Three-stone diamond engagement ring white gold

A Step by Step Guide to Buying the Perfect Engagement Ring or Promise Ring

Step by Step: How To Choose An Engagement Ring

This is our ultimate guide to buying the perfect engagement ring, an enduring symbol of eternal love.

Whether it's given before marriage and worn with your wedding ring, or a promise ring worn as commitment to your relationship, choosing an engagement ring is a very special experience, but it can be very hard to pick one out, especially if you want something unique.

There is a vast choice of beautiful designs for all tastes and prices to suit all pockets. However, perhaps it is this huge choice that makes the decision so difficult!

Are you in doubt as to which style suits you or your partner best? In this article we will be guiding you through the steps to follow that will make choosing easier!

Before you dash off to study diamonds, measure ring size and choose a wedding band, read on.


What Style of Engagement Ring Do You Want?

So you are going engagement ring shopping, how exciting!

Where To Start

The first step to deciding which engagement ring style you want is quite simple. Choose a style or type that you like or have admired. Popular styles include diamond ring solitaire rings with no side stones, halo engagement rings with a gorgeous centre stone or eternity style diamond bands.

Another classic choice is a three-stone ring often called a trilogy ring, sometimes with a larger centre stone. The three stones are said to represent the past, the present and the future of a relationship.

Look for Inspiration

A good way of settling on an engagement ring you like is to search online for images of rings, or flick through jewellery and bridal and wedding magazines. Keep your eyes open when you are out and about, and look at what types of engagement rings other people are wearing, what catches your eye and whether you like the way the engagement ring looks on the finger.

Once in a Lifetime

Remember, you will likely choose an engagement ring only once in your life and you may wear it on a daily basis, so choose carefully!

You will probably be wearing it on your ring finger next to your wedding ring so the two will need to look good together.

What Type of Engagement Ring Is Best?

Keep reading our engagement ring buying guide! One important thing you will have to think about when buying your engagement ring is whether you want new or a pre-owned.

Antique, Vintage or New?

There are beautiful antique, vintage and pre-owned engagement ring styles out there that would make gorgeous engagement rings. An antique piece can be a lovely idea as there will be history attached that carries a certain mystery and romance with it.

Vintage jewellery such as Art Deco is striking and a pre-owned contemporary engagement ring can be a clever way to keep costs down. Antique, vintage and pre-owned may not be for you though, and only brand-new will feel right. You may only be happy with something that nobody else has worn and that is a perfectly acceptable choice.

Bespoke Options

You may wish to have a bespoke design made for you, but more about that later! Just remember, as long as you buy from a trusted and reputable jeweller to be sure of its quality, your beautiful jewellery should last a lifetime and beyond.

Which Gemstone is Best for an Engagement Ring?

As well as engagement ring styles, there are many gemstones available for you to consider. The most popular and classic choice is, yes you guessed it, diamond engagement rings! A lab grown diamond is a popular ethical choice.

Love Diamonds?

Diamonds are the hardest gemstone known to man and measure 10 on the Mohs Scale making them a durable and wearable gemstone. This hardness makes diamonds perfect for engagement and promise rings that are likely to be worn every day. A diamond's cut determines how the light is refracted and many inclusions are not visible to the naked eye meaning there are many affordable options that will look fabulous!

Not Just Diamond Engagement Rings

There are many diamond alternatives. Other popular choices of gemstone for engagement rings are coloured gemstones such as sapphires and rubies.

Something Blue?

Sapphire and ruby are precious gemstones that also measure high on the Mohs Scale. Durable and highly prized, not to mention sparkly, this ranks them right up there with diamonds as a great choice, and don't forget, sapphires aren't just blue! Sapphires are found in other shades including pink, yellow and orange.

We Love Emeralds

The fourth precious gemstone, emerald, is a very popular choice for an engagement ring, but just remember that emeralds are a slightly softer gemstone measuring 8 on the Mohs scale. Be careful when wearing emerald engagement rings as they can scratch and chip more easily than diamonds, sapphires and rubies.

Further to the top four precious gemstones, there is a whole world of semi-precious gemstones to choose from that would look stunning. The world of engagement rings really is your oyster and you don't have to stick with a diamond!

What Size Gemstone Should I Choose for My Engagement Ring?

Once you have chosen a style you want, it is worth considering the actual carat weight of the gemstones. Typically, engagement rings with smaller designs will be better suited to petite finger sizes and engagement rings with bigger designs are more suitable for larger finger sizes.

Also, if you are wearing your ring every day you might not want a very large stone that could get in the way of basic activities. You don't want to be taking it off every five minutes and run the risk of losing your precious diamond!

What Cut of Gemstone Should I Choose for My Engagement Ring?

If you have settled on a precious or semi-precious gemstone, one of the many factors you will have to decide on the cut of the gemstone.

Dreaming of a particular diamond shape? There are all sorts of shapes and cuts including round cut, round brilliant cut, emerald cut, (emerald cut isn't just for emeralds), princess cut, cushion cut, pear cut and marquise cut (like a diamond shape) to name but a few!

Is your mind blown? Don't worry, it should be easy to narrow down the style once you view the options for stone shapes.

The Comfort Factor

An important factor to remember when choosing an engagement or promise ring, as well as a comfortable to wear ring size is how it will sit when worn alongside your wedding band, if you choose to wear one.

