GUIDE TO BUYING ENGAGEMENT RINGS
At Hatton by Design, we understand that buying a diamond engagement ring is one of the most important purchases you will ever make.
To make the process easier for you, we have created a simple step-by-step guide. This will help to specify the exact diamond and ring design before it is transformed into the perfect creation by our master craftsmen and stone setters here in Hatton Garden.
It is important to remember that buying a diamond engagement ring is a financial investment, and setting a budget should be considered carefully. Unlike other online retailers, Hatton by Design is based in the heart of Hatton Garden, one of the most renowned jewellery locations in the world. From here we have direct access to 80% of the world’s diamonds, with the finest workshops and craftsmen in the world. With Hatton by Design you can expect to buy your diamonds at a discount of up to 70% off High Street prices, so whatever budget you have, it will go much further with us.
STEP 1 - GET THE RING SIZE
Before you get on one knee or pick that special location to pop the question, you will need to find out your partner’s ring size. This can be achieved in a number of ways; you could be open and ask directly or simply ask a friend or family member to find out for you. Alternatively, you could download our simple ring-sizing guide here and follow the instructions. This means you can design or buy a ring knowing that it will fit perfectly.
STEP 2 – CHOOSE THE STYLE
If you haven’t already been primed with hints, you will need to decide which style of ring is best suited to your partner. To do this there are one or two things you may want to consider. Is your partner’s style traditional, minimalist, contemporary, understated or glamourous? You may find clues in your partner’s current jewellery range. If it is oversized, eye catching and decorative then a Diamond Halo style featuring an unusual diamond shape might be the perfect engagement ring statement. Perhaps the jewellery range is more refined and understated. In this case, a classic Diamond Solitaire or beautiful Trilogy ring might be better suited. Our Pinterest page is full of inspiration for him and for her - a great place to get inspired.
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 don’t 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 with a high clarity rating 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 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.