Jewellery guide: The 101 on engagement rings

Ladies, look away


By Jolin Lee

Featured images: @kourtneykardashian / INSTAGRAM
Jewellery guide: The 101 on engagement rings

If you’re here reading this, it’s a clear sign that you’re ready to take the next big step in your relationship. Congratulations! Here’s what to do next: picking an engagement ring. While it’s exciting to pick out the bling, what follows is the immense pressure of choosing the perfect ring for your partner. The process may indeed be daunting, but with our guide, you’ll be on the right track to finding the ring that best symbolises your love and commitment.

Should you get white gold or platinum? Are there any other options aside from diamonds? Do carats matter? We understand that you have many questions that need answers. Here’s what you need to know.



Setting up a budget for the ring is extremely important before you set your eyes on any diamond ring. Decide how much you are willing to spend. While the “traditional” advice suggests allocating at least one month’s salary, it’s essential to gauge your personal comfort level. Remember, while love knows no price, consider all the ongoing and future commitments (like, the actual wedding planning?) that you may have before splurging.



When it comes to purchasing a diamond, there are the 4 Cs that you need to consider: carat, cut, colour, and clarity. First, let’s talk about carat. We’re sure you know what a diamond carat is—the larger the carat, the more expensive the diamond. However, keep in mind that size isn’t everything. Next is the cut, which determines how well the diamond reflects light. Even the smallest diamond with a good cut can appear more brilliant. Diamonds are usually colourless, and they are graded from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). Lastly, clarity refers to the presence of internal and external flaws. The fewer the flaws, the better the clarity.

Now that we have our 4 Cs nailed down, let’s talk about diamond shapes. The most common shape is round, known for its exceptional brilliance. The princess cut, which is square or rectangular, is another popular choice. For a vintage appeal, consider cushion cuts with rounded corners, as well as oval, marquise, and pear shapes. These styles carry a timeless elegance. Lastly, emerald and Asscher cuts are step-cut diamonds that best showcase clarity, highlighting the diamond’s quality.



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Selecting an engagement ring should be a matter of personal preference (or your partner’s), rather than a decision based on a fleeting trend you saw on social media. Some partners may have already hinted at the kind of ring they like—if you paid close attention. If not, take a look at their jewellery collection. Is it mainly gold, silver or white gold? What style do they prefer—classic or vintage? This should help you narrow down your options to find the perfect ring.

While you’re at it, take a look at the size of her rings, as this will help you tremendously in determining her size. If you’re still unsure, don’t worry—many jewellery stores, such as Tailored Jewel, offer resizing services to ensure a perfect fit.



This is a common question: should I get natural or lab-grown diamonds? Both are evaluated by the same 4 Cs (carat, cut, colour, and clarity), but price is the deciding factor. Natural diamonds are more expensive due to their rarity, making lab-grown diamonds an attractive alternative. If you’re concerned that lab-grown diamonds aren’t “real”, rest assured they have the same chemical composition as natural diamonds. The difference lies in their origin—one is formed naturally in the earth, while the other is created in a lab. There is no “fake” or “unreal” option; both are genuine diamonds, allowing customers to choose based on their preferences and budget.



Diamonds are not the only option for engagement rings. Gemstones come in a variety of colours, offering alternatives to the traditional white diamond. Sapphires, for instance, gained popularity after Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with his mother’s oval blue sapphire ring. Emeralds, with their rich green hue, exude a classy and majestic feel. Rubies, ranging from pink to bright red, are less common but equally stunning. Other gemstones to consider include opals, popularised by K-pop stars HyunA and DAWN, as well as aquamarine, garnet, and more. Ultimately, choose the gem that feels right for you, but if in doubt, diamonds are always a safe bet.



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Now that you’ve picked your stone, it’s time to choose a setting—how the stone will be held on the ring. There are five popular types: solitaire, which features a single, classic diamond; halo, where smaller diamonds surround the centre stone for added sparkle; pavé, with small diamonds set into the band for a continuous shimmer; three-stone, representing the past, present, and future with three diamonds; and bezel, a sturdy, simple, and clean setting that encircles the stone with a metal rim. Additionally, ring bands come in various materials, with the most popular being white gold, yellow gold, and platinum.



Buy your engagement ring from a trusted jeweller, not just an online store. Ensure each diamond comes with certifications, such as GIA and Sarine, to prove its authenticity. Choose a jeweller you trust and understand their warranty process—some offer a lifetime warranty. Give yourself a couple of months to pick the perfect ring; don’t rush the decision! Below, we’ve narrowed down a few recommendations to help you get started. Happy proposing!






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