An engagement ring is one of the most meaningful pieces of jewellery that you and your partner will ever own.
Not only will it hold very special sentimental value, but it’s going to be sat on your finger every day, and it’s probably going to be the most expensive piece of jewellery that you’ve ever bought.
With this in mind, it makes sense to take a little bit more time and care when selecting one.
Know the Four Cs
Diamonds are measured using the ‘four Cs’, which are colour, cut, carat and clarity, and while you don’t have to be an expert by any means, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with them.
The colour of diamonds is measured on a letter scale, with D and F being the most colourless (which are the most expensive).
For this reason, most people opt for G and H, which are almost colourless but less expensive. Be sure to view the diamonds in daylight to get a good idea of the colour of the diamond.
This relates to the weight, with the price generally jumping at intervals of 0.5ct, so it can be a good idea to try and buy ones which fall just below these points (0.9ct or 1.4ct for example).
The clarity of a diamond refers to the number of inclusions (blemishes) in the stone, on a scale from ‘flawless’ to ‘heavily included’.
Reducing the clarity of a diamond is a good way to keep the cost down, but you don’t really want to have too many inclusions which are visible to the naked eye.
Possibly the most important of the four Cs, the cut is often confused with the shape, but actually refers to the ‘sparkle’ of the stone, depending on how well it has been cut.
You can learn more about the four Cs at this guide from the GIA.
There are lots of places to buy your engagement ring, whether it be online or on the high street, but whatever you do, be sure to shop around to ensure that you get the best possible deal.
The high street is probably your best place to start, as you can physically see some of the different options available to you and can chat to the staff at the shop to pick their brains on your options.
On the other hand, you can also be pressured into making a purchase, so be sure to weigh up your options before making any decisions.
Once you’ve got a better idea of what you’re after, you can head online to see if you can bag a better deal, although high street jewellers H Hogarth warn against buying online, saying: “While rings bought online can be very competitively priced, the fact that you don’t actually get to see the ring is a real downside, and images can be misleading!”
Be Aware of the Ring Metal
You’ll essentially have three choices for your ring metal: yellow gold, white gold or platinum.
White gold keeps its colour the best and is also the lightest, but it does need rhodium plating every couple of years or so to keep it looking fresh.
On the other hand, while platinum will turn to a dull greyish colour eventually, it’s also the strongest metal type for your ring and will last the longest.