GUIDE TO BUYING ENGAGEMENT RINGS
Buying a diamond engagement ring is the ultimate expression of love and commitment. At Hatton by Design we understand what an important decision it is, and we want to make it as simple as possible.
Combining over 40 years of expert advice from Hatton Garden jewellers, with discounts of up to 70% off High Street prices, we’ll take your ideas, vision and budget and make it go further.
To make the process easier for you, we have created a simple step-by-step guide. Along with our diamond sizing avatar, we will help you create your perfect engagement ring.
STEP 1 - GET THE RING SIZE
If you don’t already know, there are a number of ways to find out your partner’s ring size. Ask them directly or call upon a trusted friend of family member to secretly find out on your behalf. We also have a ring sizing guide that you can download to help you design, or buy, an engagement ring that will fit perfectly.
Still unsure of their ring size? Don’t worry, we’ll make it easy for you and resize free of charge.
STEP 2 – CHOOSE THE STYLE
In case you’ve missed the hints your partner may have dropped, you can make an informed decision on the style of ring they’d want based on their personal style.
Is their style traditional or minimalist? Then a classic solitaire diamond ring or trilogy ring is the best suited. If they are more glamorous, a halo style engagement ring will make more of a statement.
At Hatton by Design we categorise our engagement ring mounts into five key styles. Solitaire, Diamond Set, Halo, Vintage and Trilogy. We can of course create anything you desire; so if you cannot find a suitable mount within our ranges, please do not hesitate to enquire with our design team.
Solitaire - A Timeless Classic
With an elegant and simple design, this style suits a wide range of cuts. With a single stunning stone, the solitaire enhances a diamond’s natural beauty and sparkle.
Diamond Set – For Extra Sparkle
Additional diamonds provide extra glamour and sparkle. All diamonds on the band are designed to perfectly complement the centre stone.
Halo – A Circular Showcase of Diamonds
A circular showcase of diamonds surround and enhance the centre stone.
Vintage - Individually Stylish
Ornate and intricate in design, a vintage style engagement ring offers an exquisite alternative to a traditional engagement ring.
Trilogy - Beautiful Triple Stone Rings
A pair of perfectly matched companion diamonds are set either side of the centre stone.
STEP 3 - DIAMOND SHAPES
Shape is a very personal choice that buyers usually have a strong opinion about. If you are unsure about which shape to select, we recommend the most popular, the stunning Brilliant Round Cut, which stands the test of time and offers the most brilliance and sparkle of all shapes. We currently offer six core diamond shapes in our engagement ring building tool. If you cannot find the shape you are looking for, please contact us and we will be delighted to source it for you.
BRILLIANT ROUND CUT DIAMONDS
If your partner is more traditional, a Brilliant Round cut is the most popular option for an engagement ring. The diamond is cut in the shape of a cone with the top rounded off which enables it to return the light that enters it, giving it that brilliant sparkle.
PRINCESS CUT DIAMONDS
Created in the 1970s, this modern style is adapted from a standard Brilliant Round cut diamond. The cut highlights the diamond's fire, the dispersed light that appears as flashes of rainbow colours. The top of a princess cut diamond is square with pointed corners, and the general shape is that of a pyramid. Radiating fire and brilliance, Princess Cut diamond engagement rings are a contemporary alternative to the classic Brilliant Round diamond engagement ring.
EMERALD CUT DIAMONDS
As its name implies, this method of cutting was originally used for the cutting of emeralds. The Emerald Cut diamond is designed to draw attention to a diamond's shine. It is a step cut – a cut with rectangular facets that are arranged parallel to each edge of the diamond. An Emerald Cut diamond has a rectangular top with chiselled corners. This shape is enjoying a huge revival in diamond jewellery.
An Oval diamond engagement ring is perfect for someone who adores the fire of the Brilliant Round diamond, but wants something that is slightly different. The Oval shape was designed in the 1960s by Lazare Kaplan, the cousin of Marcel Tolkowsky who aided the development of Brilliant Round diamonds.
It is said that the Marquise shape was created at the request of King Louis XIV, who wanted a stone to represent the sultry smile of his mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour. The result of this request was a lengthened shape in a diamond cut with sharp ends. The Marquise diamond is cut to exploit its carat weight, giving a superior looking stone.
This unique diamond is also known as a teardrop, it has a single point with a rounded end and exudes sophistication. The Pear shaped diamond is a brilliant cut diamond that blends the shape of an Oval diamond and a Marquise diamond. Set within an engagement ring this can be worn towards or away from the hand depending on the preference of the wearer. Either way it is sure to capture people’s attention.
STEP 4 – GET TO KNOW THE 4C’s
Having selected a design, you will then need to think about the diamond itself. A diamond’s value, rarity and beauty are determined by colour, clarity, carat and cut. Which are also known as the 4C’s. Before you handpick the perfect diamond for your creation, it is important to understand why two diamonds that may look exactly the same are actually valued differently. The following section will help you to understand the 4C’s in more detail before our master craftsman turn your vision into a unique creation.
Colour is clarified against an industry standard grading system. The full spectrum of diamond colour runs from D to Z, whereby a D grade stone will be almost colourless and thus the most desirable and most expensive.
To the naked-eye, it is almost impossible to discern between a D and an E stone, and even experts need a comparison stone to grade against. Colour grade D-G is considered ideal for diamond engagement rings. When purchasing a diamond ring, it’s important to remember that the minute colour differences of the diamond may well be slightly skewed by the colour of the mount and the ring, which the facets of the stone reflect.
Inclusions or nature’s ‘fingerprints’ are natural flaws that occur in diamonds. They look like tiny crystals, clouds or feathers and are often invisible to the naked eye. The beauty of a diamond will not be greatly affected by inclusions as they can be hidden by the setting or the mount.
Clarity is ranked on a scale from FL (Flawless) to I3 (Heavily Included). At Hatton by Design we only carry diamonds from FL (Flawless) to SI2 (Slightly Included). We inspect every diamond to ensure it is as clear and polished as possible. There are two main bodies that set these scales, the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) and the CIBJO (International Confederation of Jewellery Silverware and Diamonds). At Hatton by Design, we sell diamonds graded by GIA and a number of other laboratories to provide you with the widest choice.
People often think that carat refers to the size of the diamond, however it actually refers to the weight of the diamond. One carat is the equivalent of 1/5 of a gram and depending on the quality of the cut, two stones of the same carat weight could actually look quite different in size. Most people do not realise that larger stones are disproportionately more expensive than smaller stones.
For example, a one carat diamond will cost much more than twice the cost of a half carat diamond. Choosing the carat weight is a balancing act between the 4C’s, with brilliance often a fashionable choice over sheer size.
A well-cut smaller stone can make a bigger impression than a poorer cut larger one. As such, carat should always be considered in conjunction with the other factors, not as the single most important factor when making a purchase. To understand how a diamond might look on an average hand, explore our diamond sizing avatar here. You can adjust the shape and carat weight to help you better visualise your diamond.
Considered the most important of the 4C’s, the cut has the greatest influence on a diamond’s sparkle and brilliance. Even if a diamond has a perfect colour grade and clarity, if it is poorly cut, it may appear dull. In a nutshell, a better cut means more sparkle. Cut is classified from Excellent to Poor. At Hatton by Design we only carry diamonds from Excellent to Very Good cuts.