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How To: Pick an Engagement Ring

By Contributed content 14 December 2015
Natalia Lech

Natalia Lech, Haywards of Hong Kong

  You've found 'the one', you're ready to pop the big question, and now comes the hard part — choosing the perfect engagement ring. With so many options on offer, it can be overwhelming to know where to start, so to give you a helping hand, we get some expert advice from Natalia Lech, bespoke jewellery designer at Haywards of Hong Kong. With options that seem endless in Hong Kong, choosing the right ring for a proposal might seem like a complicated endeavour. With the right expertise, however, you can be sure of making a choice that is right for you - and your fiancé-to-be.

5 Tips on Picking an Engagement Ring

  1. Always keep her in mind. An engagement ring is something your fiancé-to-be will wear forever, so it’s essential to keep her preferences in mind rather than your taste and the latest fashion trends. If you’re not shopping for an engagement ring together then you are on your own and it’s best to do some research about what she might like. For example, one of the first things to decide is whether she would like a diamond or maybe a stunning gemstone such as a sapphire on her ring finger. Check out her existing jewellery collection to get an idea of her style, or ask her close friends and family for advice. If this reconnaissance mission fails then it’s probably worth going for a safe option, and don’t forget, your jeweller will also be able to offer advice.
  2. Only consider stones you can look at. Buying a diamond or a gemstone is a significant purchase in both sentiment and price, so it's worth making a fully informed decision — something that can’t be achieved by browsing and purchasing online. An online retailer may show you a picture of the stone, or its GIA certificate, but this does not allow you to truly see it, let alone imagine how it’s going to look on your partner’s finger. Factors such as a diamond or a gemstone’s size, colour, clarity, or lustre can only be fully appreciated when examined in person and when compared with other diamonds and gemstones.
  3. Go to a reputable jeweller. Going to a jeweller that you trust is paramount to making a decision that you’re happy with. A reputable jeweller should explain the 4C’s thoroughly (a stone’s colour, clarity, cut, and carat), provide you with a range of certified stones that fall within your budget, and let you examine them without any pressure to buy. This jeweller should also be able to provide you with lots of options for setting the stones and be able to answer any questions you have about design. To find this jeweller, it might be worth checking online to read reviews or see their previous work, but ultimately you should go into their store and see for yourself.
  4. Only pay what you are comfortable with. Having a budget that you are comfortable with, and can realistically afford, is important so forget about conforming to society’s outdated three-month salary rule. If you let your jeweller know your budget and what you think is essential, or what you are willing to compromise on, such as the clarity of the stone, then it will help your jeweller find the perfect engagement ring for you.
  5. Balance your budget around the 4C’s. We all know the 4C’s describe a stone’s colour, clarity, cut, and carat, but how do you balance these factors and your budget to get the best-looking diamond or gemstone? There are a myriad of choices to weave through, sometimes it's easy to get caught up with factors that are difficult to detect with the naked eye, but sharply increase a diamond's price. Your jeweller will guide you through these factors, but ultimately you’ll have to decide what you’re willing to comprise on, what’s within your budget, and which diamond or gemstone will look best set in an engagement ring.

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