How to Choose the Perfect Engagement Ring
Choosing an engagement ring is a significant milestone that symbolizes your commitment and love. The process can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate the various factors involved in selecting the perfect ring for your partner. So let's dive in!
Understanding Your Partner's Style and Preferences
The first step to choosing the right engagement ring is understanding your partner's unique style and preferences. This will ensure that the ring fits their taste and that they'll feel excited to wear it for the rest of their life. Keep in mind their personality, lifestyle, and sense of style during your selection journey.
Assessing their jewelry collection
Take a look at your partner's jewelry collection in order to gauge their preferred style. Notice if they mostly wear gold or silver; if their pieces are minimalist or ornate; and if they prefer classic or modern designs. This can give you a good starting point when it comes to choosing the right ring.
For example, if your partner tends to wear dainty jewelry, they may prefer a simple and elegant engagement ring. On the other hand, if they often wear bold and ornate pieces, they may appreciate a ring with intricate details and a unique design.
Considering their lifestyle and hobbies
It's important to consider your partner's lifestyle and hobbies when selecting an engagement ring. In some cases, a dainty or delicate design might not be practical for someone who works with their hands or has an active lifestyle. Ensure the engagement ring complements their daily activities and can be worn comfortably without hindrance.
For example, if your partner enjoys outdoor activities like hiking or sailing, they may prefer a ring with a low profile that won't catch on anything.
Asking for input from friends and family
If you're comfortable looping them in, friends and family can offer valuable insight and guidance in choosing an engagement ring. They may be privy to your partner's preferences or can provide a second opinion on your chosen ring design. Consult with those who know your partner well, but remember to take their advice with a grain of salt, as everyone has their own opinions and biases. Remember that it's ultimately up to you to make the final decision based on what you know about your partner's preferences and lifestyle.
Setting a Budget for the Engagement Ring
Before you embark on your engagement ring shopping journey, setting a budget is important. This way, you can focus on exploring options that align with your finances. At FTJCo, we're happiest when a client can get exactly that they want for less than their budget.
Determining a comfortable price range
It's essential to establish a reasonable price range for your engagement ring. There are no set rules on how much you must spend, so base your budget on what you feel comfortable with. Keep in mind that the cost of an engagement ring can vary significantly, so be prepared to adjust your budget as needed.
Understanding the cost of different materials and designs
Research the average costs of different materials and designs to help inform your budget. For example, solitaire diamond rings (such as our Traditional Love Note Solitaire which can be set with both gems and diamonds of different shapes), tend to be less expensive than more intricate designs. Other factors that can affect the cost of an engagement ring include the quality of the gem, the type of metal used for the band (FTJCo works in 18K gold & platinum), and any additional embellishments, gems, or engraving.
It's also worth considering alternative gemstones, such as sapphires or spinels, which are just as beautiful as diamonds, but come without the diamond price tag, and in more colours! Vintage or antique rings can also offer unique designs at a more affordable price point. At FTJCo we offer natural diamonds that are either recycled, Canadian or vintage. And we offer a wide selection of lab grown diamonds, many of which are certified climate neutral. In gemstones, we have an extensive collection on our web site, even more in stock and still more available through our network of responsible sourcing suppliers.
You'll find many options in our Unique Gems section, but there are many more options in store.
Saving and financing options
We've found that some of our customers have set-up separate accounts or otherwise set aside funds for their engagement ring purchase. Setting a budget within a range (a given amount plus $1,000-$2,000) is a good approach. Since you only have to put down a 50% deposit for most projects, you can manage your cash flow accordingly. Having funds available also means you can take advantage of FTJCo's cash discount offers for payments by cash, debit or e-transfer; those offers are presently 2% off of your engagement ring invoice or a 5% credit towards your wedding bands, based upon your pre-tax total.
Another option is to use a diamond or gem from a family heirloom or vintage ring, which can be a meaningful and cost-effective choice. If you do decide to go this route, we can set it into one of our made to order styles or you can opt for a custom design.
Learning About the Four Cs of Diamonds
When it comes to choosing a diamond engagement ring, understanding the Four Cs—carat weight, cut, clarity, and color—is essential. These factors play a significant role in determining a diamond's value and overall appearance.
Carat measures the weight of a diamond and is commonly misunderstood as a measure of quality. While a higher carat weight can look larger and (to some) more impressive, it's crucial to balance this factor with the other Cs to ensure you're choosing a high-quality diamond. And keep in mind that a bigger gemstone may not be compatible with your partner's lifestyle.
The cut of a diamond is essential to its overall appearance, as it determines its ability to reflect light and generate sparkle. Opt for a well-proportioned cut that maximizes brilliance and don't compromise on cut quality to save money—it significantly impacts the diamond's appearance.
Clarity refers to the presence of inclusions or blemishes on a diamond. A diamond with a higher clarity grade will have fewer imperfections or inclusions visible under magnification. While flawless diamonds are expensive and rare, many slight inclusions are not visible to the naked eye and therefore won't affect the diamond's overall appearance.
Color grade measures the level of color in a diamond, with the highest quality (and typically most expensive) stones being completely colorless. For diamonds that aren't completely colorless, you can expect to see varying degrees of tint, such as yellow, champagne, brown, or grey. While these diamonds may sell for less than their colorless counterparts, many people find a bit of color in their diamond to be a charming or interesting quality. Keep in mind that the color of metal you select can either emphasize or disguise any subtle color in your diamond. For example, a slightly warmer-toned diamond may appear more or less colorless in yellow gold, while the warmer color will be contrasted and therefore more obvious against white gold.
Choosing the Right Metal for the Band
The choice of metal for the engagement ring's band plays a crucial role in the overall look of the ring. It's essential to consider your partner's preferences and understand the unique qualities offered by each of your options.
Gold options (yellow, white, and rose)
Gold is a popular choice for engagement rings due to its elegance and versatility. It is available in various colors, including yellow, white, and rose gold. All of FTJCo's gold is nickel-free and hypo-allergenic. Each offers a unique aesthetic, so choose the one that best fits your partner's taste and preference.
Platinum is a colder, brighter white than our 18K nickel-free white gold; it's also a heavier metal, which some people prefer for its luxurious feel. Over time, platinum tends to develop more of a burnished patina than gold. While it is more expensive, some customers prefer platinum for it's color and rarity.
Selecting the Perfect Ring Style and Setting
The final step in choosing your engagement ring is deciding on the style and setting that best showcases the gem and aligns with your partner's taste. Exploring a variety of options will help ensure you find something they adore.
A classic solitaire ring features a single diamond mounted on a simple band. Its timeless, elegant design allows the diamond to take center stage and is often favoured for its versatility.
A halo design features a central diamond surrounded by smaller diamonds or gemstones, creating a "halo" effect. This style is popular for its ability to give the illusion of a larger center stone and add an extra layer of sparkle to the ring.
Many couples are drawn to vintage-inspired engagement rings for their intricate details, unique features, and nostalgic charm. If your partner appreciates antique or heirloom jewellery, a vintage-inspired ring could be an excellent choice.
Unique and custom designs
If you're looking for a truly one-of-a-kind engagement ring, consider a unique or custom design. Collaborate with our design team to create a ring that reflects your partner's personality and taste, resulting in a piece they'll cherish forever.
Selecting the perfect engagement ring involves understanding your partner's preferences, setting a budget, and navigating factors such as the Four Cs, band material, and setting style. By considering these components and conducting thorough research, you'll be well-equipped to find the ideal ring that symbolizes your love and commitment. When you're ready to take that next step, have a look at our Made to Order and Ready to Wear rings, or get in touch to book an appointment with our Sales team.