How to choose an engagement ring
First, let us start by saying congratulations! You’ve found the man or woman of your dreams and are ready, in the words of Beyonce, to “put a ring on it”! Whether it’s going to be a surprise or you’re choosing the ring together, this is a moment you’ll remember for the rest of your lives!
Many people feel overwhelmed when deciding how to choose an engagement ring. At Hoskings we delight in making it a moment to remember for all of the right reasons. We love making the process as special and easy as possible. Obviously, the fun bit usually happens in-store where you can check out the sparkles in person. But if you can’t make it in-store or just want to do a little more research first, we’ll share some tips with you here. Then you’ll know exactly what’s important to you when you come to choose an engagement ring.
Let’s start with the stone
After all, that’s what everyone will be checking out as soon as it’s on your finger! The traditional stone of choice for engagement rings is the diamond. The delightful custom of proposing marriage with a diamond engagement ring dates back over 500 years. Because of its rarity and clarity, the diamond is considered the ultimate symbol of love, commitment and fidelity. But all diamonds are not created equally. We’ll explain why.
Ever heard of the 4 Cs?
If you’ve been dating for any length of time, or have friends that have gotten hitched, there’s a good chance you’ll already have heard about the 4 Cs. It’s what we name the industry standard for grading diamonds. The 4 Cs stand for colour, carat, cut and clarity. Here’s a quick summary of each of these 4 Cs. Once you understand what each stands for, you can then decide which of the 4 Cs is most important to you.
Diamonds are graded from the letter ‘D’ (which is colourless) to ‘Z’ (which is light yellow or brown). A ‘D’ grade diamond is considered the highest grade because it’s rarer. Which means it’s usually priced higher. There are also “fancy” diamonds which is the name given to coloured diamonds.
Carat refers to the weight of the diamond. Diamonds are usually measured in ‘points’ or ‘carats’. There are 100 points in a carat. Therefore 50 points is known as half a carat. The most popular carat weight for engagement rings are 0.5ct, 0.75, 1ct and 1.5ct.
Most jewellers agree that the cut is the most important of the 4 C’s. The cut can have a significant influence on the diamond’s value. It showcases how well the diamond was crafted from its original state. Each stone is cut to highlight the diamond's proportions and symmetry, allowing a perfect surface polish in order to achieve the maximum brilliance. Most of us already instinctively know that the more it sparkles, the better!
The clarity of a diamond refers to the number of surface blemishes or internal flaws, known as inclusions, that exist in the diamond. Inclusions are naturally occurring ‘imperfections’ that make each diamond unique. Clarity ranges from ‘Flawless’ to ‘Heavily Included’. As only 1% of the world’s diamonds are flawless, most diamonds have some grade of inclusion. The most desirable, grades include the Slightly Included (SI) and Very Slightly Included (VS) diamonds, these inclusions will be visible to a jeweller through a magnification tool. Diamonds graded Si1 and Si2 are most affordable, they have some inclusions but it is unlikely you will see them with a naked eye.
Each of these 4 Cs are important when it comes to choosing a diamond, but it really comes down to personal taste. The price of the diamond depends on each of the 4 Cs, and not just the weight or size of the diamond.
Although the saying goes that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, sometimes a bride-to-be wants a little more colour in her life. At Hoskings, we make sure that we can look after you with a great selection of coloured gemstone engagement rings. Coloured gemstones can help the wearer to display individual personality and style. They can be worn alongside diamonds, or as a standout feature in their own right. Although not as durable as diamonds, stones such as ruby and sapphire are very scratch resistant. And the bonus is, they’re not usually as expensive as diamonds.
Something for the men too
Although tradition has always meant that the ladies get the diamonds, men no longer have to be excluded. Hoskings also has a range of rings to suit the man in your life, such as this timeless 2-tone diamond band.
Now you need to decide on the shape of the stone. You can read more about diamond shapes in another of our blog posts. But some of the most common are round, princess (also known as a square cut), oval, pear, emerald, marquise and the stunning cushion or fancy heart shape to the most popular.
It’s a good idea to think about which stone will work best in your preferred setting so you can choose the perfect ring to flatter the wearer’s finger and WOW your friends.
This is where you can get very creative. You might prefer to choose a timeless solitaire, which is a single diamond claw set in a mount. A three-stone “trilogy” ring setting is also rich in tradition, as they are believed to represent the past, present and future. Or you might love the vintage look of jewellery from bygone periods such as this stunning Art Deco inspired ring. Choosing to use smaller stones in a cluster is a great way to get more bang for your buck.
Which metal to choose
The next consideration is what metal you want your chosen stones set into. The classic gold never goes out of style. And rose gold with it’s warm pink hue is unique and romantic. But if you prefer a silver tone, white gold is a stunning choice.
How to make sure you choose the right size
You can use Hoskings’ printable finger size guide to estimate the ring size or request a free ring sizer, though it’s always best to be professionally sized in store if you can. Alternatively, you can confirm the size by bringing an existing ring with you into the store.
The final piece of the puzzle
Hopefully by now you’re ready to make an informed decision on how to choose an engagement ring. So it might be worth thinking ahead about what wedding band you would like to go with the engagement ring. If you’re very organised you can purchase a bridal set, like Hosking’s stunning Bridal Set range which includes a wedding band that’s been designed to fit perfectly with your engagement ring.
Hoskings’ mission is to make sure every bride-to-be chooses an engagement ring that they’ll adore forever. That’s why we make sure we have a wide range of engagement rings that represent the best value.
If you’re looking for a particular style of engagement ring and can’t find what you want online or in-store, remember we can also custom-make your dream ring with a GIA certified stone. At Hoskings, we believe that quality and value go hand-in-hand. We’ll help you with the design and work within your budget, no matter how large or small that may be.
Simply call our friendly customer service team and we’ll do our very best to help you find your perfect engagement ring. It’s our favourite thing to do!
In VIC/ NSW/ QLD & TAS call 1800 819 796. Or call (08) 8981 8895 if you’re in NT/WA or SA
Written by Niamh Hislop