Tips on Buying an Engagement Ring

Tips on Buying an Engagement Ring

When you are choosing an engagement ring, whether you are buying a ring for your partner, or choosing something together, there are so many questions that need answering. We've compiled our top 5 tips into a handy little guide to help you make a decision that’s right for you as a couple.


When diamond rings first became popular as engagement rings, men were encouraged to spend a month’s salary on their partner’s ring. Now, somehow, it has sneaked up to be three months’ salary. We blame marketing and societal pressures and we disagree wholeheartedly.

There is no reason to spend that much, and often some very good reasons why not to – maybe you’re saving for a wedding or a house. Once you've set a budget for a ring, stick to it, and choose the stone that's right for you.

Both the Ethica Diamond, a lab-grown diamond infused Moissanite, and lab-grown diamonds cost substantially less than the equivalent mined diamond. This means that you can get a lot more sparkle for your money, and get an amazing ring that fits comfortably within your budget.


Well, what sort of person is it for? Is your girlfriend an outdoorsy person, walking dogs, riding bikes, climbing, mucking out horses… If so, then she’s unlikely to want a ring that is huge and ostentatious, that she will need to leave at home to prevent it getting damaged, or caught up in something.

Is your girlfriend a woman for whom style is important, with a perfect manicure at all times, and maybe clients to impress? A ring that will fit this lifestyle might look very different.

Does she love antiques, or Art Deco? Is she free spirited and a little off-the-beaten-track? Is she effortlessly elegant, and someone for whom ‘classy’ comes naturally?

All these things need to be considered, as well as the shade of her skin, the shape of her hand, the colour of other jewellery she wears, and her tastes.

Take a look at our blogs:

Choosing a ring to suit your hand.

Choosing a ring your partner will love for helpful hints and tips.


The original marketing that said you need to buy a diamond for an engagement ring was generated in the 1940s, on behalf of DeBeers, the diamond mining conglomerate. They would have you believe that ‘diamonds are forever’, and to spend a month, no sorry, three months’ salary on the ring. Their latest ploy is to tell you that mined diamonds are best.

We respectfully disagree, and can show you various things to help you understand the reality of the environmental destruction and human rights abuses that go hand-in-hand with the mined diamond industry. Choosing a lab-grown engagement ring isn’t just a nice idea, it is also more affordable too! Take a look at our blogs: What is a diamond?, True cost of mined diamonds: The environment, True cost of mined diamonds: People (Part 1) for more insightful and helpful information.

Diamonds are gorgeous, and for many people, are the essential element in an engagement ring, and we do understand that. Engineered diamonds are created in a lab, so there are no ethical questions or environmental damage associated with them, and you can buy them with a clear conscience and zero compromises.

Freedom of choice blog graphic


Well, yes, but be careful. Diamonds are graded by the 4Cs – carat weight, cut, colour and clarity – and with mined diamonds, there is always a juggling act between these, and the cost of the gem. If you'd like to know more about the 4Cs, you can find out here. A larger carat with poorer cut or clarity or colour will be cheaper, but it may lack sparkle, or be a slightly less-than-white colour. Bigger is not always better.

Yet, wouldn’t it be great if you could have the stone that you want without the high cost?

This is where the Ethica Diamond comes in. As they are lab-grown, there is full control over the cut, colour and clarity, and therefore they are all of the very best standards. There are no compromises to be made and no disappointing flaws. All round brilliant cut diamonds are cut to the ideal ‘Hearts and arrows’ cut, which is just about the best you can get in terms of sparkliness, so all you have to do is choose the carat size.

Our Stones/Carat Sizes

The size of the stone, or the amount of money spent on it, is not a measure of your love. Choosing a ring that is perfect for the recipient, and costs an amount you can afford, is a better way of showing them you love them, and how much they mean to you. Read our blog on How much should I spend for more information.


In addition to price and quality, a huge factor in choosing the size of the stone is the size of her hand. So the idea of a one or two carat diamond covering the majority of one finger (and probably overlapping onto others) may not be the right choice if she has petite proportions.

Likewise, a larger hand may better suit a larger stone as it will be more relative in proportion. A stone that suits the size of her hand may not seem as trendy at the time that you purchase it, but it will look tasteful and classic on her hand for years to come. Our advice is opt for stylish proportions personal to her despite what others may be telling you. Don’t be peer pressured by society.

sketch showing the differences hand size can have on carat weight.

Small carat sizes tend to look a bit ‘lost’ on a larger, longer hand.

Engagement Ring Buying Guide
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