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— by Cullen Jewellery — Reading time 18 minutes

How to Choose an Engagement Ring: The Ultimate Guide

So, you've decided to pop the question. How to Choose an Engagement Ring, though? That's a whole different challenge.

You've seen your friends go through this process, some even breaking into cold sweats at the mere mention of carat sizes and diamond cuts.

It's like being thrown into a foreign language class without any prior knowledge — suddenly words like 'marquise' and 'pavé' are part of everyday conversations!

No need for panic attacks in jewellery stores or endless nights scouring online reviews. Learning How to Choose an Engagement Ring can be less daunting than it seems.

Table of Contents

Decoding the Engagement Ring Hunt

The quest for the perfect engagement ring is a thrilling yet complex journey. To simplify this process, let's first understand this year's biggest engagement ring trends that will guide you in choosing a style that aligns with current fashion sensibilities.

A critical step to kickstart your hunt for an engagement ring is establishing a budget. This not only directs your selection of diamond carat size but also influences other elements like band metal and gemstone quality.

In addition to setting financial parameters, it's crucial to develop some preferences about stone shapes before commencing on your search. The shape significantly impacts both sparkle and overall appearance, making it one of the most important factors when selecting an ideal piece from the myriad styles available today.

Different Styles, Metals, and Gemstones

When we talk about an engagement ring style, there are numerous options ranging from classic solitaires and vintage-inspired designs to modern minimalist rings, each offering unique charm catering to different aesthetic tastes. Understanding these variations can immensely aid during the initial stages while browsing through potential choices online or in physical stores alike.

The metal used in bands plays a vital role too; every type has its own set of pros and cons regarding durability, cost, and colour.. Platinum is known for its strength, whereas 18k gold comes in  a variety of colours — yellow, white, rose. Hence, knowing these details helps make informed decisions during the purchase stage.

A personal touch can be added to your ring by choosing a specific lab grown gemstone that reflects your individual taste and personality. While diamonds are loved universally, moissanite is a stunning alternative that is also durable. Sapphires are also garnering attention due to their sturdiness (just behind diamonds) and come in an array of shades, like blue, pink, and yellow.

The Importance Of Shape Preference In Diamond Selection

Your chosen diamond shape should ideally sync well with your personal style preferences as it directly affects the aesthetics and pricing of the final piece. Round cuts might be popular due to their brilliant sparkle, but they tend to be pricier compared to other shapes because they require larger rough diamonds, resulting in higher wastage during the cutting process. However, if you're looking for something unique and affordable, pear and marquise cuts could be ideal alternatives. They offer an elegant appeal at a lesser price point due to reduced wastage involved in their cutting, thereby proving to be a value-for-money option for those on tight budgets but still desiring stunning jewellery to celebrate love and commitment.

Key Takeaway

Embarking on the engagement ring hunt? Start by setting a budget and identifying preferred stone shapes. Explore different styles, metals, and gemstones to match your taste. Remember, diamond shape affects both aesthetics and cost — round cuts are sparkly but pricier due to wastage during cutting while pear or marquise cuts offer elegance at lower prices.

Selecting the Perfect Diamond Shape

As you embark on your engagement ring hunt, one of the key decisions will be selecting a diamond shape. This choice is more than just about aesthetics; it also influences cost and how your gem looks when worn.

The Allure of Round Cuts

A majority of diamonds sold are round cuts. These gems have been perfected to optimise brilliance — that's sparkle in layman terms. Their popularity stems from their timeless elegance, which makes them an ultimate favourite in this engagement ring guide.

However, with high demand comes higher prices per carat due to complex cutting processes that lead to greater raw material waste. If classic beauty paired with maximum sparkle appeals to you, then consider opting for this popular cut during your engagement ring shopping experience.

The Charm of Pear and Marquise Cuts

If traditional isn't quite what you're looking for, pear-shaped or marquise-cut diamonds offer unique alternatives without compromising on style or shine. Both of these fancy shapes elongate fingers while providing an elegant twist on conventional designs, making them great options if you're searching for the perfect wedding ring too.

Known as 'teardrop' stones, pear-shaped gems combine elements from oval and marquise cuts. They exude vintage charm and provide a substantial surface area — giving the illusion of a larger size relative to the actual carat weight.

Marquise cuts, in contrast, are characterised by sharp points connected by curved sides, creating a football-like outline. Their long narrow profile allows them to appear bigger than they really are. In addition, they are less expensive compared to similar-sized brilliant counterparts.

Remember, quality and symmetry are critical when choosing either of these styles. Discrepancies can become noticeable due to the unique proportions of each shape. Ultimately, the choice should be based on individual preference and style. Lifestyle and fashion sense are crucial factors to consider. After all, the goal is to find a symbol of love that reflects the wearer's individuality. Take the time to thoroughly investigate the diverse selection of engagement rings available. The journey towards finding the perfect engagement ring is rewarding and filled with excitement.

