As exciting as engagements are, they can also be nerve-wracking. But they don’t need to be. While it’s perfectly normal to be nervous about proposing to your loved one, as well as choosing the perfect engagement ring, with the right guidance the whole process suddenly becomes what it is ought to be – romantic and enjoyable.
With years of experience providing the finest quality diamonds and engagement rings to our customers, we have seen it all. So in this step-by-step guide, we have put together everything you need to know about choosing the perfect bespoke engagement ring for your proposal.
While it can be tempting to go to a high street retailer and choose a ready-made engagement ring, ‘going bespoke‘ is really the key to setting up an unforgettable engagement. After all, proposing to your loved one will be one of the most significant moments in your life. Why would you choose a generic engagement ring, when you have the option to choose one that suits your partner perfectly?
Choosing a bespoke diamond engagement ring has many more benefits too. Not only will a custom ring make it easier to design a look and style your partner will love, it’ll also be a much more valuable long-term investment than your standard high-street engagement ring.
Several factors play a part when choosing an engagement ring that’s ideal for the intended wearer. And while the whole process is tailored to each customer individually, there are main key points that remain the same. By taking these steps into account, we can almost guarantee that the result will be well worth it.
Obviously, one of the main factors to consider when choosing an engagement ring is your budget. The best way to approach it is to educate yourself about the various choices you’ll have to make and how these will influence the price of the ring.
Since buying an engagement ring is a significant financial consideration, it’s worth thinking about it long term. It is going to remain the most notable keepsake during your marriage so make it count.
Understanding the financial resources that you can put in the engagement ring will help guide the whole process greatly. Once you have an idea of what you are willing and able to spend, that along with other factors we mention below will be more than enough for your engagement ring consultant to suggest something that will be tailored to your wants and needs.
The main cost associated with an engagement ring is the centre stone. By making a few small amendments to the size or quality, the overall price can change considerably. A growing trend in the past year is the use of lab grown diamonds. Generally these are 30% – 50% below the cost of ‘natural diamonds’ and growing in popularity monthly. Your diamond consultant can show you different diamond sizes, quality and lab stones too side by side.
Before getting into diamond shapes, cuts, and settings, the key thing is, first, understanding the style that will most suit the wearer. Is she more traditional and conservative or modern and unconventional? Is she more feminine or prefers an active and challenging lifestyle?
Perhaps there are things that you haven’t noticed on a day-to-day basis but now is the time to really explore what she likes and dislikes.
Think about the jewellery she wears on a daily basis and what jewellery pieces she has saved for more special occasions and take note of that. Equally, if she doesn’t wear jewellery and many accessories on a daily basis, that can also be worth taking note of. All of this can help to determine whether she will like something more flashy and out there or more minimalistic and conservative.
You could even go as far as looking at her Pinterest boards or accounts she follows on Instagram. It’s really all about finding ways to help you get a better feel for your future bride’s style.
Everyone loves a surprise and you can easily find out her ring size without giving away your surprise proposal. Pay attention to the jewellery she wears on an everyday basis. If there’s a ring she wears, notice which finger she wears it on. You can either measure the diameter of the ring yourself or take it in for a consultation with your engagement ring consultant.
If she doesn’t wear rings regularly, and you don’t want to ask her directly, it might be a good idea to seek the help of a friend. Make sure to find someone that is close to her but that can also keep a secret – a close girlfriend, sister or her mum can all be looked at for help.
The most common finger size we see is finger L to M (US side 6 to 6.5). This would be the average finger size. If you are not able to seek advice, this range would be a safe bet. All rings can be resized too after a proposal. Rings with no diamonds on the band can be size a lot more than ones with diamonds on the band. In either case, amending a finger size up or down 2 sized should not be an issue.
Platinum, yellow gold, and white gold are among the most popular choices for engagement ring bands. While there are, of course, other options available, at the end of the day, it all depends on your budget and the finish you’re looking to achieve.
Choosing the right metal for your ring can be daunting if you don’t really know much about the features of each type. But this, again, is something that your ring consultant will help you with.
At this stage, it’s important to know what look you want to achieve and also consider the durability and longevity of the material. Ideally this should reflect your partner’s lifestyle, i.e. what type of work she does, what her hobbies are, and so on. Since she will have her engagement ring on most of the time, you need to think about functionality, not just looks.
Many factors are used to determine the quality of a diamond. First, there are the four C’s – cut, clarity, carat, and colour. On top of that, there are other things to consider, such as what ‘certificate’ the diamond carries.
Your diamond consultant will be able to explain and show you the differences in the 4 C’s. Generally it’s a trade off between quality and size. The consultant’s main task is to ensure you get the best diamond for your budget. We always recommend spending money on areas you can notice – colour, carat and cut being the most obvious considerations.
This is why it’s so crucial to choose a bespoke diamond retailer that you can really trust and have a good relationship with. After all, an engagement ring is an investment, and as with everything in life, you pay for what you get.
You might have heard of oval-cut and pear-cut diamonds, as well as cushion-cut diamond engagement rings. There are in fact quite a lot of diamond shapes that you can choose. Some are more classic, others more modern. This is invariably determined by the style of the wearer.
One of the reasons why it’s so important to understand the shape of the diamond is because some cuts can actually seem visually bigger than they are. So if you’re on a certain budget, consulting about the shape can tell you more about what to choose if you want it to appear bigger or more light-reflective. Generally speaking, the round brilliant-cut diamond is used in about 70% of diamond engagement rings. The classic shape is regarded as the shape which allows the diamond to maximise its sparkle.
Understand the difference between “cheap” and “cheaper”. You’re buying something for life. So make it count. The custom-designed diamond rings we offer at Bespoke Diamonds are significantly cheaper than some of the high street alternatives because we know where and what to focus on. Instead of spending huge sums on marketing, we invest heavily in developing relationships with diamond suppliers to ensure we and our customers get the best diamonds at the right price. But remember, when you go for “cheap”, what you get will match that. So never go for “cheap” when it’s an investment.
Don’t rush the ring-choosing process. Remember, that sometimes you have to wait a little for the best things in life. So when it comes to choosing engagement rings, there really is no need to rush it. Bespoke rings are tailor-made for a reason. Plan ahead and consider that it will take time to understand all the aforementioned things as well as actually order and make the ring.
Always remember that you have the final say. Engagement ring consultants are experts at what they do. Their knowledge about diamonds, metals, and ring styles are based on years of education and experience. But, at the end of the day, you have the final say. So it’s imperative that you have a strong, trusting relationship with your bespoke diamond retailer so you ultimately arrive at a ring choice that’s right for your partner and the occasion.
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