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10 Step Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring

Where do you start when it comes to choosing an engagement ring? We've put together a 10-step guide that covers everything you'll need to know to ensure that you pick...

Love is in the air and you’ve decided to propose to your significant other, but where do you start when it comes to choosing an engagement ring? First things first, you don’t want to rush your decision – finding the perfect engagement ring takes time and research.
We’ve put together a 10-step guide that covers everything that you’ll need to know to ensure that you pick the right ring – from setting a budget to choosing a stone.
1. Set Your Budget
The first decision that you’ll have to make is choosing your budget. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessary to spend three month’s salary on a ring – interestingly, this rule was actually introduced as a marketing ploy after the Second World War to encourage diamond sales.The average amount spent on an engagement ring in 2022 is £4,000 to £5,000, but don’t feel obliged to follow the crowd – spend what you’re comfortable with and get the best possible value for your money.If you’re on a budget but are keen to splash out, financing options might appeal to you.

2. Book a Consultation
It goes without saying that choosing the perfect engagement ring for your other half is personal, but it can also be a daunting task, meaning a second opinion is usually beneficial. It’s definitely worth booking an appointment with a professional jeweller who can show you a range of different styles.During the appointment, an expert will guide you through the design and components of your perfect ring – including the importance of the 4Cs: cut, clarity, colour, and carat. They will discuss different options with you, for example: do you want a bespoke creation or a ready-made piece? Do you have an existing ring you’d like to remodel? There are so many choices when it comes to choosing an engagement ring, and many people aren’t aware of how creative they can be. This is one of the most exciting parts (aside from the proposal, of course!)
3. Choosing the Diamond
The 4Cs– colour, cut, clarity and carat – are the essential components of a diamond that should be carefully considered before buying. The quality and beauty of each diamond can differ dramatically, so having a solid understanding of the 4Cs will help you make an educated decision. Just like mined diamonds, lab diamonds will exhibit variations across the 4Cs and range from poor to superlative quality, so having a solid understanding of the 4Cs will help you make an educated decision.

4. Picking the Metal
With so many different materials available, it can feel overwhelming picking the right metal for your partner’s engagement ring – where not only does it play a key role in the ring’s longevity, but also its overall look.It’s likely that the ring will be worn every day, so it’s important to choose something durable as well as beautiful. Taking this into account, you should consider what will compliment your chosen centre stone, as well as your partner’s lifestyle – for example, those who work with their hands will benefit from a metal that doesn’t tarnish and is less pliable than others.It’s also important to be mindful of cost, where the purity of a metal tends to influence its price tag – if you’re on a budget, you’ll need to take the price of certain metals into consideration. For example, platinum is a pure white metal and is therefore more expensive due to its rarity.

5. Choosing the Setting Style
The setting style of the ring is perhaps the most important design choice, as each setting serves a particular purpose - contributing to the overall durability and look of the ring.
A solitaire ring features one diamond or gemstone set in the middle of the ring, which offers a refined and elegant look, making the centre stone stand out. This setting was made popular in 1886 by American jewellers and still remains a bestseller.
Featuring one large diamond with smaller diamonds inset into the metal on either side, shoulder set rings are perfect for those who enjoy a little sparkle and glamour. Earlier this year, Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing proposed to his on-screen girlfriend Sophie Haboo with a shoulder set ring. With a retail value of £40,000, the ring boasts a high quality two carat oval diamond with extra diamonds on the shoulders.
The three stone setting features diamonds set in a linear formation and was recently seen on Meghan Markle’s engagement ring, featuring a 3 to 4 carat centre stone which is supported by two round diamonds from Princess Diana’s jewellery collection.
The halo setting features one large stone bordered by smaller stones and is notably popular with Royal Brides and Hollywood elites, including Zawe Ashton, who recently got engaged to Marvel actor Tom Hiddleston. Set on a gold band, Ashton’s beautiful halo ring features a large oval diamond surrounded by a halo of diamonds.

6. Know Her Ring Size
It’s not a problem if you don’t know your partners ring size as there are multiple sleuth tactics that you can use to ensure that you don’t spoil the surprise.
If your partner wears a lot of jewellery, there is a high chance that they have a ring you can base their sizing on – this can be determined using a ring sizer, ruler or even an app! Although, of course, a speedier and more accurate option would be to sneak the ring to one of our showrooms for sizing.

7. Obtain a GIA or AGS Certificate If Buying Online
When it comes to lab-grown diamond certifications, there are a range of labs who grade the quality of the diamond. The most reputable and respected certifications are carried out by the IGI (International Gemological Institute) and GIA (Gemological Institute of America).
The GIA has been grading laboratory-grown diamonds since 2007. Their Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report includes the standard GIA colour, clarity and cut grading scales for reference purposes. The reports use descriptive terms to identify colour and clarity, as well as including a statement indentifying the type of growth process used: CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) or HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) and will indicate if there is evidence of post-growth treatments to change the colour.

8. Ensure You Get the Best Price
The average cost of a celebrity engagement ring in 2021 was £300,731 and whilst most of us wish that was our budget, it’s sadly a tad over the average, so price is always an important factor. After all, getting engaged is the first step – you have a wedding to plan next!

9. Know the Warranty
Most jewellery comes with a free guarantee covering manufacturing defects – this shows that the jeweller has a high level of confidence in both their craftmanship and product quality. However, to keep your warranty active, you typically have to comply with your jewellers’ rules, usually meaning that you have the piece inspected at regular intervals. Be sure to read your warranty thoroughly!
Make sure you ask your jeweller about the warranty, as it will safeguard you from the potential heartbreak and financial hardship of a damaged ring. The most ideal option is a lifetime manufacture warranty, protecting your jewellery against defects in design, manufacturing, and workmanship, where, if damage occurs to the engagement ring due to a fault, you can get it fixed free of charge.

10. Take Out Insurance
Picture this: you’re enjoying yourself on holiday and your partner misplaces or damages their engagement ring. Maybe they’d left it at home and you were unfortunate enough to have a break in. We know that these are worst case scenarios, but with great rings come great responsibilities! Whilst you can’t replace the sentimental value of an engagement ring, you can protect yourself from financial repercussions in the event of physical loss, theft, or damage by taking out insurance. Some of the most common ring hazards are everyday examples you’re unlikely to consider – for example, catching your ring on an item of clothing and yanking your hand away quickly, resulting in a misshaped band or even loosened prongs!  Insuring an engagement ring is actually more affordable than you think. Depending on where you live, jewellery insurance costs 1-2% of the piece’s value and easily be added your home insurance policy, although specialist engagement ring insurance and jewellery insurance policies do exist.


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