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An engagement ring is usually the most expensive piece of jewellery that you will ever buy. It also has the most meaning for the majority of people. Due to the willingness of people to spend a large sum of money on an engagement ring, the market is huge. You just need to visit your local high street to see the number of jewellers with displays of stunning diamond rings. You will see adverts in magazines and online, and once you have browsed one company’s rings, you will get adverts on social media showing you more and more sparkling diamonds, sapphires and rubies.

So how do you pick one for your fiancée or yourself?

Engagement ring styles

What does your fiancée like? Will she love a traditional ring or will she prefer something antique-looking, quirky or modern? Will a simple solitaire diamond ring be perfect or will she prefer a colourful gemstone? Will she be expecting something large and luxurious or will she want something that is unusual and reflects her personality? This is often when men decide not to choose themselves but to get their partner involved to ensure the ring is perfect.

Diamond and gemstone shapes and cuts

Maybe you have decided you wish to buy a simple but stunning solitaire engagement ring. That should be easy, right? Have you thought about the cut or shape of the ring? You might have in mind exactly what you want but if not you will be presented with many cuts of diamonds when you go shopping. The terms ‘diamond cut’ and ‘diamond shape’ mean something slightly different to jewellers but to most people, the terms are used interchangeably. There are 10 diamond shapes – round, oval, cushion, princess, pear, emerald, marquise, asscher, radiant and heart. The diamond shape represents the silhouette of the stone and the diamond cut refers to how the light reflects from the diamond facets.

Type of gemstone

Any gemstone can be used in an engagement ring, however, the most common types you will see are diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires ie clear, green, red or blue stones. These are just the common colours that you will recognise as these gemstones are available in other colours such as pink sapphires and yellow diamonds.

If you are looking for something different or unusual, you could choose a birthstone eg garnet for January, Amethyst for February. Or perhaps, a bright green tourmaline or purple spinel. If your fiancée has a favourite colour there will be a perfectly matching gemstone.

Bespoke engagement rings

There are thousands of options for engagement rings in your local shops with options for all budgets. Yes, some people may spend over £10,000 on an engagement ring, but most will spend between £200 – £2000.

What is a bespoke engagement ring?

A bespoke ring is one that is made uniquely for you. It can either be a ring customised to your exact requirements or one designed from scratch for you or by you.

What are the benefits of a bespoke ring?

Your engagement ring will stand out from the crowd, it will be unique, and it will be exactly how you dreamed your perfect engagement ring to look like. No one will look at it and say, “Oh, I tried that one on last week”.

Where do you buy bespoke rings?

Jewellery designers will often offer a bespoke engagement ring service. If you wish help designing your ring, it would be advisable to visit a few designers to see whose style you like the best. In Scotland, there are many talented jewellery designers. Margaret A King is a reputable gemologist and jewellery designer who along with her team designs and handcrafts bespoke jewellery of all types from her shops in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Her aim is to create distinctive jewellery that expresses your authentic style. Customers can either choose a ring from their collection to have customised to suit their wishes or they can work with a jewellery designer to create the perfect ring. During the initial consultation, your jewellery designer will establish your likes, budget and timeframe. They will then hand-draw a few sketches and select some stones for you to choose from at the next meeting. Once a design has been agreed upon, they will render a 3D image of the final engagement ring. If the customer is happy, the ring will be handcrafted or they can make small design refinements at that stage. Their own skilled goldsmiths will then handcraft the ring in their Glasgow workshop.

You don’t need to have a large budget to benefit from the skills of a jewellery designer. The budget you specify will just determine the size, number or type of gemstones and what metal the ring band is made from eg gold is cheaper than platinum.

Make your partner feel extra special with a stunning engagement ring that means something to them and suits their style and character.

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