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Congratulations! You have formulated a plan to ask the girl of your dreams to marry you. Now all you need is an engagement ring. But not just any diamond ring will do, it must be the perfect diamond engagement ring to capture her heart and show how much you care.

Buying an engagement ring is a big step. Where do you start? What should you look for? At Iyli Paroi, we have over 40 years of knowledge and expertise in the jewellery business and can point you in the right direction. We’ve put together this guide to help you on your ring buying journey.

An engagement ring is probably one of the most important purchases you will make in your life. With the added stress of planning and timing your proposal, finding the perfect ring can seem a little overwhelming. It’s that feeling of being excited and scared at the same time.

You have so many choices when it comes to choosing a diamond engagement ring. The most important tip we can give you is to know ahead of time how much you want to spend. This is a step that most first-time buyers skip and just hope for the best. If you know how much you want to spend up front the jeweller will only show you those rings that are within that price range. This will relieve a lot of the stress for you because there are no surprises. The jeweller will work with you to find the perfect ring that suits your budget.

The next tip is to know her style. What type of jewellery does she wear? Does she like small, feminine pieces or bold, chunky ones? Does she like modern or classic styles? If you have all of this information with you when you go to the jeweller it can help you to find something that she will love based on things she already likes.

Feeling anxious? Relax, you got this. Confidence is the key and we’re here to guide you to finding your perfect engagement ring.

How Much Money Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

This is really subjective. It will depend on your budget and what you can comfortably afford to spend. That is why we suggest knowing this ahead of time; it removes a lot of the anxiety of ring shopping because you already know that everything you look at will be within your budget. It removes a lot of the anxiety and makes this part of the process a lot more enjoyable.

When it comes to averages, there is a lot of conflicting opinions on how much you should spend on a ring. In the old days, a man planning to propose would save three months wages or approximately £3,000. This is just a round estimate; you can spend whatever you feel is appropriate and falls within your spending budget.

When ring shopping a good jeweller should suggest options that fit into your price range as well as educate you on why certain cuts of diamonds are more expensive and suggest ways you can improvise to create the look you want on a smaller budget. For instance, a halo ring is a good option for those wanting something that is beautiful and impressive but isn’t that expensive.

How Long is the Buying Process for an Engagement Ring?

That actually depends on the type of ring you want and where you purchase it. If you were thinking of opting for a bespoke engagement ring, a custom ring that you design yourself, it can take approximately four to six weeks from beginning to end. That includes the initial inquiry, design, specifications, and choosing the diamond centrepiece along with shipping times.

When Is the Right Time to Buy an Engagement Ring?

Holidays and the weeks leading up to holidays are a jewellers busiest times. If you’re planning a spring wedding you’ll want to shop after Valentine’s Day and leave plenty of time to find the right one.

If you know that an online supplier is good and trustworthy, then buying an engagement ring online is perfectly acceptable as long as you take your time and be though in your search.

What Engagement Ring Style to Choose?

There are many popular and attractive styles of engagement rings. Rather than going with what is popular, instead choose something in a style that she currently wears.  If she is the type of girl who loves the outdoors and is into gardening or creating things with her hands opt for a low-profile ring that is not too bulky and will not catch on things as she goes about her day. Here are a few tips that may help you decide:

1. What type of jewellery does your partner wear often?

Take note of the jewellery she wears now and her current style. This will tell you if she prefers classic or modern styles. She may be the type to like bold, alternative styles and that’s OK too.

2. Ask for Input from Your Partner’s Friends & Family

The ones to ask would be your partner’s sister or best friend; they can be a lot of help and give you suggestions on what she will like. Just make sure they know it’s a secret and not to tell anyone what you’re up to.

3. Watch for Hints

Watch for little hints like comments she makes on her friend’s or acquaintances’ engagement rings. The comments she makes will give you clues as to what she would like for herself.

If she is more the soft, feminine glamour girl, then look for rings with a higher stone profile with intricate detailing or a unique style. Here are a few of the most popular styles for this type:

Cluster

 

Cluster settings group the stones tightly together to resemble a large diamond. It may consist of a larger centre stone with smaller stones encircling around it. It can be crafted to take a certain shape, and looks good on smaller hands with dainty fingers. It also provides a lower cost option than purchasing a larger diamond. Overall, it’s a very nice engagement ring style.

