Engagement Ring Buying Guide

Choosing the right engagement ring is significant, as it starts your journey together. In this guide, we'll explore the world of luxury engagement rings, where skilled craftsmanship and beautiful designs come together with the finest materials.

We'll also assist you in choosing an engagement ring that perfectly encapsulates your love story, whether you're searching for that one-of-a-kind, exquisite piece or seeking inspiration to create a custom masterpiece.

Ancient wedding ring

The Origins of the Engagement Ring

The tradition of giving engagement rings dates back thousands of years and has evolved over time, with various cultures contributing to its history.

The concept of using rings as a symbol of eternal love and commitment can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where couples exchanged rings made from materials like leather and braided hemp. These early rings were often worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, as it was believed to have a vein that led directly to the heart. This notion continues in the tradition of wearing the engagement ring on the ring finger today.

In ancient Rome, giving a ring was a symbol of ownership and commitment. A man would give a woman a gold ring to signify his intent to marry her, and this practice became more common over time. Roman engagement rings often featured intricate designs, including carvings of two hands, known as "fede rings," symbolising the clasping of hands in a pledge of fidelity.

Engagement proposal

The tradition of exchanging rings continued during the Middle Ages, but the practice became more formal. Rings were often engraved with romantic sentiments and symbols, and the use of gemstones gained popularity.

The tradition of giving diamond engagement rings gained prominence in the 20th century, thanks in part to a successful marketing campaign by the diamond industry. The idea of a diamond engagement ring was promoted as a symbol of lasting love and commitment. "A Diamond is Forever" became a famous slogan, solidifying the association between diamonds and engagements.

Today, engagement rings come in various styles, materials, and designs, reflecting individual tastes and cultural influences. While the traditions and customs surrounding engagement rings may vary from one culture to another, the underlying sentiment remains the same—an engagement ring is a symbol of love, commitment, and the promise of a lifelong partnership.

Selecting the Perfect Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring Styles

Engagement ring style guide

Engagement ring styles encompass a wide range of designs, each offering a unique aesthetic and character to suit different tastes and preferences. Here are some popular engagement ring styles:

Solitaire: A solitaire engagement ring features a single, stunning centre gemstone, typically a diamond, set on a plain metal band. This classic and timeless style accentuates the beauty of the centre stone, allowing it to shine as the focal point.

Solitaire with Diamond Shoulders: Similar to the solitaire, a solitaire with diamond shoulder engagement ring features a single, eye-catching centre gemstone, with diamond set shoulders which support the centre stone by drawing the eye in.

Cluster: Cluster engagement rings feature a group of similarly sized diamonds or gemstones (where the centre may be larger but generally not more than 40%) arranged closely together to create the illusion of a larger, more substantial centre stone. This style offers a stunning and intricate appearance, often with a vintage or floral-inspired design, making it a unique and eye-catching choice for those seeking a distinctive look.

Three Stone: Three-stone engagement rings symbolise a couple's past, present, and future relationship. They typically consist of a centre stone flanked by two smaller stones, creating a meaningful and balanced design.

Vintage: Vintage engagement rings are treasures of the past. From various eras, such as the Art Deco, Victorian, and Edwardian periods, they often feature intricate details, filigree work, and unique designs, evoking a sense of nostalgia and romance.

Ultimately, the choice of engagement ring style is a matter of personal taste and individual preferences. Couples can explore various styles to find the one that resonates with their unique love story and captures the essence of their relationship.

Engagement Ring Diamond Shapes

Engagement Ring Diamond Shapes

Engagement ring diamond shapes play a significant role in the overall appearance and style of the ring. The choice of diamond shape is a personal one and can reflect the wearer's individual taste and personality. Here are some popular diamond shapes and their characteristics:

Round Brilliant Cut: This is the most popular and classic diamond shape. Known for its timeless elegance, the round brilliant cut features 57 or 58 facets that maximise the diamond's brilliance and sparkle. It's an excellent choice for those who prefer a traditional and versatile look.

