With any jewellery—and particularly with engagement rings—choice of style is a very personal thing and can be tricky to get right. Here are 11 things to consider when choosing the perfect engagement ring.
1. Know your budget
Let's get the least romantic bit out of the way first: money! Before you start searching for an engagement ring, it’s important you have some idea of a budget as this will help you make decisions about the precious metals and gemstones to choose.
Choosing an engagement ring is a big milestone—probably one of the most important purchases in your life—so take your time. The good news is that here at Sheila Fleet Jewellery, we offer rings in a variety of metals and gemstones to suit all budgets:
- Sterling Silver is the most budget-friendly metal and can look beautiful set with a cubic zirconia or other semi-precious gemstones. You'll also find many beautiful enamelled sterling silver rings.
- Classic 9ct gold engagement rings sit somewhere in the middle, depending on your choice of gemstone.
- The most luxurious options are our 18ct gold rings and engagement rings in platinum. (Oh, and don't forget rare and exclusive Scottish Gold!)
2. Choose your metal
Now you've worked out a budget, the type of metal you'd like is your next decision! Do you want the crisp, elegance of silver or the added luxury of white gold? Or the warmth of yellow or rose golds? All Sheila Fleet engagement rings can be made in sterling silver, 9ct and 18ct yellow, white, and rose gold, and in platinum. Find out more in our Guide to Precious Metals.
Sheila Fleet is also one of two jewellers in the world authorised to use Scottish Gold from Cononish Gold Mine, Scotland’s only commercial gold mine. For more information on Scottish Gold, please see our Guide to Scottish Gold.
3. Know your diamonds
Do you want a diamond engagement ring? When it comes to purchasing a diamond, knowing the 4 C’s is essential. These four elements impact the structure and beauty of a diamond and are as follows:
- Cut: The way a diamond is cut determines its brilliance; how it catches the light and sparkles. We offer brilliant-cut (round) and princess-cut diamonds (square) as standard.
- Colour: Diamonds are graded from D-Z based on how white or colourless they are (D is most white while Z has yellowish tints). Here at Sheila Fleet we generally work with G-H diamonds, which are virtually colourless but represent excellent value for money.
- Clarity: The number of natural imperfections and blemishes in a diamond determine its clarity. We use SI1 diamonds that have inclusions only noticeable to a gemologist at 10x magnification.
- Carat: This refers to the weight of a diamond; the heavier a diamond is, the more expensive it is. Take a look at the 0.03ct diamond in Sheila's New Wave Solitaire Ring and the incredible 1.0ct diamond in our Venus Diamond Ring.
All diamonds and other gemstones are expertly set by hand in our Orkney workshop. For a more detailed look at the 4 C's, please read our Guide to Diamonds.
4. Consider coloured gemstones
A classic diamond isn’t everyone’s ideal choice. Some people like to personalise their engagement ring with a pop of colour using coloured gemstones. We offer a range of precious and semi-precious stones from sapphires to garnets. Take a look at our Guide to Precious Stones for more information.
These Matrix rings with peridot and blue topaz show just how beautiful coloured gemstones can be:
5. Shop by style
Style is probably the most important aspect to consider when choosing your special ring, from a classic design to something more contemporary. Talking to your partner about the style of jewellery they like is a great starting point to knowing which direction to go. Perhaps you like the idea of a ring that has a story behind the design's inspiration, like so much of Sheila's jewellery. Or maybe you've got your eyes on the Big Day already and want an engagement ring that will fit perfectly alongside your wedding ring. Read on for more style suggestions!
6. Stay classic!
Sheila offers a range of classic and timeless rings that would make the perfect engagement ring. Our Contemporary Solitaire collection of rings are available in a variety of setting sizes—ideal when considering budget, style and practicality. Many of these rings come with a matching arch band that fits perfectly around the setting and can be adorned with small diamonds to add that extra bit of sparkle.
7. Go floral!
Within Sheila's collection of designs, there are various floral designs that are perfect for flower and nature lovers. From Primula Scotica to Daisy, these stunning rings are a perfect way of showing how well you know your loved one’s style. Featured here is the dainty Diamond Daisies Ring in 9ct Rose Gold:
8. Say it with meaning!
All Sheila’s designs have interesting and inspirational stories behind them, and many of our customers have been drawn to specific designs because they feel a personal connection to these stories. Sheila's River Ripples collection was inspired by the ripples found on sandy shorelines after water has passed over. Sheila's Celtic Rings feature Celtic knots, loops with no beginning or end, that represent the endurance of love, loyalty, and friendship.
9. Add some colour!
Is your partner a colour lover? If so, a stone-set enamelled ring may be the perfect choice! With so many colours to choose from, an engagement ring with a stunning enamel colourway is a beautiful way to bring out your loved one's personality. This 18ct yellow gold New Wave ring set shows how mesmerising a combination of gold, enamel and diamonds can be.
10. Think practically!
Some people may want to keep the practicalities of employment and lifestyle in mind when choosing an engagement ring. Most of our solitaire rings feature bezel settings where the gemstones are held securely within a metal setting, such as Sheila's Contemporary Solitaire Diamond Ring. This setting helps reduce the chance of the stone getting caught on things such as clothes.
Sheila also has a tension-style ring, designed to mimic classic tension rings where the diamond is clasped tightly between a tensioned band. Sheila’s design incorporates a dedicated setting for the diamond that gives the illusion of a tension-set ring, but with the added safety of a dedicated setting that holds the diamond in place.
11. Give the wow-factor!
If you’d like to go to the higher end of the scale, or if your partner is all about the bling, this beautiful Cosmos Constellation Ring could be the one. The design features four diamonds of various sizes—totalling 0.5ct—all hand-set in our Orkney workshop.