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  • Engagement Ring Buying Guide

Engagement Ring Buying Guide

Getting engaged is one of the most important and special moments of your life. Signifying a lifelong commitment to your partner, finding that perfect engagement ring for your proposal makes the occasion that much more enjoyable. Traditionally, engagement rings are set with diamonds, but as times and trends have changed you can find your dream engagement ring in all manner of styles. We believe that as long you and your partner are happy with your engagement ring design, that's all that matters. That's why we always have a range of styles at hand in our stores or on our website for you to choose from.
Your choice of metal provides the setting for the engagement ring. Whether you choose to opt for yellow, rose or white gold or even platinum, each metal type has different properties. You can also opt for different carat weights in gold; we supply engagement rings in both 9ct and 18ct gold.

Platinum: Platinum is a popular choice of metal for an engagement ring as it is durable and has a naturally bright white colour. The matt lustre of platinum is highly desirable and does not need to be re-plated like white gold. The fact that platinum doesn't tarnish and is hypoallergenic means it is an ideal choice for allergy sufferers and the white colour of platinum enhances the diamonds brilliance and depth which makes it a fantastic metal choice for an engagement ring.

Yellow Gold: Yellow gold engagement rings are a timeless choice and we stock a wide range of 9ct and 18ct gold rings to suit a range of budgets and tastes. Yellow gold is usually combined with other metals or alloys, to make it stronger and harder-wearing. Typical alloys include copper, zinc and nickel. 18ct gold is 18 parts pure gold or 75% pure, hence the stamp 750 found inside pieces made from this alloy. 18ct yellow gold is strong, beautiful, durable and does not tarnish, corrode or react with its owners skin. 9ct gold is 9 parts pure gold or 37.5% pure, hence the stamp 375 found inside pieces made of this alloy. Yellow gold engagement rings will always be traditional, timeless and a perfectly classic choice. A diamond set engagement ring can look truy stunning with a yellow gold band.

White Gold: White gold is currently a very popular choice of metal due to its brilliant white finish. White gold is achieved by mixing pure gold (which is naturally yellow in colour), with various white metals to produce an alloy. These white metals can include silver and palladium which create a pale greyish yellow colour when mixed with gold. The brilliant white finish occurs when the finished article is rhodium plated. This hard-wearing plating will wear away over time as with any type of plating, and the speed of this does depend on the wearer. You can have your white gold ring re-rhodium plated at any time and this will give the ring a lustrous, bright white finish.

The Perfect Style & Setting

Finding the perfect style engagement ring is just as important as the proposal itself! With lots of styles to choose from, how do you know what you’re selecting is the right style for your partner? Below we have put together a bit of background for each style. Whether you're after a timeless solitaire, a stunning halo design or adore a classic trilogy look, finding the perfect style engagement ring is just as important as the proposal itself. With lots of styles to choose from, ensuring you're selecting just the right ring for her doesn't have to be too difficult. Get to know our perfect styles below...

Solitaire: Traditionally set with a single diamond, this style is the most common style of engagement ring and has a slim band that accentuates the sparkling central stone. The high setting allows maximum exposure to the light, enhancing the brilliance of the stone. Simple but effective and perfect for someone who prefers classic styles, this style will never goes out of fashion.

Cluster & Halo: Cluster engagement rings feature a collection of diamonds or other gemstones clustered together to create an intricate and eye-catching design. Some clusters can give the appearance of a larger single diamond due to their clever setting. This design is perfect for women who love their sparkles. A halo cluster ring take this one step further and is a modern take on this classic design. This design feature a central stone surrounded by a glittering halo of smaller diamonds to create a contemporary style with a lavish, luxurious look.

Trilogy or Three Stone: A three-stone design which is said to represent the past, present and future. Alternatively, the trilogy ring can represent friendship, love and fidelity. This choice is perfect for those who are sentimental and enjoy symbolism.