Princess Cut: Princess-cut diamonds are square or rectangular with pointed corners. They are known for their sharp angles and modern, clean lines, offering a contemporary and sophisticated appearance.

Emerald Cut: Emerald cut diamonds are rectangular with cut corners. Their step-cut faceting style emphasises clarity and highlights the diamond's internal characteristics. This shape exudes a sense of refinement and vintage charm.

Oval-Cut: Oval-cut diamonds are elongated and elliptical in shape. They offer similar brilliance to round diamonds but with a more unique and elongated appearance, making the wearer's fingers appear longer.

Marquise-Cut: Marquise-cut diamonds are pointed at both ends and have an elongated, boat-like shape. Their length creates an illusion of greater size and can make the fingers appear slender.

Pear Cut: Pear-shaped diamonds resemble a teardrop, with a rounded end and a pointed end. They offer a blend of the elegance of a round diamond and the uniqueness of a marquise, making them a popular choice for those seeking a distinctive look.

Cushion Cut: Cushion-cut diamonds are square or rectangular with rounded corners. They are known for their vintage charm and provide a balance between brilliance and a softer, romantic appearance.

Asscher Cut: Asscher cut diamonds are similar to the emerald cut but are square with cropped corners. They have a step-cut faceting style that imparts a sense of art deco glamour and clarity.

Radiant Cut: Radiant-cut diamonds combine the elegance of an emerald cut with the brilliance of a round brilliant cut. They are square or rectangular with trimmed corners and offer a dazzling sparkle.

Heart Cut: Heart-shaped diamonds are a romantic choice, symbolising love and affection. They have a distinctive heart shape and require precise cutting to achieve a well-proportioned and symmetrical appearance.

When selecting a diamond shape for an engagement ring, it's essential to consider personal preferences, finger shape and size, and the overall style of the ring setting. Each shape has its own unique characteristics, and the choice ultimately comes down to what resonates most with the wearer and their partner's aesthetic preferences.

Engagement Ring Precious Metals

The choice of metal for an engagement ring is a crucial decision, as it not only influences the overall appearance but also impacts durability and maintenance. Here are some popular engagement ring precious metals and their characteristics:

Pragnell platinum wedding rings

Platinum Engagement Rings

Platinum is a rare and naturally white metal known for its purity and durability. It is hypoallergenic, making it an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin. Platinum engagement rings are highly resistant to tarnish and corrosion and maintain their lustre over time. Due to their density, platinum rings tend to be heavier and more substantial, offering a sense of luxury and sturdiness. Platinum settings are often used for securely holding diamonds, complementing a wide range of diamond shapes and styles.

The price difference between platinum and white gold is typically minimal, making it a wise investment to opt for platinum, which ensures longevity and enhances the enduring beauty of your precious piece.

Pragnell gold wedding rings

Gold Engagement Rings

Yellow Gold: Yellow gold is a classic and timeless choice for engagement rings. It is made of pure gold alloyed with other metals like copper and silver to achieve different gold colours and levels of durability.

Rose Gold: Rose gold, also known as pink or red gold, is an alloy of gold mixed with copper to achieve its unique rosy hue. Rose gold engagement rings have gained popularity for their romantic and vintage-inspired appearance. They offer a beautiful contrast to the brilliance of diamonds.

Choosing the precious metal for an engagement ring should align with personal style preferences, skin sensitivities, and lifestyle considerations. Each precious metal option offers a unique combination of beauty, durability, and maintenance requirements, so it's essential to weigh these factors carefully when selecting the perfect engagement ring.

