During my career as a jewelry designer and silversmith, I’ve been lucky enough to have been asked to design countless engagement rings for couples here in Cork and around the the country. You can see a tiny selection of the rings I have worked on here in my Engagement and Wedding Ring Gallery
With thousands of engagement rings adorning the windows of jewellers, along with a daunting number of rings to be found online, the task of shopping for that perfect ring may seem like a terrifying task.
Here I have shared my 3 Top Tips on how to choose your engagement ring for the novice jewellery shoppers. These should help to keep you on the straight and narrow in choosing the perfect engagement ring for your beloved!
Browse some of the bespoke rings here in Engagement & Wedding Ring Gallery
1. Perfect Rings in Precious Metals & Carats
A good place to start is with your precious metal. Choose a colour that closely resembles the style of jewellery or rings she already wears. Sterling silver is the most popular precious metal for ring, pendants and bracelets. Unfortunately, it’s not durable enough to withstand a lifetime of daily wear and tear required for for engagement or wedding jewellery. If she wears silver, white gold or platinum are both a great match. If she wears yellow gold, that one is easy.
At 24 carats, pure gold is quite soft so metal alloys are added to create a more durable and hard wearing metal. Pure gold is 24 carats. 9 carat gold is made up of 9 parts pure gold, 15 part other metal. 18 carat is 18 parts and 6 part another metal.
Platinum is also very popular for engagement rings. A little more expensive than 9ct or 18 c.f. gold but gives a beautiful finish and also wears very well when compared to softer metals.
Here are just another few interesting points to note that you may want to consider.
- In terms of value, the purer the precious metal the better it holds it’s value.
- For the groom or bride-to-be living an active or outdoorsie lifestyle, it may be worth considering a lower carat white gold or gold. The harder metals used in these rings will take more wear and tear over time.
- Those that suffer from skin sensitivities or nickel allergies, should opt for a purer precious metals or higher carat
2. Engaging Diamonds 4Cs & Other Gemstone
Diamonds remain the most popular gemstone of choice. As jewellers, we spend our careers learning about the complex interplay of diamonds and so to that end, I would like to reassure you that you do not need to nor are you expected to become an expert overnight. The below articles is a useful guide from The Gemological Institute of American. This brings you through the 4 basics when selecting a diamond.
Ultimately, you will need to seek advice and trust your jewellery designer’s expertise on this. They will source the best quality ethically sourced diamond available within your budget.
For those of you looking for an alternative to diamonds, your options are plentiful. From stunning sapphires to brilliant tourmaline engagement rings. For a wide variety of reasons, a growing number of couples are choosing other precious stones for the centre piece on their engagement ring. One Fab Day wrote a nice concise article on this very topic in A to Z Guide to Alternative Gemstones for Engagement Rings
3. Golden Engagement Ring Rules
For any of you that would like your marriage proposal to be the surprise, don’t be afraid to ask a trusted family member or friend for help!
She will wear this engagement ring for the rest of her life. This ring will be a symbol of your commitment. More often than not, an engagement ring will be the most valuable piece of jewellery she will ever wear. From very first sight, when you open that beautiful box, you want her to adore her engagement ring. So, this may not be the best time to start taking risks!
Pass your ideas and thoughts on the style of engagement ring by a close friend of hers or even a trusted family member. In our experience, your nearest and dearest will be delighted to be asked to get involved.
Not only can they help you determine the correct style of engagement ring, they can also probe her with subtle questions before you decide on the engagement ring design. Enlist their help in figuring out her ring size.
Planning a Wedding Proposal
What next! Let us leave you with one important observation we’ve made during our time dealing with couples planning their weddings. It is a fact, that we have yet to hear a bride-to-be or newly wed say their future husband put too much thought into planning their marriage proposal.
In fact, from the day you place this engagement ring on her finger to the day she walks down the aisle, she will be asked two questions, repeatedly!
Can I see your engagement ring? ” and ” How did he propose? “
These questions are not intended to be intrusive! Friends, work colleagues and family want to share in the excitement of your upcoming wedding and the anticipation of your married life together.
We think most would agree, your proposal doesn’t need to be an extravagant affair. Often, the most simple and genuine proposals are the most memorable and emotive. Think about why you want to spend your life with this person and tell them exactly this.
Is there a place that means a lot to you both? What are your shared passion? What makes her happiest? Does she have a love of music? Or the great outdoors? Is she super excited about travel or an upcoming trip? Then consider ways in which you may be able to incorporate these into your proposal.
At this point in your lives, we have no doubt that you know her better than anyone else. And so to make your wedding proposal special. Choose the approach that is personal to you both but most importantly of all be yourself!
Looking for your perfect engagement ring within a specific budget?
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Send me a brief description of style and budget to work within, we will create your perfect Engagement Ring!