How to choose the perfect engagement ring?

Updated: Jun 4


First of all, congratulations! You found that one incredible person you want to spend the rest of your life with and decided to pop the question! But now what?


Such exciting time can also be very overwhelming. I am not just talking about spending a good chunk of money, there is a lot of pressure to “get it right” when it comes to selecting the perfect engagement ring.


Whether you are looking for an engagement ring as unique as your significant other or creating a mood board to share with your future fiancé, you are in the right place.

Today, I’ll be guiding you on your journey to choosing the perfect engagement ring.


white jewellery box with a blue ribbon tied in a bow, by Tsarina Gems, on a white silk background

Diamond or Coloured Gemstone?

Traditionally, diamonds have been the top choice for engagement rings and bridal jewellery, however gemstones of rich, vibrant colours are now at the top of the wish list for many brides-to-be. Perhaps also for you?


If you are still on the fence about the centre stone, here are some tips.


Choose a diamond if:

  • you love tradition

  • you are looking for that SPARKLE!

  • you prefer a modern, neutral look

  • you want to be practical

  • you are looking for the hardest gemstone out there to last you a lifetime


a lady's hand wearing a round solitaire 1 carat diamond engagement ring in yellow gold, dark nail polish


Choose a coloured gemstone if:

  • you are looking for a unique engagement ring

  • you love a pop of colour on a daily basis

  • you want to make a statement

  • you are considering a larger stone for your budget

  • you are “over” the whole diamond engagement ring trend

round green sapphire yellow gold vintage inspired clover diamond halo engagement ring cocktail ring by Tsarina Gems held in lady’s hand neutral colour nails on white background


Fun Fact: The idea of proposing with a diamond engagement ring was a DeBeers marketing technique used in the 1930s and does not have to apply to you!


To find out more about gemstones in engagement rings, check out my previous blog:

Pop the Question with a Pop of Colour


lady’s hand wearing a round purple sapphire, vintage inspired, rose gold halo engagement ring and vintage inspired scroll stacking band in rose gold with diamonds, by Tsarina Gems


Metal colour


Whether your significant other has been leaving you subtle (or not so subtle) hints or actively telling you what they do and do not want, when it comes to selecting metal colour, consider the following:


  • what colour is their other jewellery?

  • if they are more traditional, choose white or yellow gold

  • do they love the rose gold trend? (personally, I’m in love with it!)

  • what is the colour of the centre stone?


round opal, vintage inspired, white gold, diamond halo engagement ring, next to a strand go white pearls on a white background

Lifestyle


Although it is easy to get caught up in the romance, there is a slightly boring but important thing to consider: practicality. Work, hobbies and lifestyle in general affect your everyday life and also the life of your jewellery.


If you have an active lifestyle or your job involves a lot of “working with your hands”, consider a diamond or a sapphire, they are at the top of the durability scale and are excellent for everyday-wear. (Did you know that sapphires exist in all colours of the rainbow and everything in between? Here is a gorgeous example of a yellow sapphire below.)


lady's hand wearing a round yellow sapphire, diamond halo engagement ring, red nails

You can of course select other coloured gemstones for your engagement ring, such as opal or morganite (below). Just be aware that they are softer stones and will require more care while wearing.


lady's hand wearing a large pear shape morganite, vintage inspired, diamond halo, rose gold, engagement ring, red nails

Remember, you can remove your jewellery if you are planning tasks that might damage your engagement ring. In fact, no matter which gemstone you choose, even if you choose a diamond, I highly recommend taking off your jewellery for things like:


  • working out

  • hiking

  • a trip to the beach

  • swimming in a pool

  • gardening

  • baking

  • shower


For more tips, visit my previous blog post:

10 easy steps to keep your jewellery clean and damage-free


lit sparkler on a dark background


Surprise vs. Shopping Together


Are you planning a complete surprise or do you both want to choose the engagement ring together?


Whether you have discussed your proposal at this point or not, here are some things to think about:


  • do they love surprises?

  • have they told you exactly what style of engagement ring they want?

  • do they want the engagement ring as well as the proposal to be a surprise?

  • when choosing the engagement ring, are you worried about “getting it wrong”?

  • will they be upset if they don’t receive exactly what they want?

  • have you considered proposing with a loose gemstone and creating the ring together?


a selection of vintage inspired engagement rings, with coloured gemstones, by Tsarina Gems, in a grey velvet ring box, on a light blue background, next to a hot pink carnation and dry orange slices

Pro tip: Please remember, your significant other will be the one wearing the engagement ring for the rest of their life. Although you might be the one paying for it, it does not mean that you should be calling all the shots!



Working with an expert


Have you ever gone into a jewellery store and felt awkward and uncomfortable because the sales rep was too “salesy”? Did it feel like they were just trying to unload their inventory and were not listening to what you were actually looking for?


Or were they working at a fancy boutique and were actually super friendly but when it came to gemstones, they didn’t have much knowledge to share?


If you answered yes to any of these question, you are in fact looking for a personalised, guided jewellery experience, not just a purchase.


no probllama hot pink note pad, next to a marble pen, on a white background

As a certified gemologist and jewellery professional I am happy to share my knowledge and experience when it comes to creating the perfect engagement ring for you and your significant other.


Irina Kharina, gemstone and jewellery expert, founder of Tsarina Gems, wearing a flower dress and a pear shape morganite pendant in rose gold

Check out my previous blog post on 5 Reasons to go Custom


What about your timeframe?


Do you have time for a custom ring creation or are you on a bit of a time crunch? A custom ring can take between 6-8 weeks to complete, depending on the intricacy of the design and gemstone availability.


lady’s hand wearing a vintage inspired engagement ring with a large oval dark green emerald, diamond halo, split shank and white gold

Even if you do not have time to go through the custom design process, you still do not have to turn to retail or online shopping!


Did you know that Tsarina Gems has a line of unique ready-to-wear rings that are available for purchase and you can take home today for a last minute proposal?


oval padparadscha sapphire diamond halo ring in rose and white gold, round purple sapphire diamond halo ring in rose gold, round white opal halo ring in white gold, round green sapphire in yellow gold, vintage inspired rings by Tsarina Gems, ethically sourced, on white background with blue ribbon

If the ring doesn’t quite fit, we can alter the ring size after the proposal and also plan the creation of a matching wedding band! Alternatively, please allow a week or so for sizing (if you already know the exact finger size).

lady's hand wearing a large 2 carat solitaire diamond engagement ring,  thick white gold band

When it comes to working with me, the sky really is the limit!


If you are looking for that perfect engagement ring, I would love to discuss different options available to you, these include:


  • completely bespoke engagement ring: creating an engagement ring from scratch (approx. 6-8 weeks)

  • customisable engagement ring: choosing from existing designs and gemstones (4-6 weeks)

  • ready-to-wear: take it home today!


lady’s hand wearing an oval padparadscha sapphire rose gold diamond halo vintage inspired engagement ring and diamond stacking ring, rose gold bridal set by Tsarina Gems

Ready to create your perfect engagement ring?

Schedule a complementary, 30 minute, 1:1 connection call with me here


Visit my Gallery for more inspiration


Browse my Ready-to-Wear collection


For unique engagement ring ideas and other jewellery, visit my Instagram page