7 things to keep in mind when shopping for an engagement ring this Christmas
A Hiding Place
This can be the first and last thing you need to do. First find a shop that can show you rings in a private room away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers so your surprise doesn’t get ruined before you’ve even started. Once you’ve got the perfect ring you need somewhere safe to hide it from prying eyes until the moment has arrived.
Set a Deadline
Do not rush into choosing a ring by any means but don't spend five years going back and forth between princess cut, cushion cut; one diamond, two, three - or it could all go pear-shaped! Set a realistic deadline and stick to it. A deadline focuses the mind.
It’s all about the style!
To attempt to pick the perfect ring you need to do a bit of observation and thinking about your loved one. Does she wear much jewellery? If so is it silver, yellow or rose gold she prefers? Is her jewellery simple with very few stones or is she a girl that loves her bling? If she doesn’t wear any jewellery think about her personality and how she dresses, does she like to make a statement or is she more reserved? You can always “phone a friend” and we mean her friend/sister/mother who could help you pick the right style. Familiarise yourself with the different basic engagement ring styles, solitaire, three stone/trilogy, halo and cluster and try and imagine which style would best suit her best.
Do your homework
You should make yourself familiar with the 4 C’s of diamonds. Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat weight. Cut is the most important of the 4 C’s, with a perfectly cut you can make a poor quality diamond look amazing and conversely you can make a top quality diamond look terrible with a poor cut. Colour and Clarity give you the quality of the rough diamond before man cuts it. Carat is purely a measurement of weight and just tells you how heavy the diamond is and this does reflect the size of the diamond too. All 4 C’s combined determine the price you will pay for the diamond. The diamond shape and cut can also influence your decision, round stones are far and away the most popular shape and thus are more expensive, if you think she would like something a little different you could look for different diamond cuts such as Marquise, Pear, Oval, Cushion, Emerald, Princess. All these diamonds will cost less than the equivalent round diamond and they usually look bigger too an added bonus! A good jeweller should be able to explain all this to you and show you examples for you to compare and contrast. If possible try and take a ring she wears on her ring finger on her right hand this will be helpful to get an idea of her finger size.
Coloured gemstone like the classic Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald are now much more popular as an engagement ring choices and there is a colour out there to suit every pallette if you consult an expert like Murphy Jewellers gemmologist Martin he can find that perfect stone for you. Gemstones are not for everyone as they often make a big statement but they can be understated too if muted tones are chosen. Gemstones can also allow you to go bigger than a diamond on the same budget, as Gemstones are invariably better value than diamonds. The nicest thing about a coloured stone ring is that each coloured stone is different so each ring is unique. Gemstones such as Morganite, Aquamarine and Tourmaline are very popular at the moment.
A popular trend in the last few years is for men to not choose the ring and to instead pick a silver or gold ring with a CZ (cubic zirconia a man made stone to simulate diamond). There are a few things to be aware of with this choice, most CZ rings have large stones in them as they are really cheap, however this can set unrealistic expectations and lead to disappointment when she finds what size diamond can be got for the budget, and this is not the time to disappoint! You also end up with a ring which is never or rarely worn other than the few days it takes to get her real ring. The way around this is to find a jewellers (like Murphy Jewellers) that allows you to purchase a real diamond ring but they then welcome you and your fiance back to go through the range and exchange or make the ring that your betrothed wants. This way you don’t have a ring hanging around that is never worn again and money wasted on it.
Some people will think that by travelling to Antwerp or Dubai they’re going to get a great deal and they may save money initially, if they evade the customs and VAT due on the ring when they fly home but it’s the long term costs that add up. The first thing you will need with an imported ring is a valuation which you will have to pay for and that's just the start of it! A great local jeweller will help you look after and maintain your ring for the rest of your days. Our partners Murphy Jewellers offer free ring cleaning and claw checks for life, plus free valuations whenever you need it with all rings purchased from them. They even offer a ring care card to keep track of when your ring was last checked and cleaned.
Checkout some of the ring selection available at Murphy Jewellers