If you and your partner are picking out an engagement ring together or even if you’re just dropping helpful, subtle hints on the subject, start doing your homework so you can make the most informed choice. Archduke Maximillian of Austria is credited with giving the first engagement ring in 1447 to Mary of Burgundy, but diamonds have been symbolic and revered since the Roman Empire. Due to the variation in the look and quality of diamonds and how incredibly expensive they can be, it’s useful to shop around and choose to buy from somewhere that has a solid reputation. Look for staff who have gemmological knowledge rather than those simply trying to sell you the most expensive ring on display.
The four Cs
The cut, clarity, colour and carat of a diamond work in combination to determine the value and beauty of the gem you choose. Some buyers decide to sacrifice one of these elements in favour of the other but it’s an entirely personal choice. You may be more concerned about the colour of your diamond than its carat measurement. Carats are a measure of the weight and size of a diamond and shouldn’t be confused with karats, a measure of the purity of gold. H. Samuel offers a detailed guide to the four Cs, complete with diagrams.
Be mindful of shape
The engagement ring will eventually sit beside your wedding band, so bear this in mind and imagine how the two bands will fit together. The diamonds themselves come in many shapes, including pear, princess, marquis, emerald, oval, heart and the most popular, round brilliance. Make sure you’ve had a look at all the shapes available before deciding because one might be much better suited to your hand than the others.
Don’t let him overspend
You might have been wowed by the size of Kim Kardashian’s rock but if your partner ends up overspending on the ring then you won’t have as much money for the actual wedding or your wedding bands. Getting married and getting set up for married life can be very pricey, so don’t break the bank before you even start out. Forget the old ‘two months of salary’ guide, decide on a reasonable budget and don’t look at rings outside of it, however tempting that might be!
Create it yourself
If you can’t find the ring that perfectly expresses you and your partner’s love for one another, why not get creative and design your own ring? Diamond Boutique offer a bespoke ring service that allows you to choose an entirely unique engagement ring. Not every girl thinks that diamonds are her best friends and other precious gems are becoming popular for engagement bands. You can also have your diamond set alongside rubies or emeralds.