Guest Post: How to choose your engagement ring with Hatton Garden Jewellers.
Buying an engagement ring is the start of a wonderful journey towards a lifelong commitment and the start of a new life for every happy couple. However, before you start any kind of wedding planning or scrolling through Instagram and Pintrest for inspiration, the small question of what ring to choose must be answered. Grooms can often be intimated and unsure when choosing an engagement ring, no small feat we add!, and with this in mind, in today’s blog we speak to Hatton Garden jewellers (Diamonds Hatton Garden) on how to choose the most important item of jewellery.
Tell us a little bit about Diamonds Hatton Garden?
We are a family run jewellery business that have, for over 40 years, crafted beautiful diamond jewellery for our clients across the world. We also specialise in loose diamonds, in particular, fancy coloured diamonds that are cherished for their beautiful hues and tones. We have our own workshop in Hatton Garden where our craftsman make ready-to-wear and bespoke pieces and also are De Beers sightholders in Botswana meaning that all of the diamonds, work and design are carried out in-house allowing us to create beautiful pieces of the highest quality.
I can imagine buying a diamond engagement ring is an overwhelming and sometime scary decision. How do you go about choosing the right ring?
It is rather intimidating I agree! I mean, even for myself, when I do eventually propose I am sure I will have a few head scratching moments. Firstly, I think it's useful to understand what influences the price of a diamond as, when dealing with clients, that’s usually one of the most important aspects they consider and then we can talk about how to buy a ring as the two things are very different.
The price of diamonds is influenced by what is known as the 4 Cs - Clarity, Cut, Colour and Carat. Clarity is the number of small blemishes or inclusions found in the diamond and the clearer the diamond (FL being the highest grade) the higher the price. Cut, interestingly does not refer to the shape of a diamond, but more about the skill of the cutter and is judged on a range of factors including symmetry, proportion and polish - key factors that relate to how the light is internally refracted within the diamond that gives it more sparkle. The better the cut the better the sparkle. Colour, as you can imagine, relates to the colour of the diamond and is judged on a scale of D to Z. The higher on the scale, closest to D, the diamond is judged to be coloured meaning that the diamond is perfectly transparent with no hue, or colour. Finally, the carat refers to the size of the diamond. Essentially, when buying a diamond all of these factors, or scales, influence the price of a diamond and those diamonds that are judged, independently by leading gemological associations, to be higher on the scale command a higher price due to their rarity and the combination of these 4 elements. It is always a trade off in terms of the 4 Cs and we help each client to understand that if they go for a lower colour grade yet a higher clarity, for example, the diamond can and will still look beautiful. It is very rare that a client will ask for a D FL, the “perfect” diamond and we always work with the ideas and budget of a client.
The shape of the diamond also influences the price and round diamonds, the most common in engagement rings, are the most expensive. Pear shapes, hearts, cushions are all lovely choices and often give you “more band for you buck” as the diamond is spread out over the crown making it look larger. Certainly shapes can also elongate the finger and, depending on the client, can look better.
What advice can you offer on the setting and ring design?
We always say that, generally, once you have chosen the diamond the ring part is easier. When choosing the ring, always think about the style, taste and lifestyle of your partner - what they like and how they would look in the ring. Colour is important, if you are looking at diamond engagement rings, the colour of the metal can influence how the diamond shines and sparkles. Yellow gold can taint the colour as can rose gold and, as tastes have changed, sterling silver and platinum rings have become more popular Once more, it is down to taste. Does your partner like more contemporary styles? Or do they like a more vintage style ring with diamonds on the setting? One thing we do suggest is that once the partner has agreed to the engagement both parties can come along and look together as that allows both to decide together and it is a beautiful journey to take.
What are some of the trends you have seen in the last year?
As I mentioned earlier, there are many more shapes than just a round diamond. Over the past 6 months there has been an increase in interests for pear and radiant shapes. For me, they represent the very best value as the diamond is spread out and not concentrated and thus make it look larger. Interestingly, in terms of the style of the ring, pave settings have always been popular (when the diamonds are encrusted on the ring). Another tip of the trade is to use a halo (when the ring has a halo where the centre stone sits) which makes the diamond appear larger too. Finally, there has been an increase in popularity in fancy coloured diamonds, I simply love them, due to their amazing colours and tones and they are simply spectacular.
Thank you so much to Alex from Hatton Garden Jewellers for being a part of this blog post and offering some great advice about choosing your engagement ring. Be sure to head over to Hatton Garden jewellers to have a look at the range of diamonds they can over for you!