The Rules of Engagement – Top Tips for buying your Engagement Ring

From time to time we like to have a guest blogger join us here on the Stylish Events blog, especially when they are an expert in an area of the wedding industry that we love! So when Diamonds Hatton Garden got in touch and asked if they could share some of their knowledge on DIAMONDS I jumped at the chance.

So over to you Alex ….

Hello, my name is Alex and I work at Diamonds Hatton Garden. We are, as the name may suggest, a jewellers in Hatton Garden, London, who has, for over 40 years, helped couples across the globe find their perfect engagement ring and diamond jewellery.

I would like to say thank you to Dominique for the chance to share our knowledge and help those wanting to tie the knot on their first step to choosing a diamond ring. So here are our top three tips on buying an engagement ring.

Firstly, one of the main questions we are asked is; PRICE. What influences the price of a diamond engagement ring and why it helps to have an idea about what you expect before you meet a jeweller?

The price of diamonds is influenced by what is known as the 4 Cs – Clarity, Cut, Colour and Carat.

Clarity is the number of small blemishes or inclusions found in the diamond and the clearer the diamond (FL being the highest grade) the higher the price.

Cut, interestingly does not refer to the shape of a diamond, but more about the skill of the cutter and is judged on a range of factors including symmetry, proportion and polish – key factors that relate to how the light is internally refracted within the diamond that gives it more sparkle. The better the cut the better the sparkle.

Colour, as you can imagine, relates to the colour of the diamond and is judged on a scale of D to Z. The higher on the scale, closest to D, the diamond is judged to be coloured meaning that the diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue, or colour.

Finally, the carat refers to the size of the diamond. Essentially, when buying a diamond all of these factors, or scales, influence the price of a diamond and those diamonds that are judged, independently by leading gemological associations, to be higher on the scale command a higher price due to their rarity and the combination of these 4 elements.

It is always a trade off in terms of the 4 Cs and we help each client to understand that if they go for a lower colour grade yet a higher clarity, for example, the diamond can and will still look beautiful. It is very rare that a client will ask for a D FL, the “perfect” diamond and we always work with the ideas and budget of a client. One thing we always say is to ignore the idea that an engagement ring should be the equivalent of three month’s wages! Go for what you and your partner like!

That brings me on to our next point, why avoid the chains and go to an independent jeweller?

When buying an engagement ring you are presented with a huge amount of choice. High streets across the country have both independents and chains. We believe that, whilst the chains may be more well known, for true value and service go to an independent. Why is this you ask? Independents, more than ever, are truly adding value to their service.

As companies across the UK look to attract loyal customers it is, generally, the independents that can adapt to the market and offer the very best service. What’s more, as De Beers sightholders with our own workshop, we are in charge of the entire line of production from mining, cutting and polishing to designing and setting. Within this, we are able to offer the very best in service and in value and, as a family run business, we welcome each client to visit us, meet our team and get to know who we are and what we can do. Chain jewellers will struggle to compete because of the need to adapt and evolve quickly in an ever changing market that independents, regardless of who, can readily embrace.

Engagement rings, like all jewellery, are influenced by styles, trends and tastes. What are some of the latest developments and trends in engagement ring that we are witnessing?

Over the last few years there has been an increase in interest for pear and radiant shapes. For me, they represent the very best value as the diamond is spread out and not concentrated and thus make it look larger.

Interestingly, in terms of the style of the ring, pave settings have always been popular (when the diamonds are encrusted on the ring). Another tip of the trade is to use a halo (when the ring has a halo where the centre stone sits) which makes the diamond appear larger too. Finally, there has been an increase in popularity in fancy coloured diamonds. I simply love them, due to their amazing colours and tones and they are simply spectacular.

The use of metals has changed too, yellow gold is no longer the most popular and we see white gold, rose gold and platinum being more popular. I think this is down to the internet, as more clients have access to more ideas we see a shift away from the traditional round stone on a round setting and people are becoming more adventurous. Not to mention the “Instagram generation” where certain people want to be able to take pictures of their jewellery for social media.

One again, we would like to thank Dominque for allowing us to participate in her blog. We hope that our quick fire guide to engagement rings can help you and we wish you all the very best for your wedding and future lives!

All images in this blog are from the Diamonds Hatton Garden website.