Finding the perfect engagement ring: a decoding guide *

finding-the-perfect-engagement-ring-a-decoding-guide

There are so many different types of engagement ring to choose from, and sometimes, it can be hard to make a final decision.  While we might covet some of the latest celebrity engagement rings, their hefty price tags aren’t usually within our budgets.  Well, certainly not within mine anyway.  As there are many different factors which contribute towards the price of a ring, Angelic Diamonds*, stockists of yellow gold engagement rings, have written a helpful in-depth guide to choosing the ring of your dreams.

Choosing your engagement ring

The two main things to consider are appearance and cost.  Each of these can vary substantially, so it’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for before you start shopping.

finding-the-perfect-engagement-ring-a-decoding-guide

Diamond shape

There are a wide variety of different diamond shapes to choose from. Some are self-explanatory, such as an oval or round diamond.  My engagement ring is an emerald cut, which is basically a rectangle.  It wasn’t an especially popular shape at the time but I loved – and still love – the clean simplicity of the cut.

finding-the-perfect-engagement-ring-a-decoding-guide

Currently, the most popular diamond shape is the princess cut.  This is where the face-up profile of the diamond is square and the side view is like an inverted pyramid.  Cushion cut diamonds are a mix of round and square outlines and are considered to be more of an antique style.  The marquise cut is quite a dramatic shape – like an elongated oval – and it can appear bigger than it actually is 🙂 Victoria Beckham’s ring is a great example!

Diamond price

According to one US engagement ring supplier, the order of most expensive to least expensive diamonds shape is as follows (this will probably vary slightly between retailers):

  1. Round
  2. Pear
  3. Marquise
  4. Heart
  5. Princess

Type of metal

The metal that you choose is all down to your personal preference.  Platinum, gold, and silver are the most popular metals available to choose from, however they differ in price and appearance.

finding-the-perfect-engagement-ring-a-decoding-guide

As gold in its pure form is too soft for use in jewellery, it’s combined with other metals for durability.  Yellow gold, like my engagement and wedding rings, is pure gold combined with a small amount of silver and copper, giving off a warm appearance.

White gold, on the other hand, is pure gold combined with palladium and silver, or with nickel, copper and zinc.  It forms a lovely backdrop for diamonds and complements them beautifully.

One of the most durable metals you can choose is platinum, it’s more expensive than gold as it’s around 30 times rarer.  Since it’s a strong metal, it is also the purest – often sold at 95% purity.  My grandmother’s rings are made of platinum and although I don’t suit the colour, they are undeniably stunning pieces.  Fun fact: platinum was removed from the jewellery market around the time of the First and Second World Wars as the resources were needed for military use instead.

finding-the-perfect-engagement-ring-a-decoding-guide

If you’re after something a little different, rose gold is always a great choice.  This is pure gold plus copper and gives off a red tinge.  The more copper there is, the redder it appears.  Alan’s wedding ring is was rose gold, although he lost it somewhere behind our pond shortly after we moved here.  Gardening can be a perilous past-time 🙁

Another popular (and more affordable) metal is sterling silver.  Like gold, pure silver is too soft to make into jewellery, so it’s combined with copper or other metals to improve its durability.

Special features

Halo rings include a large diamond in the centre, which is surrounded by smaller diamonds on the band.  Often the band is bejewelled too which can increase the cost.  Another ring with multiple diamonds is a three-stone engagement ring.  These rings have three diamonds on the band and the middle diamond is often the largest.

finding-the-perfect-engagement-ring-a-decoding-guide

Solitaire rings are also extremely popular – this is a traditional style where a single diamond sits on a metal band and fits nicely with a wedding ring (like my emerald cut ring).

Tension-set engagement rings are similar as they often only have one diamond on the band.  In these settings, the diamond is held in place by the pressure of the metal and it’s designed to ‘squeeze’ the stone.  I know diamonds are famous for being hard but they can still shatter so I don’t think this is a style I’d be willing to risk!

Celebrity spending

Some of the most famous engagement rings in the world of celebrity and their accompanying price tags are quite eye-watering:

  • Prince William and Catherine Middleton — a twelve-carat sapphire, priced at around £400,000
  • Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones — ten-carats, close to £800,000
  • Kanye West and Kim Kardashian – fourteen carat diamond costing almost £1.2 million.  Kim was later given a second, 20-carat engagement ring costing almost £3.5 million.
  • Elizabeth Taylor’s enormous just under 70-carat pear-shaped diamond ring – not strictly an engagement ring but featuring the Taylor-Burton Diamond (as it became known) that Richard Burton bought her.  Ever thrifty, she also wore the stone as the central diamond in a necklace consisting of 66 other pear-shaped diamonds.  Multi-purposing at its finest, a lady after my own heart, if sadly not my purse.

finding-the-perfect-engagement-ring-a-decoding-guide

Your engagement ring

Recent research by insurance company, Protect Your Bubble, showed that couples are spending 19% less on engagement rings than they did 5-10 years ago.  The average spend on engagement rings is a much more wallet-friendly £1,000, and 18% of people spend less than £500 on an engagement ring for their other half.

When it comes to spending, you shouldn’t feel as though you have to spend the traditional “two to three months’ salary” on an engagement ring.  Sometimes, keeping to a budget can yield wonderfully creative results.  For me, it’s always the thought and meaning behind any declaration that counts.

What do you think about the celebrity trend for huge rocks?  What type of cut and metal would you choose?

* This is a sponsored post.

finding-the-perfect-engagement-ring-a-decoding-guide

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Hels
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This is really interesting! I have a platinum princess cut solitaire ring and I absolutely love it. My husband chose it with absolutely no direction from me which made me love it even more, I love the simplicity of it as well. I had no idea about the different cuts and metals, I find this post so fascinating – I honestly always learn something when I visit your blog!
Hels xxx

Bexa
Guest

Every ring here is absolutely stunning! I don’t wear jewellery very often so if I did get engaged then I’d prefer a small dainty ring, the price tag doesn’t have to be small though (ha ha!). Rose gold sounds gorgeous, I never knew there were so many options available! Wow, a 3.5 million pound ring is madness, imagine what you could buy with that?! I’m surprised a royal engagement ring was the “cheapest” in the list when they can go up to those huge prices! Really interesting post Lisa, thanks for sharing <3 xx

Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

Sophie Wentworth
Guest

I love this so much! No rings on my fingers but I love looking at the finer details of the stones and setting. Personally, I’m not a fan of larger diamonds in rings (like Kim K’s) but prefer smaller and more internally flawless diamonds. I wasn’t aware that round ones are the most expensive, but they’re my favourite (what a shock). I prefer white gold or platinum when it comes to rings, which is a little strange because I mainly wear gold jewellery. Great post x

Dreams&Lashes
Guest

I loved this post! I’m not going to get engaged anytime soon (I think! haha) but I’ve taken an interest in engagement rings lately. I’ve been trying to figure out what I like so I can let my boyfriend know really ahead of time so he doesn’t have to ask later and ruin the surprise! xx

Angela | DreamsAndLashes.com

Ruth
Guest

I really enjoyed this, Lisa. I’ve known for a very long time that I want a three-stone engagement ring, but I wouldn’t want it to be overly expensive. However, I am hoping for something on the more unusual side when the time comes! I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing something that cost the Earth. For example, those celebrity ring prices are ridiculous – I’d be absolutely terrified something would happen to it!!!

Lydia
Guest

I’ve not been married, but I really enjoyed this post!