Most girls dream about their wedding day and future husband from a young age, and plenty also dream about their proposals too. But if you’re anything like us, you probably didn’t have a very clear picture of your ‘dream’ engagement ring during those fantasies, right?
It’s only when friends, family and colleagues start to get hitched that engagement rings really show up on our radars. You’ll find yourself secretly hating the style of one friend’s ring and being extremely jealous of another’s stunning rock. And then your own time will come, and you’ll be faced with the daunting task of choosing a style for yourself.
Here’s how to tackle this big life milestone, in four easy steps.
Step One: Pick Your Metal
This is the simplest choice you’ll have to make when it comes to your engagement ring. Do you prefer yellow, silver, or rose toned metal? Yellow gold is the classic engagement ring choice, while silver tones like white gold or platinum are the contemporary style du jour. Rose gold is a new kid on the block that looks good on all skin tones. If you own a lot of gold/silver jewellery, factor this in; do you want your engagement ring to match and coordinate with your other pieces, or stand out from the crowd?
Step Two: Pick Some Stone Shapes
There’s much more on offer these days than the standard round brilliant or princess cut diamonds (although if that’s what you like, go for it!). Browse Pinterest, Instagram and jewellery sites for cuts you like the look of – and don’t limit yourself to just one. Stone shapes can look entirely different once they’re in a nice setting, and they can also take on a whole new dimension when you actually try them on. You may like marquise diamonds in pictures for example, but when it’s actually on your finger you could find it does not flatter your hand at all. Which brings us to our next point…
Step Three: Try Before You Buy
Shopping for an engagement ring is a lot like shopping for a new dress. You really need to try it on first to see how it fits, if the style suits you and most importantly, if you’re comfortable wearing it. Don’t make any concrete decisions until you’ve tried on some potential engagement ring styles. And we don’t just mean slipping it on and off your finger; wear it for at least a couple of minutes. Some more trusting jewellers might even let you take a walk around with the engagement ring on. If it ticks all three of the above boxes instantly, you know you’ve found a winner.
Step Four: The Finer Details
When you’ve settled on a metal and stone shape, think about the finer details. Do you want accent stones? An engraved message? Intricate detailing like beading, a halo setting or pave band? Don’t think about this too much until you’ve decided for sure on a stone shape and metal. Keep an open mind, too; there are so many different designs out there and if you have a very specific vision of what you want, you may find it hard to find in reality. Take your time and make sure you’re happy before you hand over any payments.
- Marquise diamonds lengthen your fingers and suit slender hands
- Yellow gold can lose its lustre over time, leading to a more antique look
- Square cuts tend to snag on clothing more so than round cuts
- Remember you can get a plain style now and add modifying details later if needed!
- Silver tones can ‘wash out’ pale skin tones
- Platinum rings are more difficult and expensive to resize, but never lose their shine
- If you like an unusual shape but find it too flashy, try a smaller carat size and a simpler setting
- Know your jewellery terminology (filigree, beading, etc.) – it’ll make it easier for your jeweller to help you find a style you like
- Learning the different jewellery periods and their styles will also help!
- If all else fails, go with your gut.