Lifestyle

A Guide to Picking The Perfect Engagement Ring

Many of us have prized accessories in our collection, such as a locket inherited from a loved one or a watch gifted to us to honour a special occasion. However, the engagement ring is likely to be the most beloved item in our possession – perhaps second only to a wedding ring. It is also the piece of jewellery that will get the most wear during your lifetime.

Considering the importance of the engagement ring, it is vital to ensure that you choose something that you will love and cherish forever. Make sure that no aspects are overlooked during your search by following this comprehensive guide to picking out the perfect engagement ring.

Stick to your style

It can be so easy to get caught up in trends, whether it’s the latest fit of denim jeans or new footwear. However, while our clothes are naturally replaced as time passes, your engagement ring needs to stand the test of time. It is therefore advisable to ignore jewellery trends and stick to your style preferences.

Seek inspiration

Before you head to the jewelers, it is a good idea to spend time browsing engagement rings online. This gives you the opportunity to closely examine the many options available and identify the aspects that appeal to you most. It is also worth noting down things you dislike to make sure these are avoided when you make your final selection.

Decide on a gemstone

Diamonds are the traditional choice for an engagement ring gemstone – and with good reason. Diamonds have a high refractive index when compared to other gemstones and minerals which means that they sparkle more in the light, making them the ideal choice for statement jewellery. However, if a pop of colour is more your style, consider a sapphire or emerald engagement ring.

From Jackie Kennedy’s art deco ring to Princess Diana’s iconic Ceylon sapphire, there are many examples of coloured gemstones working perfectly for an eye-catching engagement band.

Consider the cut

Most engagement rings, especially classic options, include a gemstone. In addition to deciding whether you want a traditional diamond or a colourful stone, you will also need to consider the cut. This is not just the shape of the gemstone, such as square or trilliant: the cut also encompasses the facet finish. Different cuts work well for different gems, with the round brilliant providing the best sparkle for diamonds and the oval cut being a preferred option for sapphires.

For diamond rings, you should also think about the rest of the 4Cs – clarity, colour, and carat. Of particular importance for those seeking sparkle is clarity which measures the inclusions that block the light passing through the diamond. Carat refers to the weight, while colour indicates rarity.

Check the setting

As well as investigating the stone, don’t forget to check the setting. This is how to gemstone is displayed on or above the band. Sought-after styles include the halo ring made popular by Kourtney Kardashian and Hailey Bieber, which showcases a larger gemstone encircled by other smaller stones, and the solitaire setting which is simply one stand-alone gemstone.

Bear in mind that certain settings will require you to have a specially-shaped wedding band that slots around the stone on your engagement ring. High-set engagement rings usually have no gap between the neighbouring band whereas low-set rings with a central stone may require a contoured wedding band to ensure that both pieces sit flush beside one another on your finger.

Find the right metal

It is very important to find the right metal for your lifestyle before settling on your engagement ring. Different metals have different qualities, in terms of hardness, density, and value, so there is more to think about than just the colour. You need to remember that the metal for your engagement ring should match the metal of your wedding band in terms of hardness to prevent scratches from everyday wear.

Yellow gold was an unrivalled choice for centuries, seen as a symbol of wealth and success. An advantage of sticking with this traditional metal is that gold is highly reflective, ideal for added shine, and you can be confident that it will not rust or tarnish over time. In recent years, hardwearing platinum is providing to be popular too. Other less commonly chosen options include white gold, rose gold, and black zirconium which is scratch-resistant, hypoallergenic, and lightweight.

Know your ring size

Just as knowing your clothes size helps when you go shopping for new pieces in your wardrobe, knowing your ring size is essential when picking out your engagement ring. The best thing to do is the visit a reputable jeweller who have the tools and the eye to measure your finger correctly. A properly fitted engagement ring should fit so snugly that it doesn’t move if you shake your hand and won’t move beyond your second knuckle without assistance. Be careful of cutting off your circulation, however!

Set a budget

A traditional rule of thumb is that an engagement ring should be a similar price to a fifth or a quarter of your yearly salary. However, this is an old-fashioned rule that should not stand in your way! Equally, if you want to splash the cash, there is nothing stopping you making your engagement ring a substantial investment – after all, this is an accessory that you will wear every day for the rest of your life!

However much you would prefer to spend, it is a good idea to set a budget before you go shopping. This will help the jeweller to whittle down their selection to the engagement rings that best suit you, safeguarding you against being overwhelmed by choice or wasting time looking at bands that are outside of your price range. Beautiful engagement rings are available at a wide range of prices.

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