Choosing an Engagement Ring
Choosing An Engagement Ring:
Traditionally, your partner will choose an engagement ring in advance and propose to you as a surprise but the chances are that nowadays you will have at least discussed getting married during the course of your relationship?
However, if you do get surprised with a proposal, we hope you’d be delighted that someone loves you enough to want to spend the rest of their life with you and the ring they choose, is a symbol of that!
If you are the person looking to propose - remember that your partner will have to wear the ring you choose for the rest of their life, so it’s an important choice, that’s not to be taken lightly!
Do you know what style of engagement ring your partner would like, what colour of metal, what stone they would like and what a ring typically costs?
We hope this post will give you some thoughts and information, that will help you decide what to do!
There are a large variety of options to consider for your engagement ring and even if you haven’t been ring hunting as a couple in advance, its well worth your while at least popping into your local jewellers to see what styles and colours you like and find out what suits your hand - you’d be surprised at how each ring looks and the ring you may have dreamed of in the past - might actually not look as nice, once you see it on!
It’s also a good opportunity to see how much the different ring types cost.
So this post is for the couple who are openly discussing getting engaged to help them decide the best options for them and also for the person considering proposing to make sure you do it right!
HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND?
It used to be generally accepted as a tradition, that you should spend around 3-4 months salary on the engagement ring and depending on what you do for a living that could buy you a whole lot of ring!
But as we mentioned above - a larger diamond might not necessarily suit the hand of the person intended to wear it and might not even be that practical, dependant on their job and hobbies.
We think you should spend what you can comfortably afford and what you are happy with being a life long symbol of your love for one another - you don’t want to buy something that you and your partner will tire of, after some time.
Ring prices vary, dependant on the size and type of stone you opt for, as well as the metal used. That being said, you can pick up a beautiful gold and diamond ring from around £300 but could expect to pay closer to £800-£1000 when you have a platinum and slightly larger diamond ring as your starting prices. Once you start looking at say a bigger diamond, then your costs quickly begin to rise.
Some examples would be:
A 0.7CT single diamond on a platinum band could be costing over £4k and the prices can be limitless, with a 3CT single diamond on a platinum band costing in the region of £30k - just as current examples of costs for you to consider.
IMPORTANT NOTE: A bigger stone DOES NOT necessarily mean a better ring!
(We actually went for smaller stones, to suit the size of my (Emma) hand and finger to get a ring that looked right - so it really is not all about cost!)
So with all that said, lets look at the finer details:
WHAT STYLES ARE AVAILABLE?
This is where it helps to go into a jewellers and try some rings on.
Stone Shape - these can come in all sorts of shapes as you can see in the images but the most common for an engagement ring would usually be:
Round (Brilliant cut) or
Square (Princess Cut)
You can see the images below, for a host of other stone shape options that are available:
You can have a ring with an individual stone or alternatively one with a trilogy setting (with 3 stones) or if you prefer - one with a cluster arrangement, which will have multiple stones, typically a larger stone in the middle, surrounded by smaller stones. Again, it all comes down to what you like the look of, what you can afford and how the ring looks on your finger.
When we got engaged, we decided upon a 3 stone, trilogy ring, as we thought it not only looked great but for us, each stone symbolised our past, present and future. This was not the ring that I (Emma) had dreamt of as the perfect ring beforehand and only became my favoured style after trying the ring on and falling in love with it. My dream ring prior to that had been a princess cut diamond with diamonds either side, in reality this just looked really bulky on my finger.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT RING MATERIALS AND WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
Your typical ‘band’ material will be either Gold or Platinum.
- Platinum is a rare and luxury metal that is white in colour and has a heavier, quality feel to it.
It is widely seen to be the toughest and longest lasting of the metals - because its not coated, it wont scratch or dent as easily as other metals.
Its natural colour goes extremely well with diamonds.
You may be surprised to hear but Platinum is naturally hypo-allergenic, which makes it a serious consideration if you or your significant other have sensitive skin.
With all this in mind, it is however more expensive than gold.
Although beautiful, not everyone prefers the yellow colour. Some feel it looks a bit too ‘vintage’, as opposed to a white metal.
Gold is a soft metal, so has so be mixed with other harder metals to help maintain its shape.
You can choose between 18k and 9k with the former a better quality, arguably a nicer looking yellow colour and will have a more quality feel to it but it will cost a little bit more than 9k gold.
White Gold is actually just yellow gold but with white metals like silver, added. It’s then coated to make the colour even whiter. The white colour does fade after a while and you’ll have to get them re-coated every few years as the colour wears off from rubbing against your other fingers. Don’t worry though - its not a big expense to do so.
If you like the look of platinum but can’t quite stretch your budget to afford it, White Gold is a great looking alternative.
- Similarly to White Gold, Rose gold is made from gold, mixed with white metals like silver, but also copper. The more copper used, the more red the gold becomes.
- Although bold in colour, rose gold is a popular option in the current day and is seen as quite stylish, as opposed to being old or vintage looking.
- It should be harder wearing than white or yellow gold ring because of the copper content in it.
- The only downside is that it can cause allergic reactions for some people, as it not a hypoallergenic metal.
So thats a summary of your options and we hope you will now know enough and feel confident enough, to get out there and explore your options.
We highly recommend you visit James Porter & Sons to check out their selection of jewellery and rings. (All rings shown - James Porter & Sons)
We’ve actually purchased jewellery from James Porter & Sons this year (2020) and can honestly say that it was a very enjoyable experience and we are delighted with the eternity ring we purchased from them and the diamond earrings too!
Please feel free to check out their listing in our Wedding Directory for more details at:
We really hope you enjoyed reading this guide and if has helped you decide what ring you will choose we'd love to hear from you.