Engagement Ring Gemstones

Engagement ring gemstones come in various types and colours, each offering a distinct touch to the traditional diamond engagement ring. While classic diamonds are the most widely chosen option, other gemstones provide a unique and personalised element. Here are some popular gemstones used in engagement rings:

Coloured diamond engagement rings

Coloured Diamonds

Coloured diamonds come in a range of hues, including pink, yellow, blue, green, and more. These diamonds are rare and prized for their unique colours, adding a touch of individuality and luxury to engagement rings. The intensity and saturation of the colour determine their value and appeal. Discover our exquisite selection of pink and yellow diamond engagement rings.

Coloured gemstone engagement rings

Coloured Gemstone Engagement Rings

Sapphire: Recognised for their captivating blue hues, sapphires are the second most favoured choice after diamonds. They also come in various shades, including pink, yellow, green, and colourless varieties. Sapphires are valued for their durability, making them suitable for everyday wear.

Ruby: Rubies are celebrated for their striking red colour, symbolising love and passion. They hold a significant place in engagement ring choices due to their vibrant appeal and symbolism of devotion.

Emerald: Known for their deep green colour, emeralds are associated with rebirth and fertility. However, they are relatively softer compared to sapphires and diamonds, requiring extra care to prevent scratches and damage.

When selecting a gemstone for an engagement ring, consider factors such as symbolism, personal preferences, durability, and maintenance requirements. Some couples choose a combination of gemstones and diamonds to achieve a unique and meaningful design. Ultimately, the choice should reflect the wearer's personality and style and hold sentimental value for the couple.

The 4 Cs

When choosing an engagement ring, understanding the 4Cs—cut, colour, clarity, and carat— is essential. These factors determine a diamond's beauty, rarity, and value, ensuring you find the perfect ring to symbolise your love. Let's explore each of these elements in detail.

Guide to Diamond Cut

Diamond Cut

The cut of a diamond is a critical factor in its beauty and brilliance. It refers to the proportions, symmetry, and polish of the diamond, which affect how light is reflected and refracted within the stone.

The cut is graded from Excellent to Poor, with Excellent being the highest quality. An excellent cut diamond reflects almost all the light that enters it, creating maximum sparkle and fire. It's essential to choose a diamond with an excellent cut for the most dazzling appearance.

Guide to Diamond Colour

Diamond Colour

The colour of a diamond is graded on a scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). The most valuable diamonds are colourless, as they allow the most light to pass through, creating a bright and sparkling appearance. However, some diamonds, known as fancy-coloured diamonds, can be highly valuable due to their unique and rare colours, such as pink, blue, or yellow.

Diamonds with a colour grade of D to F are considered colourless, while those in the G to J range are near colourless. Selecting a diamond with a higher colour grade ensures a clearer and more brilliant stone.

Guide to Diamond Clarity

Diamond Clarity

Clarity refers to the presence of internal imperfections, known as inclusions. These natural characteristics are formed during the diamond's growth process and can affect its appearance and value.

Diamonds are graded for clarity on a scale from Flawless (no inclusions visible under 10x magnification) to Included (inclusions visible to the naked eye). The clarity grade is crucial as it indicates the diamond's purity and rarity. When choosing a diamond, consider a clarity grade of VS2 or higher for a stone with minimal imperfections.

Guide to Diamond Carat

Diamond Carat

The carat weight of a diamond is a crucial aspect when choosing an engagement ring, as it directly influences the diamond's size and perceived value. Carat is a unit of measurement that refers to the weight of the diamond, with one-carat equivalent to 200 milligrams.

The average carat weight of a diamond engagement ring can vary significantly depending on individual preferences and cultural factors. However, the average carat weight for a diamond engagement ring in the UK typically falls within the range of 0.50 to 0.75 carats for the centre stone. This range is considered a popular choice for many couples.

Wedding Ring Sizing

Engagement Ring Sizes

Everyone's finger size is unique, and factors like temperature, time of day, and humidity can affect how a ring fits. To determine the correct size, you can visit one of our showrooms, and we’ll measure your finger to ensure a comfortable and snug fit for your engagement ring. Alternatively, you can use our ring sizing chart. Remember that resizing a ring is possible but may be limited by the ring's design and materials, so getting the size right from the start is ideal.

