The Ultimate Guide to Buying Your Engagement Ring!
Although choosing your engagement ring is exciting, there are so many styles to choose from – it can feel a bit overwhelming! Here we break down the main areas to think about before making this important purchase.
While some of you may know exactly the type of ring you want, not everyone’s in that position. If you’re in the middle of your wedding planning journey, and are finding the choice of rings overwhelming, follow our top tips and you’ll find the ring of your dreams in no time!
Set a budget
The first step to buying an engagement ring is to set a realistic budget before you start shopping. While an engagement ring’s an important symbol of love and commitment, it’s essential to find a ring that fits comfortably within your financial means. This first step will narrow down your options and allow you to focus on rings that are within your price range from the offset. Setting a minimum price will allow a more focused search.
When it comes to deciding on a budget, there’s no right or wrong amount to spend on an engagement ring. It’s more important to consider your personal situation and what you’re comfortable spending. There’s no point crippling yourself with a huge debt, when you have a wedding to save for! The ring can be paid for by one or both parties – again there’s no right or wrong – you should do what suits you best as a couple and if splitting the cost works for you, that’s great.
Follow our tips and you’ll find a stunning and meaningful ring that doesn’t break the bank.
Do your research
Once you’ve set your budget, it’s on to some basic research. It’ll be much easier if you understand a bit about the different types of engagement rings, gemstones and the 4Cs. This will allow you to make an informed decision and understand what you’re looking at. We’ll cover the basics here, but if you want more info, there are lot of resources available online – as they say, being forewarned is forearmed!
In a nutshell, the 4Cs are the essential characteristics used to evaluate the quality and value of a stone and is the industry standard. The Cs stand for: Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat, all of which determine the price of a gemstone, so it’s important to know what they mean when you’re shopping for your engagement ring. But what exactly do they mean?
- Cut – this is how well a gemstone’s facets reflect light, affecting its brilliance and sparkle. A well-cut gem reflects light internally and externally, maximising its brilliance and fire. Cuts are graded from Excellent to Poor.
- Colour – When it comes to diamonds and moissanites, the colour grade actually measures the lack of colour, with the most valuable being colourless. The lack of colour allows more light to pass through the stone, creating more brilliance. Colour is graded from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown).
- Clarity – Clarity is the presence of inclusions (internal flaws) and blemishes (external flaws). Stones with fewer inclusions are considered more valuable. Clarity is graded from Flawless (no inclusions or blemishes visible under magnification) to Included (inclusions visible to the naked eye).
- Carat Weight – This is a measure of a gem’s size, with one carat equal to 200 milligrams and larger gems being more valuable. The combination of the 4Cs determines the value of the stone.
While it’s important to have some knowledge of the 4Cs before you buy, personal preference is the main factor that should help you pick the perfect ring for you.
What’s your style?
When you’re shopping for an engagement ring, consider your metal choice – what colour jewellery do you usually wear? Whether it’s white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, platinum or another metal, getting this right will help you find something that will suit you and your style and consider any allergies you may have to certain metals.
What type of jewellery do you usually wear? Would you love a classic, modern, maximalist, minimalist or vintage-style engagement ring? Being clear on this will give you a good basic starting point into what sort of engagement ring to look for and again, help you narrow down your options to find the perfect ring for you!
Many people use Pinterest as a fantastic place to collate all their wedding ideas in one place. If you’re short on inspiration, this is a great place to start getting excited and see what’s out there. You can create a separate board for each aspect of your engagement and wedding for reference. You can also check our guide on choosing your ring according to your personality.
What celebrities are wearing does affect trends and while fashionable styles can be appealing, remember to go with your heart. Opting for a timeless design will ensure that your ring will continue to be cherished for years to come and will never go out of style. Consider the centre stone shape, it makes all the difference to the overall look of the ring. Here are some of the most popular gemstone cuts for engagement rings.
And remember, that special gem doesn’t have to be a diamond! Luckily, long gone are the days when people thought an engagement ring had to include a traditional diamond. If you’re looking for an affordable, dazzling stone that will still turn heads, we highly recommend considering a moissanite engagement ring.
Moissanites are a lab-grown natural mineral, bursting with brilliance and sparkle. This clear gemstone actually reflects more light than other gemstones, including diamonds, making them the most stunning of all. They’re almost as hard as a diamond, making them durable enough to last a lifetime, without getting chipped, scratched or going cloudy.
It’s hard to believe, but it gets even better! Moissanites are also ethical, sustainable and up to 70% cheaper than diamonds – so basically, a no-brainer! It means you can have the ring of your dreams at a price you can afford – and all with a clear conscience.
Factor in your lifestyle
When choosing the design, think about your lifestyle and job. If you have an active lifestyle or work with your hands, you might want to opt for a more durable gem and a low-profile setting, such as a rub-over mounting – one of the most durable gemstone settings for longevity. The hardness of a stone is very important when it comes to a ring that you’re going to wear for the rest of your life, so make sure you refer to the Mohs Hardness Scale and opt for the hardest minerals, such as diamonds, moissanite, sapphires or rubies.
Trust your instincts
Remember, the engagement ring is a symbol of your love and dedication – no matter the design or size, the sentiment behind it is what truly matters. When chosen with love and thoughtfulness, your engagement ring is sure to be cherished for a lifetime.
Don’t be afraid to buy online
With budget being one of the biggest considerations when buying your engagement ring, we have a great tip to keep that as low as possible – buy your ring online. It may sound a bit daunting, but if you ensure you’re using a reputable retailer, it’s a great way to buy. Without the cost of an expensive retail shop, the savings are passed on to the customer, so you’re more likely to get a much better price. Always check unbiased reviews to make sure they have a strong history of happy customers and if you have any questions, drop them an email to assess how good the customer service is.
We suggest it’s worth buying a ring-sizer or getting your finger measured by a jeweller before buying your ring online. Although most rings can be resized, it’s much easier to get the right size in the first instance.
Top tips for buying an engagement ring online
If you are buying your ring online, make sure you do your due diligence and know the answer to the following points before you commit:
- It’s essential you can return if it’s not right, what’s their returns policy?
- Are rings posted with tracked and insured shipping?
- Can they resize or swap the ring if it doesn’t fit?
- What quality stones do they use?
- Are the gemstones and metals they use ethically sourced?
- Do the stones come with a lifetime warranty?
- How long will it take to make and deliver your ring?
Thanks to the experts at Flawless Moissanite for helping us put this guide together.