Getting ready to pop the question? First things first–congratulations! We know how exciting taking this next step can be. We also know how overwhelming it can be, especially the engagement ring buying process.
With countless designs, shapes, and settings, choosing the right ring for your partner can feel like navigating a never-ending maze don’t worry, This engagement ring guide & our team will answer your questions and take the guesswork out of picking out the ring of your partner’s dreams.
Step 1. Talk To A Trusted Source For Ring Suggestions
First things first it’s time to figure out what style of ring they like. This is another opportunity to consider the jewellery they already own. For example, if they wear a lot of white gold, don’t get them a yellow gold band.
Are there friends or family members that you can ask that know their style? If you have other friends who were recently engaged, try to casually bring up what you like or don’t like about the ring (in private and definitely not in front of your friend). Doing this might spark a conversation about what your partner likes, and you can remember that information as you’re shopping. Use any resources you can to avoid getting a ring they’d dislike.
Step 2. Pick An Engagement Ring Setting
You’re almost there, the next decision is the setting if you haven't managed to find out what style she likes then we strongly advise keeping it simple with a timeless solitaire keeping all the focus on the centre stone. This defines the engagement ring style and showcases the ring’s best features. Some of the most well-known settings include:
- Solitaire – Solitaire is the single diamond by itself. This is a beloved style by people all around the world because of its elegant simplicity
- Paveé – Pronounced “pah-vay,” this setting involves the main stone surrounded by a band of smaller diamonds, which makes the main diamond look bigger
- Halo – The term halo refers to a ring with the main stone set in the middle of a halo of diamonds. Much like the paveé, this makes the carat size look bigger than it really is
- Sidestone – Sidestone rings consist of the main stone accompanied by two or three other small diamonds on either side
- Three Stone – Three stone settings typically have three different stones, side by side, with the center diamond being the largest
Step 3. How To Subtly Find Their Ring Size
If you’re trying to keep the proposal a surprise, then finding out your partner’s ring size may be a bit tricky. But you’re not totally out of luck. The easiest way to get their ring size is to measure a ring they already own and wear.
To measure it, use a string or a strip of paper and wrap it around the inside of the ring. From there, mark where the ends meet and measure said diameter on a ruler in millimeters. You can then compare it to this chart to find the corresponding ring size. Make sure you’re using a ring they wear on their ring finger alternatively this can be resized in house at Hamlingtons so as long as you manage to get the proposal done we can resize it after you are engaged.
If they are not big on wearing rings, there’s nothing wrong with asking their friends or family if they know their ring size. You can also ask if they’re willing to go undercover to get it for you.
Step 4. Natural or Lab Grown diamond?
It's a tough decision on which route to go down with the traditional Natural diamond being the first port of call Lab grown diamonds certainly shouldn't be overlooked but what do we know about them?
For years traditional jewellers were fighting against lab-grown diamonds holding on to the heritage of the traditional diamonds but with the leading certification houses certifying lab-grown diamonds and huge brands getting on board, Hamlingtons had to get involved & our customers have taken to it.
Lab grown diamonds are grown in highly controlled laboratory environments using advanced technological processes that duplicate the conditions under which diamonds naturally develop when they form in the mantle, beneath the Earth’s crust. These man made diamonds consist of actual carbon atoms arranged in the characteristic diamond crystal structure. Since they are made of the same material as natural diamonds, they exhibit the same optical and chemical properties.
You can find out more on lab diamonds here.
Step 5. Set An Engagement Ring Budget
Traditionally the rule of thumb is that an engagement ring should cost the equivalent of three months’ salary. We’re here to tell you that no longer applies. This “rule” was created as a marketing ploy back in the day to get couples to spend more money.
If you’re nervous about pricing, talk with us and we can work with you at hamlingtons to offer a ring to suit any budget.
Step 6. Know The 4 C’s
If you’ve started shopping already, you may have already heard of the four C’s. They stand for clarity, color, cut, and carat weight. To break this down a little further, here’s what each category refers to and what they symbolise within the ring:
Because diamonds are either naturally mined or precision cut from a lab seed, they have imperfections, also known as inclusions. Clarity refers to these inclusions and whether they’re noticeable or not. The fewer imperfections a ring has, the more expensive it becomes. Clarity is rated on a scale, with IF being virtually flawless and I1 being apparent inclusions.
Diamonds may also have a light yellow tint to them. This, too, is graded on a D scale, with D being completely colorless and Z having a yellow tint. Most standard diamonds typically fall in the D to J range. However, color is a personal preference, and a light yellow diamond does not mean it lacks in quality.
D-F – Colorless
G-J – Near colorless
K-M – Faint color
N-R – Very light color
S-Z – Light color
This is one of the most important aspects of choosing an engagement ring. It also isn’t determined by nature. Cut refers to the angles and the sparkle of a diamond. If a diamond is cut poorly, it will appear dull. If it’s well-cut, the light will shine off it and give you the sparkle you’re looking for. Unlike the other C’s, the cut does not influence the cost as much as the others, so it’s best to aim for the Excellent to Very Good range.
Last but not least is the weight of the diamond, which is also called the carat weight. As the weight increases, so does the price. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the diamond will look larger though. A shallow cut or a halo setting will give a smaller diamond a more prominent appearance.
Step 7. Pick A Diamond Shape
The shape of the diamond is purely a personal choice–it helps speak to one’s unique style. Some of the most popular shapes include:
Round diamonds are the most popular on the market because the shape catches light the best and offers a lot of sparkle. This is great for anyone who loves a classic, traditional look.
Oval shape can be described as an elongated round diamond. Many people love this shape because it’s a bit more unique, and it lengthens the look of your fingers.
Emerald Shape Diamonds
Is your significant other into vintage pieces and looks? If so, the emerald shape might be for them. The art-deco-like rectangular appearance shows off the ring’s clarity rather than cut. This is perfect for anyone looking for an understated look.
Pear-shaped diamonds look very similar to a teardrop. The combination of oval and marquise looks beautifully delicate.
Marquise Cut Diamonds
The marquise looks a bit like an American football shape. The long, distinctive silhouette maximizes carat size and shines like there’s no tomorrow.
Asscher Shaped Diamonds
Asscher diamonds are also a fan-favorite of art-deco lovers. The square emerald shape has a geometrical appearance that is absolutely radiant.
Princess Cut Diamonds
Princess cut is another popular shape thanks to its contemporary style and brightness. These typically come in a square or rectangular shape and will make your partner feel like a royal.
Cushion cut, also known as “pillow-cut,” refers to a diamond that is square or rectangular with rounded edges. When in a vintage setting, they’re the perfect combination of the modern and old school.
We have a portal with over a million stones at Hamlingtons & can run through any cut in any size.
Step 8. Get The Certificate
If purchasing a ring that is one carat or larger, it can come with a diamond grading report from a gemological association such as the GIA, IGI, . Jewelers may also include a description–also known as a “fingerprint”–of the ring, consisting of the 4 C’s, dimensions, shape, and any improvements made.