10 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring
You know she is the one for you and you’re ready to propose to her, now all you need to do is find her the perfect engagement ring! We have compiled this nice and easy 10 step guide that will help you on your way to buying an engagement ring she will wear forever.
Step 1 – Budget
Before you start hitting your high street jewellers or browsing online you need to set a realistic budget to ensure you choose a ring at the best value for money. If you want to be traditional its suggested that you spend at least two months wage on an engagement ring. However you should spend what is realistic to you.
Step 2 – Finger Sizing
In the UK ring sizes are measured on an alphabetic scale starting at size A all the way to size Z. If you are not 100% sure on your girlfriend’s engagement ring finger size, we suggest you go with the law of averages as most women fall into the average ring size of M or N. If you buy the average ring finger size, most jewellers will resize that ring t fit your girlfriends finger after you have proposed.
Step 3 – Metal
You need to decide on the metal you want the engagement ring to be made out of. Most commonly engagement rings are made using three metals – platinum, white gold and yellow gold. All three metals are hard wearing and ideal for wearing every day. Platinum engagement rings or white gold engagement rings are contemporary choices, while more traditional looking engagement rings are made with yellow gold. If you opt for white or yellow gold we recommend using 18 carat as it is the most durable for use in engagement rings. A new metal that is a cheaper option and becoming popular for use in engagement rings is palladium.
Step 4 – Engagement Ring Design
The design of the engagement ring usually refers t the setting where the diamond or gemstones will be set. The most popular ring settings are prongs – where the diamond is set in claw, bezel – where the metal is rubbed over the diamond, tension – where the diamond is held in-betweens the metal, halo, where small siamond surround the centre diamond, shoulder set – where diamond are set on the shoulders of the engagement ring. The most popular engagement ring setting is prons settings as it allows the maximum amount of light to get to the diamond creating more brilliance and sparkle.
Step 5 – Diamond shapes
Its important to choose a diamond shape that reflects the personality of your girlfriend. Te most popular diamond shaped for engagement rings are round brilliant cut, princess cut and emerald cut diamonds. Some guys choose marquise or pear-shaped diamond as they help to elongate small fingers.
Diamond Shape Chart
Below is a diagram of the different diamond shapes.
A diamond is made up of four main characteristics – diamond cut, diamond colour, diamond clarity and diamond carat weight. All four characteristics play a vital role in the price of a diamond and determining a diamonds quality.
Step 6 – Diamond Cut
Diamond cut determines that brilliance and sparkle a diamond has. Light is reflected through the diamonds angles and proportions. When purchasing a diamond you usually get the option to pick if you want a good cut, very good or excellent cut – we suggest you get an excellent cut for more sparkle.
Step 7 – Diamond Colour
Diamonds used in engagement rings are usually white and graded higher for their lack of colour. Diamond is graded from colour D to Z where a diamond will be brown/yellowish. D-H diamond is the most popular choices are they are colourless.
Step 8- Diamond Clarity
Diamond clarity is graded by the number of imperfections and flaws a diamond has internally and on the surface. It is however extremely rare for a diamond to be completely flawless. The rarest and more expensive diamond clarity grades are FL – Flawless and IF – internally flawless. The most popular and more affordable clarity grades are VVS1 and VVS2 which both have excellent diamond clarity with imperfections that can only be seen through a microscopic lens. A diamond with a clarity grade VS1 or VS2 still poses posseses exceptional clarity in the diamond. SI1 and SI2 will also only show inclusions under magnification.
Step 9 – Diamond Carat Weight
Diamond carat weight measured the weight of the diamond in grams. Usually diamond in engagement rings range from 0.40 carats to 1 carat depending on your budget. However if you have a bigger budget you can always go over the 1 carat mark. It’s easier to choose the carat weight once you have selected the cut, colour and clarity of the diamond.
Step 10 – Diamond Certificates
Whenever you purchase a diamond always make that it comes with a certificate specifying the diamonds carat weight, clarity, cut and colour grade along with the diamonds exact measurements. The most sort after and trusted diamond certificate is GIA diamond certificates from the Gemmological Institute of America or AGS – American Gem Society.