9 Step Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring - Foxhills Jewellers Ltd

9 Step Guide to Buying an Engagement Ring

Buying an engagement ring is a huge and exciting step, but also a nerve-wracking one. There are a huge number of things to consider, and it can be a little overwhelming. Hopefully reading this guide will teach you all you need to know to buy the perfect engagement ring for your partner.


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Step 1 – Know Your Engagement Ring Budget

The first step is knowing how much you want to spend. The truth is there’s no right answer when deciding on an engagement ring price, and you should only spend what feels right to you.

The classic rule has always been that you should spend 3 month’s salary on an engagement ring, but this is definitely less common these days, and more and more people are considering affordable engagement rings.

A much more prevalent rule when deciding on how much to spend on an engagement ring is the 1 month’s salary. This idea actually came from a De Beers advertising campaign in the 1930s, and has stuck around until today.

However, many people even consider this too much to spend. According to the latest Hitched National Wedding Survey, the average amount spent on an engagement ring is £2,419, whereas another study from 2016 says that the average amount spent is £573.

In reality, you should forget about the different rules when deciding on an engagement ring price, and just spend as much as you feel comfortable with. Everyone's situation is different and there is no "one size fits all" solution.

At Foxhills, we also allow you to pay in instalments with Klarna, so you can spread the cost and make it easier on yourself.

Step 2 - Know Their Engagement Ring Style

Chances are you've never taken the time to examine the jewellery style of your significant other, and if you've read some of the stories of women who were disappointed with their rings, you might be feeling nervous about what style to get. No need to worry though, there are some easy techniques to find out what kind of ring they like. 

Ask their Friends and Family

Chances are their close friends and family will have a good idea of the sort of jewellery they like just from conversations in the past. Make sure they don't let it slip that you're planning to propose though!

Look at their Day Jewellery

Their taste in engagement rings will likely match their taste in day jewellery. If they usually wear simple or minimalist jewellery, they will likely prefer the same in an engagement ring. If they usually wear big and bold jewellery, then consider the same for their engagement ring. If they have an usual collection of jewellery, then look at some non traditional engagement rings!

Listen out for hints

Pay attention if they make comments on engagement rings received by other people, if they like the style of someone else's ring then you can get a ring in a similar style!

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Step 3 - How to Know Their Ring Size

If you'd like the proposal to be a complete surprise, you may want to find out their ring size before you buy the ring. The easiest way to do this is to get a ring that they currently own and measure it using a ring sizing app.

A more creative way to find out their ring size is to use Play Doh. Just press one of your partner's rings into it, and take the Play Doh to the jewellery store, and they will be able to determine the correct engagement ring size.

You could also ask their friend for help, because there's a good chance they have an idea of the right ring size for your partner.

If the proposal isn't a surprise but you'd like the ring itself to be, then you can just ask your partner what size ring they are, and then make sure you order the ring in the correct size.

At Foxhills, we offer ring resizing, so don't worry too much about getting the right size, because we can always adjust it for you afterwards if it needs to be changed.

The table below is a UK Ring Size Chart:

Ring Size Circumference (mm) Ring Size Circumference (mm) Ring Size Circumference (mm)
A 37.8 J 48.7 S 60.2
B 39.1 K 50.0 T 61.4
C 40.4 L 51.2 U 62.7
D 41.7 M 52.5 V 64.0
E 42.9 N 53.8 W 65.3
F 44.2 O 55.1 X 66.6
G 45.5 P 56.3 Y 67.8
H 46.8 Q 57.6 Z 68.5
I 48.0 R 58.9


Step 4 - Choose the Stone

There's a huge range of options when deciding on an engagement ring stone. The most common choice is a diamond engagement ring, but there are plenty others to choose from.

Diamond Engagement Ring

A diamond engagement ring is a common choice, so if your partner has quite a classic style of jewellery, then this would be a great choice. A diamond engagement ring is also the safest choice, so if you're unsure of their style, then this would be the best option.

There are a range of different cuts and settings on diamond rings, which we'll come on to later, so you have the flexibility to choose a ring that your partner will undoubtedly love.

Sapphire Engagement Ring

Sapphire engagement rings are the second most common choice when proposing, and it's also one of the hardest gemstones, along with diamonds. It's ranked 9 out of 10 on Moh's scale of hardness, and diamond is ranked 10, so you can be sure that the gemstone will be able to withstand day to day life.

Sapphires are cheaper than diamonds, so if you wanted an affordable engagement ring then this could be a good option. It's also a great choice if you think your partner would like something a little different, that is also striking and beautiful.