Two Together

Some engagement and wedding rings are specially shaped to nestle snugly next to each other on the finger, so you might want to consider choosing your wedding band at the same time.

Eternity Bands

An eternity style band is a popular choice these days as an alternative to the traditional ring. An eternity band can also double up as both a wedding and engagement ring. Or of course you may wish to add an eternity ring to your jewellery collection at a later date. More jewellery shopping in the future, what's not to love!

Which Style of Ring Looks Good as an Engagement Ring?

Another important aspect to consider when choosing an engagement ring is the engagement ring setting and ring features.

Types of Setting

There are several engagement ring settings to choose from, including prong setting or claw engagement rings that are perfect for solitaire engagement rings, channel-set, tension set, bezel setting, halo setting and so on.

Look at online images or in magazines for settings to see examples of all the different types of settings available on the market! We warn you, there is a vast choice out there!

Precious Metals

Also consider the type of metal you want. Popular choices include yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or platinum. 18 carat gold is a good choice, but if you want to keep costs down slightly you can choose 9 carat gold or 14 carat gold.

Mix and Match

Consider what other jewellery you wear regularly, like wedding bands and whether yellow or white gold will complement your other pieces of jewellery and your sense of style. An antique diamond engagement ring might be stunning but perhaps it won't suit your sense of fashion. Also, what colour metal suits your skin tone? What sort of ring sizes suit you, large gems or small?

Can I Have My Engagement Ring Made Specially for Me?

The overwhelming choice and style of engagement rings on the market means that some people will find it difficult deciding which engagement ring to buy.

Other people will have a definite design in mind and this can make it equally hard to find what you are looking for. There may be nothing ready-made and available that is exactly the same as the picture of what you have in your mind.

Choices Choices

Maybe the style of ring you find is right, but the colour of the gold is wrong, for example. If you have scoured the market but still can't find your dream ring, never fear! Instead of buying an engagement ring on the high street it is possible to have one personally designed and made for you. What a wonderful and personal experience that would that be to choose your diamond shape and perfect engagement ring size!

Hunters Fine Jewellery

Here at Hunters Fine Jewellery we offer the personal touch with a bespoke ethical engagement ring making service, including lab grown diamond jewellery, as well as bringing you beautiful antique, vintage and pre-owned engagement rings.

Get in touch with us and we will be excited and happy to discuss options and ideas with you. We hallmark everything in the UK. 

How Much Money Should I Spend on an Engagement Ring? 

Isn't it exciting buying an engagement ring but what should an engagement ring cost?

It is very important to consider your budget and the quality available to you within your price range. It used to be tradition to spend one month's salary on a bridal set, but it doesn't have to be a ring made with huge diamonds and platinum, it can be smaller stones, smaller diamonds or simple band metal or precious metal at an affordable price.

The higher the price of a ring does not necessarily mean that it is better! You can find beautiful diamond rings, for example, within all price ranges, so don't feel pressured into spending a lot of money when searching for your perfect ring!

In the end, it will all come down to which ring draws your eye and looks fabulous on! This doesn't mean it will cost the earth. Your ring will be special and precious to you and will be the one you can't take your eyes off.

Should I Propose with an Engagement Ring or Let My Partner Choose?

So you're planning to propose to your partner and planning on buying an engagement ring to bestow on their fourth finger ring finger, how exciting! You might be considering when and where, such as a Valentine's Day proposal, a proposal by the Christmas tree lights, over a candle-lit dinner or perhaps you are going to wait and pop the question during a romantic weekend away. You won't be able to wait to tell your family members the good news!

The when, where and how are probably top of your proposal planning list, but when you are considering proposing to your partner, one of the biggest questions - apart from 'will you marry me' and what you will say and do when you go about popping the question - might actually be the one you ask yourself. How do I know my partner's size or my partner's style. Will they want to choose their engagement ring themselves? Has it got to be diamonds? This can be a tough decision when you want the ideal ring but don't worry, there is no right or wrong choice unless your partner has already expressed their wishes.

Heirloom Engagement Rings

Maybe you would like to give your beloved a treasured jewel that is already special to you, such an heirloom ring that has been passed down through the generations of your family, even if this isn't the correct ring size for them.

You won't be alone if this is your plan. Many people choose to propose with an heirloom. The Duchess of Cambridge famously wears Prince Diana's stunning sapphire and diamond stunner, and heirloom jewellery is a popular option for many couples.

You could always propose with the heirloom engagement ring that belonged to a family member, but with an understanding that if your partner isn't too keen on the style, or if it's the wrong engagement ring size, it could be remodelled using the stones in a different setting. Even the metal can be reused.

The Choice is Yours

Ultimately, it is your choice whether to propose to your partner with a diamond ring in your hand or not. (Don't worry if you don't know your partner's ring size.) And remember, there is no right or wrong way to propose; just do what feels right to you!

Not Just for Couples

Never forget that you don't need to wait to be in a relationship to buy yourself a promise ring. Many people these days decide to buy themselves a promise ring. This is a perfect symbol of a promise to love yourself and celebrate personal successes and positivity with a unique ring.

Good Luck and Happy Shopping

Best of luck to everyone out there and happy hunting and enjoy showing off those eye catching diamonds on your left hand!    

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