 

Halo

Like the cluster, the halo setting refers to a halo of diamonds and other gemstones around a centre stone in a circle or squared shape. The idea is to create the illusion of a larger diamond centre stone and creates a lot of sparkle and opulence. There are many interesting shapes you can choose with this style.

This type of setting looks stylish and beautiful while providing a lower cost option, if budget is a concern. Another popular trend is to have the diamond centre stone surrounded by gemstones with a different coloured metal band such as white or rose gold for a nice contrast.

This style is often paired with pavé bands but would look just as good with any type of band. If you wanted to create a double halo setting it would consist of two concentric circles of gemstones encircling the centre diamond. The style itself is very versatile in nature.

 

Solitaire

One of our favourite settings and one that is also very popular is the solitaire because it is a timeless classic. It goes well with intricate designs as well as plainer ones.

What we like about this style is that it spotlights the diamond and puts in the best light possible. The cut and quality of the diamond is very important for the right look. The best diamond cuts for this style are; heart, round, oval, pear, or marquise. A heart-shaped solitaire would look amazing surrounded by smaller gemstones with a white or yellow gold band.

Pave

Pave engagement rings offer a slightly different look, one that glitters with sparkling diamonds covering the surface of the band. It works well with any diamond cut and gemstones as well. This is really a different style that is so creative and indulgent.

What are the Five Cs?

When searching for the perfect diamond it helps to know what to look for. The best method for choosing a quality diamond is to follow the five C’s – cut, clarity, colour, carat, and certificate. These five things will help you to choose a diamond of the highest quality.

When choosing a diamond engagement ring it is important to understand how these things affect the quality rating. What makes one stone better than another of the same size? How can a smaller stone be better than a larger one? It all depends on the diamond itself. Your jeweller can help you when choosing your diamond. He can discuss these qualities and how they affect the quality of the stone and whether or not you should buy it.

We named them 5 C’s, but really the Gemmological Institute of America invented the 4 C’s and these are outlined below. We threw in certificate because it is important as well.

1. Diamond Colour

The diamond colour is determined by how much or how little colour is in the stone naturally. The GIA gives diamond a rating from D to Z, with D describing the stones with the least amount of colour and Z describing stones with a noticeable yellow or brown tinting.

2. Diamond Cut

 

Before a diamond is cut it is called a raw or rough diamond. Rough diamonds are unpolished and do not look like the sparkling stones you see in the jeweller’s window. The outer skin is rough and opaque with little to no sparkle at all. This is because what makes a diamond sparkle are facets, or how the cut edges reflect the light. In its whole form there is nothing to reflect the light.

As the light hits the stone, it penetrates and bounces back to create a prism effect (the rainbow colours you see reflected through a sunny window). When the diamond is cut it is then able to reflect more light creating facets which make it sparkle in the light.

3. Diamond Carat

The size or weight of the diamond is noted in carats. It is a universal measurement that is the same all over the world. You’ve probably heard this term a lot because it is one aspect that is focused on a lot. But keep in mind, it isn’t necessarily the size of the stone, it’s the quality that is most important.

4. Diamond Clarity

Diamond inclusions are small imperfections that are within the stone during the growing process. These inclusions are extremely common within diamonds and are essentially birthmarks making each stone unique and different from another. This is one aspect that is used in grading the diamonds that the GIA uses. The clarity rating is an important factor in determining quality.

5. Diamond Certificate

A diamond certificate proves that the diamond you are buying is authentic. It refers to your diamond and you’ll need this certificate if it is ever lost or stolen and needs to be replaced. It also proves that the stone has been rated by the GIA and is of a high-quality. It is your assurance that this stone will last a lifetime and won’t be damaged by daily wear. It also acts as an appraisal to prove the value or worth of the diamond for insurance purposes.

What Are the Most Popular Diamond Cuts I Need to Know About?

When choosing a diamond, the shape is really important because it determines how the setting will look when it is completed. The shape is the same thing as the cut; the two can be used interchangeably.

