Your Guide To Buying an Engagement Ring
Engagement rings are the ultimate symbol of commitment when gifted in a marital proposal, asking someone you love and cherish to spend the rest of their life with you. Worn for a lifetime, it’s an important choice to make! There are so many factors when choosing a ring and we’ve broken down the key things to consider in your search.
The most visible and talked-about aspect of an engagement ring! There are many options ranging from sapphire to ruby and emerald but the most sought-after option will always be a diamond – the only gemstone made with a single compound.
Laboratory-Grown vs Naturally Formed
The differences between Naturally Formed Diamonds and Laboratory-Grown Diamonds cannot be seen with the naked eye. Naturally Formed Diamonds have tiny amounts of nitrogen, while Laboratory-Grown Diamonds have no nitrogen. This is actually one of the signifiers gemologists use to identify if a diamond is lab-grown or natural.
Naturally Formed Diamonds are created under the pressure of the earth’s crust over millions of years, then they are mined, cut and polished. A Laboratory Grown Diamond is placed through the same circumstances, only in a lab setting. In fact, the process used to create a Laboratory Grown Diamond cuts down the growth time significantly, from millions of years to a couple of months.
Despite the price point, neither is ‘better’ than the other, but natural diamonds may retain their value for longer.
There are many shapes of diamond available with the brilliant round diamond is the most popular. Oval, marquise and princess cut are popular elongated shapes considered flattering on the finger and sported by many celebrities. The pear and cushion cut are also popular options. The round brilliant is at the highest price point so you can get a larger shaped stone for the same cost.
See the engagement ring diamond shape guide here.
Platinum – Naturally silver-white and hypoallergenic it’s the most sought-after choice of precious metal because of its durability, corrosion resistance and appearance. It’s also the rarest of precious metals.
White Gold – gold is mixed with white alloys to produce an almost white colour. Then we add a protective rhodium coating that gives a bright silver-white finish. Rhodium coating will need reapplying from time to time but this is a good indicator to have your ring/s serviced. This service is free for Brown & Newirth engagement rings registered with the TLC guarantee.
Yellow Gold – the richest hue, traditional and timeless.
Rose Gold – the most romantic shade, it’s an alloy of gold with a blush-pink tone from copper.
The main factors that influence the cost of the ring are the cut, clarity, carat and colour of the diamond. How much you spend on a ring is completely up to you! Some people say it should equal one month’s salary, others say three but it completely depends on your income, your fiance-to-be and how much size matters. The average engagement ring spend in 2020 was £2,419.
Our rings are handcrafted using G colour and SI clarity diamonds as standard. Ethically sourced, each is hand-selected for its cut, polish and, symmetry. Diamonds over 0.30ct are accompanied by a GIA grading certificate.
Halo or no halo?
A halo is a ring of diamonds set around the central stone. This is a great option for embellishing a smaller diamond or adding extra sparkle to a grand central stone already! Whether you choose a ring with a halo or not is completely subject to taste.
Plain – the classic wedding ring can come in a range of widths, profiles and finishes.
Patterned – add a little personality with a design that suits your personality; from subtle v-cuts and bevels to floral engraving and diamond cuts.
Diamond-set – a must-have for many, choose from a plethora of stone shapes, settings and designs, either around the full hoop or covering the top decorative and always visible part of the ring.
Without wanting to drop obvious hints and taking your potential fiancé to a boutique to have their ring size measured there are a few ways you could get a good estimate. See the sizing chart here.
Borrow One. If they already own rings you could borrow one and take it to a boutique to have it sized.
Measure Their Current Rings. You can take a ring and draw around the inside of it on paper, cut a thin string to that length and then use a ruler.
Heavy Sleeper? You could buy a ring sizer online and try to gage their ring size or use the string method mentioned above.
Enlist Help. Ask their parents or a trusted friend if they could help determine ring size by accompanying them to a boutique or ordering a ring sizer for ‘themselves’ without being too obvious.
Go With The Most Commonly Ordered Size. The average engagement ring size in the UK falls between finger size L and N, if in doubt it’s always better to go slightly larger. All try before you buy sample orders are in the most commonly ordered size so you can’t go too far wrong!
Just plain not sure what they’ll like?
Order three samples and let your fiance choose or propose with a sample ring before going into your local boutique to choose the final ring. Many of the couples we surveyed had done this so the partner proposed to can have their dream ring!
If you have something really specific in mind we can make a bespoke ring!