Buying an engagement ring may be a little daunting as nobody does it every day! This is a once in a life time event and undoubtedly you want to get it right. Many questions will be buzzing around your head from, how much to spend? What style will she like? Will it even fit? and where to even start looking! Put all your worries aside and start here with a guide from start to proposal.
What does she like and what is her finger size ?
First and foremost is often the worry of “I don’t know her finger size”. The safest an easiest way around this is to buy in an average finger size. The average finger size in the UK tends to be around M or N. If you think your fiancé to be will vary from this dramatically its well worth mentioning it. A good jeweller will make their rings up in this average finger size meaning in the vast majority of cases it will fit or at least be very close. A simple sizing can often adjust perfectly for the wearer. Bearing in mind there are more than 52 finger sizes that’s a lot to choose from! Indeed most lady’s will not have worn a ring on that finger before and won’t even know the size themselves. So it’s reassuring to know you needn’t fret over which of the 52 sizes to pick, simply let her pick when the time comes! If for any reason of course a ring cannot be sized there should in the majority of cases be an option for re-making the ring to your specification.
If style is your number one worry, don’t fear. Style is a tricky thing to get right for anyone buying for another person. When it comes to engagement ring style the biggest thing to consider is that this is a ring to be worn for decades not a season or two. For this reason it is often best to steer clear of something too fashionable. The best styles are classic and timeless. A little twist on a classic is a great way to add a personal touch. Also there will be opportunity to add other elements of style with thing like wedding rings. Classic styles will allow for a wide selection of wedding bands to fit along side.
How much do I spend?
How much to spend has varied historically from 1 months 3 months salary. Ultimately though you want to achieve that balance between what you feel comfortable spending and ensuring you are spending well. Nobody wants to find that they are tied to expensive upkeep, maintenance or repairs on a piece of special jewellery like this. The adage that seems fitting in this circumstance is “Buy once, Buy well.” Do your research around your ideal budget but don’t forget to ask questions still once you reach the ring of choice. Up front and honest questions are much better asked at this stage than down the line. It could be that going for an alternative metal type to what you had expected could save you money in the long term for example. Many jewellers can also be flexible on the size of diamond and qualities to accommodate your ideal budget. Ensure any jeweller able to do this can clearly and knowledgably explain the differences in this scenario. Some jewellers will sell a diamond they are buying from a list and have never seen. Wherever possible it is better to see the diamond in question and know the quality for certain.
The 4 C’s
The “4 Cs” term can be thrown out there and almost as quickly moved on from. Or in some case one element to heavily pressed upon. The qualities of a diamond very much need to be in harmony with each other. It is a fine balancing act between each area. One quality too low and it can literally take away from the life and sparkle of a stone. Buying from somewhere with a firm understanding of this and a vast wealth of knowledge is what will ensure your diamond sparkles. Every diamond has a grading for its colour (how white it is) and its clarity (degree of visible inclusions). These two areas alone have a huge impact on the performance of a diamond. Grading of H colour and above will show off the diamonds natural whiteness while a Clarity grading of Vs and higher with occasionally Si stones showing of their lack of blemishes. Carat weight is often a quality of a diamond we all know of before this journey even starts. Put simply it is a measurement of the volume of diamond there. The larger the carat weight the rarer the diamond becomes. However this is where it becomes important to strive for that balance. Putting your entire budget into the size of diamond can mean the clarity can become poorer for example. This will ultimately not play in the diamonds favour. It will not perform how you expect if the light can’t bounce out of your large diamond because it has inclusions in the way. Lastly and very importantly an area many jewellers will skirt around (or avoid completely!) is the Cut quality. This does not simply refer to the round or square shape look. It actually refers to the combination of cutting symmetry and polish. The cut quality astoundingly has an effect of up to 50% on the value of a diamond making it vital to discuss in knowing how to spend your budgeted amount.
Buying with confidence
Buying with confidence is so important. I am a huge fan of the tool the internet can be. It’s comforting to have a little knowledge under your belt going into something as new as buying an engagement ring. Nobody likes to feel on the back foot when about to embark on such a journey. Confidence is often referred to as a “Fifth C” and I am inclined to agree with this. You should feel happy that you are buying from a reputable and reliable jeweller. Should you want to have it sized or even simply checked and cleaned you want to know they are going to be there to help. A good reputable jeweller will guide you through all these details and any concerns until you are happy and confident on the right choice.