The truth about engagement rings
Proposing to your significant other is a momentous occasion. It’s no wonder that there’s so many different opinions on what ‘should’ or ‘should not’ be done, or what an engagement ring ‘should’ or ‘should not’ look like. Perhaps one of the most prevailing myths surrounding engagement rings is how much you should look to spend. In this guide, we will explore the different variations attributed to various rings that can alter the price range, and find out what should really be the focus of this iconic purchase.
Myth #1: You should spend a certain amount on the ring
This myth likely comes down to a few things — what we feel proves our love (extravagant gifts) and the pressure of celebrity weddings. Celebrity spending is always extravagant, the following are some of the famous engagement rings known to us:
- Taylor Kinney and Lady Gaga — a six-carat, heart-shaped diamond ring that cost around £400,000
- Prince William and Kate Middleton — a twelve-carat sapphire, priced at around £400,000
- Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones — ten-carats, close to £800,000
We are often told that the acceptable amount to spend on an engagement ring is two-to-three months’ salary, but this is not a hard and fast rule at all. In fact, research by insurance company Protect Your Bubble showed that couples are spending 19% less on engagement rings than they did 5-10 years ago. Now, the average spend on an engagement ring is close to £1,000. Also, 18% of people spend less than £500 on an engagement ring for their other half.
Myth #2: One type of ring is better than another
There are so many different types of engagement ring styles out there, and if you’re not familiar with jewellery, this can seem overwhelming. The truth is, you can’t really pick ‘the wrong one’. The appearance and cost of the ring are the two main considerations, and these vary across the board. The main thing is to know what your significant other prefers.
A choice of metals
Silver, gold, and platinum are some of the most popular metals for engagement rings. They differ in price and appearance and it’s all down to personal preferences!
Platinum is very durable, which is one reason many people prefer it. In fact, it was removed from the jewellery market around the time of the war as the resources were used for military use instead. It’s more expensive than gold as it is around 30 times rarer. Since it’s a strong metal, it is also the purest — often sold at 95% purity.
Gold is mixed with other metals, as it is too soft to use in its purest form. Yellow gold for example, is pure gold combined with a small amount of silver and copper — giving off a warm appearance. White
gold on the other hand is brilliant, it is pure gold combined with palladium and silver or with nickel, copper and zinc. It is a perfect backdrop for diamonds and complements them beautifully. Rose gold is one variation of gold that could be the unique spin you’re looking for. This is pure gold plus copper gives off a red tinge. The more copper that it is combined with, the redder it appears.
Sterling silver is another popular option, and the most cost-effective of the popular metals. Similar to gold, pure silver is too soft to make into jewellery. Therefore, it is combined with copper or other metals
to improve its durability.
Don’t let price sway you on your decision here — gold might be more expensive, but that doesn’t mean it is ‘better’. Your other half most likely has ap reference down to which they feel suits them more; cool
toned skin tends to look better with silver jewellery, for example.
The price tag can also be impacted by the setting. Some settings have more diamonds in or require more craftsmanship — for this reason they can be more expensive.
For example, a halo ring features a large diamond or stone at its centre, with smaller stones encircling it. Often the band is bejewelled too which can increase the cost. Another ring with multiple diamonds in is
a three-stone engagement ring. These rings have three diamonds on the band, often the middle diamond is the largest — giving off a glitzy appearance.
The most popular setting for engagement rings is the solitaire setting. It is a traditional style where a single diamond sits on a metal band and fits nicely with a wedding ring. Tension-set engagement rings are similar as they often only have one diamond on the band. In these settings, the diamond is held in place by the pressure of the metal and it is designed to ‘squeeze’ the stone.
Again, people tend to have a preference and it has nothing to do with the price. Some people adore the sleek appearance of a solitaire setting, where others love the glitz of multiple stones catching the light.
All shapes are beautiful
The last thing you need to be aware of, in terms of affecting the price, is the shape or cut of the stone. Some are obvious, such as oval or round, but there are a few less-obvious names.
One of the more popular choices is a princess cut diamond. This cut is where the face-up profile of the diamond is square and the side view is alike to an inverted pyramid. Cushion cut diamonds are a mix of
round and square outlines and are considered to be more of an antique style. There is also a marquise cut which is quite a dramatic shape — like an elongated oval so it can appear bigger than it actually is.
One US retailers ranked the shape and cuts of a diamond in order of most to leas expensive. This can, of course, vary between retailers:
Again, if your other half prefers a heart shaped stone to a round stone, then price shouldn’t get in the way of your choice. Spending more on a stone shape they aren’t as fond of won’t mean much at all! They are more likely to be impressed that you’ve noticed such a detail as their favourite cut of stones.
The main take away from this guide is that the main value of an engagement ring comes from the gesture and the question. Choose the ring based off what your partner would love, rather than assuming more money means a better choice!
Read more about Jewellery, Diamonds and Gemstones here: https://www.jewellerymonthly.com/category/jewellery-diamonds-and-gemstones/
Find your ring size with our handy guide – https://www.jewellerymonthly.com/find-my-ring-finger-size-conversion-chart/