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The Journey of Buying an Engagement Ring: How to Choose

by Jeff Gear July 16, 2021

Getting engaged is something many people daydream about for years before it actually happens – many since they were little. If that’s you or your future (or current!) fiancé, then it’s important to find the right ring to symbolise this oh-so-important event in your life and relationship. No one can doubt the importance of the wedding, but the engagement is just for the two of you – it’s that confession that I see myself with you for the rest of my life. (And what could be more romantic!)

But… how do you choosethe ring? There’s no right or wrong way to go about this, and it differs for everyone. Here are a few of the different ways couples choose their ring:

·         They have decided to get married and will choose the ring together

·         One partner will drop a ton of hints, and then the other partner will choose the ring based on their preferences  

·         The proposing partner buys a placeholder ring to propose with so they can buy the “real” engagement ring with their partner

·         The proposing partner will choose a ring and hope their partner likes it

·         One partner will pick out a ring, and then wait to be surprised with it later down the line by the proposing partner

Again, there’s no right or wrong way to do this, so choose an option that best suits you. Now let’s dive into the fun part – choosing the ring!

 

How to Choose Your Engagement Ring  
Choose the Stone

The first thing you need to think about is what kind of stone you want to use for your engagement ring. Most people choose diamond because it’s timeless and holds its value well, but it’s not the only option. Gemstone rings can be just as timeless and contrast with the diamonds used on the shoulders of the ring (i.e., either side of the gemstone).

You can find most of the same cuts (shapes and styles) for gemstones as you do for diamonds. Here are some of the most popular gemstones to consider:

·         Sapphire – comes in various shades of blue and has a timeless quality when paired with diamonds. See a beautiful example here with the Saskia sapphire and diamond ring

·         Pink Sapphire – has a beautiful, clear quality with rich pink colouring. This is a beautiful feminine stone and a unique choice, so you won’t see everyone wearing one. See the Panther pink sapphire diamond ring for an example.

·         Yellow Sapphire – this stone looks beautiful on darker skin tones and isn’t something you see every day. The yellow sapphire is the colour of early-morning sunlight and is truly breathtaking. See the Tuscany yellow sapphire diamond ring for an example.

·         Ruby – Nothing says love like the colour red! Ruby is a stunning stone, especially when paired with diamonds and yellow gold. See the Rosa ruby diamond ring for an outstanding example.

·         Emerald– A bright green stone that stands out in any setting, regardless of the colour of metal chosen or cut. See the Lyon emerald diamond ring for an example surrounded by diamonds.

·         Morganite– A soft peach-beige stone the colour of champagne – a great way to celebrate your new chapter together. See the Comet morganite diamond ring.

Other popular stones are citrine (amber in colour), aquamarine (light blue), tanzanite (mid-blue), kyanite (dark blue), and tourmaline (rich brown).

 

Choose the Shape and Cut

The cut of a stone is the shape and style of the stone. All engagement rings are categorised by the cut of the feature stone(s). Here are the different cuts you can choose from:

·         Round

·         Oval

·         Pear – a teardrop shape

·         Princess – square

·         Cushion – square with rounded edges

·         Emerald – elongated rectangle with step cuts that give it a softer look

·         Marquise – shaped like a boat

·         Radiant – similar to an emerald cut but uses the brilliance of the gemstones used for round-cut diamonds so they have a lot of shape and sparkle within the stone

You can see examples of all of these  here.

When you’re thinking about what cut to choose, don’t just consider styling but also practicality. If you plan to wear the engagement ring daily, you need to consider lifestyle, as certain shapes lend themselves to more practical rings.

For example, if you (or your fiancé) does a lot of work with your hands, a round, cushion, or princess cut will likely be more practical than a pear cut or marquise cut, which may get caught on things. Similarly, consider the setting itself and how high on the finger you want it to sit – a ring like our Orbit round diamond ring has a flat top, so won’t catch.

 

Style

Once you’ve decided on a cut (or a few you’re considering), think about the overall style of the ring. All our engagement rings have a timeless style, but trends do come and go. Is there a particular look you (or your partner) wants? We are happy to modify existing styles to make something unique to you, and we can even work with you to produce something bespoke based on your own designs.

 

Choose Your Metal

Your metal is an important part of the process, not just because it can change the entire look of the ring. The metal you choose will also dictate how durable the ring is and how often you need to get it maintained. All rings wear a little over time when worn daily, though some more than others.

For an engagement ring, you’ll likely be choosing from:

·         (Yellow) Gold

·         White Gold

·         Rose Gold

·         Platinum

24 karat is the highest karat of gold – 24K means it’s pure gold. While that sounds like a good thing, gold is actually a very soft metal, and so 24K is not often a good choice for jewellery, especially rings as it can bend out of shape.

14K or 18K gold are much better choices because they are only 14 parts or 18 parts (out of 24) gold, and the remainder is an alloy. This makes them much more durable, while still having a high gold content. What colour of gold you choose makes no difference to the quantity of gold it contains – 14K white gold has the same gold content as 14K yellow gold.        

Platinum is another choice that looks almost identical to white gold. It naturally occurs in this colour (unlike white gold) and is rarer than gold, which is what makes it more expensive. Despite being stronger and more durable than white gold, Platinum can get easily scratched on the surface so it may need more maintenance to keep it in top condition.

Ultimately, what metal you choose should be decided by personal preference, the design of the ring, how much on an investment piece you plan for your ring to be, and how much maintenance you’re willing to do to keep it in top condition.

 

Once you’ve considered all those components, there’s nothing left to do to choose the ring and pop the question! Don’t worry if you can’t get your partner’s finger size beforehand – many people choose the ring, propose, and then get the ring resized so it is the perfect fit. To start exploring our entire range of engagement rings, click here. If you’d like to visit us here in-store in Dublin, we’d be more than happy to talk you through the process – click here to book an appointment.

 

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