Engagement Ring Buying Guide

So you’re planning to pop the question, congratulations! this is most likely going to be an enormously exciting (if a bit scary!) process. Happily however we can assure you that you’re in the right place, as we have prepared some really helpful tips and useful pieces of information for you to consider before you buy the engagement ring.


First things first, it’s worth considering the type of ring you want to buy. Most people opt for a diamond engagement ring, but there’s a growing market for something more unusual too. The key is to consider who you’re buying it for. If you’re totally lost and don’t know where to begin, a good place to start is looking at their current jewellery collection, this will give you an idea of their style. It might be worth letting a friend or relative in on your plans too, as the chances are it’s something they might have discussed with them already!


One of the most important things to remember is whatever ring you do end up going for, it needs to be suitable for purpose. What we mean by this is an engagement ring is going to be worn for many years and unlike other items of jewellery, most likely on a daily basis. There are certain stones that we wouldn’t recommend as they aren’t particularly hard wearing, or it could come down to choosing a more practical design over and above something dainty and decorative. Ultimately, we want you to have a piece of jewellery that stands the test of time.

consider all possibilities

Once you’ve got an idea of what they might like, it’s time to get shopping and there’s never been so much choice. Whether you opt for something off the peg, or want to go down the bespoke route, it’s worth looking at lots of different styles to help narrow things down. If opting for a traditional diamond engagement ring, one of the biggest design choices you’ll need to make is what centre stone do you want?

The central stone shape you choose will set the style and tone of the whole ring, so it’s definitely something worth careful consideration.

Diamond Shape

The popular choice remains to be the round brilliant cut, which is a timeless classic. However if you want to opt for something different, you’ll have a great deal of choice with each cut having it’s own unique qualities.

The cushion cut is gaining in popularity, you’ll see some examples of it in this gallery. It’s somewhere between a round brilliant and square princess cut. The emerald cut is rectangular and is great for showing off the colour and clarity of your stone.

Another cut also gaining momentum in popularity is the oval cut, it’s a very flattering choice and great for elongating the finger, similar to the marquise cut – which you can read more about in our corresponding blog post.

A pear shaped diamond is an elegant choice, giving a touch of glamour and then you’ve got the unique and ultra romantic heart shaped diamond.

Each of these diamonds can look quite different on the finger, so we can model different styles to help you compare and contrast.

diamond grade

You might be familiar with the 4 C’s, which stand for cut, colour, clarity and carat. Created by the GIA, it’s a universally accepted standard for describing and assessing the quality of each diamond.

Baldwin Jewellery are experts in diamond grading and have chosen two specific stone categories to simplify the process of buying your perfect piece. Our chosen grades are G/VS1 & H/SI1. They both represent the best quality for money but will also give you a great looking stone that you will cherish and love. If you have a different grade in mind, we will happily source a stone to your taste.

We will always choose the best cut and all diamonds in a ring over the size of 0.30ct will be certified by the GIA or IGI.

It’s also important to mention that all of our stones come from the top, most reputable UK based diamond dealers, are 100% ethically sourced and from a conflict free background.

the final details

After you’ve decided on the central stone, next you need to think about the rest of the design.

You could keep it simple with all the attention just on one diamond, or perhaps add some extra detail with an unusual setting. You could also go for diamond set shoulders or a halo, which makes an even bigger statement to the central stone, surrounding it with extra sparkle. We can talk you through all the options and help you decide what’s best.

In terms of precious metal choice, platinum or white gold are usually the most popular choices, they help maximise the colour of the diamond – but there’s also yellow and rose gold which are equally beautiful choices. This decision is likely to come down to what jewellery they wear already.

If the idea of more freedom appeals to you and you’d like to create your own masterpiece, why not have a look at our design gallery and see what we’re created for other customers.


We have a fantastic selection of diamond engagement rings, whether you choose something from one of our exclusive collections designed by James Baldwin or opt for a design hand picked by us in our shop, we have a range of styles and budgets to suit everyone.

The platinum ring featured in this video is from our shop and features a very sparkly 0.50ct brilliant cut solitaire diamond with beautiful twisting plain and diamond shoulders, making it that little bit more unusual and eye catching. It’s priced at £4,680.

On the subject of price, you might be aware of the tradition to use your monthly salary as a guide on how much you should spend. This concept was originally created as a form of marketing and there really are no hard and fast rules here. It essentially comes down to what is comfortable for you balanced against the type of ring you want and whether it’s suitable for purpose.

We also understand that buying a ring like this can be a huge investment, so if you’d prefer, we can also look at finance options with you too.

We hope you found this engagement ring buying guide helpful, we’re all hopeless romantics here and whether you come to us with a plan of exactly what you want or need us to help point you in the right direction, we’d be honoured to be part of such an exciting time in your life.

Whilst you’re here, why not have a look at our testimonials and find out why other customers chose us over and above other jewellers.