Love is in the air, and with engagement season in full swing, many couples will again affirm their love for one another by popping the question. If you are looking for an engagement ring for yourself or your soon-to-be fiancé, this is what to keep an eye out for.
Don’t let the price tag or trends dictate your choice
During the Great Depression, the mining company De Beers first employed the idea that an engagement ring should cost at least as much as one month’s salary. Ever since, this price tag has ballooned, with people now widely believing that they should spend at least three months’ salary if an engagement ring is to be “worth it”. Similarly, many people looking to get engaged take their cues from the current trends in the jewellery market. When choosing an engagement ring, it is far more sensible to opt for something that suits your partner’s style and taste, instead of just going for the most expensive ring with the biggest diamond.
Choosing the stone
While we’re talking about the stone: Although diamonds have become associated with engagement rings (also largely due to De Beers’ marketing efforts), these precious stones aren’t necessarily everyone’s preferred choice in an engagement ring, with many people instead wanting other precious or semi-precious stones to grace the fourth finger on their left hand. It helps to talk to your partner (or to close friends of theirs) about what they like and about whether they even want a stone in their ring.
If they do like diamonds, consider choosing a more affordable diamond grading. In the diamond industry, experts often cite the four Cs (carat, clarity, cut and colour), and although this rule of thumb is useful in choosing a beautiful stone, it certainly doesn’t mean that stones with a lower grading don’t make for beautiful rings. There is a significant price difference between flawless stones and stones that are just as beautiful to the untrained eye, albeit with a lower grading.
Bigger isn’t always better
When it comes to the size of the stone, size should only be a consideration if your sweetheart has mentioned that he or she prefers a showy ring. Bigger and more ostentatious stones aren’t everyone’s preference anymore, and many people now rather opt for something that suits their personal style. If you do choose a bigger stone, think about making clarity and colour less of a consideration in order to save some cash. The shape (or cut) of the stone is also something important to mull over, as this also has a hand in the price of the stone.
Pay attention to the setting
The way that the stone is set in the ring has a huge influence on the way the ring looks. Jewellery designers often speak about the stone as the artwork, and its setting in the ring as the frame. Speak to your jeweller about a setting that will suit the cut of the stone and exhibit it in the best possible light. They will also be able to advise you on the right metal for the ring itself – you’ll probably have a choice between yellow gold, white gold, platinum, silver or rose gold.
American Swiss at Wonderboom Junction has engagement and wedding bands to suit any taste. Pay American Swiss a visit the next time you and your darling go shopping in the north of Pretoria – and don’t forget to pay attention to what rings they gush over!