1.Round Cut

The round cut is a traditional shape for a diamond. It is extremely popular for engagement ring settings and gives a bit f extra sparkle to the overall appearance. The cut creates the facets that make the diamond sparkle.

2. Radiant Cut

The radiant cut diamond that has a square shape with flat corners. It is a bit of a unique design which is perfect for someone who likes things that are unique and different.

3. Oval Cut

The oval shape follows the round cut in that the facets give it extra sparkle and radiance. The cuts allow the light to penetrate the stone and reflect the light.

4. Emerald Cut

The emerald cut is a vintage look from days gone by and perfect for someone who likes eclectic styles. It uses the same techniques that are used to cut an emerald which is what gives it the signature look and appearance.

5. Princess Cut

The princess cut is a popular choice for many people looking for engagement rings. The shape is a square cut and works really well with other gemstones to create a unique piece of jewellery.

6. Pear Cut

The pear cut or teardrop diamond is a bit unusual but very stylish and beautiful. This makes a gorgeous setting for a diamond engagement ring. It is something a little different from the round cut diamonds and will make any pride feel like a princess.

7. Baguette Cut

This cut is very similar to the emerald cut but a slimmer, elongated version. It gives the ring a unique look that is all its own.

8. Marquise Cut

The marquise diamond is a popular cut. It is stylish and chic for any ring and literally means “little boat.”

9. Heart Cut

The heart-shaped diamond is romantic and endearing. It takes a lot of kill and expertise to cut this shape, and it is perfect for those who are the soft, feminine type. It is a very feminine style for girls who always dreamed of being a princess and living in a castle.

10. Cushion Cut

This may not be as well known, but the cushion cut is similar to a princess cut but with soft, rounded edges.

11. Asscher Cut

This cut is similar to the radiant diamond cut but with more cuts and edges to give it more depth and light reflection. It has a sparkly appearance.

12. Trillion Cut

The trillion cut or trilliant cut, is a triangular shaped stone that is usually used for accent stones but it works well as a centre stone as well. It is a unique cut if you want to create your own diamond ring design.

What is the best stone for an engagement ring?

When buying a stone for your engagement ring, you have lots of options. You could choose diamond or gemstones in any combination to create your own engagement ring that is unique to your own style and preferences. These 4 choices look beautiful as a centre stone or as accent stones:

Diamond

Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth and will stand up to a lot of wear without any signs of damage. That is one reason there are so many old, antique diamond rings still in existence today. They can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.

Diamonds sparkle and cast light with every movement which is why they are so beautiful as an engagement ring or diamond pendants. A diamond is for life and shows a commitment for excellence, or creating a partnership that will last a lifetime. There are few stones on earth as brilliant as diamonds.

Another good point is that diamonds provide a neutral backdrop for other colours. You can add in accent colours with no worry of clashing as the colours combine and flow beautifully due to the prismatic nature of the diamond.

Ruby

Ruby is a fire stone and one that will be as beautiful 20 years from now as it is today. It is a gemstone that is durable and will last a long time. It is as valuable as a diamond and will last just as long making it a great accent stone for any diamond ring setting.

Sapphire

There are no two sapphires that are exactly alike.  Even if they’re the same colour,

the variances in shades guarantee each one is a one-of-a-kind ring.

Sapphires are durable and come in a rainbow of colours. Each has their own symbolic meaning. They are as hard and durable as diamonds and make great accent stones.

Sapphires are chosen as accent stones more often than rubies or emeralds. They are readily available and are reasonably priced. Like diamonds, they are cut to maximize their brilliance and shine.

Emerald 

Emerald green is a gorgeous colour and is a great choice for engagement rings. Their colour symbolizes love and new beginnings. Because it’s different it is very eye-catching and attractive. Their deep green hues and a smooth appearance make emeralds a unique choice of gems. Symbolizing wealth and nature, they are quite popular stones although they are not as durable as diamonds. They are scratch-resistant too, ranking a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs’ Scale. Despite their hardness factor, emeralds are more susceptible to cracking and chipping because of their natural inclusions (characteristics enclosed within the gem). When choosing an emerald with an inclusion, make sure it is in the centre and not on the side. This will not affect the quality or durability of the stone.

