The jewellery purchase that has stressed men out for decades! Traditionally (since the 1950s or so), we've tended to propose with diamond solitaire rings. These are single diamonds set in a gold or platinum band and, depending on the diamond carat weight, can be quite pricey indeed. Nowadays men and women propose with all sort of different gemstones and ring styles, and some engagement rings feature no gemstones at all. Today, personal taste trumps tradition, and that's just the way we think it should be.
So what's your perfect engagement ring? We've listed some of the more popular engagement ring styles below.
Three stone rings have been growing in popularity as engagement rings since Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle. Her ring, of course, featured incredibly expensive diamonds, which may or may not be in your budget! Super alternatives to diamond, especially for that larger centre stone include sapphire, ruby, aquamarine, morganite, topaz, or man made stones such as synthetic sapphire, synthetic ruby, synthetic moissanite or cubic zirconia.
Cluster rings make lovely engagement rings, and tend to feature a colourful centre stone surrounded by colourless stones. The classic engagement cluster ring is sapphire and diamond, but on a budget you could opt for synthetic sapphire and cubic zirconia instead. Synthetic gemstones have the same chemical composition as the Earth mined alternative, but have been grown over a period of weeks in a laboratory rather than over millions of years in the Earth's crust. Synthetic gemstones tend to be very striking indeed, since they lack the inclusions often found in natural stones. You may see synthetic stones on other websites referred to as 'created', by which they mean laboratory-created or synthetic.
Diamond, as we have already mentioned, is the traditional choice. It's also the hardest of all gemstones and while it is not unbreakable, it will withstand everyday wear well. The next in line in terms of hardness are sapphire and ruby. Kate Middleton's engagement ring is a sapphire cluster, and that continues to remain a popular choice today since sapphires are beautiful, versatile stones available at so many price points. We sell both natural and synthetic sapphires, and the distinction is always clear on the product page. We never sell glass filled sapphires or rubies, and you should always check with retailers that their stones are free of glass fillings.
Softer stones like emerald and tanzanite can be worn as everyday rings, but it's important that the stones are set in such a way to give them maximum protection from knocks - the bezel setting is the best choice for these stones. Failing that, and for all claw set softer gemstones, do wear them with care.
For a solitaire on a budget, cubic zirconia is a very popular choice. The stone is the most popular diamond simulant on the market today, and while it won't stand the test of time like a diamond will, it does look like one to the untrained eye and is reasonably hard wearing.
We could chat about gemstones and rings all day long at Sterling & Wilde! If you want more information on a ring, or would like us to source something bespoke for you, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 846 0254 - we will be only too happy to help.