Engagement Rings: What You Need To Know


The most important FIRST step is to talk to your partner about getting engaged.  It is crucial that both partners agree with getting married before a ring is chosen or a proposal planned. If you had your heart set on surprising them with a ring, the proposal is the place for that; not the decision to get engaged.  There are many important and life changing decisions involved with making a commitment of this nature and these decisions need to be discussed including expectations about timelines, finances, living arrangements and family planning.  Many modern couples shop for rings together to ensure the ring chosen to symbolize their commitment to each other represents the perfect choice for both partners and especially the ring wearer.  



The second step in your engagement ring selection is to set a budget to work within.  The traditional “rule of thumb” about how much to spend on an engagement ring is completely outdated.  Each couple’s financial situation and priorities are unique to them and the most important “rule” you need to remember is to buy the ring that you can afford right now.  Don’t sacrifice your financial security by dipping into your emergency fund to pay for a ring.  The most important gift you can give your partner and yourself is financial security as you begin your life together.  There will be many opportunities to upgrade the ring or stones in your future together. 


Ring Size

There is no way to size a ring accurately other than to have the wearer’s actual engagement ring finger professionally sized.  Various ring styles and band widths fit differently, and some rings are not able to be resized.  Fingers and knuckle sizes are highly variable and the difference between one ring size and the next can be fractions of millimeters.  So ask your partner for their ring size or bring them to a jewellery professional to have their finger sized.  The industry rule for a perfect ring fit is: “One second to go on, and three seconds to get off.”  


Ring Anatomy 

Common Ring Vocabulary

Head – The top setting of the ring that holds the centre stone and optional side stones

Shank – Circular metal part of the ring

Shoulder – Part of the ring occurring on each side of the head of the ring

Gallery – The underside of the ring beneath the centre stone

Halo – Circle of stones surrounding the central stone

Hidden Halo – the halo is hidden from the top view but can be seen in side profile of the ring

Solitaire – Style of ring with a single diamond in the centre of the ring

Prong or Claw Set – A setting style where four or six thin pieces of metal create a cradle to hold the stone in place. This is the most popular setting style and allows maximum light to pass through the stone.   

Bezel Set – A setting style where a continuous band of metal wraps around the stone to hold it in place.  This setting provides good protection for the stone and works well for those with an active lifestyle. 

Channel Set – A setting style where stones are set in a row between two metal walls.  This is a popular setting used in wedding bands. 

Pavé Set – A setting style where multiple tiny diamonds are set close together using tiny metal beads or prongs to hold them in place.  Creates a glitter effect. 


Metal Choice

Gold is by far the most popular precious metal used for engagement rings.  Gold is alloyed with other metals for strength and colour.  Gold engagement rings usually range from 10 karat gold (harder) to 18 karat gold (softer) and come in yellow, white or rose gold.  While gold is a durable precious metal option for everyday wear, platinum is another popular choice that offers a heavier feel, white colour, and a durability advantage over gold but with a bit higher price tag.     


Stone Selection

Natural Diamonds are formed in and mined from the earth’s crust.  Since there are a limited number of natural diamonds available on earth; their rarity is reflected in their price.  Diamonds are the most durable stone in the world and are clear in colour, so they go with every wardrobe choice.  There are fancy coloured diamonds available if a coloured stone engagement ring is desired.     

Read about what you need to know when choosing a diamond here: https://jhyoung.com/pages/diamond-education

Diamonds with the same chemical and physical properties as natural diamonds can be created in a lab environment.  While lab diamonds perform as well as natural diamonds it is important to note that lab diamonds do not hold their value as the price of lab created diamonds become less expensive over time.  Lab diamonds are produced in increasingly greater quantities and their lack of rarity is reflected in their lower price tag. 

There are many alternatives to diamonds for use in engagement rings.  Durable stones such as Moissanite (colourless) and Sapphire (blue) will stand up to everyday wear.  Other popular stone options that need to be handled with more care but make excellent engagement ring options are Morganite (pink), Ruby (red), Aquamarine (Blue), Emerald (Green) and Topaz (variety of colour options).  It is important to choose a stone that has durability aligned with the wearer’s daily activities.    

For the most environmentally sustainable choice and great value Estate engagement rings should be considered.  Since these pieces are preowned, they are not contributing any additional environmental footprint when they are purchased.  Estate jewellery is fully cleaned, inspected, and restored where necessary to ensure each piece passes our quality standards. 


Where to Buy

An engagement ring is a significant investment and should be purchased with confidence.  Use a reputable local jeweller to ensure you are getting what you pay for.  A local jewellery expert can provide top quality workmanship and materials while assisting you to find the right ring within your budget. 

J.H. Young Jewellers

Spanning four generations, we at J.H. Young Jewellers have taken pride in what we sell.  We are pleased to offer a one-year warranty on all jewellery purchases.  We also encourage you to have one of our jewellery consultants clean and inspect your jewellery every three months free of charge.  We offer complimentary first fitting on all engagement rings completed in under 48 hours and refinishing of the engagement ring before the wedding.  We also offer 20% off all Bridal and Wedding gifts for your upcoming wedding.    

For more information about our Bridal Services :  https://jhyoung.com/blogs/blog/bridal-service-at-j-h-young-jewellers-in-brantford-ontario


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