Rings have been a symbol of love for a long time, dating back to the ancient Romans. When it comes to that special moment when you want to ask your loved one to marry you, the first thing that comes to mind is the question “how do I make this memorable?” There are 2 major considerations: the ring and the occasion. The way that you ask is important and should be a reflection of what you feel that your soon to be fiance would like. More important however, is the ring. It has to be a unique representation of your love.
I had a discussion with a friend who thinks you should spend up to 10% of your annual earnings on your engagement ring. So what that means is that if you earn £10 million, then you should spend £1million on your engagement ring. Well, dunno!
As it happens, if you searched “how much should I spend on an engagement ring?” on the internet there are more than enough rules that one should apparently follow. From saving 2 months salary to spending a quarter of your wedding fund on the ring, there are a lot of rules that sound quite good on the one hand, but on the other hand could help you become financially unstable.
Truth be told you should spend how much is feasibly possible for you. If you find the ring that makes the stars shine brighter than ever before for just £150 when you earn much more – then why not. If you think it will make your partner happy and lock in the yes, then that is the ring for you, regardless of price.
This article is not a guide on how much you should spend on it, but designed to make you aware of the things to consider during your decision making process.
So a quick checklist – there are 4 things you should be aware of;
Ring size can be a hard thing to guess, so it is always recommended to get measured up professionally at a jewelers. However taking your partner out for a random finger measurement may let the cat out of the bag. So below you’ll find a ring size guide, courtesy of Goldsmiths, to give you a good idea of what ring size your partner may be.
Some key things to remember when measuring is that our fingers are largest in the evening, so it’s always best to do it then. Avoid trying to get the ring size when cold as this will compromise the size of the fingers.
It can be hard to get the ring size if you are aiming for the engagement to be a surprise, so be creative – take rings she already owns to get a rough idea. If she doesn’t have any rings be spontaneous and get some costume jewellry from places such as primark or boohoo – your soon to be fiancee will think you’ve splurged and got her some stylish accessories, while you can see which of the rings she wears most often and take some sneaky measurements.
Don’t let it stress you out too much though, if you get the size wrong there are a million places, probably including the place you originally bought the ring, that you can have the size altered. Most places will do the alterations for free if you still have the receipt, failing that you can usually get the ring altered at any local jewellers – that is of course if she lets you take the ring away once you’ve popped the question!
|Ring Sizer (UK)||Circumference (mm)|
The type of cut you choose often depends on the woman you plan to give the ring to. In some cases they may already have pieces of jewellery with a particular cut or have mentioned which is their favourite cut. If it seems it hasn’t been made obvious which cut is best, having a good knowledge of the different cuts makes it very easy to decide which cut would suit your partner best.
Below we’ve shown examples of each of the cuts, to help give you an idea of what you’re looking at when ring shopping. Some women will know what cut they want but if you haven’t been told then have no fear, take a look below and see which style you think would best suit.
The marquise is an oval with pointed ends.
The cushion cut is a cross between a rectangle and an oval; it has a pillow shape, and it is also called an “antique cut.”
An emerald cut (originally developed for the gem of the same name) is rectangular with cropped corners and long, stair-step-like facets.
An asscher is similar to an emerald cut, but square, so it looks octagonal (the radiant is a popular variation of these but with facets that give it even greater sparkle).
One of the most popular cuts for an engagement ring, the round cut is also a classic diamond shape. A round stone with 58 facets, it has the most sparkle. Round cuts are very popular for engagements
A very popular diamond cut, the princess cut is a brilliant square stone.
A heart-shaped diamond resembles its name, so the diamond is in the shape of a literal heart.
A pear-cut diamond also resembles its name. An added bonus to the pear shape is that if you wear it with the point facing away from your body, it makes your finger look long and slender.
The oval shape, which first began appearing in the Sixties, visually elongates the fingers and is completely unique.
Most rings are made of platinum, silver, gold or a combination of these, with a cut of a precious stone set on it. There is a long list of stones used on rings but the most popular and most precious ones are diamond and emerald.
Focus first on determining your fiancée’s style, and then finding the right metal and stone to complement that style. One of the first things you need to think about when choosing a metal for a setting is the type of jewelry your future bride typically wears, for example, if she’s drawn to cooler hues and silver-toned jewelry, then platinum or white gold is the way to go however if she tends to gravitate toward warmer tones yellow gold or rose gold are good choices.
The most popular material rings are made from is Platinum due to its hardness, rarity and naturally white sheen that never fades or changes colour. Following platinum is Gold, in the colours of white, yellow and rose.
White gold uses pure gold alloyed with other white metals such as palladium and silver, to produce a beautiful polish and shine. More often than not as a standard, white gold rings can be plated with rhodium to allow for its brilliant white lustre. Rhodium plating is hypoallergenic and helps to protect the white gold. Although strong, rhodium may wear away over time. Re-plating is a simple process that can be done to restore whiteness at any time. You can however request for your white gold ring not to be plated.
Yellow gold is the more traditional material for wedding rings and is popularly available as 9ct, 14ct 18ct 22ct and 24ct rings. Depending on what carat you choose, the colour and hardness of the ring will differ.
Rose gold also known as pink gold or red gold, adds a touch of romance to your ring; if you want a ring that is traditional and distinguished then rose gold could be for you. As with yellow gold, depending on what carat you choose for your ring, will determine the colour and hardness of the ring.
Diamonds are more often than not the go to stone for engagement rings and unless your other half has said that she wants something else diamonds are always the safest bet. Some diamond-set rings will offer the choice of two different grades which you’ll likely choose between dependent on your budget.
It isn’t unusual for diamonds to work their way out of a ring over time, so it is highly recommend that you have the setting checked by a professional jeweller every 6 months to a year, just to be on the safe side.
The size of the diamond depends on your budget, and partner’s taste and style. But the amount of money you want to spend should not be the only criterion to select the size of the diamond you should also look into what complements your fiancee’s look.
Like diamond earrings, diamond rings come at an inexpensive rate. Rather than selecting a single diamond ring, you may have decided to get a three stone diamond ring, or halo set diamonds. A Trilogy or Halo design is just as popular as the Solitaire these days. Engagement rings come in a wide range, so you have a lot to chose from… And not just that, there are also coloured diamonds and other types of jewels that have become everyone’s favourite in the past few years. Coloured diamonds and gemstones have become an extremely popular alternative to the classic white diamond engagement ring.
While it’s always great to pore over the best celebrity engagement rings for inspiration, dropping millions of pounds isn’t exactly a reality for many of us. The classic and most often followed rule when buying your engagement ring is to spend between 1 and 3 months salary – depending of course of your outgoings, so saving discretely is a must. In 2016, the amount spent on an engagement ring, according to ThisIsMoney.co.uk, in the UK is an average of £573.
Which one should you buy?
It depends on you, it depends on your partner, and it depends on your pocket. Forget about the write up, it is just a guide for you to know what is out there. The ultimate decision is in what makes you and your woman happy. So shell out some extra pounds from your pocket, if it is required.
So you’ve seen the different cuts and other factors you should consider. Below I’m going to show three rings of my recommendations. These rings are ones that I’ve genuinely considered for a proposal, one of which, when the time comes, I’ll be using.
Drop your comments below, let us know your thoughts