[intro] For many people an engagement ring is one of the most expensive items of jewellery they will ever purchase or wear. Choosing the right ring can be a daunting task, especially if you are planning a traditional proposal with a ring of your choosing. Even if you are making the decision together, there are a few key things you should keep in mind – after all it is going to be worn for a very long time! [/intro]
Cost – set a budget and stick to it. Traditionally an engagement ring should cost 1 to 2 months salary, but this is open to interpretation.
Style – rings can be modern or traditional. Keep in mind personal tastes and also existing jewellery; is this predominately gold, silver, white gold or platinum?
Stones – A diamond solitaire is the customary engagement ring, however clusters or 3 stones are becoming increasingly popular, along with alternative gems such as sapphires, emeralds or rubies. If choosing a diamond, remember the 4 C’s: carat, clarity, colour and cut.
Bands – Although a traditional wedding band is gold, many brides today favour white gold or platinum. Keep in mind the weights of the metals, for example a platinum engagement ring will have to be accompanied with a platinum wedding ring. This is due to platinum being stronger than gold and so over time would wear a gold band away.
Size – make sure it fits. Be warned that few women wear rings on their ring finger unless they are engaged, therefore ‘borrowing’ an existing ring which is worn on another finger is not always the best idea. If in doubt ask a friend or family member for help.
Jewellers – choose a jeweller within your budget and which you feel comfortable with. Look for any type of regulatory body such as NAG – The National Association of Goldsmiths. If purchasing a diamond over 1 carat it is worth asking for a certificate of authenticity as well as valuations and warranty details.
Insurance – although this is the less glamorous side of buying an engagement ring, it is perhaps the most important. Getting engaged is nerve wracking enough without the fear of losing the ring! Remember weddings can take a very long time to organise so don’t fall into the trap of waiting until you have purchased the wedding band and insuring both at the same time. Depending on your insurance policy this may not be an issue, for example Highworth Insurance’s High Value Home policy will automatically insure individual pieces (including providing engagement ring insurance), up to the value of £5,000 without the need to specify. Higher priced items can be listed up to the value of £25,000.