Firstly have an idea of your budget, however don't be confined by this. Many independent jewellers will be open to negotiation, and you maybe able to get a discount. Go for the best ring you can afford, after all it is forever. When budgeting for engagement rings, a rule of thumb is two months’ salary, but it comes down to what you are comfortable with.
Think about your wife to be. Does she like modern styles or is she more traditional? Does she wear yellow gold or does she prefer white gold or platinum? White metals are very fashionable at the moment, be it white gold, palladium or platinum.
|pure white gold engagement ring (Photo credit: Jewellery Monthly)|
White gold is very popular. In this country white gold is usually 9ct or 18ct. 9ct gold is cheaper than 18ct as there is less gold in the ring the rest being made up of other alloys. A consideration with white gold is that it may need to be rhodium plated every two or three years to make it bright and shiny again.
Palladium is from the family of platinum but is less expensive. It is tough and has a look that never tarnishes. It is popular for men's wedding rings especially, and can have a slighter darker look than white gold.
Platinum is the most pure and valuable precious metal there is and it is said it is the best metal to show off a diamond as it stays true white and does not impart any colour hue on the diamond. It is also the most expensive metal on the market, but after all it is the rarest.
Yellow gold has a bright yellow colour and is the traditional choice for an engagement ring. Usually a yellow gold engagement ring will be 9ct or 18ct.
Now to the style of ring. The usual type of engagement ring is a diamond ring however there are no hard and fast rules these days and coloured stones are starting to become fashionable however in this post I will concentrate on diamond rings.
When you are buying a diamond ring the 4 C's come into consideration - Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat weight. The Cut is the shape of the stone - from brilliant cut diamonds to more unusual shapes. The Colour is the colour of the diamond - the whiter clearer diamonds being the most valuable in general. The Clarity is how clear the diamond is, the best diamonds are flawless with no carbon deposits, however if the diamond is smaller than a carat in weight you may not see these with the naked eye. The Carat weight is the size of the diamond. Diamond rings increase in cost when you get to the .5ct and 1ct mark and so on increments.
Diamond rings can be multiple stones, single solitaire or cluster rings made up of smaller diamonds. This is a good choice if cost is an issue. Round are usually brilliant cut with many facets. Square cut stones are called Princess cut and Emerald cut diamonds are rectangular in shape. Emerald cut diamonds are often more expensive than brilliant cut diamonds as the cut of the stone can show any imperfections. Consequently these stones are usually excellent quality with little carbon deposits. Trilogy rings are rings with one centre stone and two smaller stones set either side. These are said to represent past, present and future.
I hope this has helped you in your choice of engagement ring, and at the end of the day buy a ring you think she will like and that reflects her and her personality, be it stylish and classic or more detailed and elaborate. And don't forget as they say "Diamonds are Forever" and will last a lifetime.
Online Jewellers David M Robinson have a guide to buying the perfect engagement ring on their website if you need any further help.
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