Tips on choosing the perfect engagement ring
05 May 2016
For many men and women shopping for an engagement ring can be a dreaded experience, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right amount of knowledge about what to look for in a ring and an understanding of the difference in prices, choosing an engagement ring can be an enjoyable and exciting experience
Salim Hasbani, director at Tresor Paris has put together tips on selecting the perfect engagement ring for your loved one.
Which is the most popular engagement ring diamond shape?
The most popular is most definitely round brilliant cut, it’s traditional and symbolises eternity - no end and no beginning. It’s also simple which a lot of people tend to go for, but if you have a full cut diamond with 56/57 facets then the sparkle, shine and lustre is like no other.
What are the most popular materials for an engagement ring?
In my opinion, 18 carat gold is the most popular metal. The majority of people go for white gold, especially in the last few years, but we are seeing rose and yellow gold coming back into fashion again.
You don’t always have to go for diamonds; some people choose blue sapphire, emerald and ruby as centre stones for their engagement ring, but largely the diamond reigns. The difference in sales between diamond rings sold compared to any other stones is huge.
What are the four Cs and why are they important when purchasing an engagement ring?
The four Cs are a diamond grading guide, an industry standard and a way to measure and evaluate diamonds. It’s difficult to know what is a ‘good diamond’ if you are not experienced in the field, so the four Cs are good to use as a guide towards picking the perfect diamond for your ring. At the end of the day though, it’s really down to choosing something you will be happy with.
Cut – the sparkle of the diamond really depends on how the stone is cut to reflect the light.
Colour – white diamonds sometimes have different tints of colour; colour D is the whitest and clearest diamond but of course rarer and more expensive. I wouldn’t advise going below an H colour diamond as this is where the diamonds start to become tinted.
Clarity – diamonds of course are all completely unique, and therefore often have inclusions, the clarity grades in the four Cs refer to these inclusions. At Tresor Paris, most of our high jewellery diamonds are VS diamonds or better, with very slight inclusions.
Carat – the carat is quite simply the weight of the diamond and is a personal choice for an engagement ring.
The shape of the diamond is also important; this is all about the aesthetics of the diamond, and a personal choice, much like the carat of a diamond. Common shapes include round brilliant, princess and oval.
Should you do your research before buying an engagement ring? Where would you find this information?
Yes definitely, research is so important to finding the perfect engagement ring. General research can be done online, just ensure you are using good and reputable sources - the London Diamond Bourse has a lot of helpful information on diamonds.
It is also important to do your research on your partner's taste and ring size. You may be able to alter the ring after you buy, but this can be costly. It’s worth asking about the store's return policy and be aware that often bespoke options cannot be returned.
Many people still like the element of surprise, the hard bit is choosing something that is exactly right, and this ring will be with you for the rest of your life, so research really is key!
Where should you buy your engagement ring from? Should you buy online?
Again, do your research, you should really go to a jeweller or high street store you trust and see the ring. Seeing, feeling and touching are imperative to choosing the right ring for your partner. With online purchasing you can’t see the ring in person and the picture may not be true to the item itself, so you are putting a lot of trust in the supplier. If possible, get your partner to try it on (If it’s not a surprise of course).
Usually a reputable retailer will offer an insurance valuation certificate with the ring, or even better, an independent certification for the diamond itself. Just be wary as with a lot of these certificates, it is often just certifying the individual’s opinion.
What do you think is a good price range for buying an engagement ring?
Traditionally, it is said that you should spend about 1-2 months' wages. The average we see is usually about £2,500-£5,000 being spent on engagement rings, however there really is no limit. Someone who is a millionaire would often be able to spend a lot more on an engagement ring than your average person, and some may stretch and spend the equivalent of six months' wages on a ring. It really is personal to the individual and what kind of ring they are after, some may want something smaller and simpler, while others go for something extravagant.