Choosing an Engagement Ring

Proposing to your partner is an exciting and nerve-wracking experience for most people. The lead up to the "big question" is usually more stressful than the actual engagement itself - when should I ask her parents' permission, where should I propose, and will she say "yes" are some of the more common worries. Then of course, there is the ring. Choosing a ring should be a very special moment for you and your partner and there are many important factors to consider.

Firstly: should you surprise her with the ring, or let her choose? The best way to find a balance between these two dilemmas is to purchase the diamond only, surprise her with that, and then let her be a part of the ring designing process. This is a safe option as it guarantees that she'll love her ring, and it also let's the two of you spend special time choosing the ring together!

Buying the Diamond

Quality VS Budget: You need to consider the limitations of your budget and decide your price point for your desired size and colour of stone. The key aspect which affects price and appearance is the clarity of the stone - this is the amount of imperfections within the diamond itself. It's best to compare clarity in person as each stone is unique, so book an appointment to our Melbourne showroom for a viewing.

Certificate options: The certificate is essentially a diamonds' passport- it is the standard in which the diamond had been graded. Empress Diamonds offer two options: GIA- the highest quality of standard available and internationally recognised. This is the best option for investment purposes and quality assurance, however it is also the most costly. EGL is a mid-range option- better than a non-certificated diamond, but below GIA. This means the grading is not as rigorous. ELG is a good balance of quality assurance and value for money.

Size: Bigger is not always better! The size of the diamond needs to suit your partner's finger - larger hands tend to suit a larger diamond or multiple diamond halo setting with more precious metal to fill space on the hand, whilst small hands suit thin delicate designs with a single diamond. Women with long slender fingers suit elongated shaped diamonds like an emerald or oval cut, whereas women with shorter fingers suit a classic round brilliant cut.

Designing the Ring

She said yes! Designing the ring together should be enjoyable and stress-free, we recommend you read the following tips before you visit the jeweller to help make the experience a smooth one.

Style: Everyone is different, and the ring should be a reflection of it's wearer. Some women prefer more traditional and classic designs with simplistic setting to allow diamond to stand out, whilst other more modern women may be fashion-forward and driven by what is in style at the time (currently, both the cushion shape diamond and halo setting are in style).

Colour: White gold, yellow gold, rose gold or a mix. Different skin tones suit different colours of gold - which precious metal does your partner currently wear and prefer? The most popular choices in the current market are white gold and yellow gold.

Complete look: Consider how the engagement ring will look once complete with the wedding band and (possibly) eternity ring. Some styles look best on their own whilst others are enhanced once a wedding band is added to the combination.

Date: Be sure to plan in advance to avoid stress. It can take between 3-5 weeks to have a custom design made. An engagement ring is a very special part of a couple's relationship - following the above tips will help ensure that your ring buying and designing experience is both special and memorable for the two of you. Good luck!