Engagement Ring Buying Guide

A popular rule of thumb is that an engagement ring should cost between 1 and 3 months salary. Some couples apply this rule, but every couple is different. What’s important is that you’re comfortable with the budget you’ve set.

Once you’ve set a budget, you can start exploring options. If you decide on a ring that is slightly outside of your budget, Wallace Bishop offers different finance options to make your experience as stress-free as possible.

Knowing your budget and available wiggle room will help our associates find the optimum outcome for you.

Learn more about our flexible payment options

Diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings, but coloured gems are a distinctive and more affordable alternative. This decision should be influenced by your partner's style. Look at the type of jewellery they wear and the colours in their wardrobe. Consider that coloured gems are softer than diamonds, therefore more susceptible to scratching.

If you're considering a diamond, read our Diamond Buying Guide

Round Brilliant is the most popular due to its brilliance and is more traditional than fancy shapes. If your partner has more modern tastes, look at Princess or Emerald shapes. The shape of your gem can directly affect the price. Fancy shapes are generally less expensive than Round Brilliants, so this can be an opportunity to maximise your budget.

White gold is the most popular choice as it complements and enhances a diamond's brilliance. White gold is mixed with different alloys to achieve its white colour and over time it will yellow. To maintain its colour, the ring will need to be rhodium plated every 6 to 12 months. If you think your partner would prefer something more low maintenance, consider yellow or rose gold as they will keep their colour.

The carat of the gold that you choose will affect your rings durability, golds of a higher carat weight are softer as they contain a higher percentage of gold to alloys. The carat weight of the gold that you choose is up to personal preference, but if you choose a higher carat weight, we would recommend purchasing a jewellery care plan.

Use the jewellery your partner already wears as a guide, if they already wear white gold, they would probably prefer a white gold engagement ring.

Shop by Metal

If you and your partner have been discussing marriage for a while, you can just ask. The actual proposal, when and where, can still be a surprise.

If you’re set on buying the engagement ring in secret, here a few tips for discretely finding your partners' ring size.

Take a ring that your partner owns, put it on a piece of paper, and trace a circle on the inside and outside of the ring. Do this a few times until you have distinct and consistent lines. You can take this sketch into one of our stores and our store associates can help you determine the size. If you don’t think your partner will notice the ring missing, you can bring the ring into one of our stores.

You can also take their ring and slide it onto your finger and mark where it slides up to.

If your partner doesn’t wear rings, you can buy them an inexpensive ring as a gift and determine their size that way.

Some advice:

- Make sure your partner wears the ring you’re using for reference on their left hand, as our dominant hand tends to be a fraction larger.

- Measure ring size at the end of the day when fingers are at their largest.

- If you still aren’t certain of the size, we recommend always going a size up as it’s easier to resize a ring down than it is to resize up.

Not all rings can be resized. Eternity bands, rings with shoulder diamonds or ornate bands, or rings made from alternative metals such as tungsten or stainless steel cannot be resized.

We are happy to exchange your ring for another in the correct size within 30 days. Please note, that the ring you choose for an exchange may contain fewer or more gems, or an increase or decrease in precious metal, which may affect the price.

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