How to Choose an Engagement Ring

Engagement ring

If you are joining the millions of men or women faced with the pressure of finding the right ring to pop the big question, you may be unsure where to start. Fortunately, to take away some of the guesswork, there are certain ‘rules’ that you can follow to help you find the ideal engagement ring for your hopefully soon-to-be fiancé.

1. Find out your partner’s ring size

The first thing you should do before you even consider the design of an engagement ring is to find out the ring size of your partner. A ring that’s too big or, worse still, too small, won’t do you any favours when you come to slip it onto your new fiancé’s finger.

One of the easiest ways to ensure you get the size right is to get a ring your partner isn’t wearing and take it to the jeweller to be measured. If you want the proposal to be a surprise, make sure you’re sneaky about this part of the process, otherwise, she may get suspicious of your intentions.

Consider the four ‘Cs’ as well as your budget

As Vogue rightly points out, one golden rule when shopping for an engagement ring is to consider the four ‘Cs’ – colour, cut, clarity and carat. Naturally, certain attributes such as whether you opt for a 9 carat or 24-carat ring, will be significantly influenced by your engagement ring budget.

How to choose engagement ring

Before committing to a certain ring, determine how much you have to realistically spend on the ring. Whilst you don’t want to run the risk of looking like a cheapskate, you don’t want to have to remortgage just to pop the question and get engaged (remember you will be budgeting for a wedding if she does say yes).

Once you have a realistic budget mapped out you can now focus on the style of the ring.

The colour of a diamond ranges from a colourless ‘D’ to a light yellow ‘Z’ tone. The most sought-after diamond colour is D, but whether you opt for a diamond with richer tones very much depends on the taste and personality of your loved one.

Diamond colour scale

Source: https://www.polisheddiamonds.co.nz//all-about-diamonds/diamond-colour

Some girls love to sparkle, whilst others prefer a subtler, more subdued look. When choosing an engagement ring consider the cut of the diamond. A well-cut diamond reflects light more easily and therefore sparkles more noticeably, while a shallower cut diamond is less sparkly.

The clarity of a ring refers to the number of imperfections or inclusions a stone comprises of. Unless you or your partner are professional jewellers, it’s unlikely you’ll detect such stone imperfections, which typically can only be seen under a microscope.

Modern or Vintage Engagement Ring? 

Is the love of your life a funky gal who loves to dress up in vintage, or does she prefer a more modern look? If she’s the former, search for a vintage engagement ring, such an art deco ring, or an antique ring with a diamond cluster.

vintage modern engagement ring

By contrast, if your would-be financé prefers a more contemporary look, opting for a modern engagement ring, which often features contemporary details such as claw prongs and bezel settings, is likely to be received more favourably than a vintage style ring.

Gemstones and Metals

Engagement rings are available in many different metals, embedded with different gemstones, so finding the perfect engagement ring to cater for your loved one’s individual taste shouldn’t be difficult.

Some of the most common metals for engagement rings include:

  • White gold
  • Platinum
  • Rose gold
  • Yellow gold
  • Green gold
  • Tungsten
  • Silver
  • Titanium
  • Zirconium
  • Steel

These different metals all have their own unique properties and advantages. For example, tungsten is an exceptionally strong and scratch-resistant metal, which may be an especially suitable type of engagement ring if your partner is involved with demanding physical work. Or if your partner would prefer a more traditional and distinguished ring, opting for a rose gold ring might be a safer option!

Some of the most popular types of gemstones on engagement rings include:

  • Diamond
  • Pearl
  • Sapphire
  • Emerald
  • Ruby
  • Amethyst
  • Garnet

Only you will know if your partner is a diamond type of gal or guy, or if a ruby, sapphire or amethyst is more up your loved one’s street, so you can find the perfect engagement ring to take centre stage when you pop the big question.

Gem shapes 

As well as the type of gemstone, you will also need to consider the shape of the gemstone. If you’re looking for a more traditional engagement ring, a pear-shaped gemstone is one of the most conventional shapes there is but still offering an individual twist.

By contrast, if your loved one likes to be at the height of sophistication and class, a round cut, also known as a brilliant cut gemstone, might be the best option.

Unconventional Engagement Rings

If you’re looking for an engagement ring that’s considerably less conventional and caters for the quirky nature of you and your partner, you may want to opt for a heart-shaped gemstone, which is considerably more unusual and avant-garde than the more classic gemstone cuts. A quirkier shaped gemstone made from a less traditional engagement ring stone, such as a pearl or garnet, set within less conformist metal like tungsten, would certainly tug on the heartstrings of a partner who likes to be different and stand out from the crowd.

Asking your partner for their hand in marriage by presenting them with a ring is a tradition that goes back centuries and should be one of the most memorable and romantic occasions of your life. Ensuring that you find the perfect symbol of your eternal love and commitment in the form of a beautiful ring is, therefore, one of the most important purchases you make. So take your time, take a deep breath and go for it.


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