Engagement Ring Guide

Clifton Rocks has put together a brief guide for buying an engagement ring to give you some guidance and to help you create a bespoke ring. We would advise you to pop in to our shop in Clifton Village and speak to our trained jewellers for more guidance and to see samples of metals, designs, finishes and stones. Alternatively, give us a call or email and we will happily talk you through everything.

There are four main deciding factors; Metal, Style, Stone & Finishes.

Metal

A good way to start is to decide on the colour of the ring, whether it be a yellow, white or red metal. Apart from the colour difference, their strength & price is also another deciding factor when choosing the metal.

Gold
Pure gold is a bright yellow colour and can be used on its own or mixed with a combination of alloys. 9ct = 37.5% pure gold, 18ct = 75% pure gold. In the UK the most common two options are 9ct and 18ct gold.

Yellow, white & rose gold
The combination of alloys that are mixed with the pure gold can change the colour of the metal. The actual combination of alloys varies but white gold usually contains palladium or silver and rose gold contains copper.

Palladium
Palladium has been used in jewellery for many years but mostly as one of the other metals in white gold. As it is a relatively new addition to precious metals it is in lower demand than platinum.

Platinum
Platinum is a very hard material and is naturally a white colour, eliminating the need for rhodium plating. It is also a rare metal, hence the slightly more expensive price tag.

Rhodium plating
As white gold contains an amount of pure gold, it naturally has a slight yellow tint to it. Some people like it in its natural state but it can be made to look bright white by rhodium plating. During this process the ring is plated with a layer of a material called rhodium, this plating won’t last forever and may need to be re-plated every year.

If you are not sure what metal to choose, we are happy to give you quotes on different metal to compare

Style

The style of the engagement ring can be catogorised into 3 types: Solitaire, Multi-stone & Cluster. Stones are not restricted to a certain shape and can be combined and designed to set in many creative ways. Here are a couple of rings we have made in the past to give you some insipirations.

Solitaire

A classic style which consists of one centre stone. This can be a diamond or other precious stone like sapphire, emerald or ruby. Smaller stones can be set on the shoulder to enhance the deisgn.

Multi-Stone

A collection of stones, usually 3, 5 or more set in a ring. You may combine dfferent shapes & colour of stone in to a ring to create unique designs.

Cluster

An eye catching centre stone surrounded by smaller stones around its parameter to create a dramatic bling!

Stones

Diamonds: Most people are familiar with the 4C’s when it comes to buying a diamond: Colour, Clarity, Cut & Carat.

The colour of a diamond is the amount of colour seen in a colourless diamond, this is graded from D-Z. The majority of stones we deal with are “G” colour, which is high up the scale, realistically what this means is that you are not going to notice any colour in the stone unless you are full trained and looking at the stone in comparison to a “D” grade stone.

The clarity of the diamond is the amount of inclusions or imperfections inside the stone. The grading system is not as simple but goes as follows: IF (Internally Flawless), VVS1 & VVS2 (Very very slightly included), VS1 & VS2 (Very slightly included, SI1 & SI2 (Slightly included), I1, I2 & I3 (Included or imperfect). The majority of stones we deal with are “SI” grade. The vast majority of inclusions in an SI1 stone are not visible with the naked eye and the diamond will still look lovely.

but refers to the quality of the cut. For round stones there are guidelines on the proportions of a round brilliant stone, the quality of the cut tells you how close to these proportions the stone is.

The carat is the most simple of the 4C’s; this simply tells you how much the stone weighs in metric carats

Most of the stones can be cut into different shape, whether is diamond or other semi-precious stones. We are happy to find a good selection of stones based on your requirements. There’s no obligation to the stones.

Coloured stones
If you decide a diamond is not for you then there are many other options. The traditional coloured stones are sapphire, emerald and ruby. Rubies and sapphires are both relatively hard (9 on the Mohs scale) and a good choice for an engagement ring. Emeralds are a lovely deep green colour but they are quite brittle and so could be damaged easily.

Finishes

We have a wide range of finishes you can choose from with every design; from polished, matt, hammered, wire brushed to carved. Each can be applied to a variety of different precious metal to meet your design requirement. Speak to our trained jewellers who will be able to show you a selection of examples.