Being spoilt for choice isn’t exactly a bad thing. Nowadays, with everyone migrating online, we have a huge selection from an almost infinite range of products and not enough time to see it all. Taking your time, especially for an engagement ring purchase, is important, but equally you’ve got to make the right choice in time.
As we’ve interacted with many of our customers, we’ve seen patterns emerge overtime with people’s preferences. A lot of men who are buying engagement rings for their girlfriends in secret have never bought jewellery before, and have no idea what they should choose (is that you?) and therefore it can be really hard to get a reference point, or a right feel for it it’s something you’re doing for the first time.
Keep the following in mind: there’s no real strict correlation between the ring that you get, and the type of girlfriend (or boyfriend) that you have. While people might have preferences, it’s actually the gesture of the surprise proposal that matters a lot more. It is a lot of money, and a lot of effort to pull something like this off, so don’t get too hung on appearances.
Depending on your available information, you might either have a lot of help from family and friends, or you might not. We’ve compiled a small list of the stylistic and practical considerations that you can keep in mind when choosing your engagement ring.
The solitaire - a timeless design
If there ever existed a “universal” choice in jewellery, this is the one. It’s the ring that you see the most often in the windows of many jewellers. It’s probably the ring that you’ve seen on many family members. The solitaire has existed for hundreds of years because it’s the perfect balance of so many different factors.
For one, it suits a diamond perfectly; raising it up to the light and giving it prominence from so many different angles. Though this can equally be a double edged sword since if the setting is really high then it can catch onto fabrics or edges much easier.
The design is minimalistic yet grand enough; most people purchase around 0.4-0.5 carat diamonds to get the perfect balance between size and appearance. Owing to the simplicity of the design, it uses less metal (and has no need for additional diamonds) and therefore is incredibly cost effective, whilst still retaining the elegance and beauty of a time-tested design.
Halo designs - An expensive taste
Ever since Beyonce famously claimed “put a halo on it” you may have initially thought that she was talking about some kind of religious experience; the answer is no.
A “halo” design refers to the way in which the centre diamond is surrounded by a circumference of smaller set diamonds, which people often call a “halo” simply because the most common type of diamond is round-shaped, so it gives the halo effect quite naturally. Of course, it also glows quite nicely, so there’s that.
Undoubtedly, the halo design fits those with expensive tastes. It also creates the illusion of there being a bigger diamond due to the manner in which the halo of diamonds create texture across the whole ring. As an expensive design the halo ring is probably the choice to go if your girlfriend demands nothing but pure luxury.
Pavé - A dainty choice
It’s the glint of the jewels that you notice from far away; the smaller diamonds in cluster designs are quite versatile, and can twist and turn in all sorts of ways that conventional designs cannot, owing to the way smaller diamonds sit lower and fit nicely into the metal.
A lot of conventional designs will fit smaller “side stones” into the band to go for that pave effect which create a nice sparkle that leads all the way to the top.
While the more classic designs feature either one or three big diamonds, the more modern styles feature lots of small diamonds to go for a more dainty, sparkling and textured effect, quite like the halo design but without the large centre diamond.
Multi stone rings - Past, present and future
As they say that three is a crowd, you might appreciate the fact that three is a special number. In this case, some say that multi stone rings, or these three stone rings represent the past, present and future. The symbolism is certainly a nice gesture, if not but something slightly philosophical. It’s also a radical departure from the standard tradition of giving engagement rings with only one stone; why not give someone something to show off?
Multi stone rings can even go up to seven different diamonds in the same ring design (if you’re willing to splash out more than normal). We’re usually used to seeing that magic three number as a nice balance. The three stone designs work beautifully with more unusual diamond shapes; the most common is the emerald three stone ring, but we equally love the pear shape which creates a lovely rounded, vintage effect.
Vintage - Traditional made modern
Perhaps this is somewhat of an overused term, but that’s because it means a lot of different things to everyone. Vintage jewellery is generally a lot more intricate than standard designs. If modern design sensibility is about moving towards minimalism, then vintage design is about trying to fit as many details into the jewellery piece as possible. Of course, it comes down to subjective opinion and preferences, this one is a lot easier to spot in your partner since their furniture, fashion and way of living will generally indicate that they prefer traditional design with the intricate and painstaking attention they will have to small details.
Fancy shapes - The unique approach
While round diamonds have always continued to dominate, you can make things interesting by looking for what jewellers refer to as “fancy shapes” since they don’t fit the standard mould of most orders. This certainly would make our job harder (yet more fulfilling) to find someone a fancy shaped diamond given their inherent rarity, but if you do get something fancy, you can be rest assured that you really will have something special for the one you love. You can read more about fancy diamond shapes here.
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