What to do if you don't like your engagement ring

24 Jan 2018

It's an issue that most women dread, but disliking your engagement ring is a common problem. Here's how to deal with it...

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Most women wait years for it... the moment when they become a wife-to-be. Yet what if it doesn't live up to expectations due to the simple fact that the ring you've been longing for is a complete and utter disappointment? 

If this is the case, spare a thought for your partner who has probably been stressed out trying to find a ring that they think you'll like. Smile sweetly, accept the proposal (hopefully) and just enjoy the sheer joy of becoming newly engaged... then think about the ways you can get your hands on a ring you will love for the long-term. 

1. Talk

Firstly, give it a few days after the engagement to see if the ring grows on you. If it doesn't, don't avoid the issue; have an honest and open conversation with your partner about the ring and your preferences. Delicately explain that it's not quite to your taste and as you'll be wearing it for years to come, you would want something that you absolutely love. You know your partner best so you'll know how to broach the subject, but just remember to do everything in your power to not upset them... a gushing apology and plenty of praise for their efforts usually goes down well. 

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2. Return or exchange it

Once the discussion has been had, now it's time to think about what you can do about the problem. If it's not a custom-made ring and your decision is made soon after the purchase (typically 30 days), then there is a better chance that you will be covered by the jeweller's returns and exchange policy. Check your partner has retained the receipt or, failing that, has a bank statement to hand as well as the original packaging, and visit the jewellers together to talk it through with the team and choose a ring that both of you can have input on. 

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3. Modify it

Custom-made rings can usually be modified, provided the requested changes aren't too drastic. Customisation can usually prove expensive so think long and hard about the modifications you want made. This can also be undertaken if you fall out of love with your ring over an extended period of time. 

Julia Cook is the founder of jewellery label Branch On The Park which accepts private commissions from its gorgeous boutique in East London. While Julia has never experienced an unhappy client looking to return their custom-made ring, she says that many have come to her to request a re-design of a ring purchased from another jeweller. She says: "The important thing to remember if you don't like your engagement ring is that something can always be done to help you fall back in love with it again. If you decide to re-model an existing engagement ring, the first step is to find a jeweller that suits your style."

She continues: "To keep part of the history and sentiment of the ring, the perfect solution is to use the existing materials, melting the metal and re-using the stone but completely changing the design. I have melted metals and re-used and reset stones on many occasions, initially talking through designs and showing clients photos of previously made rings which I find really helps inspire them. We can look at changing the mount, resetting the stones, adding more stones - there's always a way to transform it."

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4. Choose one you want

If your partner has given you their blessing to find a completely new ring to your specification, then the problem can be solved in an instant. Similarly, if your partner has given you the gift of a family heirloom but you're not keen on the ring, buying new will be the most obvious solution. Family heirlooms are a trickier situation to deal with because of the sentimentality attached. Yet, having been passed down the generations, the ring will carry a greater risk of looking old-fashioned and also comes with a heightened responsibility to protect and preserve it. If you really can't bring yourself to love it, then plan a shopping trip to find something you really want.

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Adelle Thompson, head of buying at Beaverbrooks, says: “A proposal is one of the most important milestones in any relationship and for most couples, the perfect engagement ring is a crucial part of the event. There are so many different options when choosing a ring, from the design and material of the band through to the cut, colour, clarity and carat of the sparkling diamond – so we appreciate it can be difficult to get it right first time. We offer Proposal Rings to allow nervous proposers to pop the question with a beautiful ring without the worry of spending on something not to their taste. These cubic zirconia replicas of diamond engagement rings start from just £40. Once the proposal has taken place, couples can visit a Beaverbrooks store to choose the perfect ring together."

Looking for some ring inspiration? Take a look at our Rings and Jewellery section of the website. 

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