How To Choose An Engagement Ring: The Complete Guide

An engagement ring isn't just a piece of jewellery; it's a symbol of commitment and a promise of forever. As a physical manifestation of one of life's most important moments, finding that perfect ring can feel exhilarating and overwhelming. At Alicia J Diamonds, we understand the profound significance behind this choice and are here to shed some light on finding that perfect engagement ring.

A story waits to be told through the glint of every diamond and the allure of every setting. Let's start to explore how you can select an engagement ring that captivates the eye and embodies the depth of your love. Whether you're swayed by the timeless charm of gold or the beauty of white topaz, this guide aims to illuminate your path to that perfect symbol of devotion.

Woman showing off engagement ring with her hand being held by the viewer.

1- Identify Your Budget

Before diving into selecting your dream piece, it's crucial to establish your budget. Deciding on a budget goes beyond numbers; it involves aligning your investment with the value you want to encapsulate during your search for an engagement ring.

By setting a budget from the start, you'll streamline your options and approach diamond and gemstone shopping with focus and clarity. Remember, at Alicia J Diamonds, it's not about how much you spend but the selection that captures the love and commitment it represents.

2- Consider Your Partner’s Perfect Style

Delving into the world of diamonds and gemstones requires more than just an understanding of quality and value; you need to find a piece that matches your partner's personality. Start by reflecting on what you know about their preferences. Have they been captivated by the timeless elegance of classic designs, or do they lean towards contemporary, avant-garde pieces? Think of the jewellery they wear often: is it subtle and understated or bold and statement-making? It's these nuances of their personal flair, that will guide you towards a ring that not only fits their finger but also their soul.

couple posing for selfie and showing off engagement ring

3- What To Look For When Picking Out An Engagement Ring

When browsing for engagement rings, it doesn't have to be daunting. While the spectrum of choices might seem vast, some essential steps can guide your journey. Here at Alicia J Diamonds, we've broken down the process into a few vital touchpoints to ensure your selection is both informed and heartfelt. Let's delve into them in more detail:

The 4 Cs:

The foundation of any diamond engagement rings value lies in the 4 Cs. Each of these plays a pivotal role in determining the diamond's overall appeal and worth


While diamonds range from colourless to light yellow or brown, the less colour a diamond has, the higher its value. Each hue has its own charm, so choose one that resonates most with your partner's taste.


The cut of a diamond engagement ring doesn't just refer to its shape but also how effectively it reflects light; a well-cut diamond exudes brilliance, capturing and reflecting light in a mesmerising dance.


Diamonds, much like humans, have their imperfections or inclusions. Clarity evaluates the degree to which these tiny blemishes interfere with light passing through the stone. The fewer the inclusions, the clearer and more valuable the diamond.


Carat weight is the measure of how much a diamond weighs, and not necessarily its size. A ring's carat can influence its price, but remember, a larger carat doesn't always mean a better diamond.

man placing engagement ring on partner's finger

4- How Can I Tell What Their Ring Size Is?

The journey of selecting the perfect engagement ring often meets a discreet hurdle: finding your partner's ring size without breaking the surprise. You might borrow a ring they wear frequently and use it as a reference. Alternatively, you can consult close friends or family, hoping they have some estimation of size. Yet, if all else fails, remember that at Alicia J Diamonds, our experts are always at hand to guide you.

5- Other Factors To Consider:

Beyond the foundational 4 Cs, other intricacies play a pivotal role in defining the charm and allure of an engagement ring. Often overlooked details can deeply influence the ring's overall aesthetics and resonance with the wearer's personal style. At Alicia J Diamonds, we've always believed in the magic of the details. Let's explore some of these subtle yet significant factors:


Diamond shapes, or gemstone shapes, are more than just their geometric form; they reflect personality and style. From the timeless elegance of a round brilliant diamond cut to the contemporary allure of a princess or cushion cut, each shape offers a unique narrative. Consider what resonates most with your partner’s tastes — is it an emerald cut's vintage charm or an oval's romantic curves? If you need assistance choosing the shape of your ethical engagement ring, our experts can help provide guidance on the options available.


The setting cradles the gemstone, providing security and a stage for it to shine. The classic solitaire setting allows the diamond to be the main focus, but a halo setting envelops the main stone with an entourage of smaller diamonds. The setting can dramatically transform the engagement ring style and overall appearance.

