Engagement Ring FAQs

Finding the perfect engagement ring can be overwhelming, but I'm here to help. 
This guide to the most frequently asked questions covers everything from budgeting to traditions, offering balanced and friendly advice that will build your knowledge and confidence, making the process of choosing an engagement ring easier and an enjoyable experience for you!

How Much Should I Spend on an Engagement Ring?

The age-old question: how much should you really spend on an engagement ring? You might have read that you should spend 3 months salary when buying an engagement ring. Sounds like a nice idea, but doesn’t seem very realistic, does it? 
The real answer is simpler than you might think. Spend what feels comfortable for you. You don’t want to start off planning the rest of your life with the person who’s most special to you whilst worrying about debt that you’ve created by buying them an engagement ring! 

Is it okay to spend less on an Engagement Ring?

Absolutely! The most important thing is that the ring symbolises your love and commitment. I would always suggest budgeting an amount that feels comfortable to you. Remember that you will be using the ring as a symbol of your relationship and creating something that will be worn for life, so you want something that is high quality; don’t scrimp on that, but you can always use my tips on how to maximise your engagement ring budget.

How big should a Diamond be?

What should I consider when choosing the carat size for an engagement ring?

Carat size is seen to be a significant factor in choosing an engagement ring, but it's not the only one. Consider your partner's style, lifestyle, and what they find comfortable. It’s also important to remember that carat size is a measurement of weight, not size. This means two diamonds that are the same carat can actually be quite different in size depending on how they are cut.

How do diamond shapes affect the appearance of the carat size?

Different diamond shapes can affect how large a diamond appears. Round brilliant cuts, for example, maximise light return and can make the diamond look larger than its carat weight suggests depending on the style of setting. Oval, pear, and marquise shapes also tend to look bigger due to their elongated shape. Great for getting a bigger look for your budget, and also help in making the finger appear longer and elegant. 
On the other hand, shapes like emerald or Asscher cuts, known for their step cuts, may appear smaller because of their deep facets and fewer, larger facets that highlight clarity over sparkle. Understanding these differences helps you choose a diamond that meets both your aesthetic and size preferences.

Read detailed information on choosing the perfect diamond.

Is it necessary to have an engagement ring for a proposal?

While it might be traditional, having an engagement ring for a proposal isn't a strict requirement. The essence of a proposal is the commitment and love behind it. It is becoming increasingly popular for couples to choose the engagement ring together, whether before or after the engagement.

What are some meaningful ways to propose without an engagement ring?

You can propose with a heartfelt letter, a meaningful location, or even a symbolic gesture like a favourite book or a photo within a locket. Consider what is most meaningful to your relationship. Maybe you propose at a significant place in your relationship history, like where you first met or had your first date. The key is to make the moment personal and significant. 
A lovely and romantic way to propose is to do so with a loose diamond. I have had clients who choose the perfect diamond alone, which means the issue of budget is decided without having to worry about that as a couple. The diamond can then be presented in a beautiful box, before designing the ring together. This eliminates some of the stress of choosing the right style for your loved one, whilst still having something to propose with.

Can I propose with a different piece of jewellery instead of an engagement ring?

Absolutely! Consider proposing with a necklace, bracelet, or even a family heirloom. These pieces can hold significant meaning and still symbolise your commitment. Later, you can choose an engagement ring together. This approach not only provides a meaningful proposal but also involves your partner in selecting a ring they truly love.

What is the traditional order for wearing engagement and wedding rings?

Traditions around engagement and wedding rings can vary, but here are some general guidelines.

Which finger do you wear your engagement ring on?

In the UK, engagement rings are traditionally worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, known as the "ring finger." This tradition dates back to ancient beliefs that this finger has a vein that runs directly to the heart, symbolising love and commitment.

Do you wear your wedding ring and engagement ring together before the wedding?

Typically, the engagement ring is worn alone before the wedding. After the wedding, it's common to wear both rings together on the ring finger. Some choose to wear the wedding ring first, closest to the heart, with the engagement ring on top. This arrangement can symbolise that the wedding ring, representing the marriage, is more important and permanent. Also, this means you can take your engagement ring off when doing things such as going to the gym or gardening without having to take your wedding ring off.

