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Engagement Ring Buying Guide

A Diamond Engagement Ring purchase is likely to be the biggest jewellery purchase that you will make in your lifetime. Given its importance, it is critical that you spend some time to educate yourself so you can make an informed purchase.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

This decision will ultimately determine the size and quality of the diamond you purchase. It is a personal decision and should be made by yourself and your partner. No-one ever finds out exactly how much you paid for your Diamond Engagement Ring unless you tell them. As a general guide, spending between 10%-20% of one year’s salary on an Engagement Ring is a reasonable amount, given you are purchasing something that will last a lifetime. Having said this, there are no hard and fast rules when purchasing an Engagement Ring. You could spend much more or much less than this amount. It would however be unwise to make a miserly purchase now that you will regret later, or to over-extend yourself by getting into a level of debt that you are not comfortable with. Keep in mind that for sentimental reasons it is unlikely you or your partner will want to upgrade or replace your engagement ring at a later date.


What engagement ring setting & style should I choose?

There are various diamond engagement ring settings the most popular being prong (or claw) set & bezel set. It is often said that a white gold or platinum bezel set can make a small diamond appear larger than it actually is. The claw set, whether 6 claw, 4 claw or 3 claw, will allow more of your diamond to be shown off. Besides the visual considerations there are also practical considerations. For someone very active a bezel set diamond will be the safer choice as there is very little chance that the diamond will fall out. With a claw set diamond ring and an active lifestyle a simple snag in some clothing could loosen the stone and lead to eventual loss. However, with a bit of care, and insurance for peace of mind, either setting is fine.

When it comes to styles there is even greater choice. From the classic solitaire style enga gement ring, bezel or prong set centre diamond with smaller diamonds on the shoulders, to the three stone diamond ring style. Bear in mind three smaller diamonds totalling 1 carat will cost significantly less than one 1-carat diamond. For example an engagement ring with a 0.70 carat centre stone and two 0.15 carat side stones will allow you to save quite a bit of money on your engagement ring purchase whilst still providing a total carat weight of 1.


What stone should I choose for my engagement ring?

By far the most common precious stone used in Engagement Rings is the Diamond. Gemstones other than diamond are also used. For example Pink Sapphire is being used as a substitute for Pink Diamond at a fraction of the cost. Assuming you know the type of stone you will be buying you must decide on the shape. Most opt for the Round brilliant cut, but the Princess cut is also very popular. To find out her preference you could ask one of her friends to confidentially try to find out, or you could observe which rings draw her attention when you walk past a jewellery store in the shopping centre. You may even notice her preference for stone shape in the smaller rings that she owns.

More on Diamonds - The 4Cs + More
More on Gemstones


What metal should I choose for my engagement ring? (NB: 18ct is the same as 18k etc.)

The most common metals used in Engagement Ring design are 18ct Yellow & 18ct White Gold. Also popular is Platinum. Engagement Rings can also be made in 9ct White or Yellow Gold or even Silver. This choice is one of taste and affordability. The cost from cheapest to dearest is: Silver, 9ct Yellow Gold, 9ct White Gold, 14ct Yellow Gold, 14ct White Gold, 18ct Yellow Gold, 18ct White Gold, Platinum. In the end you are buying the Engagement Ring for her so you should try to determine her taste by either looking at the colour of the rings she wears, or by looking in her jewellery box.

More on Platinum
More on Gold
More on Silver

What affects the price of an engagement ring?

The biggest contributor to the price of an Engagement Ring is usually the diamond or other gemstone followed by the type of metal chosen. The design & setting are usually the smallest contributors to the overall price of the ring. So to stay within your budget, choose the most beautiful gemstone or diamonds you can afford whilst leaving some money aside for the design, setting & metal selection of your Engagement Ring.


Can I trust the internet when buying an engagement ring?

All sorts of horror stories abound about purchasing diamonds on the internet. Unfortunately some of them are true. Many people have paid the price by buying inferior quality diamonds from so-called internet discounters only to be asked by friends and family why their stone doesn’t sparkle as much as so and so’s diamond. The reason for this is of course the quality of the diamond and most importantly the cut as described in our Diamonds - The 4 Cs + More section.

Whether we like it or not internet shopping is here to stay and it has the power to bring the consumer savings in both time and money. Consider the vast amount of knowledge that can be gained in a short amount of time, from websites such as this, that would be almost impossible and very time consuming to get by asking a traditional jewellery store operator to give you. Added to this, the online business model has allowed online merchants to save on retailing costs such as shopfront fit-out, rents & sales reps. The online business model allows a group of jewellery experts to sit in offices without fancy layouts, without expensive fittings & decorations and yet provide useful information and advice by email to customers online. It allows the jewellery manufacturer to bring the jewellery direct to the end user without an added layer of middle-men adding their margin. Hopefully most of these savings are being passed on to the consumer such as yourself.

Some things to look out for when buying jewellery on the internet:

  • Longevity - many online jewellers come and go within a year or two. Will your online jeweller be around in 6-months, a year, or 5 years down the track when you have an issue with your engagement ring or need some advice? Many claim to have been around for a long time but the only way to be sure is to use http://archive.org/web/ to view how a website looked in the past. Was the website around one year ago, 5 years ago and 10 years ago? A lifetime warranty isn't worth much if the business fails within a year.

  • Customs Duties and other charges such as freight forwarding fees, Australian Government charges and GST on goods over $1000 are payable when buying diamonds and other jewellery from overseas. These are payable by you, the customer (ie the importer).

  • Hidden charges such as shipping and handling, insurance & packaging & gift wrapping  fees that are only added to your order at the last minute.

  • Prices that seem too good to be true, they usually are.

  • Big claims about quality and service without a money-back guarantee to back it up.

  • Consider difficulties of returning the ring overseas if the wrong size/style is sent out, or if ring needs repair or replacement.


We hope the above information has given you an insight into the Engagement Ring Selection Process. Please follow the links for more information on particular topics, or click here to browse our beautiful Engagement Rings.

If you require clarification, feel free to send us an email with your question. At eJeweller.com.au we have jewellery & gemstone experts on hand happy to help with your enquiry.

 

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Last update: May 19, 2017
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