Most important things you need to know when choosing an engagement ring

Whether you’re choosing one together or planning a surprise proposal, our guide will help you find the perfect engagement ring.

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If you’ve been with your partner for a while, you may already have a good idea of what they will like in an engagement ring. But if you don’t or you’re confused by all the unfamiliar jargon and designs that get thrown around, don’t worry because we’re here to help.

From choosing a metal to deciding on the cut, colour and setting of the gem, this all-purpose guide will be your best friend and event planner all in one!


How much should an engagement ring cost?

This is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you decide to pop the question, and to be honest, the answer will be different for everyone. Tradition dictates that an engagement ring should cost the equivalent of three months’ salary, but we think that’s very outdated now– that means if you earn over £20,000 p.a., you’re paying at least £5,000 on the ring alone!

Having said that, if you want to splurge on your (hopefully!) future spouse, you absolutely can! There are definitely ways to finance an engagement ring if you’ve got your heart set on something a little out of your budget. There’s not really any hard and fast rules about how much you “need” to spend on a ring and it really depends on your budget, your partner’s taste and your situation. Don’t forget that once you’ve found the perfect ring and popped the question, there will still be a whole wedding to pay for as well!


Which metal should I choose?

Metal choice is a good place to start as it can really narrow down your choices and make everything less overwhelming. Take note of the kinds of jewellery your partner normally wears. If she has a favourite silver necklace she always wears and a box of yellow gold jewellery sat untouched, then you know that yellow gold is not the way to go and can start looking into silver-coloured options such as white gold or platinum.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is the traditional choice so is a strong option if you’re after a big variety of designs to choose from. Almost all jewellery retailers sell yellow gold rings and you can get pretty much any stone or setting you want.

White Gold

White gold is a popular option for people who prefer silver jewellery but want the longevity and prestige of a gold ring. Most retailers will carry a large selection of white gold rings as well so you still have the benefit of choice. If you see a ring in yellow gold that isn’t available in white, it can often be made to order.

Rose Gold

Rose gold is a really beautiful, unique option for the modern bride. It has really come into its own in the last few years and retailers are starting to carry more and more rose gold options. With much more feminine feel, rose gold creates a look that isn’t quite as traditional as yellow, but still elegant.


Which gemstone should you choose?

Choosing a gemstone is one of the most fun parts of picking out the ring. Firstly, you’ll probably need to decide if your partner is a traditional “diamond or nothing” kind of person, but once you’ve answered that question you can start to be a little more creative. Whether or not the ring involves a diamond, you can also experiment with other stones and find something that works for your price range.

Maybe your future spouse would love something quirky or colourful alongside her diamond, or why not try opal or pearl in place of traditional gems. Take your time with gemstone selection and feel free to look at lots of rings and stone combinations until you find the one that feels right.

Diamond

Sapphire

Emerald

Opal

Ruby

Morganite

Pearl

Tanzanite

Amethyst

Topaz

Cubic Zirconia

Aquamarine


Which cut should you choose?

This is where ring decisions start to get more technical and most people start to get a bit confused. The type of gemstone cut refers to the shape of the actual stone in the ring. Traditionally most stones are round or oval, but there are lots of alternatives if you want something a little more unusual. It’s also important to remember that which style cut you choose may impact your wedding band choice later on.

  1. Princess: square or rectangular with an inverted pyramid on profile
  2. Cushion: square cut with rounded corners
  3. Oval: elongated/modified round cut
  4. Square: standard square shape
  5. Pear: rounded at the bottom with a point at the top
  6. Marquise: shaped like a boat with pointed ends and a wide middle
  7. Heart: standard heart shape
  8. Briolette: similar to a pear cut but with more facets
  9. Baguette: generally rectangular with step-like facets
  10. Emerald: cut in a square shape with step-like facets
  11. Round: standard circular shape
  12. Trilliant: triangular shape with facets

Do men wear engagement rings too?

Traditionally, men didn’t wear engagement rings but that doesn’t mean they can’t now!

A lot of the traditions associated with weddings and engagements stem from a time period that was particularly patriarchal, but modern society is far more accepting of breaking away from those traditions and with the support of LGBTQIA+ marriage and equality, there’s no reason why your man can’t wear a ring.

It is also becoming more common in a heterosexual relationship for the woman to propose to the man, so why shouldn’t he get to wear a ring after he says yes?

Top tip: If you want to get a ring that will stand the test of time, opt for a ring made of titanium or tungsten. These metals are a lot more durable and will hold up better to daily wear.


Dealing with diamonds

If you do decide to go with tradition (or just can’t refrain from the sparkle) and go with a diamond, you’ll need to know a little bit more about how they’re chosen. This refers to the four Cs of diamonds: cut, clarity, colour and carat.

Cut: as described above, the cut of the diamond affects how it reflects light and its ‘sparkle factor’
Clarity: This is determined by the amount of flaws in the diamond as seen under strong magnification
Colour: Diamonds actually come in a variety of colours. The most sought after is colourless
Carat: This determines the rarity of the diamond and is determined by its weight

It’s also important to know that there are many issues around the world when it comes to the ethical mining of diamonds. If your partner is particularly focussed on human rights, they might prefer a stone surrounded by less controversy.


Where to buy your engagement ring

1. Goldsmiths
Shop at Goldsmiths to enjoy over 230 years of tradition and experience in the jewellery industry.

Goldsmiths is one of the UKs oldest jewellers and still operates from its original shopfront where they opened in 1778. Now they're one of the biggest jewellery retailers in the UK, stocking a range of high quality diamonds and top branded watches.

  • Free next day delivery
  • Free returns

Go to Goldsmiths website View discount codes for Goldsmiths


2. Ernest Jones
Shop at the UKs premier diamond and watch specialist for a breathtaking collection of exquisite diamonds and top branded watches.

Ernest Jones have had a presence on the British high street since 1949 and have become synonymous with high quality diamonds and top quality service and support.

  • Free delivery on orders over £100
  • Free returns

Go to Ernest Jones website View discount codes for Ernest Jones


3. H.Samuel
Say it better, in a style and at a budget that’s right for you with H. Samuel.

H. Samuel have over 150 years of experience in the jewellery industry so whether it's an engagement ring, locket, designer watch, christening present or anniversary earrings you're looking for, they'll be able to help.

  • Free delivery on order over £49
  • Free returns

Go to H.Samuel website View discount codes for H.Samuel


4. Lily Charmed
Shop Lily Charmed for the jewellery that will bear a meaning and a connection to your loved one.

Lily Charmed started as a family business and is known for offering its customers beautiful silver jewellery with a sentiment in each piece.

  • Free delivery with orders over £30.
  • 10% off is you sign up.

Go to Lily Charmed website View discount codes for Lily Charmed


5. The Jewel Hut
Get all your favourite jewellery brands at competitive prices at The Jewel Hut.

The Jewel Hut brings all your favourite high street jewellery brands such as Pandora, Links of London, Swarovski and more to the online market place at competitive prices. The Jewel Hut is a quality, authorised stockist for all the brands they sell.

  • Free delivery on orders over £50

Go to The Jewel Hut website View discount codes for The Jewel Hut


6. Accessorize
Shop for vibrant, statement-making lifestyle jewellery at Accessorize.

Accessorize is a well known high street brand offering a huge choice of on-trend jewellery of every shape and size. If you're looking for a more affordable range to stock your jewellery box or complete a new outfit, look no further than Accessorize.

  • Free delivery on orders over £40
  • Free returns

Go to Accessorize website View discount codes for Accessorize


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