How much should an average engagement ring cost?
This really depends on an individual’s budget and how much they feel happy spending. There are so many clichés about spending the equivalent of three months’ salary but these are just marketing gimmicks made up by big brands. I always say to my clients that they should spend enough that they feel a bit uncomfortable handing over but not to spend so much that they can’t afford the honeymoon! Obviously be sensible and don’t bankrupt yourself. Remember that size doesn’t always matter and having a D Flawless diamond ring isn’t the be all and end all: you can buy something incredibly unique by opting for smaller stones or a diamond alternative – sapphires, tsavorites and tourmalines all make incredibly striking centre stones. Our engagement rings start at £4000 and go up from there: there is a misconception that going bespoke is unfeasibly expensive but the reality is that we are able to provide the same level of quality and craftsmanship as a Bond Street fine jeweller, at a fraction of the cost.
Can you design and buy an engagement ring online?
Absolutely. We have a lot of international clients – from New York to Hong Kong – who we have never met in real life but are able to communicate with via videos, images and video calls. Whatsapp has been a real game-changer and means that we are able to keep our clients updated on every aspect of the engagement ring design process. Due to the current pandemic, people don’t necessarily want to go to a physical store and the mask and hand-sanitiser aspect can really take the romance out of the process of buying an engagement ring! We can do everything virtually, from the initial phone conversation to the stone selection and the design process meaning that you no longer need to leave the house to find your dream engagement ring.
How do I find out my partner’s ring size?
We always ask clients a few trade secret questions to get the size that is perfect to your partner. If you’re trying to work out a ring size at home, we recommend using a pen and paper to trace the inside of an existing ring onto a piece of paper which you can then give to your jeweller. And if you get it wrong don’t panic: you can easily re-size after your proposal (we offer a complimentary resizing service).
What should I consider before approaching a jewellery brand?
Time, budget and design. What sort of a proposal timeline are you working towards? We allow four to six weeks for crafting dependent on design so it’s worth considering if this will fit with your proposal plans. Budget is also crucial – most designers will have a starting price for their designs which should give you a better feel for whether your budget will fit with theirs. Finally, design is essential: have a think about whether the brand has a specific style that fits with you and your partner’s personal taste. It’s worth taking stock of your partner’s personal jewellery style – do they prefer a certain colour gold? Do they have a minimal style or do they take a more-is-more approach to the way they wear their jewellery? Do they gravitate towards vintage, or is their aesthetic more contemporary?
How many brands should I speak to initially?
This is up to personal preference but I would always recommend doing your due diligence – Instagram is a great way of getting a feel for a designer’s style and design aesthetic. Speak to your friends and ask them about their experience of choosing an engagement ring: a word of mouth recommendation is always the ultimate endorsement.
What are the four Cs?
Carat weight, colour, cut, and clarity are all very important characteristics to a diamond that affect price and beauty. The four Cs are really important to consider when buying a diamond ring as it’s essential to understand why a certain stone might differ in value to another stone. We help guide you through these qualities, tailoring the diamond to work with your design aspirations as well as budget. It’s important to think about what your budget will allow – if you want a larger diamond for example you may need to compromise on clarity – as the higher the clarity the more expensive the stone will be. The clarity grade has the biggest impact on price, but the least impact on physical beauty. It’s important that the stone is clean to the naked eye meaning that it will appear flawless on your hand. You don’t have to opt for a D Flawless to achieve this: a diamond with an F or G colour and SI1 or SI2 clarity will look equally beautiful, and be infinitely less expensive!
How do I ethically source a ring?
It is really important when buying an engagement ring that you ask where your stones have been sourced from: are they conflict free? Is the gold recycled or fairtrade? A good jeweller should be able prove that the diamonds they use are Kimberly-certified and be able to tell you exactly where your ring was made (and ideally the names of the craftsmen who made it!) I work with a lot of clients to repurpose unwanted and unworn stones into something new which is a process I love doing and I’m all for recycling old stones, rather than mining for new ones, as it really is the most environmentally-friendly option.
Can I upgrade my ring later?
Absolutely – clients often come to me if their style has evolved over the years or they’re looking to upgrade an existing stone and we are always able to recommend ways to rework an existing into a new style which has just as much meaning and emotion as the previous model.
Should I consult my partner first before sourcing the ring?
This is totally up to you and whether you think your partner would like to be involved in the design process and how much you trust yourself to get it right! Often we source the central stone which we can make into a simple proposal ring, which then allows the partner to come in after the proposal to be involved in the wider design process: a happy compromise.
What should I consider when designing a ring for my partner?
Have a think about their jewellery style and what colour gold they tend to wear: are they a yellow gold or silver girl? Do they adore a certain colour? Do they want diamonds or a coloured stone? Are they after something contemporary and modern or antique and vintage? Have they dropped any unsubtle hints recently?! Practicality is key when it comes to choosing a ring: are they heavy-handed or delicate? It’s worth taking into account their profession and thinking about what setting styles will work better with their every-day life.
EditorVogue Hong Kong