Engraving Your Engagement Ring

Personalising your engagement ring with a heartfelt inscription is a timeless and meaningful way to add a touch of sentiment to this symbol of love and commitment. Engraving lets you capture a special moment, a cherished quote, or your initials and wedding date inside the ring band, creating a secret message that only you and your partner will share.

Be it a romantic declaration, a reminder of your journey together, or a message that holds deep significance, engraving transforms your engagement ring into a truly unique and treasured keepsake, a constant reminder of your love. Discover the beauty of engraving and make your engagement ring truly yours, telling your love story for generations to come.

Taking Care of Your Engagement Ring

Taking care of your engagement ring is essential to preserve its beauty and longevity. To maintain its sparkle, we recommend removing your ring when engaging in activities that may subject it to potential damage. For example, avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals or abrasive substances, and always store your ring in a safe place when not wearing it to protect it from scratches and damage. Proper care will keep your engagement ring looking as dazzling as the day you received it.

Ring Polishing

Ring Cleaning and Polishing

Regularly clean your ring at home using a soft brush, mild soap, and warm water. This simple routine removes everyday dirt and maintains the ring's brilliance.

Periodic check-ups by a professional are crucial. These inspections can identify and prevent issues like loose gemstones or wear and tear.

At Pragnell, we provide a meticulous service for cleaning and polishing rings that is truly exceptional. Our highly skilled artisans take great care to gently restore the radiance and sparkle of your engagement ring, guaranteeing it always mirrors the enduring beauty of your partnership.

Engagement Rings at Pragnell

At Pragnell, we pride ourselves on offering an exquisite engagement ring collection that blends timeless elegance with exceptional craftsmanship. Our carefully curated selection showcases a variety of stunning designs and exquisite gemstones, ensuring you'll find the perfect symbol of your love and commitment. Whether you're drawn to classic solitaires, vintage-inspired settings, or contemporary masterpieces, our range caters to a diverse range of tastes and preferences.

We invite you to visit one of our showrooms, where you can experience the beauty and craftsmanship of our engagement rings firsthand in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Our knowledgeable and attentive staff are here to assist you, guiding you through the selection process and helping you find the ring that perfectly captures your love story.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the answers to our most commonly asked questions. Should you want to find out more please feel free to Contact Us us and begin your Pragnell experience.

Traditionally, the engagement ring is purchased by the person who plans to propose, but modern couples often discuss and decide on the ring together.
The engagement ring is typically worn on the ring finger of the left hand, but customs can vary by culture. Once married, it is usually worn alone or paired with a wedding band.
You can determine your ring size by visiting one of our showrooms for a professional measurement or by using our ring size chart.
In addition to diamonds, popular gemstones for engagement rings include sapphires, rubies, and emeralds.
Common metals for engagement rings include platinum, yellow gold, rose gold and white gold.
Engagement ring styles vary widely and include solitaire, halo, vintage, three-stone, and modern designs, among others, each offering unique aesthetics.
No, but we recommend letting us know you are coming in, so we can book you in with one of our experts.
We'll present our sample box for you to browse, allowing you to try on all the different styles. Throughout the process, we'll offer guidance and advice as you make your choices. Once you've picked a ring style and your preferred precious metal, we'll take measurements of your finger and provide you with the pricing. You can place an order by making a deposit on the same day.
4-6 weeks usually, depending on the design. Bespoke pieces may take up to 8 weeks.
Yes, you can discuss this with the jewellery expert in the showroom. Ideally, you should think about the wording before you arrive at your appointment.
Yes, you can wear your engagement ring all the time. However, it's advisable to remove it when doing activities that may expose it to potential damage, such as intensive manual tasks or certain sports.
To care for your engagement ring, avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals, remove it during activities that could cause damage, clean it regularly with mild soap and warm water, and have it professionally inspected periodically for maintenance.

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