Thinking of proposing? Well let us be the first to say congratulations! We know how daunting this next step can be so if you’re feeling the pressure of finding the perfect ring, or are overwhelmed with the sheer amount of choice and details to consider, don’t worry - we’ve got you covered.
If you’re reading this you’re already on the right track. You’re doing your research, exploring your options and on course to make an informed decision. Not only does this show you care (extra brownie points!), but it will also help you save money and increase the chances of you choosing the right ring.
That said, here are our top tips when it comes to shopping for an engagement ring…
No, we’re not talking about the size of the rock (we’ll get to that later), but rather, the fit of the ring. Finding out your partner’s ring size is the first thing you should do before going shopping. While it is possible for rings to be resized - usually it’s easier to size down than up - getting the size right the first time only adds to the magic of the occasion.
There are a number of ways to discover your partner’s ring size. Of course, there is the option to ask them or have them accompany you to a jewellers where they can have their finger measured, but this isn’t always the best way to go about it if the proposal is going to be a surprise. And if you’re reading this guide, we’re assuming that’s your intention.
So, detective caps on lads - here are some other ways to find out your partner’s ring size without them catching on:
- Use an existing ring as reference - if you know they won’t notice the ring is missing, borrow it and take it to a jewellers, or you can trace its internal and external circumference and take your drawing to be measured
- Place one of their rings on your finger and make a mark where it stops, then have your finger measured at this point
- Ask one of your partner’s friends or close family members to sneakily find out for you
Choose the right style
Now you know your partner’s ring size, the next thing to familiarise yourself with is their style. This will help you to narrow down your search, making your life easier and ensure that they’ll love the ring you choose.
Questions to ask yourself include:
- Do they typically wear gold or silver jewellery? - this will help you choose the right metal type
- Is their clothing and jewellery style more modern or vintage? - to help you determine whether a modern or vintage inspired ring is best
- Do they like statement pieces or simple, subtle designs? - there are many ways to make a statement with an engagement ring, including the size of the diamond and its colour. Answer this question and you’ll have less options to wade through
- Would they prefer a classic white diamond or a coloured gemstone? - again, this can help you narrow down your search. White diamonds are more classic, while gemstone rings are more contemporary and often, more personal if they are a birthstone or in their favourite colour
- What activities do they carry out with their hands on a day to day basis? - this will help you determine what setting will be best as a high setting might be more susceptible to knocks in sporting activities or more physical, hands-on day jobs
When it comes to stones, know your stuff
At this point, diamonds and gemstones are practically synonymous with engagement rings. But when it comes to shopping for a ring, it can be incredibly easy to be blinded by the size and allure of the stones, and forget that quality is the most important factor.
When it comes to diamond quality, there are just four things to keep in mind:
- Cut - this is the way in which the diamond has been shaped. The cut you choose is often down to personal preference, whereby you can choose from shapes such as emerald, round, oval and more. However, the cut also determines how much the diamond sparkles as its facets impact how light passes through and is reflected off it
- Colour - colour is graded on a scale of D - Z, with D being colourless and Z more yellow/brown in tone. Colourless diamonds are the most desirable, yet rare which makes them the most expensive
- Clarity - this refers to any inclusions inside the diamond. Inclusions form naturally inside stones, and their prominence are graded on a seven category scale, starting at internally flawless through to small inclusions. While inclusions can impact value, with flawless diamonds the most expensive, they are typically invisible to the naked eye
- Carat - carat refers to the weight of the diamond. It can be easy to fall into the trap of believing a bigger stone is better, but this isn’t always the case. When shopping for a diamond engagement ring, consider all four Cs before making a decision, rather than simply going for the largest carat
Set a budget
Budget is a hot topic when it comes to engagement rings. The tradition states that you should spend three month’s salary on a ring, however, we don’t believe there is any real truth to this statement. The price of the engagement ring you choose should be within a range that is comfortable for you.
For some this might be three month’s salary, for others it could be more or less. In no way does the price reflect your adoration for your partner. So, instead of getting caught up in price tags, set yourself a budget, take into consideration the types of rings and diamonds available in that range, and go from there. We’re certain you’ll find the perfect ring at a price you’re willing to pay, and that will only become more valuable as time goes on and memories are made with it.
Aim for a happily ever after
When thinking about proposing, it’s likely your thoughts are flooded with all that is to come for you and your partner. And while this is exciting, take some time to think about the years ahead for the ring too.
Aftercare is an essential part of any engagement ring purchase, and fortunately, at Paul Sheeran, we offer a lifetime's worth of bi-annual cleaning and servicing appointments. With peace of mind that, for better or for worse, your ring is protected against wear and tear, you can focus freely on building the life of your dreams with your partner.
These appointments are vital for a ring that is to stand the test of time and remain looking brand new. Trained professionals will take the time to clean, polish and fix any damages so that your investment is protected for the rest of your life.
So, are you ready to start your search for the perfect ring? Well, why not have a browse of our extensive collection of engagement rings online today.