When you’re picking out an engagement ring for your significant other, the stone is perhaps the most important decision that you’ll have to make, with lots of different options to choose from.
Of course, you want a beautiful stone that expresses your love, but you also need to make sure that it’s one which will stand the test of time (and price will, of course, be a consideration too).
Diamonds are probably the most common choice and they’re certainly a classic and durable stone to pick.
They’re the hardest of the gemstones and a good choice if you want to remain fairly traditional.
If you do want to go for diamonds, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the four Cs: colour, cut, carat and clarity, which help determine the quality and value of the ring. (You can find out more about the four Cs in this helpful guide from the GIA.)
Sapphire is a cheaper alternative, but it’s also a very long-lasting and durable stone. We usually think of sapphires as being blue, which they usually are, although they do come in a range of different hues, such as pink, purple, orange or green.
Rubies are another very attractive red or pink stone and aquamarine are light aqua stone, both of which are very hardwearing.
Stones to avoid (if you want them to last a long time) include pearl, opal and emerald, all of which are beautiful, but are softer, meaning they’re more likely to suffer from chips and cracks.
Once you’ve selected the type of stone that you want, you need to decide on the shape.
Whether this is round, square, heart-shaped, or something else entirely, consider how the stone will sit on their finger.
Most people choose for round or square stones as they’re pretty simple and effectively reflect light, giving them a real sparkle, but other shapes such as oval and heart are a bit more complex and are more suited to larger fingers, or when they’re a smaller part of a multi-stone ring.
Also consider the cut, which will have a big impact on the ‘brilliance’ of the stone, which basically means how well the stone will shine in the light.
This is where things start to get expensive! The size of the ring is one of the biggest indicators of its value and the bigger you go, the more you’ll pay.
According to H. Hogarth jewellers, most people opt for somewhere between 1 and 1.5 carats, although this will vary depending on hand size.
Price and size can be something of a touchy subject and there are lots of so-called ‘rules’ about how much you should spend on a ring (usually a hefty percentage of your salary).
While it’s understandable that you might want to splash out on such an important purchase, it’s equally important not to feel under pressure to do so.
Whichever gemstone you choose for your engagement ring, be sure to view it before purchasing it and try not get too hung up on the price.
While it is a special purchase which will be worn for the rest of your partner’s life, the old cliché rings true: it’s the thought that counts!