Key Takeaway

Choosing the right diamond shape for your engagement ring is a crucial step, with options ranging from timeless round cuts to unique pear and marquise shapes. Each offers distinct aesthetics and cost implications. Consider factors like lifestyle, fashion sense, and personal preference while navigating this sparkling journey.

Choosing Your Band Metal Wisely

The journey of engagement ring shopping requires you to make several decisions, one being the choice of your band metal. The type of metal used for an engagement ring plays a significant role in determining its overall look, durability, and cost.

Platinum Bands

Platinum is often considered the 'king' among metals due to its rarity and density. Its slightly higher price tag reflects these qualities, but it also assures excellent longevity that justifies the investment for many couples. Its lustrous, silvery-white shade provides an elegant touch while offering the advantage of being hypoallergenic for those with delicate skin.

Gold Bands

If versatility appeals to you, then gold might be your go-to option when choosing a band material during your ultimate engagement ring guide understanding process. Available in classic yellow, romantic rose, or cool white hues, each variant has a unique aesthetic appeal catering to different personal styles.

Yellow Gold

Classic and timeless, yellow gold brings a warm glow that has been a favourite for generations. Its rich, sunny hue complements a variety of gemstones and skin tones. Be mindful that, like all gold variants, it may require occasional polishing to maintain its gleaming finish.

Rose Gold

This romantic shade of gold has gained immense popularity in recent years. Infused with copper, rose gold offers a delicate blush tone that resonates with vintage and contemporary styles alike. Its unique colour can lend a touch of whimsy and elegance to any ring design.

White Gold

For those who love the sheen of platinum but prefer the lower price point of gold, white gold is a good choice. This cool-toned gold is plated with rhodium, giving it a brilliant shine. However, the rhodium plating will wear away over time, necessitating re-plating to maintain its bright lustre.

Key Takeaway

When choosing an engagement ring, consider the band's metal carefully. Platinum offers longevity and elegance, developing a patina finish over time. Gold provides versatility with its range of hues, including rose gold, but will need to be maintained. Your choice should reflect your lifestyle, budget, and preferences, ultimately symbolising your love.

Carat Size Matters: A Comprehensive Guide

In the quest for your perfect engagement ring, understanding carat size is crucial. It's a key factor that significantly influences both the visual appeal and price of your diamond.

Larger diamonds command higher prices due to their increased weight. But savvy shoppers know it isn't always about securing the biggest stone possible within budget constraints.

An interesting strategy involves choosing a diamond just below common carat weights — this can lead to savings without sacrificing much in terms of appearance. For instance, selecting a 1.9-carat gem instead of going full-on with a 2-carat piece could save you money while still delivering almost identical aesthetic impact.

Gauging Visual Differences Across Various Carats

Beyond cost considerations, it's essential to understand how different carats translate visually when making a decision to buy lab grown diamonds online or in a physical store. While small differences might not drastically affect the overall diameter once set into popular diamond shapes and settings, Cullen Jewellery offers comprehensive guides detailing the importance of good cuts in enhancing the overall brilliance and beauty of any given stone, regardless of its inherent size.

A well-cut smaller-sized gemstone may appear larger due to superior light performance compared to a poorly cut bigger counterpart. Therefore, cut shouldn't be overlooked when considering what best suits personal preferences and budgets alike.

Key Takeaway

When it comes to engagement rings, don't be blinded by carat size alone. A clever strategy is opting for a diamond just shy of common weights — nearly identical in appearance but kinder on the wallet. Remember, a well-cut smaller stone can outshine its larger counterparts.

Getting Your Ring Size Right: A Crucial Step in Engagement Ring Shopping

In the exciting journey of engagement ring shopping, one aspect that can't be overlooked is getting your ring size right. It's not just about comfort; it also ensures you don't lose a valuable symbol of love.

You might think estimating or guessing your ring size will do. However, this approach often leads to inaccuracies and an ill-fitting band. The best course? Get professionally measured by jewellers like Cullen Jewellery. If visiting a store isn't feasible, printable sizing charts available online are another reliable option.

The Significance of Accurate Measurement

A perfect fit for an engagement or wedding band guarantees optimal wearability over time. Remember fingers swell at different times — usually when they're warm — so take measurements under normal conditions for accurate results.

An improperly sized band could cause discomfort if too tight or risk loss if too loose. Precise measurement prevents these issues while ensuring maximum daily comfort and security.

Different Methods for Determining Ring Size

Several methods exist to help find the ideal fit: using string, paper strips, plastic sizers specifically designed, digital calipers, or even conversion tables.Each has its pros and cons, so choose what works best given personal circumstances — but remember precision counts.

