Shoulda Put A Different Ring On It? One In Three Women Wish Their Ring Was Bigger Or Better!
One in three women secretly wish their partner proposed with an engagement ring that had a bigger diamond, or was more unique, new research reveals.
In a survey of 1,000 women by London-based jewellers Queensmith, 11% thought their diamond was too small, 11% longed for a more unique ring, and the same proportion wished it had been custom made or chosen by them.
Of those asked, 7% returned their ring post-proposal because they didn’t like it or they wanted something more expensive.
And while heirloom rings are a sweet sentiment, they could be more of a risk than they’re worth, with nearly half (44%) of heirloom recipients admitting it wasn’t the ring they’d hoped for, and a further 9% rejecting the gesture altogether.
But not every engagement is a surprise, with the research revealing that 46% of UK women either chose their ring themselves or with their partner.
The survey also found that almost one in five (18%) pop the question using a placeholder ring until the forever ring is designed by the couple together later down the line.
Eddi Norris, Design Consultant and Gemmologist at Queensmith, said: “Queensmith has seen female buying power soar in recent years, with more couples having a joint say on their engagement rings, or the proposer having been well-briefed on the ring their partner would like. This helps take the pressure off the proposer and allows the person being asked the question to get the ring of their dreams!”
When it comes to the ‘perfect’ engagement ring, 28% said ‘something with lots of sparkle’ - and diamonds were still the preferred gem of choice, with only one in ten desiring more colourful stones such as sapphires, rubies or emeralds. A similar number of women (30%) said the opposite; their perfect ring would be simple, with minimalist design.
Eddi added: “We’ve noted a particular rise in minimalist style since the pandemic began. With a greater desire than ever to create meaningful, rational and sensible purchases during the ongoing uncertainty caused by Covid-19, ring buyers are opting for simple designs that allow them to invest in the best diamond they can. Refined designs will also stand the test of time and remain in style.”
Cheaper and more sustainable buying options are also on the rise, with over 88% of those asked saying they love the idea of a lab-grown diamond, despite nearly 60% having never heard of them.
Lab diamonds are human-made but considered 100% authentic diamonds, and are identical to those found in nature. Without the need for mining and minimal human labour, they are ethical, sustainable, and retail 40-50% cheaper than mined diamonds - so are becoming increasingly popular.
The survey also highlights how 25% of engagement rings get returned due to size, either because they are too big or too small. The average engagement ring size for women in the UK is M. Experts at Queensmith say if the ring needs adjusting by three sizes or more it may need to be remade.
Queensmith’s top tips to picking the ‘perfect’ engagement ring
Set a budget
Setting a budget is the best place to start your engagement ring search - this will help you determine how much you could afford to spend on the setting, and then how much you’ll have to spend on the central diamond or gemstone. Bear in mind that the more simple the setting, the more money you’ll have left to find a great quality centre stone. If you’re on a budget, consider coloured gems or a lab-grown diamond which is typically 40-50% cheaper.
Choose your style
The classics work for a reason: we’ve evolved some of the most celebrated engagement ring designs to produce a collection that is refined, contemporary, and easy to tweak with personal detailing. Make a preliminary choice between the four most classic designs: solitaire, halo, trilogy and diamond shoulders. Note how the style impacts on your diamond budget; for example, a halo features more metal and diamonds, therefore leaving slightly less budget for your centre stone.
Choose your diamond
Prioritise the 4Cs in this order - cut, colour, clarity and carat - these are a diamond’s foremost characteristics. Cut and colour are the most visible to the naked eye, while sacrificing on clarity can save money. As a rule of thumb, aim for a diamond that is Excellent or Very Good cut, D to F colour, and VS2 to S1 clarity - you’ll then find which carat weights best suit your budget! Certain shapes like oval, marquise or pear diamonds can appear larger due to their elongated nature.
Platinum and white gold are silvery in tone, keeping diamonds bright and icy - but remember white gold needs re-plating with rhodium every so often to cover its otherwise buttery tone. Platinum may be a more sensible choice. 18K gold has a nostalgic vibe, and is incredibly flattering and warming for most skin tones. Rose gold is sunset coloured and rosy, and is the least chosen metal, making it super unique.
Just as with clothes and shoes, ring sizes are referred to differently across the world - in the UK, ring size is referred to with letters, A being the smallest and Z the largest. A good jeweller will be able to make an educated guess of your partner’s ring size based on a photograph or a combination of their height and dress size.