When choosing an engagement ring, you may have heard of the 4 C's to the perfect diamond, but have you ever really asked what they mean? To make this task a little bit easier, we chatted to luxury jewellery designer Matthew Ely on what to look for when choosing the perfect engagement ring.
Renowned for his bespoke collections and fine handcrafted jewellery, leading luxury jewellery designer and gemmologist, Matthew Ely creates some of the most stunning and unique engagement rings on the market. Using his expertise and comprehensive knowledge, Ely has shared some important considerations for purchasing engagement rings with us. Plus a few of his favourite pieces from his collection to get you inspired!
So, where to start?
"When purchasing an engagement ring, it can be daunting to figure out where to begin", says Ely. He suggests selecting the style or design of the ring as a starting point, in order to help the jeweller understand what you are looking for. "A good place to start is whether your partner wants something classic and timeless or if they want something that will show their personality. It is important to start with personal style, and your jeweller can help you craft this into a unique design.”
Now that you've decided on style and design, it's diamond time!
Once you've decided on style, Ely recommends starting with the diamond itself and making carat, clarity, cut and colour considerations.
Consideration One - Carat
Did you know that the carat of a diamond refers not to the size of a diamond but to it's weight? The carat of a diamond is the main factor that influences its price. This means that the higher the carat value, the more expensive the stone. Diamonds of the same carat can appear different in look.
Matthew Ely's hot tip: Ely stresses the importance of a good design over diamond and carat choice. "Ultimately, design outweighs diamond selection. An average diamond can look incredible in the right design whilst a poorly designed setting will not do a truly magnificent diamond justice. If you know your partners style well enough to portray to the jeweller, your jeweller should be intuitive enough to know they are designing something appropriate and perfect for the individual, regardless of the carat size". It is also important to select a trustworthy jeweller who can help navigate the endless array of engagement styles, diamond quality and design options, with an understanding of what can be achieved within your budget.
In store, Ely and his team draft various sketches of a piece so clients can visualise what the ring will look like once complete and that it resembles what they envisioned. This customisation, attention to detail and personal service is what appeals couples to Ely's luxury designs the most.
Consideration Two - Clarity
The next consideration to think about is the clarity of the diamond you are choosing. The clarity refers size, number and position of naturally occurring flaws which develop during the creation of a diamond. A diamond is considered flawless if it has no flaws or imperfections.
Matthew Ely's hot tip: “Think of clarity as nature’s fingerprint, with no two diamonds having the same inclusions. With partners becoming increasingly involved in the design process, there is the opportunity to draw on the uniqueness of each diamond and create a personalised, bespoke ring ". Ely suggests that couples take the time to think about the detail and hidden elements available in design. It is these elements that make a piece unique and add a wonderful sentimental layer to the ring.
The beauty of such personalised service is that over the duration of choosing the perfect piece for your husband or wife-to-be, you will build a strong rapport with the Matthew Ely team, which will help you walk away with your dream ring.
Consideration Three - Cut
The cut of a diamond refers to the proportions, symmetry, polish and how the surface interacts with light rather than its actual shape. When looking for the perfect diamond, remember that the better proportions and symmetry of the piece, the more sparkle you'll have!
Matthew Ely's hot tip: "Whilst I feel it is important to rate the 4 C's based on the individual customer and their vision for their engagement ring, if I was to rate them based on what I want from a diamond, I would select diamond cut, followed by carat weight and clarity". In store, he has also noticed that luxury brides are choosing different and unusual diamond shapes. Oval, pear, marquise, cushion and radiant cuts are becoming more popular, as wearers look to showcase their personality with shape.
Consideration Four - Colour
The last consideration is the colour of the diamond and how colourless the diamond is. This can also be referred to as its grading of whiteness, with white diamonds increasing in value the whiter they are.
Matthew Ely's hot tip: Ely has found that 2018 seen a change in colour choices, with yellow diamonds becoming a popular choice. "Yellow diamonds are both a delicate and memorable choice for engagement rings, whilst still maintaining the beauty and sentiment that is traditionally drawn from a white diamond."
Now you know what to look for when choosing a diamond, remember that is the ring is beautiful, feels right and you know your partner will love it, that's all that matters!
“I believe the most important part of selecting an engagement ring is ensuring it is something your partner will treasure. This ring is designed for eternity" - Matthew Ely.