The top questions to ask when buying an engagement ring

Romantic movies would have you believe that the only question worth worrying about in the lead up to a short walk down the aisle is ‘Will you marry me?’ but not all happy endings happen so easily. Equally important questions should be applied when selecting an engagement ring and with more than 15 years in the business of creating sophisticated sparklers, Brent Sutcliffe of Sutcliffe Jewellery has all the answers (Except for ‘Will you marry me?’ – that’s still up to you).
Here’s what you should be asking before booking a flash mob for the proposal and trying on white dresses.

What are the four Cs?
Familiarise yourself with the four C’s – cut, clarity, colour and carat as these will come up time and again in discussions to help you find a stone to sit on your finger happily ever after. While many people like to play a numbers game with carats, the cut is important with diamonds in achieving overall brilliance and sparkling bright enough for Sia to sing about. 

“There is more to buying a diamond than just these four,” Sutcliffe warns. “Visiting a reputable jeweller and understanding exactly what you get for your money is very important.  A certificate for 2 stones might look the same but the two stones can be very different in the way they look. You could get an SI1 with a fine white line that’s invisible to the naked eye, or you could get an SI1 with a single black mark in the middle of the stone. Both look exactly the same on the stone certificate but they will be totally different prices.”

What style of setting should I get?
It’s easy to lose yourself down a Pinterest spiral of celebrity engagement rings the size of ice-skating rinks with more bangs and whistles than a Swiss Army Knife. Just like fashion, engagement rings follow trends but don’t get too caught up with what the latest Real Housewife is wearing. Discuss a setting style with your jeweller that suits your personal tastes and your lifestyle.

“Be careful not to fall into the trap of buying a ring that’s more like a dress ring than an engagement ring just because you’ve always dreamed of wearing a particular style,” Sutcliffe says. “A ring that’s to be worn everyday for the rest of your life will need to be a little more sturdy than a ring that’s only worn when going out.”

“It’s important to see what suits your hand and matches your taste and lifestyle. This is why at Sutcliffe we carry quite a lot of jewellery for people to try on.” 

How much should I spend?
“Traditionally it was said the budget for an engagement ring was 3 months wages,” Sutcliffe says. “I’m not sure how many people use this as a guide any more so maybe choose a figure that’s reflective of your comfort level but also acknowledges the commitment you’re making.

Where does my diamond come from?
Every ring tells a story but you want to make sure that yours is guilt-free. Sutcliffe can put your mind to rest.

“Diamonds are mined from several places around the world but the main sources are the African continent, Russia and Canada, with Australia mining the pinks and many of the brown or Champagne diamonds,” Sutcliffe says.

“Currently there are no wars being funded by diamonds, so there are no blood diamonds.  The diamond industry has made great efforts to make sure all diamonds go through the Kimberley process to make sure they’re ethical.”

Now that you have got all the answers, you can work on that final one, “I do.”


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