The time has finally come and you’re planning a beautiful proposal that’s unique to your relationship. Buying an engagement ring for your other half may be the most important purchase of your life. It goes without saying that you should choose something that you can imagine they’ll love – after all, they’ll be wearing it for years to come.
Our 10-step guide to buying an engagement ring breaks down the steps you should take to ensure that you pick the right ring. From setting a budget, choosing a stone and finding out her ring size, covers everything. If you’re still unsure, why not book a consultation – one of our dedicated advisors will help you choose the perfect ring.
1. Set Your Budget
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessary to spend two month’s salary on the ring. What’s more important is spending what you can afford and getting the best quality for your money. You could also consider financing options – Steven Stone offers 0% finance and flexible deposits meaning that you can pay the cost of the ring over a fixed term.
2. Book A Consultation
Even though buying an engagement ring is a very personal thing, it always helps to have a second opinion. With showrooms in Hale, London and Manchester, you can use our expertise to inform your decision. At a consultation, a specialist will be able to guide you through the design and components of your perfect ring, outlining the importance of the 4Cs: cut, clarity, colour and carat. Book your consultation today.
3. Choosing The Diamond
The 4Cs are the essential components of a diamond that you should carefully consider before buying. Colour, cut, clarity and carat are vital when determining the quality of a diamond. Each factor affects the stone’s appearance, meaning that you buy the best stone possible for your budget.
Diamonds with less colour are rarer. The clearer the diamond, the higher the value.
A diamond’s cut is the most significant of all of its features, determining how well it reflects the light and therefore how well it sparkles.
Clarity refers to the diamond’s imperfections. The fewer blemishes that the diamond has, the higher the clarity grade.
Diamond carat refers to the stone’s weight, which is a factor in its size. Larger diamonds are rarer than smaller ones, so are generally more expensive.
There are several popular shapes to choose from, depending on the setting that you prefer.
The size of the diamond you pick for the ring is also important, playing a large part in creating an appropriate sense of scale and complementing the size of the ring finger.
4. Picking The Metal
When picking the metal, it’s important to choose something that is durable as well as beautiful, as it’s likely that the ring will be worn every day. Gold is a traditional choice that remains popular.
Carat refers to the fineness of the gold, not to be confused with the carat that refers to the weight of a diamond, and the higher the carat, the more expensive the gold will be.
In terms of colours, gold presents several opportunities for customisation. Rose gold is a popular, modern choice that is made by blending gold with copper and silver, making it more durable than yellow gold. White gold is made by blending pure gold with white metals like palladium or silver. It is beautiful and also more durable than yellow gold.
Platinum is also a popular material for engagement rings, as is palladium – a naturally durable and 95% pure white precious metal. Palladium is thirty times rarer than gold, and less likely to tarnish.
5. Choosing the Setting Style
The setting style of the ring is perhaps the most important design choice. A solitaire ring features one diamond set in the middle of the ring. A shoulder setting includes one large diamond with smaller diamonds inset into the metal on either side. The three stone setting was recently seen on Meghan Markle’s engagement ring, and features diamonds set in a linear formation. The halo setting features one large stone bordered by smaller stones.
6. Know Her Ring Size
If the proposal is going to be a surprise, there’s plenty of ways to find out her ring size. If rings are part of her everyday outfits, download a ring sizer app to measure the ring that she wears the most.
If, like many proposals these days, the engagement was agreed upon by you both, simply asking her ring size is a good idea. Then, you can either buy the ring to surprise her or go shopping together. If tradition states that you want to keep the proposal a surprise, choose the ‘Not Sure’ size option when choosing your ring on the Steven Stone website to qualify for free resizing.
7. Obtain a GIA or AGS Certificate If Buying Online
GIA and AGS provide a strict and accurate diamond grading that is demonstrable through certificates. Each Steven Stone ring comes with a certificate to validate its authenticity. Issued by an independent authority, the certificate lists the diamond’s key attributes and qualities. If there’s a certificate, you can be assured of the diamond’s quality.
8. Ensure You Get The Best Price
Price is an important factor. Whilst you want the best for your fiancé, price must be a consideration – especially when there’s a wedding to plan. At Steven Stone, we are confident that we will always give the best value for money. If you find a comparable piece of jewellery cheaper from a high street competitor, we will match the price and give you £100 cash. For more information, see our Price Match Guarantee.
9. Know The Warranty
Steven Stone’s lifetime manufacture warranty means that if damage occurs to the engagement ring due to a fault, we will fix the ring free of charge.
10. Take Out Insurance
An engagement ring could be one of the most expensive purchases you make, so be sure to take out insurance to cover theft, loss or damage. Jewellery insurance can be very reasonably priced, so it should be something to consider.