Tips When Measuring Finger Sizes

Beyond basic measuring techniques, here are some tips to consider:

  1. Avoid early morning measurements as fingers may still retain water from sleep
  2. Consider lifestyle factors — active individuals who use their hands frequently might prefer slightly looser rings than those leading sedentary lives
  3. Don't forget knuckle width. Some people have larger knuckles compared to others, thus requiring bigger sizes to slip past them comfortably yet snugly encircle the lower part once worn properly.

These considerations all contribute towards finding the perfect fitting piece of jewellery that can be cherished for years to come.

Key Takeaway

Don't guess your ring size — precision is key. An ill-fitting engagement ring can lead to discomfort or loss. Get professionally measured or use reliable online sizing charts. Consider factors like finger swelling and lifestyle when measuring; even knuckle width matters. A perfect fit ensures comfort and longevity.

Pairing Your Engagement Ring with Your Wedding Band

In the quest for the perfect engagement ring, you've likely explored various styles and diamond shapes. But have you thought about how your chosen ring will pair with a wedding band? Don't forget to consider how your engagement ring and wedding band will complement each other.

Your engagement ring is often more intricate, symbolising the promise of marriage. The wedding band represents unity — typically simpler but no less significant. Both should work together aesthetically without one overshadowing the other.

Styles Engagement Ring Settings: A Perfect Match

The first step in pairing these two pieces involves considering engagement ring settings compatible with different types of wedding bands. For example, if your heart is set on a solitaire or halo setting — both popular choices — a simple gold or platinum band might make your diamond shine even brighter.

If ornate vintage-inspired settings or complex pave designs are more to your liking, consider matching them with similarly detailed bands to create harmony between both pieces. Alternatively, contrasting styles can also result in beautiful combinations — think antique-style engagement rings paired with sleek modern bands.

Metal Consistency Matters

Beyond style considerations lies another important factor. The metal type used in both rings should ideally match — not just for aesthetic reasons  but because metals wear differently over time. Softer metals may erode faster when worn next to harder ones, causing uneven wear-and-tear that could affect longevity and appearance over time. Therefore, it makes sense to choose the same metal type for both rings whenever possible.

But as always, there are exceptions where mixing metals results in stunning two-tone combinations, like a rose gold and white gold combination which has been gaining popularity recently due to its unique appeal. Ultimately, the choice boils down to personal preference and lifestyle considerations, so feel free to experiment and find what works best for you.

Key Takeaway

When choosing an engagement ring, consider how it will pair with your wedding band. Aim for a harmonious blend of style and metal type to ensure longevity and aesthetic appeal. Remember, the perfect match hinges on personal preference and lifestyle considerations — so feel free to mix things up.

Ensuring Quality with Certified Diamonds

Choosing a diamond  for your diamond engagement ring requires careful consideration, ensuring that the gem meets your expectations in terms of quality and beauty.

A certified diamond ensures you're investing wisely as you’re provided with an unbiased assessment from third-party laboratories like the Gemological Institute of America

(GIA) or International Gemological Institute
(IGI) These certifications detail diamond quality aspects such as cut grade, colour grade, clarity grade, carat weight, and more.

Diamond Certification: Your Assurance Of Quality

Certified diamonds offer peace of mind during your engagement ring hunt. A certificate verifies what you are paying for — be it cut quality, which determines how well light interacts with the stone; clarity grading, assessing any internal or external characteristics; or colour grading, indicating the absence of hue in white diamonds.

This transparency allows informed decision-making when buying lab grown diamond engagement rings online and reduces the chance of disappointment later down the line.

Carat Weight In Diamond Certificates: Size Isn't Everything

In addition to these qualities, certified diamonds also come with information about their carat weight. This measurement indicates size, but remember, bigger isn't always better. Larger stones can sometimes highlight imperfections, so a balance between all four C's — Cut, Clarity, Colour, and Carat — is crucial for finding the perfect ring.

Key Takeaway

Choosing a certified diamond for your engagement ring guarantees quality and peace of mind. This certification, detailing cut, colour, clarity and carat weight from reputable labs like GIA or IGI, ensures you're making an informed decision. Explore eco-friendly lab grown alternatives, and remember: size isn't everything, balance is key.

Shopping For Engagement Rings Online: The Ultimate Guide

In the digital age, buying the right engagement ring online has become increasingly popular. However, this process requires careful research and understanding to ensure you're making an informed purchase.

To assist with your journey in finding that perfect engagement ring online, we've crafted a 4-step guide:

Step #1: Choose a reputable jeweller such as Cullen Jewellery. They should provide detailed product descriptions, high-quality images of their products, and have clear return policies.

