With so many different styles of engagement rings around today it can be difficult to choose the perfect ring for your soon-to-be fiancée. An engagement ring is arguably the most extravagant piece of jewellery you’ll ever buy, so spending time finding the perfect ring is of utmost importance. Before you set out to buy one, make sure that you know what kind of jewellery your other half likes. They might prefer jewellery that is bold and modern rather than refined and traditional, or that is bling and unique rather than a classic style. If unsure it might serve well to ask her friends and family for advice before buying.
What different styles can I buy?
When people hear the words ‘engagement ring’ they often think of a traditional diamond ring, but nowadays there’s such a range to choose from that it can be a bit daunting. Many engagement rings nowadays incorporate jewels other than diamonds into their design; such as emeralds, sapphires and amethysts, creating a different look entirely compared to a single solitaire. Some other styles you can buy are:
- Princess Cut Solitaires – One of the most popular cuts, this style has a square diamond with four bevelled sides.
- Brilliant Cut Solitaires – Arguably the most traditional style of diamond ring you can buy, often accompanied by the popular ‘four claw’ setting.
- Two Stone Rings – What it says on the tin, two diamonds elegantly set together to create an interesting version of the traditional ring.
- Engagement Ring Clusters – A more modern style of ring, featuring an intricate design with multiple diamonds
Choosing the metal
Once you’ve decided what kind of cut you’d like for the stone you have to look for one in the metal you’d prefer. The traditional metal of choice is yellow gold, although white gold has been more popular in the past few years. If buying a white gold ring be warned that they are usually rhodium plated for appearance, however this wears off over time.
Platinum and titanium are highly fashionable metals for rings currently, however they are both considerably more expensive than white or yellow gold due to rarity. Platinum is very durable, and can easily withstand scratches so the ring will last an extremely long time. Titanium is becoming increasingly popular too, due to its extremely modern look. Although it is primarily used in men’s jewellery, titanium engagement rings are becoming more common.
Talking the talk
When buying diamonds it is important that you know what you’re looking for. There are a few simple terms when it comes to finding the true value of a diamond that could make or break your ring!
- Clarity: Diamonds are graded on their clarity, from F (flawless) to Included 3, with F being the rarest of diamonds, and I3 being relatively common. All diamonds up to grade SI2 (slightly included) do not have damage or flaws visible to the human eye, however grades I1-I3 all have visible faults so it’s not recommended to buy them!
- Carat: Carat refers to the weight of a diamond and is not to be confused with karats, used to measure the purity of gold. Although many people think that the larger the diamond the better it is, the truth is that spending money on a slightly smaller but higher quality diamond will make for a much nicer engagement ring. If you’re worrying about what size diamond to buy, ask some female friends what they’d suggest.
- Colour: When buying a ring the jeweller may talk about ‘whiteness’. This is a measurement of how colourless a diamond is, graded from D-X. D is colourless, and extremely rare, whereas diamonds rated an X for colour are light yellow. Colourless diamonds reflect the most light, and so are the most lustrous stones available, placing them in a higher price range than yellower diamonds.
When it comes to buying the ring, the most important factor is budgeting. Despite the well-known ‘rule’ of spending 2 months wages on a ring, there are people who spend a lot more and a lot less than that. If you’re worrying about price it is imperative that you remember the sentimental value of the ring takes precedence over financial value, regardless of what you read in magazines or online.