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How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

The average cost of an engagement ring is an estimated  £1500.  A month’s salary has become a conventional amount and is perhaps a good rule of thumb (though some suggest two or three months).  We say, it should feel generous but not put you in financial difficulty.  You may be interested in our guide to buying a bespoke engagement ring.

Should I buy a real diamond or man-made diamond engagement ring?

Although “to the eye”, and to experts, there is no discernible difference between a natural (real) and a man-made diamond. They are different and it depends what you want from a diamond. If you like the romance of knowing that a diamond was formed in the earth over a billion years ago, hundreds of kilometres below the surface of the earth then a natural stone is the way to go. If certainty that a diamond is ethically produced or the cost is important to you, then man-made will be the best choice.

Is jewellery a good investment?

It will depend on the type of jewellery. Diamonds have historically always gone up in value over time. The value of precious metals fluctuates with international markets. Named pieces by famous jewellers tend to hold their value better than unknown ones. Higher quality pieces with classic or timeless designs hold their value better as they remain saleable over time.

Do diamonds keep their value?

Historically diamonds have always gone up in value over time.

How do I get my jewellery valued?

Go to a good jeweller. If they can’t help, you could approach the Institute of Registered Valuers directly.

Is insuring jewellery a good idea?

It is a good idea to insure fine jewellery. Unfortunately loss and theft do happen. Often the best way is to add it to home contents insurance but there are also specific jewellery insurers for high value items. T H March is the industry standard in the UK, contact us to find out more.

What's the value of gemstones in order?

Natural fancy coloured diamonds command the highest price per carat of any gemstone. The four gemstones considered ‘precious’ are diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire. After that come all other gemstones which are considered to be ‘semi-precious’, for example, to name a few; Aquamarine, Amethyst, Garnet, Opal, Spinel, Topaz, Zircon.

What is a green gemstone?

Emerald is the precious gemstone best known for its green colour and comes in many shades. It is favoured by people after a light-green gemstone. Tsavorite Garnets are less well known and have a bright, vivid green colour and are just as hard as emerald. The green of Tourmaline is darker but just as beautiful.

What is a blue gemstone?

Sapphire is the precious gemstone best known for its blue colour, though it can come in a myriad of other colours. Aquamarine is popular for its light, bright tones, like sunshine in the sea. Topaz and Zircon are also known for their bright blue colours and tend to be more affordable than a sapphire or aquamarine.

How much are sapphires?

The price of sapphires varies depending on the colour, the clarity, the cut and the carat weight. When it comes to blue sapphires the most desirable are either a deep royal blue or a bright cornflower blue and the colour is best dispersed evenly through the stone, not collected in ‘zones’. The most sought after pink sapphires are the colour of dark ‘rosé’ wine or the first tones of a sunset. Sapphires can also be yellow, orange, green and purple and various shades in between. Teal coloured sapphires are seeing a rise in popularity. The clarity refers to the presence or lack of marks, natural blemishes called ‘inclusions’, in the body of the stone. The cutting of a sapphire by a lapidary (the person who does the cutting or polishing of gemstones) is a precise craft. A good lapidary will maximise the colour of the sapphire and the amount of light reflecting through it so that it shows an even dispersal of colour and sparkles from every angle. The carat weight is a fairly straightforward factor, all things being equal, the bigger the gemstone the more valuable. There is however also an exponential element to the increase in price of precious gemstones because as they become larger they also become more rare.

Platinum vs white gold.

Platinum is considered the superior metal for fine jewellery, particularly diamond engagement rings because it is white, polishes beautifully and is hard wearing. White gold is an alloy which came into commercial circulation in the 1920’s. It was intended as a more affordable alternative to platinum and involved alloying gold with other whiter metals such as palladium, platinum, silver, nickel and zinc. The two fineness’s of white gold sold in the UK are 9ct and 18ct both are usually plated with a hard white metal called rhodium before being sold. The rhodium plating will wear away over time depending on the level of abrasion it receives; on the back of a ring where it receives heavy wear it may last a few weeks whilst on earrings and pendants it might last for decades, possibly the lifetime of the piece. The popularity of precious metals changes with their value as a commodity. In 2020 platinum is more accessible than ever for use in jewellery because the price of platinum has softened whereas the price of gold is at an all time high.

Best ways to propose to my girlfriend.

The traditional setting to propose has always been a candlelit meal in a nice restaurant. These days as attitudes to marriage have changed and become more motivated by the feeling of the individuals rather than the pressure of convention, proposals tend to be more imaginative. Lots of engagements happen on Christmas eve or Christmas Day as this is a time when families come together so the afterglow of the announcement can be shared with the wider family. Finding an appropriate moment when out in nature is also very popular. Couples often have a favourite spot by the sea or overlooking a view which becomes the place where they became engaged. There is also a trend to return to a significant place from the early days of the relationship as this appeals to a romantic sense of a journey. By returning to the same place it becomes noticeable how much time has passed and the relationship has developed. The best proposals involve a little bit of imagination. Our favourite proposal happened whilst snorkelling. It is a brave fellow who ties a substantial diamond ring to the string of his trunks, then holds his breath, unties it, holds it under the sand of the sea bed before beckoning his girlfriend over and then lifting it up out of the sand to reveal it to her. Top marks!