How to Upgrade Your Engagement Ring: A Guide

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Thinking of taking your engagement bling up a notch? Here’s everything you need to know…

Some people wouldn’t dream of ever changing their engagement ring. They love the fact that their partner chose it for them, that it represents a particular milestone moment in their life, or they’re still just hopelessly in love with the design years later. That’s all totally great. But there are also those who wouldn’t mind switching things up by getting something new. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that either! If you fall into the latter category, read on for some helpful advice. But first, let’s weigh up the pros and cons of upgrading…

Why NOT to Upgrade

There are many reasons to keep your ring just as it is, but we’ve chosen three of the most important:

#1: Obviously, your rock will have sentimental value to you; it represents one of the happiest moments in your life, the most important relationship of your life, and your future as one half of a married couple. It’s a beautiful snapshot of a beautiful part of your time on earth. Plus we’re sure it’s lovely to look at too.

#2: Things change after you get married. You may have a family of your own to provide for, a mortgage to pay, and various other expenses you didn’t have when you were young(er) and carefree. You’ll have a long list of financial priorities to take care of, and spending a few thousand dollars on a shiny rock probably won’t be the most important.

#3: If your engagement ring is especially valuable – financially or sentimentally – or if it’s a piece passed down from a family member, altering or discarding it may not be the most respectful thing to do and could even devalue the piece. Passing it down to the next generation as is also makes for a beautiful symbol of your family and your love.

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So Why SHOULD You Upgrade?

There are plenty of counter arguments. Here’s just a few:

#1: Life doesn’t end once you get engaged and married; there are still plenty of milestones to come, and some of them will be equally if not more important than your engagement (it may not seem like anything could top that moment, but trust us). Upgrading your ring is a great way to celebrate these moments and have a physical reminder.

#2: Most people’s financial situation improves after marriage, simply because most people marry relatively young and still have the best years of their career ahead of them – which means periodic bumps in salary. At the time of your engagement your ring may have been the best you could afford, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t upgrade to something more appropriate now that you can spare the cash.

#3: Diamonds may be the hardest natural substance on earth, but that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. Believe it or not they can and do get fractured or chipped. The metal and any non-diamond gemstones on your ring are also susceptible to damage, so it makes perfect sense to improve the condition of your ring after it picks up a few scratches.

#4: Your tastes change as you grow older. The styles and fashion trends you loved a decade ago are most likely not what you’re into now, and your engagement ring is no different. If you opted for something uber trendy at the time that looks horribly dated now, what’s the harm in giving your engagement ring a makeover?

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Upgrading Checklist

So you’ve decided you definitely want to upgrade your engagement ring. Great! Here are the essential things you need to keep in mind…

Review your policy. Before you even start looking at new engagement rings, take a look at the paperwork your original jeweller gave you. Many of them offer a trade-in on your engagement ring if certain criteria are met, for example, a certain amount of years have passed and the ring remains undamaged, etc. If this is true in your case, then the best deal you’ll get is most likely to come from your original jeweller.

Take it slow. The average groom spends 3 months researching and choosing an engagement ring. If you’re upgrading your ring, remember to spend at least that amount of time researching and deciding on what you want. It’s not a decision that should be made on impulse; it may well be your only opportunity to get your ring exactly as you want it, so don’t just pick the first one you like the look of!

Emphasise quality. Do your homework and don’t settle for anything less than top quality. That goes for everything; the jeweller, the diamond, the craftsmanship, etc. If you’re going to take the step of upgrading your engagement ring, you should do it right. Plus if you can afford better quality, you should get better quality. The last thing you want is to end up with something less valuable than what you had before.

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Replate your band. If you have a gold band (any colour gold) or anything other than a platinum band, you’ll need to get it replated eventually. If you’re just modifying your ring rather than getting an entirely new one then now is the time to get it replated. It’ll give your engagement ring a new lease of shiny, polished life and give your diamond all the more reason to shine bright.

On a budget? Keep the stone. If you have limited funds to work with then your best option is to keep the same diamond from your original engagement ring and switch up the setting, the metal or the finish instead. Or alternatively you could add some additional, smaller stones to the original design to jazz things up – micropave on the band or a subtle halo setting will make you fall in love all over again, we guarantee. Once again, this is where having a good jeweller and using top quality stones will work in your favour.  

In fact, keep everything. That doesn’t mean don’t upgrade your ring! We merely mean keep all the original bits and pieces of your first engagement ring. You can use them to craft an entirely new piece of jewellery that you or a family member will love, or if that doesn’t float your boat you can ask your jeweller to buy them back and cut the cost of your upgrade. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not worth something!