We know that choosing an engagement ring can be an intimidating process. Whether you're a first time jewellery buyer or a long time lover with lots of knowledge, picking the one ring that you or your loved one will wear forever is a big decision. We hope we can offer some guidance and insight into some of the things to consider, demystify the process and the lingo so you can pick the right ring for your needs. Here is a step-by-step guide into how to pick an engagement ring that suits your lifestyle, budget and personal style.
1. First things first, choose a jeweller.
We sometimes use the analogy that jewellery is like a car, something you invest in, service and can upgrade from over time, so it's great if your jeweller, like your mechanic, is someone local who's expertise you trust and who you can have a relationship with over time. We love being a part of so many exciting times in our customers lives, especially proposals, and will work hard to ensure your rings meet your needs and you can get the best life out of your pieces.
2. The GH experience.
We pride ourselves on being a low pressure environment, we love having couples walk in just to try things on and discuss bespoke options with our knowledgeable team. We will never try to upsell you on a bigger stone or a higher carat, and we love to help you understand the differences in metals or stones to find the right materials for your pieces.
We offer a proposal ring arrangement, where if you purchase a ring from our existing range (in the standard size) and it turns out not to be "the one", you can change it for another ring from the range, or put the balance towards a fully bespoke ring.
We also offer post purchase ring sizing when you purchase the standard size of our rings, so after you've proposed we can see the finger in question and accurately size it to ensure the chosen ring fits perfectly. Bespoke made rings or resized rings can't be exchanged, so if you're not sure of sizer or exactly what your partner likes, it's good to have the flexibility of these options.
If you have a special day you're hoping to propose on, or if you're not sure of the finer details of the plan yet, it's useful to consider what you might have time for (or not!). Our bespoke rings can take anywhere between 6-10 weeks to make, whereas you can walk out of the store the same day with a ring from our existing range. Remember you can always exchange the ring after proposing (if it's from our existing range and purchased in the standard size).
4. Think about budget.
There's no strict rule of how much you should be spending on an engagement ring, and we aim to cater for the needs of all types of couples. Engagement rings are heavy wear rings, meaning that most people expect to be able to wear them all day, every day, for the rest of their lives, so investing in the ring can make sense for some couples. For others, getting rings that suit the budget now, with an eye to upgrade or remodel in 5-10 years can also be a good plan. We can help you think about the different options available in your budget and help find a ring that works for you.
5. Metal options.
One of the first things we ask prospective ring buyers is whether they wear yellow, rose or white gold. Having a scope in your partners jewellery box should usually give you a good idea of their preference. Our engagement and bespoke rings are mostly made in 18ct gold, because of the higher durability and repairability of the metals, but 9ct can be a good option for some designs and some budgets. We can also make rings in platinum, but don't have any available ready to purchase. You can read an in depth post about choosing between 9ct and 18ct gold here.
6. Picking a stone.
All gemstones are beautiful in our eyes, but some do suit engagement rings more than others. Because they are (mostly) naturally occurring, all gemstones have a difference level of hardness, which impacts how strong they are, how easy scratched, cracked or damaged they can become when worn often. Gemstones are rated on the MOHS scale from a 0-10, with 10 the hardness and 0 the softest. Diamonds, sapphires and rubies are our favourite stones to use as they are higher on the MOHS scale (10, 9 and 9 respectively) while other stones like opals and pearls are on the lower end (5 and 2.5 respectively). Of course you can still choose the stone that your heart desires, but these pieces will just need to have extra care taken while wearing, and be taken off when doing some daily activities.
Many of our sapphires are Australian stones, which come in a huge range of hues, from blues and greens to yellows and pinks. We only work with conflict-free or lab grown diamonds, to ensure our products are ethically minded. Small sized conflict-free diamonds don't come with individual certification but come from our trusted gem dealers who only buy from UN certified conflict free mines. Larger diamonds can come with or without certification, with certified diamonds carrying a higher price tag. Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds, they have just been created in lab settings, instead of mined from the earth, and are most cost effective than conflict free mined diamonds - read more about lab grown diamonds here.
7. Design styles.
What kind of jewellery do you or your partner already wear? It is fine, delicate, intricate, sparkly, timeless, modern, chunky or organic? Or any combination of these styles? Do you like solitaire (single stone) rings or rings with accent stones. Do you like the look of round, brilliant or oval cut stones, or lean towards the clean lines of emerald or baguette cut stones? Do you like claw or bezel set stones? If you aren't sure about any of these things - no worries! We will happily show you the different options and discuss with you the ring that would suit best. There is a perfect ring for everyone, one that visually fits into your personal style, and that is made from materials that suit your budget, lifestyle and needs - and it gives us so much joy to help discover the ring that will be with you for a lifetime!
We hope this info gives a little more insight into some of the decisions and considerations when choosing an engagement ring, but if there's anything you'd like to know more about don't hesitate to reach out to us!