How on earth do you pick an engagement ring?!

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  • How on earth do you pick an engagement ring?!
  • Premier Icon molgrips

    Don’t bother with protocol. Is it still Victorian times or something? Ask her, then shop together. What difference does it make if you ask her before you buy? She’s marrying you not your ring.

    We went shopping together, and she chose one for £90. It’s really not that important, there are far better things for you to spend money on than lining a South African bajillionaire’s pockets further.


    dont waste ur cash it is all a con de beers have manipulated the market and dreamt up diamonds are forever

    if you are brave

    buy something different and if possible bespoke for her she will love it but pls dont be a total sheep

    I got some diamonds but little ones in a unique (ish) mount

    Tom B

    I got Mrs B’s engagement ring and both of our wedding rings from H Samuel….people are always telling her how nice her rings are.

    Any toss about designer labels/technical nonsense about the diamond and also the three month salary thing should be igonred….it’s aimed a people that drive Audi’s and live in new builds. If as you say, she isn’t at all fussed about designer labels etc then you will get something that she will love for 500 quid.

    Premier Icon techsmechs

    I had a close friend (who is a brilliant jeweller) make ours. Emerald set in Palladium. Had it made before I popped the question.

    Very personal for the ring she’ll wear forever, or until someone with more money/Randy de Puniet turns up……

    Premier Icon bearnecessities

    I’ve tried to resist, but can’t help myself.

    Advice I should have listened to, is that it doesn’t matter what the ring is or what clarity/size etc or how much it cost.

    You’re starting out, you’re saving for a home and sounds like your OH has her head screwed on right.

    It’s called a ‘proposal’ – focus on that, and good luck 😉


    1 months salary
    Diamonds only
    Quality over size
    If she has issues over your choice she’s not the woman for you. She should be pleased with your proposal not the ring.

    Re stones, Wobbliscott has the gist.

    Fwiw, I bought a small stone of the best quality I could afford (Platinum – mrs. Pym doesn’t like gold !!) The shop showed me several and with the aid of an eyeglass explained/ showed me the difference in the ones they showed me (colour, clarity, flaws etc) It was quite enlightening.

    The only thing I could have done better was consider how the setting fitted against the wedding ring. It never occurred to me how well they wold physically sit next to each other.


    If you go for white gold, then make sure it is an alloy with a high percentage of rhodium in it, rather than a plating. The plating rubs off over time, whereas if it’s an high rhodium content alloy, it doesn’t eventually go back to gold…
    Well, that’s what I was told when I went looking.

    For your budget, I wouldn’t go for platinum; it will really eat into your budget.
    I went for a square cut diamond and choose the mount from a load that the jeweler had available from their supplier.
    I choose the mount and they then looked online through a diamond database to find one that fitted in my budget.

    I got the ring from Rodgers & Son in Peterborough.


    I get handed magazines with rings, get sent emails with rings, have her friends telling me about rings and the best was people on holiday who took off their rings and said I could have one of their for free…….She’s still waiting though.
    I had the ex wife’s made by a bloke in Chipping Camden, he was great, you picked the diamonds, checked them with the hoop and then he made it there, you could see them all working away as there was a glass wall.
    I’d go back to him or up to Brum as we saved over a grand on earrings when we went compared with high street prices.


    I might have a trip to Brum then, I know I have to pick it myself and I know my budget.

    I’d love to get the best diamond possible and have it set but I feel I’d get lost in the process.

    The only jewellery I’ve bought before is Pandora etc, easy peasy.


    The bloke I went to was Martin Gotrel, if you going to go to Brum it’s not to far away from there, take a look at the rings he does and give him a call.


    Oh and thanks bearnecessities

    Premier Icon bearnecessities

    No worries, easy to lose focus when you want the best for the OH 😉


    Her cousin says she wants one where the stone doesn’t stand too high off the ring,.is that even possible with stone setting?


    I had my wife’s made (platinum with ruby in the centre and two diamonds either side).

    It’s nice but if I had my time again I would go to John Lewis and get a second hand one.

    Older rings often have nicer stones for the money* and have more interesting designs. IMO 🙂

    *ok, so a diamond of a certain clarity is the same irrespective of age but you seem to get more for your money, also if you have precious stones they are often much better than today which one would expect I guess.

    We went to a couple of high street jewlers when we we’re talking about getting engaged just so we could check what size she would need.
    I got a lovely little vintage diamond solitaire from Cavendish’s in York. It was ver differnt to what we’d dicussed but when I saw it I just knew. I was prepared to spend about 6 weeks worth of disposable income, but happily enough they had a sale on.

