Planning to propose to your partner? Then you must be looking for an engagement ring.
If your partner is anything like Monica from friends, you have a lot to plan. And it all starts with a beautiful shiny ring that’ll lighten up your partner’s eyes.
Getting a perfect ring can be a tricky – after all, the ring is going to be a pivotal part of one of the most memorable moments of your life.
So if you are wondering where to buy an engagement ring, you’ve landed in the right place.
Let’s help you get that gorgeous ring.
What should you look for in an Engagement Ring?
1. The Stone
The beautiful sparkly diamond stone on the ring is going to steal the show. But before you head off to actually browse some rings, you need to understand diamond terminology, especially the 4Cs.
The 4Cs – cut, carat, clarity, and colour – represent the grade or characteristic of the diamond. It’s a scale which is used by all jewellers, all over the world, which makes it easy to compare diamonds and understand whether you’re getting good value.
The cut is about the shape and proportions of the diamond, which affects how much light it reflects and therefore how much it sparkles. This is important!
The carat represents weight, which is different to ‘size’, as two diamonds can weigh the same amount but look very different sizes if one is cut deeper than the other.
Clarity measures if the stone has any flaws like tiny flecks or lines. Most imperfections are so small that they can’t be seen with the naked eye, but at some clarity grades the inclusions can be seen, which most people want to avoid.
And colour, of course, represents the colour of the stone, which is measured on a scale of D (white) to Z (yellow). Most people are looking for as white a diamond as possible, although above a certain level (usually G), most people can’t tell the difference.
Lastyle, it’s important that the diamond has been graded by a reputable authority – preferably GIA who have a good reputation for thoroughness consistency.
2. The Shape
You’ll find engagement rings in different shapes, including round, oval, emerald, princess, and more.
Different diamond shapes go in and out of fashion – a few years ago, princess cut diamonds were very fashionable, but they have now given way to elongated shapes like the oval or rectangular radiants.
Regardless of fashion though, the classic round brilliant diamond remains the most popular shape by far.
3. The ring setting style
Ring setting styles include both the format of the ring (solitaire, halo, three stone, etc.) and the precious metal used in the ring setting.
The classic solitaire setting remains the most popular style for engagement rings, with the current trend being towards very thin, ‘petite’ bands which make the center stone itself look as large as possible.
White metals like white gold and platinum remain the most popular choice for engagement rings, while yellow gold is currently having a resurgence after a long period of being out of fashion.
4. The Size
This is always a contentious issue and also one of the most common questions that someone sporting a new engagement ring is likely to be asked: ‘how many carats is it?’
While there can be pressure to his certain ‘magic weights’ e.g. 0.5 carats, 1 carat, etc, we recommend that you don’t prioritise carat weight above all of the other attributes of a diamond. A well-cut 0.8 carat diamond with good colour and clarity will make a much more impressive ring than a yellowing diamond with visible flaws that just happens to hit the 1 carat mark.
When you decide what you want, here is where you can buy the ring.
Where to Buy an Engagement Ring?
1. National Jeweler
You’ll find a wide range of engagement rings at any national jeweler on any UK high street. They have stores everywhere and are convenient, but their diamonds are often over-priced for their quality. For convenience’s sake, it can be good to go to a high St jeweller to take a look at rings to see what diamonds look like on the finger, but you will almost always be able to get a higher quality ring at a lower price elsewhere.
2. Local Jeweller
Local jewellers will often have deep knowledge of diamonds and be able to guide you in the direction of a beautiful stone. Where they can fall down, however, is the number of rings they have available in-store for you to look at.
However, if you can find a local diamond specialist that you trust then you may just have found your jeweller for life. One thing to be wary of is that smaller jewellers often have poor returns policies – it’s definitely worth checking with a purchase as significant as an engagement ring.
3. Private Jeweler
If you know exactly what your partner will love, consider a private jeweler. You can share your ideas and get a custom-made design for the ring.
Private jewelers will help you understand the quality of the diamond and create a unique ring tailored to your taste.
There is a chance to get a better price range with the private jeweler.
4. Diamond District
Diamond Districts can be a great way to compare a large number of diamonds in a short period of time. They can also provide you with the opportunity to haggle, as you can use the price offered at one jeweller to request a lower price at another.
One thing to know though is that you are always going to be at a significant disadvantage when it comes to knowledge. It’s therefore more important than ever to ensure you’re as informed as possible about diamond quality and what is a reasonable price for what you’re looking for before entering a diamond distrcict.
If you’ve been to every other store but couldn’t find a perfect ring for a price you’re happy with, try online. Many online jewellers offer a much wider selection than bricks and mortar stores, while also offering lower prices.
The obvious disadvantage is that you can’t actually try the rings on. However, most online stores have excellent imagery of all of their diamonds and generous refund policies, just in case the ring wasn’t as expected.
Buying an engagement ring can make you feel excited and nervous at the same time. It’s a life-changing decision and something that you want to make sure you get right,. The right retailer for you will ultimately depend on what you’re looking for and your budget. Once you know those two things, it may be a case of a little bit of comparison shopping between the different types of retailers until you find the one that delivers the right mix of beauty and value for money. Good luck!