So you’ve made the big decision to pop the question. You’re confident the answer will be yes and you’ve decided how much to spend on the engagement ring. The next big decision is choosing the ‘sparkler’ that will make saying no, simply impossible.
Ultimately you’re the one who knows your prospective fiancé best – but for most the decision between…
- round, princess or pear cut diamonds,
- solitaire or bezel set wedding bands,
- yellow, white and rose gold or platinum bands…
…can all be particularly overwhelming. So to make your life that little bit easier, here are some tips to help pick the perfect engagement ring – the one that seals the deal with your special someone.
Choosing the engagement ring stone
Diamonds are without a doubt a girl’s best friend when it comes to engagement rings, but a complicated and confusing best friend at that! So the golden rule for those seeking a little help when it comes to choosing a diamond is to follow the four C’s: Carat, Clarity, Colour and Cut.
Put simply in the “diamondsphere” a carat is a measure of weight (.2grams = 1 carat). As a result, the higher the number of carats, the larger the diamond (and generally speaking, the higher the price of the bling).
Don’t be fooled into thinking bigger is better. The clarity of the gem plays a major role in the amount of sparkle you can expect. Fewer blemishes in the visual appearance of the diamond will lead to a higher clarity grading. We all know that as the carats (or size) goes up, so too does the price. Similarly, when it comes to clarity, the clearer the diamond, the higher the price.
The cut of the diamond refers to what shape the stone takes. The name of the cut is usually the same as the shape it takes; however this is not always the case. Arguably the most popular choice of cut for an engagement ring is a round cut diamond. Princess cut diamonds (which are a square shape) are also favourites. Other popular cuts include – oval, marquise (a football shape), pear, cushion (square cut with rounded corners), and emerald (rectangular with flat corners).
While a white diamond is the classic choice, the colour of your chosen diamond can vary greatly. Other coloured diamonds include steel gray, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink, purple, brown and black.
Although the traditional diamond is still the most popular choice to adorn your potential partner’s finger, remember they aren’t the only option when it comes to the stone in an engagement ring. Kate Middleton’s engagement ring features a stunning blue sapphire. Rubies and emeralds are also a great alternative.
So if your soon-to-be-betrothed has more adventurous tastes, you could always take the leap and decide to ditch the diamond and go for an alternative precious stone. As an added bonus, these precious stones are generally less expensive than diamonds.
Choosing the setting of your engagement ring
Deciding on a setting for an engagement ring involves choosing the metal and style of band to encase the stone . Choosing the metal generally means a decision between white, yellow and rose gold or platinum. This choice should be fairly straightforward – simply take note of the metal your prospective fiancé regularly wears – most people have a preference.
All this brings you to the final decision: how to set the stones? By far the most popular setting – a solitaire style – means the ring carries a single diamond. This is the classic engagement ring and a style hard to fault. A halo style band means the diamond has a ‘halo’ of smaller diamonds around the main center stone, giving that extra dash of sparkle. Another popular style is the three stone band – in which the center stone has two smaller stones set on either side. A pave setting generally carries a larger diamond with multiple smaller diamonds set into either side of the band.
Choosing an engagement ring can be daunting enough to postpone the proposal, so if your soon-to-be-fiancé has a family member or friend who you can rely on to be tight lipped, there’s no harm in inviting them along when choosing the ring. A second opinion might save you from making a choice you regret.
If you’re not confident she’ll like the ring you’ve chosen, planning the perfect proposal doesn’t always mean having a ring handy. You can always leave the choice in their hands (quite literally) and spend the day after the proposal browsing jewellery stores to let them choose their dream ring.