What are the traditions around wearing engagement rings during the wedding ceremony?

During the ceremony, the engagement ring is usually moved to the right hand. After the wedding band is placed on the left ring finger, the engagement ring is moved back to sit above the wedding band. This tradition allows the wedding band to be placed closest to the heart. However, some choose to keep the engagement ring on a chain around their neck, or simply in a safe place until the wedding rings have been exchanged.

Is it practical to wear an engagement ring every day?

Many people wear their engagement rings daily, but it’s essential to consider practicality and maintenance.

What are the pros and cons of wearing your engagement ring daily?

Wearing your ring daily keeps it close and showcases your commitment. It can be a constant reminder of your partner and your future together. However, daily wear can also expose the ring to potential damage or wear and tear. Over time, prongs may loosen, and stones might become loose depending on the style of the ring, as well as how hard you are on your hands from everyday life. Additionally, certain activities could scratch or damage the ring. Weighing these factors can help you decide when to wear your ring.

How do I protect my engagement ring during everyday activities?

Remove your ring during activities that could damage it, like gardening, cleaning, or exercising. Store it in a safe place to avoid loss or damage. When not wearing it, consider storing it in a soft pouch or a jewellery box with individual compartments. Regularly check the prongs and settings to ensure they remain secure. Having your ring insured can also provide peace of mind.

How can I ensure my engagement ring fits with my lifestyle?

Choose a ring design that complements your lifestyle. If you lead an active life, consider a low setting or a more durable metal like platinum. A bezel setting, where the diamond is completely surrounded by metal, can provide extra security. For those in hands-on professions, a simpler, more robust design might be ideal to avoid snagging or damage.

Engagement Ring Styles Simplified

Ever wondered what the difference is between a claw and bezel setting? Or maybe you’re unsure of the difference between a solitaire and a trilogy ring? Here are some exampled to help make it simple.

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What to Expect Designing Your Own Engagement Ring

Do both partners typically exchange engagement rings?

Traditionally, engagement rings are given to the person being proposed to, but modern practices are more inclusive.

What are the options for men's engagement rings?

Men's engagement rings come in various styles, from simple bands to rings featuring diamonds or other gemstones. Choose a design that suits his style. Options range from classic platinum or gold bands to rings with intricate designs or inlaid stones. Men's diamond engagement rings are also gaining popularity for those who want a touch of sparkle.

Can we choose matching engagement rings for both partners?

Yes! Matching engagement rings or complementary styles are a beautiful way to symbolise your unity and shared commitment. Many couples choose rings with similar metals, stones, or design elements to create a cohesive look while reflecting each partner's personal style.

Is it common for same-sex couples to exchange engagement rings?

Absolutely. Same-sex couples often exchange engagement rings, choosing designs that reflect their personal tastes and relationship. The trend towards unisex engagement rings and gender-neutral designs allows for more inclusive options. Many LGBTQ+ jewellers specialise in creating rings that celebrate all forms of love.

What are the trends in unisex engagement rings?

Unisex and gender-neutral engagement rings are increasingly popular, featuring versatile designs that appeal to all genders. Think sleek bands, minimalist settings, and timeless styles. These rings often focus on simplicity and elegance, making them suitable for anyone regardless of gender.

Care & Maintenance

What should I do if my engagement ring needs resizing?

Resizing is a common need and can be done by a professional jeweller such as Poppy Elder Fine Jewellery. When you work with me to create an engagement ring you have a first sizing included free of charge. Any subsequent sizing can be carried out for a minimal free to cover costs.

How often should I get my engagement ring cleaned and inspected?

It's advisable to have your ring professionally cleaned and inspected once a year. Regular maintenance ensures your ring stays in top condition and any potential issues are addressed early. Cleaning removes buildup of dirt and oils, while inspections check for loose stones or damage to the setting. In between professional cleans you can remove any dirt by using a bowl of warm water with some dish soap like fairy liquid and a soft toothbrush to gently remove an oils and restore the rings sparkle.


By addressing these frequently asked questions, I hope to make your journey to finding the perfect engagement ring smoother and more enjoyable. Remember, the best ring is one that feels right for you and your partner, reflecting your unique love story. Feel free to reach out with any more questions— I'm here to help!

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