Q&A: Ring Shopping with Katherine
Our founder answers your engagement ring questions, including which rings in the current collection are her favourite, her ideal coloured gemstone, and how to find the most special ring possible on a budget.
Of all of the engagement rings in the collection at the moment, which is your current favourite?
My favourite engagement ring in the collection right now is the 3.01 carat Old Cushion Cut Diamond. It’s a mount we make, and we set it with the best, big Old Cut Diamonds we can get our hands on, and it’s always one of my favourites. The 3.01 carat is a particularly lovely example of it. We can do it in around a 1.00 carat centre stone too, and it’s simply divine. There’s something so glamourous and classic about a great Old Cut Diamond, and when they’re set in simple Platinum and lifted with baguettes on either side, it’s pretty close to engagement ring heaven. Antique cut Diamonds are becoming harder and harder to find in excellent qualities, and so every single one we work with absolutely feels like a super special heirloom-in-waiting. We’re currently setting a 1.14 carat Old Cut in a mount similar to this, and that will be stunning, and not quite so budget busting. I love it because it’s beautiful and it fulfils all the requirements of the old rhyme: it’s something old (the Diamond) set in something new (the Platinum setting); the setting design is “borrowed” from the Art Deco period, and the dazzling Diamonds flash blue. Perfection.
What do you generally recommend to those shopping for an engagement ring who are trying to be mindful of a stricter budget?
I make no secret of the fact that I like big rings! If I was looking to spend around £3000, I would personally be looking at a halo or cluster design to maximise finger coverage and attain that maximum dazzle. Our 1.10 CTW Diamond Halo Art Deco ring is just over £3000, and I love it because it’s so unique and absolutely impressive. The way the Diamond-set band twists and almost hugs the central Diamond is beautiful. It’s like a love knot! It feels symbolic, and it’s a halo, which a lot of people love, but it’s also a bit more unique. Plus, it looks much more expensive! It’s weighty and luxe. I also love the way it’s low set on the finger so it’s super practical, and the rubover bezel setting means it’s low-maintenance to wear everyday, which you absolutely want in an engagement ring (and it’s jumper-friendly!)
If you have a budget of less than £2000, I would consider our 0.80 total carat Diamond Daisy Halo ring. It’s a wonderful ring. It will give you great finger coverage, and it’s undoubtedly a ‘wow’ when you open the box. The multitude of Diamonds mean it’s super dazzling, and it’s set in Platinum, so it’s heavy and hard-wearing. I would also consider our Aquamarine and Diamond Halo ring. It’s Platinum, and it’s a ring we used to set with only Diamonds as the centre stone. However, once we started making it with coloured gemstones as well, we realized it was an absolute triumph. We’ve also set it with an Amethyst, and that is gorgeous too.
What are some tips for those who are in the market for a ring with colour?
A coloured gemstone can be especially great for those who are shopping with a particular budget in mind. You can get a really substantial jewel which is rare and also excellent value. One of my favourites right now is the 2.26 CTW Oval-Cut Emerald and Diamond Halo ring; it is such a lovely piece.
I think Yellow Sapphires also deserve some serious consideration at the moment. We’ve all been though an unthinkably awful (unless you’re a Hollywood script writer) couple of years, and as we tentatively come out the other side, I think Yellow Sapphires are a natural choice. They’re sunny and hopeful and pure, and they’re good value. They used to be even better value, but prices have been steadily rising for a few years now and their popularity is undoubtedly increasing. They also look gorgeous set in Yellow Gold, which more and more people are going back to. They are as physically hard as their Blue relations, and make excellent gems for engagement rings. They’ll stand the test of time, and they’re available in lots of different shades, from pale and lemony to rich and sunny.
What is your absolute favourite coloured gemstone?
I love Rubies. Rubies are sexy. I don’t have enough of them; one can never have enough Rubies! We can’t buy them nearly as often as we’d like, and we also can’t get them in the sizes we like (i.e. massive.) It’s a visceral thing. We have a few absolutely beautiful ones in our collection currently. Interestingly enough, they never photograph as well as the Aquamarine or Sapphire pieces. Keep in mind, when shopping for Rubies now, the current compromise is size. When I started in the industry, they were admittedly much more readily available, and had I known what it would be like now, I’d have bought every Ruby and hoarded it. I sold a few Rubies (you know who you are) which we could only dream of sourcing now. They’ve shot up in value and that’s if you can even get a hold of them. If you’re dreaming of a Ruby ring now, go for the best stone you can afford, and accept that you might not be able to get the carat weight you thought you might. We can always set a Ruby beautifully with Diamonds for more finger coverage if you wish, but in my mind, Rubies pack such a punch that they don’t need to be huge to have an amazing impact.
What else is important to keep in mind when shopping for an engagement ring?
Any ring can be an engagement ring. The (albeit) fictional Count of Montecristo gave our heroine Mercedes a piece of string, and she valued it more than all the jewels in the world. Take your time; there are so many amazing options to consider, whether it’s a birthstone, a synthetic Moissanite, or a classic vintage solitaire Diamond. We carry the latter starting at under the £500 mark, and they make such a timeless choice. If you’ve chosen your person right, and that’s the hard bit, they’ll say ‘yes’ to you if you’ve asked with hope in your heart and a tuppence ha'penny in your pocket! The option to ‘upgrade’ your ring and/or other pieces in your collection is always available, and we’ve helped plenty of couples choose new pieces even decades down the line. It’s a great way to take stock and celebrate how far you’ve come as a couple.