Gone are the days where an engagement ring came as a surprise. Modern brides are now taking part in the process to ensure their forever ring speaks to their individuality—as well as the couple's unique love story.
There are now more ring options than ever, from tradional to unconventional designs, but the key concern for brides-to-be is finding a ring that is timeless enough to last a lifetime
No bride should have to delve into the world of halo settings, emerald cuts and diamond inclusions alone. So we've compiled our top tips for brides- and grooms-to-be to guide them on their way to fulfilling their very own happily every after.
1. START WITH THE FOUR CS
The four Cs—cut, clarity, colour and carat of a diamond—are most likely the first phrases added to your pre-nuptial vocabulary. And while many consider carat to be the most important of the four, it's actually the cut of a diamond that determines its overall brilliance. A poorly cut diamond can have a larger carat weight but appear smaller and have significantly less sparkle.
Finding the perfect cut is a great place to start, and from there it's important not to get too preoccupied with the weight and D-to-Z colour grading. Flawless stones will always look beautiful but you should make your decision on how the ring makes you feel. You need to find a ring you can make a lasting commitment to. Remember: you'll be wearing this ring for the rest of your life so it pays to invest in a piece that's beautifully made and feels comfortable.
2. AVOID TREND-BASED DESIGNS
Like fashion, engagement ring trends will come and go. The overall style and design will depend upon your personal preference so don't get caught up in what's trending and lose your sense of individuality. This doesn't necessarily mean sticking to a signature solitaire cut—a unique, statement rock is sure to last the test of time. Geometric gemstones have recently made a glistening comeback, with brides-to-be embracing a modern take on vintage ring designs.
Brands such as Hearts On Fire design timeless but bespoke rings that stand out from the crowd. Each diamond is of the highest quality specifically cut to let in as much light as possible for eye-catching brilliance. The new collection, created in collaboration with bridal designer Hayley Paige, is designed to be mixed, matched and stacked. This allows you to choose a design you like, and style it in a way that speaks to your personality.
3. CONFLICT-FREE DIAMONDS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND
Conscious fashion has made its way to luxury design houses (read: the obsession with sustainability), so how does this translate to jewellery? Conflict-free diamonds. These are diamonds that have been mined and sold ethically. Knowing your diamond hasn't contributed to any human rights violations is priceless.
4. KNOW YOUR STYLE
An engagement ring should reflect the style and personality of the person wearing it, so consider your current jewellery collection, your wardrobe and the longevity of a design before settling on a style. If you tend to be a minimalist, chances are you will be drawn to more understated designs. And if you prefer to make a statement, perhaps a more eclectic design or stacked finish is more your style. Either way, it's important to avoid going with a ring you admire but feels out of place with the rest of your wardrobe.
5. CREATE AND CUSTOMISE
Once you've decided on a design it's time to fine-tune your ring. Think outside the box—a stand-out engagement ring will never go out of style. If you're online shopping, use the rings listed as a base for your ring and build from there. Jewellers will work with you to help customise and create your dream design. Each ring available at Hearts On Fire can be customised with the help of the Perfection Stylist team or an authorised retailer, including the metal, carat and ring size.
Further bespoke customisations, such as adding stones or a custom setting, are also available upon request. There are no hard-and-fast rules when curating your own ring so create a unique design that you'll love for years to come.
6. IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY
As something you will wear for the rest of your life, your engagement ring is definitely worth investing in. Tradition has it that your ring budget should be three months' salary; however, there's no hard and fast rule when it comes to how much you should be spending. It's important to remember that your ring's worth is more than the just the price tag. Trust your instincts: just like purchasing a piece of art, your ring needs to speak to you.
7. ASK FOR ADVICE
If you're stuck deciding between two rings or simply have no idea where to start, it's always a good idea to get a second opinion. Most jewellers will offer specialty services or refer you to a jeweller that can help. Shopping with your S.O. can be great, but your girlfriends know your style from your go-to 'do right down to your favourite pair of Louboutins—and no one would ever turn down a day of donning bespoke jewels.