Have you reached the stage in your relationship where you want to start looking at engagement rings?
This is such an exciting time for you and your fiancé to be! Finding the perfect engagement ring can seem like a daunting task, but you can take comfort in the fact that these days there are no rules, ‘anything goes!’ . There are no do’s and don’ts anymore, so enjoy looking at as many rings as possible until you find the one that matches your loved one and is as truly special as they are. Listen to your instincts and go with your gut but think practically too. It’s a ring that will be worn every day so it needs to wear well and suit your fiancés lifestyle. Don’t panic! We are here to stop you making any classic engagement ring mistakes and to guide you through the process. Let’s have a look at the different options.
- Solitaire – These are generally Diamond set and have one stone set in a plain band. They have also come to include one stone with smaller stones set in the band or around the centre stone.
- Three or Five Stone Ring – These can involve stones of the same shape and size as well as different shapes and sizes, for example a round brilliant in the centre with two smaller pear shaped stones either side.
- Cluster Ring – A centre stone of any given shape which is surrounded by smaller stones in a ‘cluster’ formation. It may also have stones set on the band.
- Engagement Band – Sitting low on the finger, it could have Diamonds or coloured stones which may be different widths and contrasting colours. The stones could be all the same or graduated in size,
Even in these four categories, there are different styles of engagement rings. Modern and contemporary, classic and traditional, or vintage (Art Deco, Victorian, Georgian). It’s easy to see how people get flustered when making this all important choice isn’t it! There are also different types of settings, which we have outlined below.
Claw-set: shape and position of claws affects look and height of ring. Shared claw a very popular option for band-like rings.
Bezel-set: Fine bezel setting represents a fine line of metal surrounding a stone. Used for the centre stone in a cluster ring or for a solitaire. Channel-set square diamond bands are also popular engagement rings.
Grain-set: Grain-set popular in Art-Deco jewellery … gives a ‘textured’ vintage look to a piece of jewellery.
Pave-set: same setting process as grain-set but with more than one row of stones being set. A very ‘sparkly’ choice! Numerous small diamonds are closely packed together to give as much ‘bling’ as possible. Normally worn as a one-band, i.e. engagement and wedding ring combination.
Bar-set: small bars are set between stones either East/West or North/South to give an open look to a ‘band-like’ ring. A more open option to channel setting.
Channel-set: a channel is dug within a band. Stones are then dropped in this channel and are butting against one other to offer a seamless look. The edges of the channel can be fine or heavy depending on the look required.
Earlier we mentioned practical considerations. What is your loved one’s lifestyle like? Are they sporty? Do they work with their hands a lot? Specific settings, metals and stones may be preferable depending on the type of wear and tear it will get.
The size and shape of your partner’s hands will affect the width and shape of the band, the height of stone setting and the size of the stones. For example, a 0.55 to 0.75 stone will look big on a small hand but on a larger hand you may want a larger Diamond to look more balanced.
You may think it’s a good idea to take someone with you, for example you loved ones’ sister, but bear in mind they may not be able to put their own tastes aside. Having said that, a best friend may already have had the conversation with your girlfriend and know exactly the sort of thing she wants, so utilise her!
One last thing you may want to consider (and then we’re done, promise!) is whether or not you will want a wedding band to sit right next to the engagement ring. Many jewellers offer engagement rings with settings that start right at the base of the band which means a wedding band wouldn’t sit flush with it. The benefit of a bespoke engagement ring is that we will consider all these things for you and design a perfect ring accordingly.
We hope you’ve found this helpful and if you would like to get in touch about designing the perfect engagement ring please fill in the contact form below. Also if you click the button below we will send a more comprehensive guide straight to your email!
Love, Roseanna & Co x