The idea of shopping for an engagement ring together is becoming more and more popular, but how best to navigate the murky etiquette waters of it all? We spoke to four Irish engagement ring experts to get the low down on everything you need to know before you go shopping together.

 

Bespoke Diamonds

Located on Kildare street, and their boutique showroom offers our clients a more intimate and personal experience away from the noisy high street. With over 400 engagement rings in stock with prices starting from €1,500, they tailor make the perfect engagement ring to suit the specifications and budget of each client. With an in house designer, they create and design a bespoke pieces which offers clients the opportunity to personalise their ring and add a unique feel with a high excellence in finish.

(L -> R clockwise) 1.35 carat diamond ring, €6,400 | 1.7 carat diamond ring, €13,500 | 0.55 carat ring, €2,200

What are the benefits of going ring shopping together? 

There are many benefits to going ring shopping. One of the major advantage to going ring shopping over purchasing online is that you can not only see but also try the rings on in person. This will help a person get a feel for their style which will in turn help the jeweller tune a ring to the customer’s tastes.

What should you know before you go?

I would normally recommend a couple to be self-thought on the four C’s and to understand the pros & cons of their metal choice for the setting. An honest jeweller should give you all of the necessary knowledge needed but I have found it to be beneficial for a couple to have a basic understanding of what they are purchasing so that they do get value for money.

Should you set a budget and expectations in advance of going out shopping?

A budget outlay comes highly recommend. By choosing and committing to a budget which a couple are happy to stay within, they can then look at doing a price comparison via a web search. This will help in narrowing down their number of visits from one hundred too between five and ten jewellers. This will make the experience much more enjoyable & relaxing.

When shopping together, how can you be smart about picking an engagement ring that will work with your wedding bands?

This would be dependent on the person’s preference in style and taste. In general I would always recommend a wedding ring friendly engagement ring were you can sit a wedding band flush against the band as about 90% of the time this is possible. That being said there are some antique inspired style which won’t allow a wed fit style and this should be acknowledged before purchasing.

What's your top engagement ring shopping tip for couples?

I would always recommend to do some research before starting the process. Whether it is looking at images on a jeweller’s website or Pinterest, it is important to get a feel for what you think you like and don’t like. Then follow the advice above and you’ll have a wonderful experience.

Find out more about Bespoke Diamonds by visiting them at 33 Kildare street, Dublin 2, or by catching up with them on their website or Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

Commins and Co.

Located in the prestigious Powerscourt Town House, our store is set within the heart of the Dublin jewellery industry. Originally a platform for other jewellers to advertise on, we saw an opportunity in the market and through our links with some of the world’s most sought after diamond dealers we opened our doors with the simple business model of pricing to sell, meaning we offer up to 30% off compared to the high street without compromising on the quality of the diamond or setting. We they have over three hundred diamond engagement rings available to view & buy in store, which can be tweaked to suit a person’s budget. They can also be remade in different metal types. Each ring comes with an independent valuation and for guys who purchase the ring on their own before proposing we have an exchange policy meaning you can never make the wrong choice.

1.15 carat diamond ring, €5,250 | 0.6 carat diamond ring, €2,700 | 0.93 carat diamond ring, €4950

What are the benefits of going ring shopping together?

One of the obvious benefits would be that the lady in question can become part of the process. By allowing her to be part of the process at the early stage a guy can pick up on what she likes and dislikes. Thus, helping him narrow it down to the perfect ring.

What should you know before you go? 

The internet is now full of vast knowledge on everything a person needs to know about it recommend whether it be the couple or guy going it alone to do some research as it is important to not only know what you are purchasing but to have an understanding of it too.

Should you set a budget and expectations in advance of going out shopping?

I would always recommend or a couple to set out a generalised budget they feel comfortable with and certain expectations they would like to achieve in regards to carat weight, colour, etc. By comparing pricing via a web search you will quickly realise what price parameter you are in.

When shopping together, how can you be smart about picking an engagement ring that will work with your wedding bands? 

Yes, there are two types of engagement rings, one that is wedding ring friendly and one that is not. I would always recommend a wed fit engagement ring as the inconvenience and frustration caused for women when they come back for wedding rings can lead to a less enjoyable experience.

What's your top engagement ring shopping tip for couples?

I would always recommend quality over quantity. It sounds obvious I know but I feel it is something that can’t be over emphasised. In my experience couples who’s budget may not meet expectations, it is those who when they compromise on size and improve the quality tend to end up being happier.

Find out more about Commins and Co. by visiting them at 23N, Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin 2, or by catching up with them on their website or Facebook and Instagram.

 

DesignYard

DesignYard opened its doors in 1994 in Dublin, Ireland. They passionately foster, curate and promote the finest design and workmanship from both emerging and established artists and they offer a fresh and meaningful alternative to the high street. They stock jewellery for him and her for all occasions and say: "Our jewellery appeals to the discerning customer who appreciates exceptional design and workmanship. You are always guaranteed to find something unique and interesting."

Andrew Geoghegan blue sapphire Cannele ring, €2730 | Eily O'Connell seafoam green tourmaline ring, from €1115 | Unity from Andrew Geoghegan starts from €5,630

What are the benefits of going ring shopping together? 

No matter how you look at it – buying THE ring is huge; there is an emotional investment to this purchase that cannot be ignored – in our experience money doesn’t always come first. Of course it’s relevant – but what you will remember 10 years down the line is the experience and the happiness you shared on the day. There is so much more than meets the eye. We love seeing couples enjoying this - it’s the first of the many big decisions they’ll make together!

