If you’ve found somebody to marry, choosing an engagement ring should be easy in comparison, but that’s not always the case!
There’s a lot to take into account, such as the all-important 4 C’s, the stone setting and the band itself, so we’re going to run through some of the most important things to know to find your perfect engagement ring.
The Four Cs
The four Cs are used to determine the value of diamonds, and while you can choose to buy any stone, most couples opt for diamond for their engagement.
- Colour: The colour of a diamond is graded on a lettered scale, with D being colourless and Z being a light yellow colour. The closer to colourless, the better, although rare and unusual colours are sometimes preferred, such as blues, yellows or pinks.
- Cut: You might think that the cut of a diamond refers to its shape, but it’s actually the way that its cut affects its sparkle. For example, a well-cut diamond will be a lot brighter and will reflect the light internally and externally.
- Clarity: Diamonds contain ‘inclusions’, which are small imperfections which can usually only be seen through a magnifying glass. They form when the diamond is crystallised in the earth and obviously, the less, the better.
- Carat: Carat refers to the weight of a diamond and is also often used to signify value, with a higher carat meaning a bigger and more valuable stone.
For more information on the four Cs, check out this guide from the GIA.
- Solitaire: A solitaire stone is one which sits on its own on the ring.
- Multi-Stone: Some rings will be made up of a few smaller stones, or perhaps one centrally with other smaller ones off to the side, sometimes using different combinations of stones too.
- Cluster: Cluster rings have lots of smaller stones clustered together and can comprise different shapes such as flowers and stars, or whatever else you might want!
- Claw: A ring which uses a number of prongs to hold a stone in place.
- Bezel: A rim of metal which wraps around part of all of the stone to hold it into place.
- Channel: The stone is held in place in between two lines of metal; a popular choice with modern weddings!
- Gypsy: Rings where the stones are set within the metal of the ring, completely encased by it.
Now that you know a bit more about the lingo and technical aspects of engagement rings, the important question: how much should you be paying for your ring?
There are all kinds of ‘rules’ that get touted, but the truth is that it depends on what you’re comfortable with.
It’s a bit of a cliché, but it really is the thought that matter with an engagement ring and most couples find that the money that they can save on an expensive ring can come in very handy for the wedding itself or the honeymoon.
Keeping It a Secret
According to H. Hogarth jewellers: “Increasingly, we’re seeing brides and grooms coming in together to choose their rings, often because the groom is scared of getting something wrong. However, we feel like this takes away from the romance of this once in a lifetime event!”
If you can pull it off, the surprise factor is well worth it, so try to keep an ear and an eye out for what kind of things your partner likes, whether it’s jewellery, clothes or other accessories.
It can be a good idea to rope their friends in for more specific ideas if you’re really struggling too!