Unsure of the difference between an engagement ring and a wedding band? Bewildered by information about value, cost and style? We can help.
What’s the difference between an engagement ring and a wedding band?
An engagement ring is worn on its own until the big day, when it is then partnered with the wedding band on her ring finger. The wedding band is usually bought after the engagement ring – often chosen with the help of the lucky bride to be.
If you’re looking to splash out a bit and woo her, an engagement ring is definitely the way to go – it often looks more significant than a wedding band. An engagement ring can be:
- a solitaire (single-diamond ring)
- more detailed, with diamonds around the centre and on the sides
- wider and more contemporary, with a coloured semiprecious stone.
How much should I spend on an engagement ring?
The old rule of thumb is three months’ salary, but every situation is different. It’s a special time in your life, so you don’t want to let money dictate terms too much – but she probably won’t be too impressed if you’re taking out a second mortgage to pay for the ring.
How much should I spend on my own wedding band?
From our experience the average is $900–$1,600 for 9 or 18 karat gold, unless you want it stone set.
Titanium is also a popular option – it’s easy, low maintenance and a light metal to wear. Titanium rings average around $500.
For rings with diamonds, or rings made with palladium or platinum, upwards of $1,000 is usually standard.
How do I know what ring size to buy?
Most rings will need to be sized after they have been given to the lucky lady – sizing the ring doesn’t normally take more than a week and it is something you can discuss with your in store jewellery expert at the time you purchase the ring. Sometimes the ring does need to be remade if it has more detailed shoulders (sides), or if the ring needs to be changed significantly. This can take up to five weeks, and is a fairly common occurrence. Our in store jewellery experts will be able to help with re sizing questions. If you would prefer to send an email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I know what style of ring to buy?
An easy first step is to see what jewellery she already wears and go from there (a photo to show the staff in store is handy). But there are all sorts of ways you can gauge her style. Keep your ears open when you walk past a jewellery store – she’ll probably point out a few options. Her best friend will be a good judge, as they’ve probably spent hours discussing it already – just don’t burden her with the secret for too long.
What if she doesn’t like the ring?
Again, this is something you shouldn’t be too concerned about until after she says yes. If you’ve chosen a ring yourself, she’ll appreciate your initiative to find her something you think she’ll love. You can always exchange or remodel the ring if it really isn’t her thing – or design something entirely different with our bespoke range.
Which karat of gold is the most valuable?
If the gold rings all look similar to you but have vastly different price tags, they’re probably made from a different karat of gold: the higher the karat, the purer and more valuable the gold. The most pure is 24 kt, although this is too soft to use in jewellery – 18 kt is the highest used for most rings if they are to maintain their durability.
Why are some diamonds more valuable than others?
It comes down to the four Cs. The first is carat weight (not karats, which refers to gold). The higher the carat weight, the rarer and more valuable the diamond. The second is clarity, which refers to any characteristics the diamond may have. The third is colour, which is measured on a scale from D to Z, with D being absolutely colourless (the most valuable) and Z being murky (not so valuable). And finally there is the cut, referring to the shape and proportions of the stone which contribute to its overall sparkle. Together these characteristics make each diamond unique.