You’ve found the one, and you’re hearing wedding bells. But before you can say “I do”, you’ll need to find the perfect engagement ring. The purchase of an engagement ring is a major milestone and marks a special time in your life. But the anxiety of choosing the ring of her dreams can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the right engagement ring for your partner.
Budget: How much should you spend on an engagement ring?
Let’s face it; budget is essential to choosing the right ring. I’m sure you’ve heard the cliche about spending two-three months’ salary on an engagement ring, but in today’s modern world, that isn’t the case. Hitched compiled a national wedding survey and found that the average cost of an engagement ring is around £2,500. Your engagement ring should reflect you as a couple, so your engagement ring should be a purchase you can comfortably afford.
What are the most popular gemstones for engagement rings?
When you think of an engagement ring, you probably think of diamonds. Reigning supreme as the leading choice for engagement rings, diamonds are incredibly durable and can keep up with even the busiest lifestyles. Diamonds may be the most popular center stone, but gemstones like emerald, ruby and sapphire have seen a surge in popularity. In addition, gemstone rings bring a luxurious splash of colour and the opportunity to play with large sizes, adding to their growing appeal.
The Four C’s: How do I pick the perfect diamond?
The four C’s are characteristics used to determine the quality of a diamond: Cut, Colour, Clarity, and Carat weight.
A diamond’s cut is important because of how a diamond reflects and refracts light. Well-proportioned stones with facets cut at the correct angles will produce a diamond with brightness, fire (the flashes of colour) and scintillation (the pattern of light and dark sparkle).
Colour, as the name implies, refers to the colour of the diamond. Diamonds are graded on a scale of D-Z, with D completely colourless and Z being yellow or brown. Stones with a colour of D-F are considered completely colourless, G-J are considered colourless to the naked eye, and J+ diamonds may have a hint of warm colour. Diamonds can also come in what are known as “Fancy Colours”, which include yellow, blue, pink and green.
Clarity refers to how clear from inclusions or blemishes a diamond is. Unfortunately, mother nature works in a dirty kitchen, so most diamonds have inclusions. But these inclusions can be used like fingerprints to help identify your diamond. Clarity is graded at 10x magnification and graded on a scale with I for included to the naked eye, SI for Slightly included, VS for very slightly included, VVS for very, very slightly included, IF for internally flawless and F for flawless. VS stones and above are considered eye-clean, meaning you cannot see any inclusions with the naked eye.
Carat is a measure of how much the diamond weighs. One carat is equal to ⅕ or .20 of a gram. It is vital to remember Carat measures weight, not size. While similar weight stones may be similar, they probably have slightly different dimensions so that some stones may appear larger than others.
What style of engagement ring should I choose?
If you’re looking for a ring that is an instant classic, solitaire engagement rings and three-stone engagement rings have a timeless style that has captured hearts for generations. A solitaire engagement ring lets the single central stone take center stage. Three stone rings are what they say on the tin; a ring with three stones, usually a larger central stone with diamond or gemstone accents flanking each side. If you’re looking for a ring with a bit more sparkle, consider a pavé-set ring encrusted with tiny diamonds. Whatever style you choose, remember that an engagement ring reflects your love, so choose something that speaks true to you.
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