Step #2: Understand what style suits your partner best, for example a halo engagement ring. Consider factors like material (gold vs platinum), design preferences (classic vs modern) when browsing through various styles of engagement ring settings available. Make sure you also browse through various stone shapes, such as emerald cut diamond engagement rings.

Step #3: Determine accurate measurements for the ring before purchasing it online. It's crucial to get ring fingers properly measured for a comfortable fit; otherwise, it may lead to future discomfort or resizing issues.

Step #4: With advancements in technology becoming more prevalent than ever before, there are now numerous ways one can find inspiration while shopping. This ranges  from brand accounts on social media offering endless amounts of content related specifically towards engagements/weddings, all the way down to individual websites showcasing different types of designs and styles based upon customer reviews and feedback.

Now armed with our ultimate guide, start exploring the possibilities. Remember though, always take time to do thorough research on each store's reputation prior to committing financially to any piece of jewellery. After all, nothing beats feeling confident about where your money is going, especially when it comes to something as important as the life-changing event of getting engaged.

Key Takeaway

Choosing an engagement ring online can be a breeze with the right approach. Opt for a reputable jeweller, understand your partner's style preferences, ensure accurate measurements, adhere to safe shopping practices, and draw inspiration from various sources. Above all, do thorough research on the retailer before splashing out — confidence in where your money is going makes this life-changing purchase even more special.

Finding Inspiration on Social Media

As we embrace the digital age, social media platforms such as Instagram have become an invaluable resource for those on their engagement ring hunt. Let's delve into how these platforms can be effectively used to find your perfect engagement ring.

The visual-centric nature of Instagram makes it a treasure trove of inspiration. With countless accounts from jewellers like Cullen Jewellery

, influencers, and everyday users sharing stunning images daily, you're bound to stumble upon some great engagement ring inspiration.

Hashtags: Your Guide Through the Maze

A key feature that enhances this search process is hashtags. By using specific tags related to styles or types of rings you fancy, such as #EngagementRings, you can easily navigate through thousands of posts and zero in on what resonates with you. It also exposes couples to designs across geographies that might otherwise remain unseen.

Saving and Organising Finds: A Digital Mood Board

Beyond merely browsing through beautiful pieces online, like on Cullen Jewellery’s Instagram

, features offered by Instagram allow you to save individual posts — creating your own collections akin to mood boards. This not only allows revisiting admired pieces later but also enables active curation reflecting personal preferences during the course of the hunt, like on Pinterest
. Consider organising finds based on elements such as stone shape or metal type,  facilitating easier comparison between similar options at any given point.

User Reviews and Comments: Real Experiences Unfolded

In addition to visuals shared abundantly over social media, another valuable asset comes in the form of user reviews and comments, often overlooked amidst aesthetic considerations alone. These interactive exchanges provide insight into aspects like durability, comfort, fit, and more, thereby offering a comprehensive understanding of potential purchases made based on recommendations found online. Therefore, while seeking out the perfect wedding bands, remember to leverage the power of community feedback to make an informed choice.

Key Takeaway

Turn to Instagram for a treasure trove of engagement ring inspiration, with hashtags guiding your journey. Create digital mood boards by saving posts and curating collections that reflect your style preferences. Don't overlook user reviews and comments — they offer valuable insights into the practical aspects of potential purchases.


At Cullen Jewellery, we understand the significance of this special moment, which is why we offer a range of stunning engagement rings that cater to various styles and budgets. Our collection features certified diamonds and alternative gemstones that reflect both beauty and uniqueness.

Points to keep in mind:

  • Choosing an engagement ring is a journey. It's one that starts with understanding trends and setting budgets.
  • Diamond shapes, from round to pear or marquise, each have their unique allure.
  • The band metal you select can change the entire look of your ring. Platinum has its charm but so does gold.
  • Carat size matters in both aesthetics and price; it's not just about bigger being better!
  • A well-fitted ring brings comfort alongside beauty. So make sure to get those measurements right.
  • Your engagement ring should harmonise with your wedding band for a perfect pairing.
  • Certified diamonds ensure quality while alternative lab grown gemstones add uniqueness to your symbol of love.

Don't let the overwhelming options deter you. Instead, let this guide be your compass as you explore the world of engagement rings. Start your ring journey with us today and discover the piece that will symbolise your love and commitment for years to come.

Build Your Engagement Ring Now

FAQs in Relation to How to Choose an Engagement Ring

Your questions, answered.

Start by setting a budget, then consider your partner's style and preferences. Research diamond shapes, band metals, and carat sizes, and ensure the stone is certified. You can also explore lab grown diamonds or alternative gemstones.

The “three months' salary rule” was once popular, but it's more important to choose a ring that suits your partner's taste and fits within your budget.

The key rules are: set a realistic budget; know your partner’s tastes; choose quality over size; get the right fit; and buy from reputable jewellers or online stores like Cullen Jewellery.