Practical Engagement Ring Shopping Advice from a Diamond Jewellery Expert

Over our many years in the wedding industry, we’ve read endless tips on what to consider when buying an engagement ring, but never before have we spoken to a jewellery expert for their tips on finding the perfect engagement ring.

We’re often preoccupied with the design of the ring, but there’s actually a lot more to consider than meets the eye.


We caught up with with Robert Cuomo, the owner of London-based jewellery specialists Hatton Jewellers, to find out his when shopping for an engagement ring.


Don’t Just Focus On The Carat

“When it comes to diamond engagement rings, many people get caught up with carat size, but this isn’t the most important element to focus on,” explains Robert.

“A diamond’s carat is actually one of four C’s that are used to establish a diamond’s value; Cut, Clarity and Colour being the other three C’s. We always recommend prioritising the cut of a diamond over anything else – it’s the cut that determines how much the diamond will sparkle, therefore people often deem this as the key buying point.”

“Be wary of jewellers that focus solely on the carat of a diamond – it’s entirely possible to have a 3ct diamond with poor colour and clarity. If you’re suspicious that someone might be trying to sell you a lower quality diamond then make sure to ask about the other three C’s too.”

Buy At Carat Thresholds

“It feels good to be able to say that you own a 1ct diamond engagement ring, but from a financial point of view it makes a lot of sense to buy just below this carat threshold,” advises Robert.

“You can save hundreds of pounds, if not thousands, simply by choosing a diamond that weighs between 0.9ct and 0.99ct instead of 1ct. In addition, there’s very little visible difference between these sizes. In some cases, you might find that a 0.9ct diamond actually looks bigger than a 1ct diamond if it has been cut well. The same rule applies for other carat thresholds too.”

White Gold Is More Cost-Effective Than Platinum

“In recent years, platinum engagement rings have become extremely popular. Some of the main reasons for this are because it’s highly durable – something that many people look for in engagement rings. However, if you’re looking for a more cost-effective alternative then you might want to consider buying a white gold engagement ring as they can be a lot cheaper than their platinum counterpart,” explains Robert.

“It’s difficult to tell the difference between platinum and white gold with the naked eye. One of the main downsides of white gold rings is that the rhodium plating can wear away over time, therefore we usually recommend getting your engagement ring re-plated every couple of years.”

Don’t Be Scared To Try A Different Gemstone

It’s long been said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but don’t feel pressured into buying a diamond engagement ring if you think your partner might prefer a different, more unique stone. Kate Middleton has a sapphire engagement ring, remember…

“Traditionally, diamond is the gemstone of choice when it comes to engagement rings. However, in recent years more people are choosing alternative gemstones as their centre-stone, possibly taking inspiration from celebrities such as Halle Berry and Eva Longoria. Not only can this result in a very unique style of engagement ring, but gemstone rings are usually a lot more cost-effective than diamond engagement rings. Another popular option is to have a gemstone as the centre-stone, surrounded by numerous smaller pavé diamonds to accentuate it.”

Consider Spreading The Cost

We all know wedding planning is expensive, and the ring is the catalyst that kicks off all the spending! While we’d never suggest spending beyond your means, there are options if you can’t find the perfect ring within your budget.

“One popular option that has particularly taken off in recent years is to buy an engagement ring on finance,” explains Robert.

“This allows you to spread the cost of the engagement ring over a period of time that suits you best, whether that be six months, 12 months, 24 months or more. In addition, some jewellery retailers offer interest free options so that you don’t have to pay back any more than the actual value of your ring. This can be a perfect solution for anyone that’s struggling to find a suitable engagement ring within their budget.”

Don’t Forget About Your Partner

“It’s easy to get carried away with the technical aspects of searching for your engagement ring, but at the end of the day it’s your partner that matters the most,” says Robert.

“Make sure to consider their styles and tastes before rushing into buying something. You might want to have a look at some of the jewellery that your partner already owns to get an idea of their favourite styles. Don’t forget to find out their ring size too – of course, you can always get it resized but the proposal will be much more memorable if the ring slips on perfectly first time.”

Find Wedding Ideas, Inspiration, Venues and Services

mail icon

Subscribe to our Network

Stay connected with our network and get all the best Wedding Planning, Inspiration and Competitions directly into your inbox.