• Budget & Prices – Have a rough budget in mind and generally a middle priced/quality jewellers would be a decent guide to cost. Remember that you get what you pay for and gold and diamonds are worldwide controlled prices so beware of buying in places like Dubai, New York and Antwerp. In my considerable experience I have observed that people rarely get both good prices and good quality when buying abroad…. And you also have to consider the after sales service.
• Diamond Quality – I personally recommend and use only D,E,F and sometimes G colour Diamonds with a clarity of “Si” minimum. With good to excellent cut grades and symmetry. Preferred lab certs would be IGI , HRD or GIA and forget the rest.
• Diamond Size – This is something that should be controlled by your budget and should be secondary to quality as a small high quality diamond will give more “bling” than a large, heavily included, yellowish stone. Avoid rings with multiple stones joined to make an illusion of one large stone – these are a disaster waiting to happen and shops simply should not sell them.
• Coloured Gemstones – Consider a beautiful Sapphire or Ruby etc. as the centerpiece of your ring…. They can offer size and beauty at a lower cost to large diamonds. Sapphires come in all colours including green, yellow, pink, purple. Emeralds are beautiful but not the most practical for everyday wear. Coloured stones are very much in trend at the moment.
• Metal Choice – Depending on budgets, lifestyle and whether you are matching another ring, there are arguments for and against each precious metal. Platinum works great as a tough white metal and is not much more expensive than 18ct white gold, Palladium and 9ct yellow gold are particularly good for gents wedding rings due to their affordability and strength. We can advise you well here and beware of some misinformed information that is passed around regarding some metals being soft etc… All precious metals are soft if not prepared and worked correctly.
Yellow Gold holds its shine best of all and is trending back in popularity.
• Design – All our products are Bespoke so they are made to your specific requirements. No matter how elaborate the design is, a wedding or engagement ring should be made with longevity and practical wearing in mind. If a ring is made with sufficient weight it can become a family heirloom for generations to come.
Brian J Eiffe – Goldsmith & Specialist Bespoke Jewellery Designer @ Alchemy Jewellery