I'm often asked "what makes the perfect engagement ring?" or "how do I get the best engagement ring for my money?" And I understand that for many of us entering a jewellery shop or looking online for the ideal ring can be confusing and a little bit intimidating. So with that in mind I have put together some vital facts and suggestions to help you prepare for your important purchase and most importantly of course, your future wife.
- Set a realistic budget: According to a survey, the average amount spent on an engagement ring last year was just short of six thousand pounds. Of course that's not to say this is set in stone, no pun intended, but my advice would be to spend only what you can afford.
- Research is important: We are so lucky in this day and age. Years ago you would only have your High Street jeweller to ask for advice, now we have so many resources it truly is amazing. Most guys, if going down the road of surprising his girlfriend, will spend around 3-4 months looking around and researching. The better prepared you are, the better the results will be.
- Lookout for hints: Women have a sixth sense when it comes to this sort of thing. They may not know the exact date, but, they probably know you are considering a proposal. Just listen to what she says when her newly engaged friends come over and take some mental notes. It could very well be that the ring you think she will love is actually one she'll dislike. According to reports, a fifth of all women who are secretly proposed to hate their engagement ring, don't be afraid to take her best friend into your confidence.
- Shape is important: The majority of people think that the round brilliant cut diamond is the most popular, and they would be correct. Did you know though, that the princess cut is in second place? But don't let that sway you, you will find better value for money with other shapes and they could also look even larger on the finger!
- Education: Make sure you understand about the all important 4C's of diamonds. The best advice I can give you here is that you need a good balance between the colour and clarity. If you are speaking to a competent jeweller then he should have a great selection of well cut diamonds, and the carat (weight) does not always have to be large to be expensive.
- Size isn't everything: Don't be mislead into thinking that the bigger the stone the better the ring and the more chance there is she will say yes. A lot of women prefer to have the quality over the size, and don't forget she is the one who will be wearing the ring everyday, and she needs to feel comfortable out and about.
- Picking the setting: I believe that nothing is sexier than a solitaire, and if the correct setting is chosen then of course the ring will look a million dollars. There are of course different settings, and right now the halo design is popular, just remember fashions come and go, classics last forever.
- Finger size: A lot of guys have come to me having "stolen" one of her rings and asked me to make the engagement ring that size. The fact of the matter is that both hands aren't identical and the fingers will differ in size slightly. Make sure the jeweller you use offers a free ring alteration should the ring not fit. It's something I offer all my clients.
- Insurance should help the jitters: The cost of insurance for your engagement ring will differ from company to company but should cost between 2-4% depending on who you use. It will need to be under your home content policy and I'm happy to recommend a broker should you want one. At least having the insurance in place when you collect the ring, should help with peace of mind. Read about insurance here.
- The time is now: So all the diamond research is done and it's time to make the purchase. Book an appointment and tell the jeweller what you want to see. Make sure that if you are going for a solitaire over half a carat you ask for diamonds only graded by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) they are the most respected and renowned worldwide.
- Propose with confidence and peace of mind: Well maybe not peace of mind as nothing is guaranteed, however, the one thing you are guaranteed is that you have done your best at picking the perfect ring, and you can't really ask for more! Good luck.
If you would like an appointment to choose your dream engagement ring, then please do call for a free consultation in our central London Hatton Garden office and we would be glad to try and help you. Our details are on the main page of the Lewis Malka London website.
Lewis Malka is a recognised expert in making diamond rings as well as being a famous jeweller to the stars. All his blogs are his own opinions. He is a member of the London Diamond Bourse (LDB) and also sits on the board within the Diamond Bourse. You can follow him daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you would like any bespoke jewellery made, then please visit his website.