Engagement Ring – how big does it need to be?
If you thought picking out a wedding dress was difficult, just wait until it comes to choosing your wedding rings. Your wedding dress is something you’ll only wear for a day, while your wedding and engagement rings are something you’ll wear for a lifetime, so it’s no surprise that many couples find picking out wedding rings one of the biggest decisions of all.
The range of cuts, stones, precious metals and band styles can be overwhelming, especially for those who don’t know much about jewellery. We’ve provided an overview of the different types of wedding rings available, along with some tips to help make searching for the perfect wedding rings a little easier.
Determine your ring size
Whether you’re picking an engagement ring to surprise your fiancé or shopping together for the perfect wedding rings, the first step is to figure out the correct ring size. Jewellers can easily measure your ring size for you, but if the engagement is a surprise, you can find printable size guides online – just borrow a ring your partner frequently wears and measure that against the size guide.
Establish your ring budget
Picking an engagement or wedding ring isn’t just a difficult choice, it can also be incredibly expensive. In fact, in 2017 Marie Claire magazine reported the average Australian spends between $15,000 and $20,000 on an engagement ring, so you can understand just how daunting a task this is.
When figuring out how much to spend on an engagement or wedding ring, there really is no right or wrong choice, only what’s right for you. The most important piece of advice we can give is to spend within your means – the amount you spend on a ring is not indicative of the love you share or the commitment you’re about to make.
Check out our tips for planning your wedding budget for more advice on getting your wedding finances in order.
Find the right jeweller
Like any kind of store or product, not all jewellers are created equal, so we recommend doing your research to find out which jeweller is right for you before you head out on your mission. Ask friends for recommendations and check out some online reviews of jewellers in your area to get an idea of what’s out there.
Chain stores will typically offer a price advantage, but keep in mind they tend to have limited warranty periods and the quality of their stones may not be as high. These rings are produced in large quantities, so the designs won’t be as unique, and you’ll typically just pick your ring directly from the jewellery cabinet.
Bespoke jewellers are more expensive but offer a much more personalised experience and rings of higher quality. Bespoke jewellers will put in much more effort to help you choose the perfect ring and typically offer lifetime warranties on their products.
Don’t rule out second hand jewellers, antique stores or estate jewellers from your search, either. Buying pre-loved jewellery can be a great budget-friendly way to get a high-quality ring at a more affordable price, plus vintage style wedding rings are all the range right now.
Choosing the precious metal for your ring
Once you’ve established your budget, ring size and the type of jeweller you want to buy from, it’s time to think about the stylistic features of the ring, starting with the precious metal. There are several different types of metals to choose from, including:
- Platinum: A naturally white metal loved for its strength and durability. One of the most popular, and most expensive, options for wedding and engagement rings.
- Yellow Gold: Traditional gold that’s blended with other materials, such as zinc or copper, to strengthen the metal. The higher the karat, the higher percentage of gold in the mix.
- White Gold: Gold metal with a silver finish that’s blended with other materials such as silver and palladium to achieve its stunning colour.
- Rose Gold: Blend of copper and yellow gold, with a stronger rose colour indicating a higher amount of copper.
- Silver: Classic white coloured metal that’s typically mixed with other materials such as copper.
Choosing the ring stone
The final step to choosing the right engagement or wedding ring is to select the type of stone. While diamonds are the obvious choice, there are plenty of other options available and there’s an increasing trend towards alternative gem stones, making the choices even more difficult. Popular diamond alternatives include sapphire, pearl, emerald, amethyst, turquoise, morganite, moissanite, ruby and topaz.
Picking the perfect stone for a wedding ring isn’t just about choosing which gem you like the most or which best fits your budget – you also need to consider the shape, colour, size and whether the shade of the stone complements the recipients skin tone. This is probably the hardest part of the decision-making process, so take the time to do your research and suss out all your options before taking the plunge.
For more helpful wedding tips, check out our wedding styling guide