10 Things to consider when buying an engagement ring
Discover our ten tips (plus one extra for luck!) to ensure you choose the perfect engagement ring.
1. Remember who you’re buying the engagement ring for!
The first thing to think about when buying an engagement ring is the person you’re buying it for. It sounds obvious, but we all have so many preconceived notions about engagement rings, it’s important to go back to basics! Think about the person you’re buying for - 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? There is no right or wrong choice here, as long as whatever you choose is personal to you as a couple.
2. What is their lifestyle like?
The engagement ring design and gemstone you choose should reflect the wearer’s style and personality, but also 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. The sturdiest gemstones are any of our sapphire shades, from classic blue sapphires to beautiful yellow and pink sapphires or the fiery ruby. For those who love to cook or use their hands actively, it is best to steer away from an emerald or wear with caution, as they are a delicate gemstone that need to be worn with care.
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. It’s a huge investment, both financially and emotionally, which can seem intimidating. There are two key elements here, first consider 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!
There is also the question of value, some jewellers will offer a similar product for hugely varying prices. There are many factors which go into determining price but largely include the quality of the gemstone and metals, the size of the centre stone and accompanying accent stones, the engagement ring design and any brand premium the jeweller places on its products.
At Fenton we have chosen to focus on quality of gemstone and metals which is why we source the top 5% of gemstones in the world and only work in recycled 18k yellow, rose and white gold as well as platinum. Compared to jewellers offering a similar quality, we don't have expensive retail space or spend large amounts on advertising which, along with our efficient sourcing policy 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 and then select a jeweller that also shares that opinion.
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 and discussing each with your jeweller.
5. Finding your engagement ring design
When considering engagement ring styles there are two key things to consider. First is of course the aesthetic choice, think about your partner's style and also look at their hands! Those with longer fingers may prefer an oval or emerald cut and vice versa those with smaller hands will suit a round or cushion cut.
Design is a really personal choice, as a jeweller we can support you with a number of classic styles that we’ve made our own with a Fenton twist or work on a fully bespoke piece with you. 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! Have a 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.
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. All people change ring size throughout their lifetime so a plain band may be a more practical choice if you’re hesitating between the two.
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!)
This is a big challenge for any buyer - you can try measuring an existing ring but remember to make sure they’re wearing it on the same finger. The fingers on each hand can also be different sizes unhelpfully, the left is often slightly smaller than the right for most right handers. Contact your jeweller if you’re confused, they will have seen lots of people in this situation before and might be able to help you through it!
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 would prefer the band to sit flush with the ring or whether you’re ok with a little gap between the two.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.
10. Finishing touches for your ring
Now you’ve done all the heavy lifting and you’re almost there! To make a proposal extra special don’t forget to think about some finishing touches at the end. Every jeweller will have their own policy, at Fenton we offer complimentary engraving and emboss each customer’s ring box with initials of their choice to help every ring feel extra personal. Just be careful if you have an exact date in mind in case your plans change last minute, a month and a year can be safer!
11. Warranties and returns
A last bonus tip, 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 warranty for a year for any manufacturing related issues which we recommend you ask for from any jeweller. We also offer no questions asked exchanges or returns within 45 days from delivery which is less common. Happily it is a topic that comes up very rarely as most people are thrilled with their rings but it gives good peace of mind just in case!
Now you know everything you need to choose the perfect engagement ring!
If you’re ready to start creating yours we’re here to help. Head to our collections page to start designing your ring or you can contact our expert concierges who are on hand to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process. We also offer virtual and in-person appointments at our consultation space at Duke Street in Mayfair, London, simply send us a message to book yours.