Underset & Shoulder Set: Underset engagement rings feature smaller diamonds set under the main centre stone which you can see from the side profile of the ring. These underset stones provide 'secret' intricate detailing and adds to the sentimentality. These designs are perfect for someone who loves traditional but also likes unusual twists. Similarly, you can have the traditional solitaire, trilogy, cluster or halo design with additional diamonds down the shoulders which adds the modern glitz and glam for a truly exceptional finish. Perfect for classic yet modern ladies!

Bridal Set: If you want to be sure the engagement ring sits comfortably and matches your wedding band, shopping for a bridal set may be the best option. All bridal sets offer complementing wedding bands and engagement ring styles, taking the stress out of wedding ring shopping.

If you want to be sure the engagement ring sits comfortably and matches your wedding bands, shopping for a bridal set may be the best option. All bridal sets offer complementing wedding band and engagement ring styles, taking the stress out of wedding band shopping. Alternatively, shop for wishbone or shaped wedding bands to find a style of ring elegantly tapered to sit alongside the engagement ring.

The 4 C's

Diamond Colour
Diamond Clarity
The 4 Cs - Carat
The 4 Cs - Cut
When shopping for diamond engagement rings, most customers want to gain an understanding of the Four C's. The Four C's provide a guideline for the quality of your diamond and can be split into the categories of clarity, cut, colour and carat. These four aspects provide a better way to understand your diamond and will normally be recorded on your diamond certificate.

1. Colour
The colours of diamonds do vary, but generally diamonds are colourless or near colourless. Some diamonds have tones of yellow or brown, which can work well in contemporary styles. We use the GIA scale (set by the Gemological Institue of America) to measure the colour of your diamond. A diamond with colour grade D is colourless - this scale increases to grade Z, which will have a yellow tint. Diamonds with distinct colours, such as very yellow or deep brown tones, are classed as fancy diamonds and are graded separately to colourless to clear diamonds.

2. Clarity
All diamonds are unique and will contain naturally occurring inclusions or small flaws. Often minor and formed when the diamonds were created in the earth, some inclusions are hardly visible to the naked eye. However, the clarity of your diamond is worth considering, especially in relation to the position the diamond will be set in the ring.

3. Carat
A common misconception is that the carat indicates the size of the diamond – instead, it indicates the weight. Depending on the cut and setting of the diamond, it can appear a lot larger than its actual carat weight. However, carat represents the true diamond weight. Often, in cluster rings or jewellery with multiple diamonds, the carat weight indicates the combined weight of all of the diamonds in the piece of jewellery.

4. Cut
Cut refers to both the style and shape the rough crystal is skilfully crafted into. A good diamond cut can bring out the brilliance, taking into consideration symmetry and proportions to ensure the light is reflected throughout the diamond. Different shapes and cut styles create different effects, but a well cut diamond will noticeably sparkle as it catches the light.

Popular cuts include the classic round brilliant cut, which works beautifully in the recognisable solitaire style. Princess cut diamonds are equally popular, offering a contemporary square shape that works well as both a focal point or set along a band. Cushion cut diamonds are most frequently seen with fancy diamonds. This is a curved rectangular or curved square design, designed to draw light into the diamond and show off its gorgeous colour.

Other cuts include marquise cut diamonds, emerald cut diamonds, heart cut diamonds and pear cut diamonds. Each cut has been carefully designed to accentuate a different feature of the diamond and can work well in a number of ring styles.

Other Gemstones

If you would prefer a different or sentimental gemstone as your choice of engagement ring, we offer other gemstone rings available as an engagement ring. A popular choice is sapphire, offering deep blue and purple tones to create a striking focal point. Sapphire looks beautiful set against a gold or white gold band and is ideal to create a vintage, heirloom look. Rubies are also popular, the rich red of the gemstone sitting beautifully alongside sparkling diamonds. Many people also choose their birthstone or partner’s birthstone for their engagement ring. As with the ring style and design, it's completely up to you. 
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