If you are one of the many in Brisbane with a proposal in your near future, you have a lot of things to consider before purchasing an engagement ring. But don’t panic, whether it be a diamond engagement ring or a custom made ring, if you know what to look for, the process can go very smoothly.

Before you actually set out to go shopping you should keep a few things in mind. It is important to have a budget established before you start looking. Remember that the ring is symbolic and should not be about going into short term debt because of societal pressure. It is best to look at options you can comfortably afford.

You also want to do some detective work, to uncover what style you future fiancé likes. If you are in the vicinity of a jewellery store and happen to look in the window, see if you can subtlety uncover a few key features in a ring that your lady likes. Stone shape, type of metal, and designs styles are vast, so the more you can narrow it down, the better! It is also helpful to snag a current ring of hers so you can determine her ring size.

Once you have your research ironed out, when discussing stones, you will need to consider “the four C’s; colour, clarity, carat, and cut. Diamond colour is graded on a scale that ranges from colourless to light yellow, with truly colourless diamonds being the most expensive and rare.  Traditionally, white diamonds tend to be the most popular choice for an engagement ring, but you can find a diamond in almost any colour so think about what best suits your girlfriend’s style.

Clarity deals with imperfections or lack thereof in the diamond, the fewer imperfections, and the more expensive it is. Like colour, clarity is measured on a scale, SI1 and SI2 are slightly included but you won’t be able to see the imperfection with the naked eye, so it’s a good range to aim for.

Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. The heavier the stone, the more you’re going to pay. A ring with a classic solitaire with a large weight will generally cost you more, but a band covered with tiny pave diamonds that add up to just less than one carat can cost considerably less than a ring with a big centre stone and still have a ton of sparkle.
Whether you decide to go with a more traditional engagement ring or a custom design, you want to make sure any diamond of a carat comes with a gem report, which documents the stone’s colour, clarity, cut, carat weight and measurements. This is helpful for getting proper insurance on the ring in case of theft, loss or damage. Of course, the sentimental value cannot be replaced if the ring goes missing, but at least you can consider a replacement.

An engagement ring is a big and exciting step for any couple. The ring shopping process should be a fun one and the more you know the more you’ll appreciate the ring for years to come.