Throughout my career as a jewelry designer, I’ve been lucky enough to have been asked to design countless engagement rings for couples here in Cork and around 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, 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 novice jewellery shoppers. These should help to keep in choosing the perfect engagement ring for your beloved and keep you on the straight and narrow!
1. Perfect Rings in Precious Metals & Carats
A good place to start is with your precious metal. If you are unsure, choose a colour that closely resembles the style of jewellery or rings she already wears. Sterling silver is generally the most popular precious metal for rings, pendants, and bracelets. Unfortunately, silver a little too soft to withstand a lifetime of daily wear and tear required for an engagement or wedding ring. If she wears silver, white gold or platinum are both great options. If she wears yellow gold, that one is easy.
At 24 carats, pure gold is a soft metal so alloys are added to make it more durable and hard-wearing. Pure gold is 24 carats. 9 carat gold is made up of 9 parts pure gold, 15 parts other metals. 18 carat is 18 parts and 6 parts metal alloy.
Platinum is also a very popular choice for engagement rings. It is quite a bit more expensive than 9ct or 18ct gold. It gives a beautiful finish and also wears very well.
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 its value.
- For the groom or bride-to-be living an active or outdoorsy 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 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. So to that end, I would like to reassure you that you do not need to nor are you expected to be an expert. The below article is a useful guide from The Gemological Institute of American. This brings you through the 4 basics if you would like to know more.
Ultimately, you should seek advice and trust your jewellery designer’s expertise on this. As jewellery designers, our job is to source the best quality ethically sourced diamond available within your budget.
To learn more about the basics of the 4Cs Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight guide by the GIA.
For those of you looking for an alternative to diamonds, your options are plentiful.
All of the diamonds sourced for the pieces I create are ethically sourced and conflict-free.
From stunning sapphires to lab-grown diamonds and brilliant tourmaline engagement rings, your options are plentiful.
For a wide variety of reasons, a growing number of couples are choosing other precious stones for the centerpiece 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 a surprise, don’t be afraid to ask a trusted family member or friend for help!
Your significant other will wear this engagement ring for the rest of their life. This ring will be a symbol of your commitment. More often than not, this engagement ring will be the most valuable piece of jewellery they will ever wear. From very first sight, when you open the beautiful box, you want them to adore their 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 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 a friend or family member help you determine the correct style of engagement ring, but they can also probe your partner with subtle questions to help you decide on the final design. And don’t be afraid to enlist 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 newlywed say their future husband or wife put too much thought into planning their marriage proposal.
In fact, from the day you place this engagement ring on their finger to the day they walk down the aisle, they will be asked two questions, repeatedly!
Can I see your engagement ring? ” and ” How did they 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 future 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. 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? Do you have a shared passion? What makes them happy? Do they live for live music? Or will the great outdoors capture their heart? Are they super excited about travel or an upcoming trip? Then consider ways in which you may be able to incorporate their passion into your proposal.
At this point in your lives, we have no doubt that you know them better than anyone else. And so, to make your wedding proposal special choose the approach that is personal to you both.
To discuss creating their perfect engagement ring contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Send me a brief description of the style and the budget you would like to work within.