How to Choose the Right Metal for Your Gold Jewellery

One of the best things about making jewellery is the different types of metals you get to work with. What is the best type for necklaces or rings? There are many options to choose from and it will depend on your preference and the look you want to achieve.

This article is going to discuss the specific metal types of jewellery you can choose from when making a purchase.

All types of jewellery have a base metal and can have an accent color added if desired. We’ll start with the basics. If you are buying a necklace, engagement ring, watch, or bracelet, there are three things you should consider when choosing a metal type:

  • The color of the metal  
  • The type of metal  
  • The purity of the metal

5 Popular Types of Metal Used

There are 5 types of metal that all fine jewellery is made from, this includes:

Rose gold

Rose gold is a mixture of pure gold with a high proportion of copper added.

Yellow gold

Yellow gold is pure gold and varies by colour with 9k, 14k or 18K purity

White gold

White gold is a mixture of pure gold and white metals and plated with rhodium to give it a sparkle.

Platinum

Platinum is a pure metal with no combinations or rhodium plating

Two -Toned

Two-tone is a combination of white, yellow, or rose gold and allo

Rose Gold

Let’s begin with the rose gold.  Gold is basically yellow in nature and the color variances depend on the quality or purity of the gold. In order to make rose gold, it is yellow gold mixed with basically a higher amount of copper giving it that pinkish metallic tone. Historical fact for you; rose gold was first used in early 19th century Russia by the famed jeweller Carl Faberge when creating his infamous Faberge Eggs. It was then called Russian Gold.

Rose gold can be used for basically all types of ring settings like for a marquise type of stone. It makes for a very pretty piece when used with a stone that is set off by the rose gold. The rosy pinkish mixture of color has a nice metallic look to it but at the same time, it has a very soft, stylish appearance that’s becoming very popular these days.

Rose gold has a subtle, romantic look that translates well into elegant pieces of jewellery including beautiful engagement rings. Creations in rose gold are soft and feminine, sparkly, and look gorgeous no matter what setting you choose.

Yellow Gold

The next metal type is the classic yellow gold.  The higher the purity, the more the gold will stand out. The nice thing about yellow gold is that it compliments any setting and looks great on most skin tones. This is an important point for the ladies who might be worried about their jewellery clashing with their skin tone. Yellow and rose gold warm up pale skin tones making them look rosy.

14k gold is very versatile and can be used in making many different types of designs.  It is durable and is perfect for engraving a message to your loved one.  So really, the sky’s the limit in terms of your preferred design. You can choose from 10k 12 K 14k or 18k for your band and settings.

Pure gold (100%) is defined as 24 karat, however, 24K is a very soft metal and not especially good for jewellery worn on the hands (rings) due to the fact that it bends easily. A better choice would be 18K (75%), 14K (58.5%), or 10K (41.6%) for rings. Necklaces or pendants can be made with 24K gold chains and accessories because there is no pressure or danger of being bumped or hit on surfaces with daily wear.

White Gold

The next option is white gold.  It’s very popular, probably one of the most popular choices currently because of how it looks.  It has a white metallic look and shine that sparkles with exuberance.  If you pair it with clear white stones or diamonds the white metal is a big compliment to the overall look. Even colored gemstones would look nice against the backdrop of a white gold band. The reflection of the metal makes the gemstones sparkle giving them depth.

With white gold, it basically has the same look because of the fact it is rhodium plated after it’s been cast. The color does not change at all regardless of the purity of the metal. In terms of white metals, in the industry, the purity is usually categorized as 900 platinum or 950 platinum. What that means is it is made from 90 % platinum (900) or 95% (950).  The remainder is a mix of white alloy or other types of metal. 

Platinum

The beauty of platinum is that it is a white metal with nothing else mixed into it. it is naturally white metal, so no mixing or rhodium plating to achieve the white metal look. Platinum gets its name from the Spanish term platino, meaning “little silver” referring to how it shines. The term was first used in 1557 when Julius Scaliger, an Italian physician, used it when describing a metal found in Central America that was resistant to melting. It is a very high quality of precious metal and very durable for jewellery-making.

