seen stones with low colour grades that have more fire and brilliance that top graded colours because of how they’ve been cut! Hence my recommendation to prioritise cut. In most cases you won’t visibly notice the difference between a D, E or F colour stone and there can be significant cost difference between them. If you’re choosing a gemstone rather than a diamond the colour choice will greatly differ since gemstones come in such a wide variety of colours. Take note that some gemstones are considered more rare and valuable than a diamond and you need to keep this in mind when choosing colour preferences.
The clarity of a stone relates to how many visible inclusions there are in the stone, this can range from internally flawless (IF) to slightly included (SI1 or SI2). Most diamond rings are made using VVS2 or above graded clarity, for most stones that are graded in this way it’s unlikely that any inclusions will be visible to the naked eye without a jewellers loupe or microscope but again there can be a huge difference in cost as you move up the scale.
The setting holds the stone in place and adds to the overall look of the ring. Popular settings include prong, bezel, and halo. There’s no right or wrong choice here but the setting you choose will influence the overall style and finish of the design.
Bespoke or ready made:
Most rings are bought “over the counter” or ready made. Think about the rings you see in a jewellers window, these will all have slight differences in design but the overall look of the ring will mostly appear similar to others. If you are choosing a classic style then these options will be elegant, timeless and suit your taste perfectly. If you are hoping for something unique and one of a kind you may want to consider a bespoke design. I’d like to also take on the myth here that bespoke means expensive! There’s always an option to suit your budget and you’ll have a lot more flexibility to decide on your finished piece if you are working with a jeweller to create something especially for you. They will source the best stone and materials to suit your budget and create a design that meets (and hopefully exceeds) your expectations of your dream design.
At Moments our speciality is bespoke and gemstone designs, using our clients lifestyle, memories and special dates, places and passions for inspiration for their finished piece. We work closely with our clients to create custom, one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect their partner's unique style and personality.
The bottom line
When choosing an engagement ring, take your time and consider all of the options. Don't be afraid to ask for help from friends, family, or a trusted jeweller. With the right guidance, you'll find the perfect ring that will symbolise your love for years to come and if you really aren’t sure what to choose it may be a good idea to propose with a promise ring so that you can design or choose your perfect ring together with your partner afterwards, that’s always an exciting process that creates memories you can treasure together forever along with your ring!
So to wrap up, choosing an engagement ring is an important decision. Consider your budget, your partner's style, the metal and stone of the ring, the cut, size, and setting and if you need help we are always here to help you create a truly unique engagement ring that your partner will cherish forever. Contact us today to get started.