Everything you should know about choosing an engagement ring

Everything you should know about choosing an engagement ring

April 26, 2021

With holidays abroad looking like they might be on the cards over the coming months, we could be seeing our Instagram feeds inundated with romantic proposals. 

After all, it’s likely that some people have been holding out on popping the question until restrictions lift – so they can plan something special.

But the most important part of the proposal (aside from asking a partner to spend the rest of their life with you) is, of course, the ring. 

Being a piece of jewellery worn for the rest of a lifetime, it’s fundemental to get it right.

So, with that in mind, here are some crucial things to consider when it comes to choosing an engagement ring:

What’s trending?

London jeweller Emma Clarkson Webb says colourful rings are growing in popularity at the moment.

She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘My clients love colour and I consistently get a lot of requests for engagement rings with green stones – be it emeralds, tsavorites or tourmalines. 

‘Black diamonds are also having a serious moment. I recently designed the most stunning engagement ring with a single statement black diamond set in matte yellow gold – it’s really exciting to see my clients moving away from very traditional styles and opting for something more unusual.’

Another big trend for 2021 is Art Deco engagment rings. 

Emma adds: ‘So many of my clients are opting for contemporary rings incorporating Art Deco design motifs, such as clean bold lines and geometric patterns.

‘I am also seeing a real demand from clients who want to reimagine an existing ring, repurpose a particular stone into a new ring or up-cycle a number of pieces of jewellery into a new engagement ring.’

Let’s talk cost

‘There are so many clichés about spending the equivalent of three months’ salary,’ adds Emma. 

‘But I always say to my clients they should spend enough that they feel a bit uncomfortable handing over the money, but not to spend so much that they can’t afford the honeymoon.’

This really just comes down to how much you’re happy spending – there’s no set cost.  

She adds: ‘Obviously be sensible and don’t bankrupt yourself. Remember that size doesn’t always matter.

‘You can buy something incredibly unique by opting for smaller stones or a diamond alternative – sapphires, tsavorites and tourmalines all make incredibly striking centre stones.’

Don’t forget that you can design your own

If you want something a little different to match the personality of your partner, why not go bespoke? 

In terms of inspiration for this, Emma adds: ‘Have a think about the kind of jewellery your wife or husband to-be normally wears: do they prefer a certain colour gold?

‘Do they have a minimal style or do they take a more-is-more approach to the way they wear their jewellery? Do they gravitate towards vintage, or is their aesthetic more contemporary?

‘It’s also worth having a look at the way they dress – is there a lot of colour in their wardrobe or are they more minimalist?’

Find out your partner’s ring size

Emma says: ‘In an ideal world, the client will bring us a ring his or her future fiancé wears to indicate finger size. But it’s surprisingly easy to make an educated guess on finger size once you ask a few questions and see some photos.’

There’s also another way to get the exact size, without taking an actual ring and raising suspicion.  

Emma adds: ‘If you’re trying to work out a ring size at home, we recommend using a pen and paper to trace the inside of an existing ring onto a piece of paper which you can then give to your jeweller.’

Remember the four Cs

Emma says it’s vital to remember the four Cs of engagement shopping – these are: carat weight, colour, cut and clarity.

All are very important characteriscs to a diamond that affect price and beauty. 

She adds: ‘The four Cs are really important to consider when buying a diamond ring as it’s essential to understand why a certain stone might differ in value to another stone.

‘It’s important to think about what your budget will allow – if you want a larger diamond for example you may need to compromise on clarity – as the higher the clarity the more expensive the stone will be. 

‘The clarity grade has the biggest impact on price, but the least impact on physical beauty.’

Keep timeline in mind

Emma adds that, if you’re the one planning to propose, you’ll need to think about the timeline you are working towards.

For example, if you are heading on holiday to pop the question, you’ll need to make sure the ring is ready with plenty of time to spare. 

Be sure to ask the jeweller how many weeks it will take for crafting to avoid dissapointment.

Make sure it’s ethically sourced

It’s really important when buying an engagement ring that you ask where your stones have been sourced from.

So remember to ask if are they conflict free and if the gold recycled or Fairtrade.

Emma says: ‘A good jeweller should be able prove that the diamonds they use are Kimberly-certified and be able to tell you exactly where your ring was made (and ideally the names of the craftsmen who made it).’

And don’t forget you can keep things environmentally friendly, too.

She adds: ‘I work with a lot of clients to repurpose unwanted and unworn stones into something new which is a process I love doing and I’m all for recycling old stones, rather than mining for new ones.’

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