How To Shop For An Engagement Ring (Without Selling Your Groom To Pay For It)

We ask a jeweller to spill all her trade secrets...

by Rebecca Hanley

Want the best engagement bling your budget can afford? We asked expert jeweller Sarah Larsen from Larsen Jewellery to spill everything she knows about diamond shopping. Keep scrolling to check out her so-clever tips on everything from stone cut to metal choice.


Image: Merge Photography

What’s the first thing to think about when going ring shopping?

“Decide on your budget and stick to it. This is often the mistake people make and they find themselves, understandably, swept away with all the sparkle and then end up with a ring that far exceeds their budget. Having a budget instantly removes the temptation of slowly nudging it up, and up and up!”

What should we consider when choosing the metal?

“If you are like many girls and love the colour of white metals, then you have two choices: either platinum or white gold. Each has their pros and cons but both are great choices and will stand the test of time. Platinum, considered the superior option because of its purity and durability, does cost around twice the amount of 18ct white gold. So if budget is a factor then 18ct white gold might be the best option for you.”

How can I make my stone look as big as Kim K’s?

“If you have your heart set on a big stone, then you may want to consider fancy cut diamonds. Round brilliant diamonds are the most popular and therefore demand a premium. Price is also higher for these because there is more wastage when cutting a round brilliant. Choosing a fancy shaped diamond such as an oval, marquise or emerald means that you will be able to afford a larger stone for your budget.”

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Image: Larsen Jewellery

What about gemstones – are they cheaper than diamonds?

“If you love colour, then opting for a coloured gemstone is a great way to save money on your engagement ring. There are many wonderful options in all colours of the rainbow and the best thing is, is that some (not all!) coloured gemstones cost significantly less than an equivalent diamond or gemstone”.

Should we consider getting the ring custom made?

“Custom made is a wonderful option especially when wanting to save a bit of money. A good jeweller will be able to help you design and source the best quality diamond or gemstone for your budget, making sure that your ring is everything you have been dreaming of!”

Any other insider tips?

“If you love the look of a ring with lots of sparkle but a big ‘Hollywood’ diamond is out of the question, then consider adding small diamonds into the halo or the shoulders to create that sparkling look. Designing a cluster ring also means that you can group your diamonds together to create the illusion of a large diamond.”

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