Need some expert advice on buying an engagement ring? We caught up with our CEO, Gary Ingram.
Here are his top insider tips. How to buy the ring that she wants – and get a good deal for your money…
-Hi Gary! What advice would you give men shopping for engagement rings right now?
Gary Ingram, CEO of TheDiamondStore.co.uk
“The main thing is to try and understand what style of ring she wants, as subtly as you can.
Maybe stop at shop windows and see what style of jewellery she’s attracted to.
Or pay attention to any comments she makes about celebrity rings or her friends’ engagement rings.
Also, quite an interesting factor is whether she’d like a diamond or a gemstone – like the sapphire ring Prince William gave Kate Middleton.
If you can’t find out for sure what she wants, the safest bet is to ask her family or friends for advice.”
-So once you know what kind of ring she wants, what’s next?
“After that the most important thing is to fix the budget. This is really important, regardless of whether you’re shopping on your own, or together with her.
Because once you know the style she wants and set your budget, then everything else tends to fall into place. “
Diamond Ring With Sidestones
-What should you spend on an engagement ring?
“The traditional amount is said to be one or two month’s salary. But we don’t necessarily always see that, and people spend all kinds of money.
At the risk of sounding like a salesman, I’d say just buy the best one you can afford. Because the reality is that she’ll be wearing the ring every day for a lifetime.
So it’s sensible to get the best metal, the best setting, the best diamonds that your money can buy. It’s an item you’ll only buy once, so you don’t want to regret it later.
The other thing I would add is that out of all the jewellery we sell through the year, engagement rings are the items that get swapped or returned the least. I believe the emotion outweighs everything else, regardless of diamond carats, facets and refraction.”
-What approach should couples shopping together take?
“The great thing about the internet is that you can research rings separately or together. Some couples might share an online wish list or just write down their favourite rings to see if their ideas coincide.
But even if they don’t, at the end of the day she’s the one who will be wearing the ring, so she must be happy with it.”
Square Galileo Cluster Engagement Ring
-‘The Four Cs’ are diamond basics. What’s most important: Cut, Clarity, Carat or Colour?
“This is an excellent question and something many people struggle with.
If you go to a good jeweller then really as long as you’re buying a diamond of up to one carat, at H-colour or above, and clarity Si or above, everything else will follow.
A diamond like that is not going to have any obvious flaws in it. Then the second part is matching your budget to that quality.”
-What about diamond size?
“If you want to declare your love in a big way, then halo rings are perfect for that. You get a solitaire diamond that’s surrounded by a “halo” of small diamond, which gives the ring a big look.”
-What are the biggest trends in engagement jewellery at the moment?
“The halo design, which I mentioned, is huge now. People expect more diamonds down the ring’s band too, something more sparkly.
The other trend we’re seeing is vintage. Great Gatsby styles with modern takes on Art Deco are really popular, as are contemporary versions of Edwardian and Victorian rings, with intricate designs and coloured gemstones. These are breathtaking.
White gold and platinum are still in, but also we’re also seeing rose gold rising in popularity now, both in vintage and contemporary designs.”
Oval Galileo Halo Style Cluster Ring
-Will diamonds ever go out of fashion?
“That’s a very interesting question. We sell a lot of gemstone jewellery too, but that’s often framed or accented with diamonds.
I’m guessing the classic solitaire ring may go a little out of fashion because of all these more elaborate styles coming in right now. But ultimately, I think if you ask someone to imagine an engagement ring they’ll probably think of a solitaire diamond ring.
So no, I can’t really see diamonds going out of fashion any time soon. They are the most beautiful, and the rarest, gems known to man.”
-Finally, what advice do you have for making a budget go further and getting the best deal?
“I think I’m a little biased because we’re an online jeweller, but there are big savings to be made online. Online shops are cutting out the cost of expensive shop premises and can therefore offer much better prices.
We’re also lucky to be able to shop around these days. In my twenties we had to go to the high street and were only given the choice on offer there. Today’s buyers have the world at their feet – or on their iPad or mobile.
Getting the best deal is often also about having a little bit of knowledge and understanding about the ring you want. When you search online, that information is at your fingertips.”
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