Having said that, we do get a lot of gentlemen in looking to buy a surprise engagement ring and it is equally romantic – and it’s lovely to try and help them find the perfect ring, it takes a bit of match making skills! We try to make it as easy as possible for them as well – we are happy to exchange if the ring is not quite right, in which case they can both come back together and take their time and choose.

What should you know before you go?

A bit of prep doesn’t hurt! Everyone is different - some customers love learning all about diamonds and getting an education, and it is fun! I would also say it’s useful to look online at various shops, it saves you a lot of the legwork - you quickly get a good idea if they carry the style of ring you think she’d like.

Also, I cannot stress how important it is to go to a reputable store,  ideally one that has been around for a long time – they have the reputation, the trained staff and the selection to give you peace of mind and the service you deserve. What you want is a good experience and to walk out with a beautiful ring, not to train as a gemmologist…that is our job! Trusting in your retailer is very important.

Should you set a budget and expectations in advance of going out shopping?

Whoever asked this question was a man. Just kidding! Of course – it’s part of the process and you want to know what you can afford. A little leeway here or there doesn’t hurt but most jewellery stores have a good selection in any given budget, there is so much choice these days: gold caratage, different diamond sizes/specs, different coloured gems – they are all factors that will influence the price of the final piece and a good jeweller will be happy to guide you.

When shopping together, how can you be smart about picking an engagement ring that will work with your wedding bands? 

It depends – some ladies know they will want a wedding band next to the engagement ring and yes - in that case you’ll want to see some suggestions on the day to get a better idea of what the finished set will look like: some engagement rings allow for a straight edge wedding band which sits flush next to the ring, some settings need a custom made wedding band (something with a sweep for example). Will you always wear the two rings together or do you think there will be times when you’ll wear just the wedding band on its own? However we often see customers choose statement engagement rings or a 2  in 1 ring  -  one that will work as an engagement ring and a wedding band at the same time. I have also met ladies who wear the wedding band on the right hand – tradition is slowly evolving and it is about what feels right for you.

What's your top engagement ring shopping tip for couples?

Keep an open mind in terms of the style of the ring. A lot of ladies think they know what they would like, but trying rings on is as personal as it can get and a lot of times you’ll be surprised by your own choice at the end of the day. Make sure you feel comfortable and not rushed – it is a big decision and it is YOURS. Asking for advice is ok, but you will be the one wearing it for the rest of your life. No one can know how you feel about a certain piece - I love seeing that ‘Ahh!’ moment and the emotion that lights up her face even before she knows it.  That’s when you know you have a winner.

 

Find out more about DesignYard by visiting them at 25 South Frederick St, Dublin 2, The Crescent, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 or at The Boutique, Adare Manor, Co Limerick, or by catching up with them on their website or Facebook and Instagram.

 

RARE Jewellery Design

RARE Jewellery Design offer bespoke and unique designs across a comprehensive range of jewellery. They are delighted to be able to assist our customers in creating original designs and long lasting memories with exceptional service.

What are the benefits of going ring shopping together? 

The most obvious benefit of going engagement ring shopping together is that the girl gets exactly the ring that she wants and as she will be wearing this ring forever that is very important. Shopping together can also be part of the wonderful memory of your engagement, particularly if we end up making a bespoke ring for the couple as they feel completely involved from the beginning.

However, a lot of people like the idea of a ‘surprise proposal’ and unless the guy is very confident that he knows exactly what style of ring his girlfriend would like, choosing the engagement ring on his own can be a mistake.

What should you know before you go?

When a guy comes into us and is uncertain or shows any doubt at all about what his girlfriend would like, we will recommend him to choose one of our ‘RARE Stacking rings’ as a ‘proposal ring’ and for them to come in to us together when she has said ‘YES’! At the time he is buying the ’proposal’ ring we will ascertain what sort of budget he is thinking of for the real Engagement ring so that when they come back in together we are somewhat prepared and not leading her towards rings that are way outside their budget

Girls are generally very sentimental about the ring they have been proposed to with and as our RARE stacking rings are all made in 9ct gold, she will be able to keep it and wear it on her right hand. Another advantage is that her new Fiancé will be able to add more ‘stacking rings’ for Christmas and Birthdays, making it a ‘win-win’ for both of them!

There are so many styles out there it is a good idea to have had a look online and maybe at some of your friend’s rings to begin to determine the style that you might like or to eliminate what styles you don’t like, which can be even more beneficial sometimes!

Should you set a budget and expectations in advance of going out shopping?

Ultimately the budget is what will determine the ring that you end up with. It is very important to have established a realistic budget that you are both comfortable with before you start looking for your ring.

When shopping together, how can you be smart about picking an engagement ring that will work with your wedding bands?

When we are discussing engagement rings with couples we always address what style of wedding ring will suit, this is ultimately important as some engagement rings may need a shaped wedding ring to be made to fit snugly.

What's your top engagement ring shopping tip for couples?

Be honest with regard to taste and budget and be open minded, as what you think you might like may not actually suit your hand. Remember when setting your budget, that your engagement ring and wedding rings will be your lasting memory from your wedding, the cake gets eaten, the flowers wither and the ‘favours’ soon get forgotten.

 

Find out more about RARE Jewellery Design by visiting them at 12 Castle Market, Dublin, or by catching up with them on their website or Facebook.

 

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