Unusual Engagement Rings

Diamonds and Sapphires are the most common engagement ring gemstones, but if your partner would like something a little different, then there are some other nice options such as Emerald and Opel.

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Step 5 - Choose the Engagement Ring Diamond

Every diamond is unique, so when you're deciding on a diamond for an engagement ring, it's useful to remember the 4 C's. These are the 4 aspects of a diamond that you need to consider before buying a diamond engagement ring.


A diamonds colour is determined by trace elements of nitrogen that were present when the diamond was formed in the earth's crust. It's an entirely natural process so the colour of a diamond can't be preplanned. The more nitrogen present, the more colour the diamond has, and the less valuable it is. A diamond with little colour is considered rare, and therefore has more value. It's also much more impressive to look at.


The cut of a diamond doesn't refer to the shape, but to the proportion, symmetry and polish achieved by the diamond cutter.  Skilled diamond cutters understand how light moves through the crystals, so they can cut the diamond in a way that enhances the way that light reflects off of it.

There are 3 types of reflection associated with diamonds. Brilliance refers to the way that white light is reflected back on to the eye from the diamond. Dispersion is the rainbow of colours that is reflected back to the eye from the diamond. Scintillation is the play of light that can be seen when the diamond is moved.

Diamonds that have been cut well are more impressive and hold more value when looking for an engagement ring.


Clarity refers to any blemishes or imperfections that a diamond has. There could be foreign crystals within it, or small cracks that impact the clarity. Clarity is one of the main determinants of engagement ring price, so it's important to find a diamond with a high clarity that fits within your budget.


Carat is the way of measuring weight of a diamond. The higher the Carat, the more it's worth.

Step 6 - Picking the Engagement Ring Shape

This refers to the shape of the diamond when viewed from above. Most people opt for classic shapes as they're unlikely to ever lose style, but many people choose more trendy shapes of diamond that remind the owner of the time when they were proposed to. Here are the main diamond shapes:

Round Engagement Rings

Round engagement rings are the most common diamond shape, and has been for a long time. The main reason is because a round shape means that more lights reflects off of it so it sparkles more. If you're looking for a safe option, then go for a round diamond engagement ring.

Cushion Engagement Ring

Cushion Cut engagement rings are another classic shape, and are sometimes referred to as Pillow Cut. The shape is a slightly more square version of the Round diamond shape. 

Princess Cut Engagement Ring

Princess Cut engagement rings have a square shape, which makes then more of a modern shape of diamond. It works particularly well with high carat diamonds.

Pear Cut Engagement Ring 

Pear Cut engagement rings are also known as Teardrop, and are a popular trend currently. If your partner likes a unique style of jewellery then this could be a great option.

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Step 7 - Pick Your Engagement Ring Metal

The metal refers to the material that the band itself is made from. The most common choices are platinum and white gold, but rose gold is growing in popularity and would make a great choice for someone looking for a more unique engagement ring. 

White gold and platinum look very similar, and the main differences are in their durability and cost. Platinum is more durable and costs around 50% more than white gold. 

If you're unsure of what your partner would prefer, look at their current jewellery because they will likely want an engagement ring in a similar style.

Step 8 - Engagement Ring Setting Style

The engagement ring setting refers to  how the gemstones are mounted on to the metal band, and it plays a huge part in how the ring ultimately looks. There are a range of different types of engagement ring settings, but here are the main ones:

Halo Engagement Ring

This style is reminiscent of a vintage engagement ring, and features a large centre diamond surrounded by a circle of smaller diamonds. The outer circle also adds a level of security to the engagement ring.

Cluster Engagement Ring

Cluster engagement rings feature a cluster of small diamonds as opposed to one large diamond. The combination creates just as much sparkle as a large diamond, and is a real statement on a platinum or white gold band.

Solitaire Engagement Ring

Solitaire rings feature a single diamond which creates a classic and elegant look. This style of ring has stood the test of time, so if you're looking for a safe option, then a solitaire diamond ring would be an excellent choice.

Three Stone Engagement Ring

Three stone rings are thought to be the most romantic engagement ring setting, as the three stones represent your partner's past, present and future. 

Step 9 - Engagement Ring Insurance

Some and engagement rings can be very large investments, so it makes sense to protect them against loss, theft or damage. Some people decide that it isn't worthwhile, but for others it makes a lot of sense.


If you have any more questions about engagement rings, then feel free to email us at info@foxhillsjewellers.com, or call 01454 538 373. 

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