    I manged to sneak to the Jewlers when I was meant to be sleeping off driving back from the Alps. I used the rest of the money I could have spent on the ring to take her on a late deal to Italy and popped the question there. These kind of things win you far more points than obsessing over the precisce shinyness of the diamond.


    So am I being realistic with a £500 budget?


    I gave mine a cheesy ring snack ring when I proposed. After that disintegrated, I bought her a nice arty farty ring from Camden markets. That caused her an allergic reaction and I had to cut it off with a mini hack saw at 5am. After that I took out a second mortgage and bought her a blood diamond ring from Hatton gardens. She’s too scared to wear it out in case she gets mugged.

    You cant win……


    You’ll always get something for £500 just depends on what you want for her, just remember it’s meant to be for the rest of her life. You could look at something vintage for her, Art Deco forget me not rings are nice, sailors used to give them to their ladies before heading to sea.

    Premier Icon simon_g

    “Diamonds only” and “1/2/3 months salary” is pure marketing guff. The main stone on my wife’s is a ruby – we’d talked before about them and that’s what she liked. Ended up getting a ring that had a larger ruby with a small diamond on each side and she loved it. I was going to get one designed but found a great (and ethical) jewellery maker who had a design that was exactly what I was looking for.

    I bought a stand-in ring as it was going to take a while to get it made and I couldn’t be sure of size (she doesn’t wear them normally). She was insistent on me choosing the real one and didn’t want to pick her own.

    Don’t get too hung up on the Cs for diamonds. Understand what they mean, know what you’re getting, but bear in mind that you can pay a LOT more for an improvement that you can barely see, if at all.

    If she likes something non-diamond though, nothing wrong with an engagement ring with a different stone – it’s only because of DeBeers marketing the hell out of diamonds since the 1940s that they’re so common now. Fewer than 10% of engagement rings prior to then used them.


    Blimey Earl ha.

    We aren’t well off, we’ve saved hard for a deposit and I really want to marry her.

    We’re not in a position to blow thousands on a ring nor would she want me to.

    I’ve got an idea now and I’m heading to York this week, only problem is am I wasting my time at a jewellers with my budget?


    There’s a shop in Reading called robert gatward. My missus works there, and she’s especially good at selling engagement rings. Not good as in has high sales figures, but finds out what people want and matches it. Not commission based so I don’t have anything to gain from posting it. It might be worth a look if you’re close.


    I’m Stockport mate so a bit far, thanks for the offer of help though

    Premier Icon unknown

    I proposed without a ring, which I felt a bit sheepish about at the time, or at least would have if I wasn’t so hammered. We went shopping together the next day and every single ring she liked was absolutely nothing like what I would have chosen for her. I’d have played it safe with a “classic” diamond solitaire, but the one she loved most wasn’t diamond and didn’t cost even a month’s salary.

    You’re giving it a lot of thought, but don’t over think it. Ignore conventions, buy for her personality if you’re sure or shop together after proposing if you’re not.

    Oh, and good luck!

    Seriously, if she doesn’t like it……your with the wrong girl……

    ..surely its about you and her not some cut… divorce dud mtfff…

    Premier Icon sweaman2

    In relation to the stone standing off the ring it all depends on the cut. Mrs sweaman2 has a cut which means the diamond doesn’t end in a point. She really likes it as she sometimes has to wear gloves for work and so the ring doesn’t catch inside.

    Also do consider how the ring will sit with wedding ring.


    Mosey. I got Mrs Beagle’s made up up in Poynton. Chris Evans. Great little place, I knew what I wanted re the mount requirements and we sat down with a few things he drew up. Low profile mount and no high clasps on the stone to catch etc.

    Was diamond but I’m sure he’ll be happy to chat about alternatives – he has a range of other stuff in.

    He’s also a family friend of Ratboy Bryceland.

    Premier Icon kcal

    £500? mine was £20 IIRC and wife was delighted with it, don’t be bound by diamond / stone / gold / cost convention..


    Three main things to remember:

    You are buying a commodity. The jewellery industry has set up all the grading systems so that people can buy diamonds by the bucketful without having to inspect each one. Most jewellers will be buying in ready made settings and putting the stones in. This means that most of the time (ie, you’re not spending tens / hundreds of £k) there’s no reason why a Tiffany diamond is any better than one from the local jewellers, if all other they’re of the same sort of quality. It also means that it’s very easy for you to get an idea of what the raw materials should be costing, and what the markup is. A lot of high street rings are £300 in materials and labour, + £695 in sales, marketing and margin.

