10 Things to consider when buying an engagement ring
Discover our ten tips on what to consider to ensure you choose the perfect engagement ring to mark your special occasion.
1. Remember who you’re buying the engagement ring for!
This may sound obvious, but you should consider the person you’re buying the engagement ring for. We may have preconceived notions about the engagement ring we think they may like based on what’s popular.
Here are some questions we suggest asking yourself during the engagement ring purchase: - What is their style like? What sort of colours do they wear? Have they ever mentioned an engagement ring in their family or generally that they love? Have they hinted to any pictures of their dream ring? So, next time they drop a hint, take it!
The engagement and wedding industry has traditionally portrayed a cookie-cutter view of what love should look like. But in truth, there is no right or wrong choice when buying an engagement ring. What matters is ensuring the engagement ring you choose is personal to you and your partner, which will be something you treasure for a lifetime and more.
2. What Is Their Lifestyle Like?
The engagement ring design and gemstone you choose should reflect the wearer’s style and personality. But take into account some practical considerations.
For those with a very active lifestyle, a sturdy Bezel or Signet setting can be a great choice as they protect the gemstone by fully encasing it in 18k recycled gold or platinum. For a mid-active lifestyle, a Trilogy or Vintage setting would both work well and for those who are less active but love something show-stopping, you could consider a Halo.
Gemstone durability is ranked on the Mohs scale of hardness, with Diamonds coming in at 10, Sapphires scoring in at 9, Rubies at 8 and Emeralds, Garnets and Aquamarines scoring at 7, which are all perfectly fine for everyday wear. However, if they’re someone with active hands, we’d advise choosing a more durable stone, which score at 9 or 10. That’s not to say that less durable gemstones are not fine to wear everyday, but for longevity, we would advise wearing with caution and care, such as taking them off when cooking, swimming or going to the gym.
3. Considering the price and value your ring
When buying an engagement ring, the price is one of the first things that many buyers will consider. We understand that it’s a considerable investment, both financially and emotionally, so this decision can seem intimidating.
There are two key elements to consider. First, think about your budget and then don’t be afraid to inform your jeweller upfront. Any reputable jeweller will then be better placed to manage your requirements and work with you to find a ring that you love! It’s worth asking if there are any finance options to help spread the cost of your purchase.
At Fenton, we offer 0% financing options that help you spread the cost of your dream piece. With Klarna Pay in 3, Klarna Financing and Splitit, you can pay in 3-12 monthly instalments to help make this investment a bit more manageable. Learn more about our financing options here. There are many factors which go into determining the price of an engagement ring. These largely include the quality of the gemstone, metal, the size of the centre stone and accompanying accent stones, the engagement ring design and any brand premium the jeweller places on its products.
Consider the experience itself when liaising with your jeweller. The whole thing should be enjoyable from start to finish while making you feel secure in your decision. But the journey doesn’t end there, check to see if your jeweller offers any Aftercare to keep your ring sparkling for years to come.
At Fenton we have chosen to focus on the quality of gemstones and metals, which is why we source from the top 10% of gemstones in the world. We only work with recycled 18k yellow, rose and white gold as well as platinum. Compared to jewellers offering a similar quality, we don't have an expensive retail space, spend large amounts on advertising and personally source each gemstone, which allows us to provide great value for money.
It’s important to balance the factors of quality, size and brand and think about what matters most to you.
4. Choosing the centre stone for your ring
The biggest decision you will probably make is the choice of gemstone or centre stone.
Each gemstone has its own properties and many people will be naturally drawn to one or two in particular. The most popular gemstones we see people gravitate towards are the classic Blue Sapphire and Aquamarine, however a number of people also have a soft spot for Emeralds!
It’s good to ask about other gemstones that might share key characteristics with yours. For example if you’re set on proposing with a striking red gemstone it is worth considering a Garnet as well as a Ruby.
It is worth noting that each gemstone represents a certain month of the year, commonly known as your ‘birthstone’. Choosing your partner's birthstone for your engagement ring can be a nice way to customise the piece in a way that means something to them. Ever wondered what your birthstone symbolises? Take a look below.
5. Finding your engagement ring design
When considering engagement ring styles, there are two key things to think about. Think about your partner's style. You should also consider their hands. Those with longer fingers may prefer an oval or emerald cut, while those with smaller hands will suit a round or cushion cut.
Design is a personal choice. As a jeweller, we can support you with a number of classic styles with a Fenton twist or work on a fully bespoke piece with you.
Bespoke jewellery services gives you the opportunity to realise your ideal ring. Allowing you to change the type, shade or cut of a gemstone from an existing style or design the shape of the ring itself.
This option is the best choice if everything you’ve seen doesn't feel like the right match for you. Going bespoke doesn’t have to be the more expensive option either depending on your jeweller so don’t let that deter you from enquiring about the service. The second thing to consider at this stage is the technical security of your design. It’s important to follow your jeweller's advice about elements such as the thickness of your prongs or band to ensure that your ring is structurally secure as well as beautiful and will last for generations to come.
6. Choosing the metal for your ring
The choice of metal colour is often a little easier than some parts of the design process as your partner may already be giving you a clue! Look at their existing jewellery collection to see if they already have a favourite metal colour.
In terms of quality, we would always recommend 18k gold and platinum as these are sturdier than lower karat grades. The lower the karat grade the more prone to scratching and scuffing the metal, which isn’t ideal for something that you’d want to last a lifetime.
7. To pave band or not pave band
Once you’ve chosen the centre stone, design and metal you’re onto the home stretch! Sparkling pave bands have become increasingly popular in recent years and are undoubtedly beautiful. It’s important to be aware however that they are harder to resize and more delicate than their plain counterparts. It is normal for people’s ring sizes to change throughout their lifetime, so a plain band may be a more practical choice if you’re hesitating between the two.
However, if you were to go for a sparkling band then it’s best to keep 1/4 of the band plain to allow for any resizing to be done. Otherwise, that won’t be an option in the future.
8. Finding the right ring size
Confused about how to find out the right ring size in secret? You’re not alone! A whopping 49% of people get the ring size wrong the first time round (which is why we offer one free resizing!) You can request a free ring sizer on our website so you can measure your ring size at home.
Another way to figure out their ring size without them knowing is measuring an existing ring they own. But make sure it is a ring that can fit on their ring finger.
This is because fingers on each hand can also be differ in size. We find that the left hand measures slightly smaller if you're right handed and vice versa. Don’t hesitate to contact your jeweller if you’re unsure. You would not be the first person to find this hard, so they will be more than happy to guide you through the process.
9. The wedding band
We know, it’s hard enough to get the engagement ring right without having to think about the wedding band too. However, it is important to consider one thing in advance, which is whether you prefer for your wedding band to sit flush with the ring or whether you prefer a little gap between your engagement ring and wedding band.
Your jeweller can get creative with the band at a later stage, but if you have a very strong preference, then it’s worth highlighting up front to make sure you get the perfect end result.
You should also ensure that your engagement ring and wedding band are crafted with the same metal. Otherwise, the higher grade metal can cause some wear and tear on the softer band in the long run.
10. Warranties and returns
Hopefully you don’t need to consider exchanging or returning your ring but it is always important to ask your jeweller about their policy here, as well as any warranties they offer upfront before you complete your purchase. At Fenton, we offer a full year’s warranty for any manufacturing related issues.