What Makes Platinum More Expensive Than Gold?

Platinum is, however, a little more expensive than white gold if you want a white metal look for jewelry. The reason it is slightly more expensive is that platinum is more rare than gold. It originally comes from mines in South Africa where long-standing labour protests have driven up the price. If you want something that is low-maintenance though, platinum may be your ideal choice.

While it is the perfect choice for a white metal look, platinum tends to be slightly softer than 14k white gold.  Keep this in mind depending on the type of jewellery you are designing. It may be great for a necklace or bracelet, but not especially good for an engagement ring. Soft metals tend to bend with pressure.

Two-Toned

The last type of metal is Two-Tone. A two-tone color basically means the combining of two colors of metal such as rose gold and white gold, or white gold and yellow gold. For example, you could have a white gold band with a rose gold setting (prongs) for colored gemstones or diamonds.

You could opt for a 14 K yellow gold band and then add a four-prong white gold seat for the jewels. Or maybe a yellow gold band and then another four-prong rose gold basket. There are many options to choose from when designing the look and appearance of your gold jewellery.

How your white gold will look depends on how much gold is in the mixture. Different types of metals have different standards of purity.  Colors depend on the types of metals mixed in such as copper for rose gold.

Do i Need to Know My Partner’s Ring Size

Knowing their size is important if you want the ring to be a surprise. If you’re not sure of her rig size you can always take one of the rings she wears frequently to the jeweller and have it sized to get an accurate measurement. You could also look up ring sizes on your computer and match the size of her ring to the ones on the screen. That way there is no way you can be found out and the ring will be a complete surprise when you decide the time is right to propose.

Can I Propose Without a Ring?

If you would rather pick out the engagement ring together you can use a temporary ring for the proposal and pick out the real one later together. Since this is such an important purchase you can do it any way that works for you. You can choose a cheaper ring for now that she can wear and replace it with the real one that you both choose.

Do I Need Engagement Ring Insurance?

You should have insurance for all of your valuables, not just your engagement ring. After all, they cost a lot of money and having them insured gives you peace of mind that if they are ever lost or stolen or damaged from fire or flood, that you can be reimbursed or replace those items in the future. Your special, custom one of a kind engagement ring is not something that you want to leave up to chance. It is better to get the insurance, even if you never use it.

Few Tips : Care & Maintenance of Your Jewellery

Gold is a solid metal and is highly resistant to corrosion; however, it does become dull with everyday wear. It’s important to keep your jewellery looking its best by keeping it clean. Routine cleanings can restore the original shine and luster of the metal.

When it comes to cleaning your precious jewellery, there are some tips you can use to clean your pieces without damaging them. Most importantly, avoid chlorine bleach and harsh chemical solvents for cleaning jewellery. These can damage the gold and ruin the look.

For the best homemade cleaning solution, use a mix of mild detergent and warm water. Gently scrub the surface of the gold with a soft-bristled jewellery brush and rinse gently under running water.

A brush helps get into those hard-to-reach areas, such as in between the prongs of a diamond ring, or the clasp of a gold watch. Polish the jewellery piece with a soft cloth. Wipe until the surface of the piece is completely dry.

It’s a good idea to invest in a professional jewellery cleaning periodically to protect the beauty and longevity of your gold. At Iyli Paroi, we offer complimentary cleaning and polishing services for every fine jewellery product we sell. Contact us to learn more about how your favourite gold jewellery can be restored to its former glory.

You should store your jewellery in a safe place when not being worn. Storing it keeps it from becoming tangles or items from scratching each other. Sharp edges can leave marks on jewellery especially wedding rings and damage the surface. Store in a soft cloth pouch or Ziploc bag.

Finally to conclude

Gold jewellery is timeless and elegant, no matter how it is designed or the colours used in the setting. Your piece will be uniquely yours and will reflect your personality and love for life.

We hope this guide has been helpful to you and that you’ll use the tips here when you go shopping for your special ring.

Would you like a wonderful piece of jewellery, with a diamond inset into it? If you do happen to get stuck in choosing a diamond or metal for your engagement ring, we would be delighted to help you, or contact us with your request.