    The second is that nothing in life is free. Jewellers know they can’t differentiate much on quality, so they’re left with a few levers to pull – design, marketing and in store experience. Design is pretty moot once you find someone who’ll put a stone in whatever setting you like. Marketing and in store experience both cost £££. Typically a retailer will need to take £20+ to cover £1 in extra costs, so if you walk into a 3000 square foot shop with 5 staff in the centre of town, you’re going to be paying through the nose.

    The third is not to get too hung up on specific materials. This was really brought home to us by a jeweller going through a mixed box of platinum and palladium rings. The cost of a palladium setting is about a third of a platinum one. The jeweller went through the box, picking up each ring and checking the label so that he could tell which was which.


    There’s a small jewellers at the bottom of Hale high street who loves haggling and will give you a few options for your budget I’m sure if he’s still there. I moved away and back to Nottingham 4 years ago, but last time i passed it still looked like he was doing ok!

    I’d stay away from high street stores, find an independent and haggle haggle haggle.

    Just remember, with the band, whatever you chose, 9ct, 18ct, platinum etc, the wedding band is supposed to match so the bands are the same hardness / softness.

    I chose my other halfs, but I knew what she wanted. The stone is the important part, with an independent, you’ll chose the stone & they’ll put it whatever band you chose dependant on budget. Plus they’ll polish / clean it & look after it generally too. Just make sure the stone is certified.

    All I’d say is, she’s going to show the ring off to everyone when you get engaged and she will keep it forever, so it’s worth spending on & it’s got to be right. Forget the one month / two month wage thing, stick to your budget, shop around and buy the best you can for what you have to spend.

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    So am I being realistic with a £500 budget?

    £500 is ample. Mrs Sandwich ring cost £90, I think, in the 80’s. Tiny piece of diamond in a large bright setting surrounded by sapphires. 10 years into married life I had a larger diamond put in by a local jeweler which was very well received.

    You can always get the stones replaced and improved as your income improves.


    My Mrs is great and we are very money conscious so £500 is our limit, to be honest when she finds out I spent that she won’t be happy.

    I know she wants white gold just from taking about other people’s. Whatever I get she will love and I’m lucky in that I know she will say yes.

    Think I’ll go and look this weekend.

    Premier Icon miketually

    My wife’s on her 5th or 6th wedding ring and the engagement ring is in a box somewhere. The cheapest ‘wedding ring’ was a £1.25 mood ring 🙂


    Good luck. 🙂

    buy a cheap one as a token for your proposal, then go get a proper one together

    This is a plan – I had a good long think about what I thought she would like (traditional, not showy), then bought a cheapish one based on that. I was quite rpepared to do some shopping after I popped the question, but all she wanted to change was the metal, I got gold and she wanted white gold, went back to the shop and swapped em over. Happy with that. 🙂

    Premier Icon footflaps

    My wife has quite a modest engagement ring, she does a lot of sport so chose something with a very small stone to keep the profile low, so it doesn’t catch on anything / get bashed.

    Premier Icon weeksy

    I gave Mrs Weeksy my bank card, gave her the max budget, I sat in the Walkabout and watched Liverpool v Arsenal.

    she came back 2 hours later with her ring 🙂

    I believe a month’s salary is considered appropriate.

    What a load of tosh!!!! Especially if some people use the idea of 3 months salary. Jeez, it’s just a bloomin ring. Save your money for something actually good like the wedding or honeymoon! If someone is on £50k then they should be spending 4 or 12 grand on a ring? Sod that.

    My wife found a really nice white gold ring engagement ring on amazon for about £30, and her wedding ring for about £20. Both 9 carat but I don’t think either of us would be able to tell if it was any higher than that anyway so what’s the point?

    Let the lady choose what’s going on her finger though. No point in not doing that.


    MoseyMTB – I wouldn’t be making an expensive trip to Birmingham given your budget.

    Have you thought of the Northern Qtr Craft & Design centre in Manchester? There’s plenty of independant jewellers in there that could make you something.

    Alternatively, how about buying a ring off Ebay…bear with me… then take it to a jeweller to re-use the stone, melt down the metal and design something unique?

    Premier Icon unknown

    I once read that the “point” of a valuable engagement ring is to give some financial security to the woman. She’ll be de-valued should you then fail to marry or marry them divorce her, so the ring is to offset the depreciation! Given that my Mrs earns a lot more than me it didn’t seem especially relevant to us!


    We chose ours together, well she chose it and I paid. Given she has to wear it, I thought it made more sense for her to pick one she liked. We got it from a custom ring place:

    We went together to the same place, and for both our wedding rings too. Went in for a bespoke ring, Sat down with the designer and after a few minutes the missus had designed the exact same ring they had in a cabinet; not wanting to wait for another to be made she walked out with it. She then had to wait 3 weeks whilst it was resized 🙄 😀


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