How to choose an engagement ring

How to choose an engagement ring

Decided to ask the special person in your life to marry you? A big decision which naturally comes with its pressures. Will they say yes? What should you say when you propose? And, of course, the prospect of actually choosing an engagement ring. From ring styles and sizes to factoring in your budget, learn how to choose an engagement ring with help from Shining Diamonds.

How to buy an engagement ring

Ring size

Potentially the most important, but also the easiest to get wrong – the ring size. You may have a ring in mind, but what’s an easy way of finding out their ring size without rousing suspicion? 

  • Use existing rings – most rings from established brands will have the ring size written somewhere on the circumference of the ring. Sneakily take a peek when she’s taken it off!
  • Ask friends or family – chances are that over the years, friends and family may have bought a ring for her, so they may be able to advise you of the perfect ring size.
  • Ensure it can be altered – if you’re really not sure of the ring size, but you want to buy the ring as a surprise, make sure you purchase a ring that can be resized easily. 

For more information, learn how to measure your ring size from our detailed guide, and information on how to secretly discover your partner’s ring size.

Ring style

Does your partner have an eye for fashion? Or perhaps she’s more interested in vintage style jewellery? Top tip: take a look at her existing jewellery style for hints – if she has simple, elegant stones then it’s safe to assume this sort of style for an engagement ring would go down well. There are many types of ring style to choose from, including:

And if you’re still not sure, ask her friends or sisters – they’ll be sure to point you in the right direction!

Infinity Style Diamond Engagement Ring

Ring shape

Another element to contend with when choosing an engagement ring is the shape of the stone. Do you choose a simple oval or pear-shaped stone, or a more eccentric princess or cushion shape? Again, this boils down to her personal preference. At Shining Diamonds, our range includes:

Learn about the different types of engagement ring cuts from our detailed guide.

Type of metal

Round Halo Diamond Engagement Ring with Sidestones

When choosing an engagement ring, deciding on the type of metal is just as important as the ring size and style. By choosing a platinum or gold ring, these are usually the best investments, as they’re the two hardest precious metals you can use for jewellery. You can also choose from:

If you’re wondering what ring metal you should choose for your wedding bands, find out what the best metal is for your wedding ring from our informative guide.

The Four C’s

Every jeweller will be able to discuss the Four C’s with you in great detail. However, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these terms beforehand:

  • Cut – cut is one of the most important factors to consider when buying an engagement ring. If a diamond is incorrectly cut, this can seriously alter that desirable sparkle that is the epitome of engagement rings. It’s said that how the diamond is cut determines its character. 
  • Carat – arguably the most important C to contend with, the weight of the diamond is measured by carat, for example, 1 carat is equal to 0.2gm. The average weight of engagement rings is usually around one to one and half carats.
  • Colour – colourless is the most valuable colour, also described as ‘white’. This rare colour is graded the highest by jewellers on the scale at Grade D, moving all the way down to Z. Between D and Z lies a variety of diamonds displaying subtle coloured tones. 
  • Clarity – clarity is a disputed concern of the four C’s, as it refers to the inclusions (or ‘imperfections’) on the stone. Often, people can become fixated on diamonds without these imperfections, when actually, they are usually invisible to the naked eye and can make your diamond unique – so shouldn’t be seen as a fault.

Our diamond buying guide provides a more comprehensive overview of the 4Cs of diamond buying.


However, it could be argued that there are really five C’s – as the most important element to contend with is the cost of the ring. Typically, the cost of an engagement ring is predicted to equate to three months’ worth of your salary – however, this can vary depending on how much you earn, the style and type of ring you’re wanting to purchase and personal preference of the receiver. For more information on how much an engagement ring should cost, read our detailed guide.

Cushion cut Solitaire Diamond RingCushion Cut Solitaire Diamond Ring

Most importantly to remember, give her what she wants. It may be that you’re interested in buying a flashy expensive diamond ring for your wife-to-be, but if flashy isn’t her style and she’d much prefer something more simple, chances are she won’t feel comfortable wearing it. Remember that this ring will (hopefully) be a piece of jewellery she will wear on her hand every day for the rest of her life – so it needs to be perfect to her personal preferences. 

Now you have more of an idea about how to choose the perfect engagement ring, discover our eclectic selection of beautiful engagement rings. Choose from a variety of styles, shapes, metals and more. For expert advice, visit our Hatton Garden showroom or get in touch with us today.