Top 10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring

If you’re brand new to the world of jewellery, then choosing an engagement ring can feel like a bit of a minefield. With so many things to consider and what seems like a world of knowledge needed to make the right choice, we’re here to guide you through the top ten things you absolutely need to know before making such an important purchase. 

1. Know the 4 Cs

If you're thinking of choosing a ring with diamonds in, whether it's the centre stone, the side stones, a halo or any other style which contains diamonds, it's imperative that you have some understanding of what the 4 Cs are and how they influence both the look and the cost of a ring. The 4 Cs refer to the cut, colour, carat and clarity of a diamond, and the higher a stone scores in each of these areas, the higher the price will be. 

You can read our full guide on the 4 Cs to learn about how each of these factors affects both the price and the aesthetics of a diamond and will help you decide which of the 4 Cs might be the most important to you in your ring buying journey.

2. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

It’s always important to allow yourself plenty of time to make the right choice before you’re thinking of proposing. Whether you’re working alongside your partner to choose a ring or you’ve decided that you want it to be a surprise, you should make sure you have a bit of buffering room between receiving your ring and the big day to allow for any delays or changes of heart (about the ring, not your loved one!).

We find it’s very common that unless you begin the ring buying process with your mind 100% made up on the design you’re after, you might change your mind on the style of ring you want once you start looking! It’s not always as simple as walking into any highstreet store and picking out the first diamond ring you see, so make sure you allocate some time for thinking over your choices. If you’re opting for a custom or bespoke ring, then you also need to familiarise yourself with the timeframes that have been put in place for the creation process as these will take a while longer than if you’re purchasing a ready to ship ring. Find out more about our custom and bespoke services below.

3. Know the Difference Between the Precious Metals

Another important factor when choosing an engagement ring is ensuring you know which metal is the right fit for you. This choice isn't just down to personal style, although that is a very important thing to consider. If you or your partner is a fan of warmer toned metals then we would recommend choosing between rose and yellow gold, but if cooler toned metals are the vibe then consider a white metal such as platinum or white gold. At Jessica Flinn, we only work with the finest materials, meaning we only make our jewellery in 9, 14 and 18ct yellow, white and rose gold and 95% pure platinum.

If you’re thinking of going for gold, you should know and understand the difference between the three carats that we work with, learn more about yellow gold in our yellow gold metal guide!

9 Carat Gold

9ct Gold is the most wallet friendly option. Yellow and rose golds often have a more subtle hue than purer forms. At 37.5% purity, its higher proportion of alloys makes it durable.

14 Carat Gold

14ct Gold is much more common for customers outside of the UK. At 58.3% purity, it's the sweet spot between the more affordable 9ct and more pure 19ct.

18 Carat Gold

18ct Gold is the highest gold purity we are able to work with for stone set pieces. At 75% Gold, its colour is much more intense that 9ct and 14ct and is more expensive.

Explore Different Metals

If you're looking for some inspiration on what type of metal you should go for, take a look through our collections of gold and platinum jewellery. From the warm hues of rose and yellow gold to the cool tones of platinum and white gold, there's a perfect metal for everyone!

4. Consider Going Custom or Bespoke

If you haven't found the perfect ring yet, don't hesitate to explore the option of custom or bespoke designs. At Jessica Flinn, we take pride in our ability to personalise all our rings. Whether it's modifying gemstones or metal types in our existing designs with the custom package or creating a completely unique ring from scratch with our bespoke option, we're here to bring your vision to life! 

5. Insurance is Important

Understanding the options for different types of jewellery insurance can help you further down the line if anything gets lost or damaged. At Jessica Flinn, we recommend using a trusted insurer such as TH March, who offer specialist insurance in jewellery and watches. They offer policies for engagement rings, wedding rings, or precious jewellery in general, so you can be comfortable knowing you’re getting the right kind of protection for your valuable pieces. 

Alternatively, you may choose to insure your jewellery as part of your home and contents insurance. We recommend thoroughly checking your existing policy to ensure your precious jewellery is covered, or if you need to extend your cover for these items.

If you're not sure, contact your insurer and they should be able to answer any questions you have.

6. Set a Budget

Don’t let the myths of how much you should spend on an engagement ring influence your decision. This is a highly personal matter and you shouldn’t let outdated traditions of how much you should spend on a ring push you to spend more or less than you’re comfortable with. 

Read our full guide on how to set the right budget for yourself and your partner.

7. Remember, Diamonds Aren’t Every Girls Best Friend

If you have a sneaky feeling that diamonds aren’t right for you or your partner, take a moment and explore some alternative options. While white diamonds are beautiful in their own right, there’s no rule that says you absolutely have to include them in your engagement ring if they don’t speak to you. As long as the gemstone is hardy enough for everyday wear then you have the freedom to choose from almost every colour, shade or hue you want! 

Take a look at our selection of gemstone engagement rings, from sapphires, tourmalines, rubies or emeralds. These colourful gemstones open up a world of possibilities when it comes to creating your dream ring.

8. Make Sure You Get the Right Ring Size

Determining the perfect ring size can be trickier than expected, as numerous factors can influence how a ring fits. This challenge becomes particularly daunting when you're attempting to find out your partner's ring size without tipping them off. At Jessica Flinn, we've crafted a straightforward ring size guide to simplify the process, allowing you to effortlessly find the right ring size for yourself or your partner.

Find Your Ring Size Here

Struggling to find the right ring size for yourself or your partner? Well look no further, at Jessica Flinn we've come up with a super easy to follow ring size guide, follow the link below to find out more.

9. Know Your gemStone’s Origin

Knowing where your gemstone comes from is really important as it gives you peace of mind, knowing your gemstone hasn’t been sourced in an unethical way. Choosing an ethical gemstone means selecting a stone that is as traceable as possible, whether its lab or earth grown. To ensure our gemstones align with our ethical and organisational values, we only work with suppliers we know and trust. We vet them in person where we can to check that their business is trading fairly, and we only work with suppliers who source from conflict-free countries such as the USA, Sri Lanka, Australia and Botswana. 

Lab grown diamonds are considered to be on the whole, more ethically sourced than earth diamonds, so if you know its a diamond you want, consider opting for a lab grown one. Read our full guide on lab grown diamonds to find out more about these gorgeous gems!

10. The Legal Bits

Whatever jeweller you decide to go with, make sure you read the smallprint. It's important to know things like the returns policy, what happens if you need to change the ring slightly, and all the terms and conditions of the company or independent jeweller you’re looking to buy from. 


At the Jessica Flinn showroom, we pride ourselves on creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. As soon as you're welcomed by one of our lovely team members, you will be made to feel at home. With a complimentary drink of your choice in our gorgeous showroom, lots of stunning rings to choose from, and the expert knowledge of our team members, your Jessica Flinn experience will be nothing short of spectacular.