Deciding to spend your forever with someone is an important decision. A lifetime is just that, and when you finally find the right person to share it with, creating a piece of jewellery that will encapsulate all those feelings is a wonderful journey, whether you are designing it alone or in partnership with your loved one. Here is my one-stop shop that will give you the need-to-know information on purchasing diamonds, how to maximise value whilst staying on budget and how to ensure that you are creating a piece that your partner will cherish. Let’s get started!

Let’s start with the basics – the Four C’s: colour, cut, clarity and carat. These are the four factors to assess the value of a diamond. Colour refers to the visible hue. When people refer to a white diamond, what they are seeing is a colourless diamond, void of any materials that would cause the gem to appear coloured. The scale to measure this ranges from D, nearly no colour, to Z which has noticeable yellow tinting.

Cut refers to two things. First is the actual shape of the diamond. There are two schools: brilliant cuts, such as round or oval, are soft shapes that emphasise sparkle. Step-cuts like square and emerald are more angular and subtle but equally elegant. Cut also refers not only to the physical shape of the stone but the quality of the cut.

Clarity evaluates the presence of inclusions and blemishes within a diamond. Natural diamonds are created under enormous pressure and extreme heat, a process that can result in small imperfections within the stone.

Carat refers to the weight of the diamond. The higher the carat count the larger the diamond. All this information can be found within the certification of each stone.
Our central diamonds come with a certificate from the GIA (Gemological Institute Of America) – a trustworthy institution that ensures quality control of diamonds available for purchase. I also have a partnership with De Beers Code of Origin, which means I can create your jewellery with diamonds that are ethical, natural and conflict free.

If you found the above information slightly overwhelming, don’t despair, there is a lot to learn! But you do not have to go at it alone. I am here for you every step of the way, starting by showing you a selection of diamonds to choose from.

Now that you know what to look for in a diamond, let’s focus on the overall design of the ring. It is imperative that an engagement ring can be worn every day. Wearability is the first thing I ask my clients to consider. What is your partner’s overall lifestyle as well as personal style? It’s all about considering their hobbies and everyday activities and referring back to them throughout the design process. I want to know if they are active and outdoorsy, or the opposite! I design rings that reflect the personality and lifestyle of the wearer. At Hattie Rickards Jewellery, we believe that you do not need to compromise style to accommodate wearability.

Diamonds are often the preferred stone used in engagement rings because they are so durable and associated with romance. They are the hardest precious gem we know of and therefore are less susceptible to wear over time. The cut of the diamond is a key ingredient in designing an engagement ring, so it’s important to choose the right shape for you. Choosing the aesthetic of a subtle or flashy diamond all depends on whether your partner wants to make a statement or be quietly proud. Their personality will ultimately be the deciding factor. I recommend an Asscher cut diamond for those who want an intriguing ring that draws you in or a Brilliant cut for those who lust after sparkle. For those who want something slightly more design-focused, baguettes and square-cut diamonds provide more design options.

How you choose to set the diamond is equally important. I pride myself on designing settings that are bespoke to each diamond. Sometimes a claw setting will work best, and other times it might be a bezel setting. My personal design signature includes additional custom-cut stones in a channel setting to enhance the overall design.

In my experience, there is a diamond to suit every budget and taste. My goal as your designer is to create the ring of your dreams whilst respecting your financial requirements. To do this, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. My settings can visually change the appearance of a diamond in the best possible way to promote its most attractive qualities and hide its inevitable flaws. I do this by focusing on the design as much as the stone to create impact and elegance, no matter the diamond choice.

If you are looking for a certain carat size, I recommend purchasing a diamond of slightly lower colour and cut quality. Remember, the flawless nature of a diamond is not always visible to the naked eye and can often be achieved with a lower-grade stone. I can then tailor my bespoke setting to focus on the impactful size of your diamond, whilst including smaller accent diamonds in the design to accentuate its colour and shine.

On the flip side, if you prioritise colour over carat size, then I can increase the stone’s perceived size by using white gold and accent diamonds in the setting to give the impression that the diamond is larger. I often use smaller carré, baguettes and custom-cut diamonds to lift the central stone, by creating geometric patterns that accentuate the central stone creating the appearance of a much larger gem.

It’s also important to note that you may not need to buy a diamond. Often people own family heirlooms containing diamonds which can be used to create a new piece of jewellery such as an engagement ring. If you own a family heirloom and wish to use it, this is not only possible but also a beautiful way to honour family history. Inheriting a diamond can also be a huge asset when thinking of your overall budget. The amount you would have needed to buy your diamond can now be used to increase the complexity and detail of the overall ring design. I used the diamonds from my late mother’s engagement ring when designing my ring. With the magic of my bespoke setting, I was able to give a more modern and youthful feel to the old cut of the diamonds, making them more to my taste whilst keeping the important connection to my mother at the heart of my engagement ring.

No matter your anxieties, worries and budgetary concerns, my bespoke engagement ring service is full of endless and exciting possibilities. My team and I are passionate about engagement rings and we are here to hold your hand throughout the entire process and provide you with our trustworthy expertise and honest opinions. Please contact me with any questions you may have about engagement rings and I will be happy to answer them.

“Hattie encourages clients to be bold and co-create a ring that’s truly one-of-a-kind.” VANITY FAIR

Would you like to browse a selection of my bespoke engagement ring designs?

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