Metal Type

The metal type, the canvas upon which the gemstone unfolds, can elevate the ring's overall look. Traditional yellow gold offers a warm, timeless glow, while white gold or platinum engagement rings provide a modern, sleek appearance. For those with a penchant for something unique, a rose gold band offers a contemporary twist with its pinkish hue.

Remember, the true beauty of an engagement ring lies in its details. In these nuances, you craft a symbol of love that's as unique as your story.

Woman resting engagement ring-wearing hand on her partner's shoulder

6- How Far in Advance Should I Buy the Ring?

While you may want to purchase one immediately, practical considerations require a more measured approach. Depending on the complexity of the design, a lead time of a few months is recommended. This allows for meticulous craftsmanship, potential adjustments, and the unforeseen intricacies that might arise in the creation process. It's always wise to cushion your timeline, ensuring that when the moment to propose arrives, it's graced with a ring that's nothing short of perfection.

7- Design Your Perfect Engagement Ring: Go Bespoke With Alicia J

Going bespoke is more than just customisation; it's about weaving your unique story, emotions, and desires into a ring that is a testament to your journey. At Alicia J Diamonds, we believe every love story is unparalleled and deserving of an equally important symbol.

When you choose bespoke with us, you're not merely selecting a stone or a setting. Every curve, every sparkle, and every detail is meticulously crafted. From the initial sketches to the final polish, we breathe life into your vision, ensuring that the finished piece is not just a ring but a reflection of your unique bond.

Let's take a closer look at what's involved:


We start with a chat about what you want and how the process works. We’ll ask questions about what you like and what you don’t, about budget, timescales and anything else that’s relevant. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ll help you formulate your ideas. 


We’ll transform the ideas from our first chat into a presentation with mood boards, then we’ll help you pick the best design for your needs and budget. After that, we’ll make sure you have everything you need to create the right engagement ring, in the design, choosing metals, settings and personalisations. 


It’s off to our expert jewellers to create your bespoke jewellery, sourcing ethical gemstones and ensuring perfect craftsmanship. Once it’s back at Alicia J HQ, we’ll check everything and send to you complete with accreditations, gem reports and beautiful packaging.  

Embracing the Journey Ahead

As you embark on this journey of commitment, remember that the ring you choose is a reflection of the bond you share and the future you're sculpting together. This journey to find the perfect engagement ring, much like love itself, is filled with moments of wonder, anticipation, and joy. While the world of gemstones, metals, and designs can seem vast, the right guidance and knowledge can transform this quest into a memorable experience, ensuring that the symbol of your love is as unique as your story.

May the insights shared in this guide provide a lantern, casting a gentle light on your path, and illuminating each choice and decision. As you look towards the horizon, with the promise of shared tomorrows and whispered dreams, remember that the most valuable jewel is the love you hold and the memories you're yet to create.

Related: The Different Types of Engagement Rings | How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost? | Do Men Wear Engagement Rings?| Design Your Own Engagement Ring


Engaged couple kissing

FAQs on Engagement Rings:

We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about choosing an engagement ring below:

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

The age-old question of how much one should spend on an engagement ring does not have a one-size-fits-all all answer. Traditionally many people follow the guideline of spending two to three months' salary. However, in today's world, it is important to consider circumstances, values and preferences. While an engagement ring holds symbolism for love and commitment, its worth should not jeopardize your stability. Always remember that it is not about the price but about the thoughtfulness, sentimentality and story, behind the ring that truly matter.

Should my partner choose their engagement ring?

Choosing an engagement ring is a decision; what works for one couple may not work for another.

Some couples enjoy the excitement and surprise of a proposal while others find it more practical to choose the engagement ring together, ensuring that it perfectly matches their style and size preferences. If you're unsure about which approach to take, you might consider proposing with a ring or a symbolic token, then embark on the journey of selecting the ring as a couple.

What is the 3 month salary rule?

The "3 month salary rule" is a guideline that suggests spending an amount to three months worth of your partner's salary on an engagement ring. It's important to note that this guideline is not obligatory or universally expected. In fact, it is believed to have been popularised by diamond marketers as a means to increase sales.