What to know when choosing an engagement ring

Libertons is a marketplace for fine antique and luxury jewellers to share their unique stock with the world. Each jeweller is hand picked, displays individual pieces of jewellery and can be easily contacted through the website. They recently ran an interesting survey on women’s engagement ring preferences, thus creating this ‘What to know when choosing an engagement ring’ infographic. The findings are some really interesting differences in the attitudes of different age groups towards cost, style and choice. Continue reading

Congenial Diamonds

We are absolutely loving diamonds here at the Secret Wedding Blog, so we are glad to bring you a feature about Congenial Diamonds and what they have to say about finding the perfect ring to popular metal types and tips for people clueless about rings! Find out what they had to say below…

How Congenial Diamonds began

The roots of Congenial Diamonds trace back to Antwerp, the diamond capital of Europe. We are a UK-based family-run business that pride ourselves of three solid generations in the diamond manufacturing industry. It is this heritage and intimate knowledge of this precious stone that gave rise to a passion for diamond jewellery.

We have an established independent jewellery boutique in the centre of Guildford in Surrey and we have more recently expanded our business nationwide by launching Congenial Diamonds online.

Being different…

Diamond jewellery is not only our business; it is our PASSION and this is clearly reflected in our stunning designs, in the quality of our products and the great attention to detail we put in our customer service.

We have over 10 years’ experience in designing and manufacturing jewellery. This expertise is readily available to all of our customers to assist them with finding the perfect jewellery piece for their special occasion.

Our jewellery is designed and manufactured in-house, in our UK workshop. Our prices are very competitive and offer excellent value for money. We are able to do this because we buy directly from diamond wholesalers, eliminating the traditional layers of diamond dealers and associated costs of High Street jewellers.

In addition, our products come with:
· GIA/IGI/EGL certified diamonds.
· Luxurious and elegantly designed jewellery packaging.
· Free delivery.
· A 30-day no quibble returns policy.

Helping customers find the perfect engagement ring

During the years, we have assisted thousands of men/couples to choose the perfect engagement ring. We understand that this is one of the most important jewellery purchase that the customer will ever make and we are happy to provide our expert advice.

As a first step, we have put together a short 4-step guide together with some tips to help with the choosing.

Furthermore, our online presence is carefully designed to facilitate the search for the perfect engagement ring. Each of our designs can be tailored to meet individual requirements by selecting the details of the diamond (carat, colour and clarity) as well as the metal.

For further assistance, our friendly staff can be reached on 0845 548 9858 or via email.

The most popular types of rings

The most popular engagement ring is the 4-claw Round Brilliant Solitaire, due to its simplicity and timeless elegance.

The Round Brilliant Cut diamond is classic, versatile and with more fire and brilliance than any of the other diamond shapes, making it by far the most popular diamond shape, and hence also the most expensive. The 4-claw setting is minimal and uncomplicated, bringing the most out of this precious stone. Moreover, the 4 claw is one of the safest settings.

The most popular type of metal for rings

The most popular type of metal for rings is 950 Platinum. It is the heaviest of the precious metals and the most valuable due to its rarity. It is popular because it keeps its white colour with time and wear.

Our ring collection comes in White Gold, Yellow Gold, 950 Palladium and 950 Platinum. For more details on the different metal types read here.

Tips for choosing the perfect ring

Choosing the perfect ring is an exciting experience but can be overwhelming at times due to the vast choice of designs available.

Our top tip is to understand the basics about diamonds and the precious metals; there is a lot of information available that can help with making the right choice.

Ring designs vary greatly in style, ranging from classic to contemporary. For this reason, our second tip is to find out the style and taste of the person who will be wearing the ring.

It’s important to remember that the purchase of a ring is an emotional purchase. So our final tip is to let your instincts and gut feeling guide you with your purchase.

From our experience around 40% of our customers have already been proposed to at the time they choose their engagement ring.

Congenial Diamonds Price Ranges

Our diamond engagement rings start from £570 for a solitaire diamond ring of 0.25ct. The price of each design will change automatically in real time with changes made to the diamond specifications and metal type. This way, the customer is always in control.

Our plain wedding rings start from £100. The prices change automatically when any of the ring details (e.g. ring width, metal) are changed.

Our basic diamond earrings start from £390, whereas the price of our diamond pendants start from £462.

Our customers can easily buy our jewellery online at www.congenialdiamonds.co.uk.

We also have premises in Guildford, Surrey where customers can make an appointment to come and discuss their requirements with us.

Tips for the people clueless about rings

Choosing a ring comes down to individual taste. For this reason it is advisable to find out the style and taste of the person who will be wearing the ring prior to commencing the search for the perfect ring.

Based on our experience with men/couples, we have put a handy guide with some tips here. Our staff are very happy to answer any additional questions via email or on 0845 548 9858.


Vashi Diamond Manufacturers

I am delighted to bring you an interview with Diamond Expert and Founder of Diamond Manufacturers.co.uk, Vashi Dominguez!

How did the company begin?

I started Diamond Manufacturers (soon to be Vashi.com) in 2007 when I decided to sell diamonds directly to consumers at low costs. I did this by cutting out the middleman and sourcing diamonds directly from the mines. I had previously been sourcing wholesale diamonds for independent jewellers and saw a gap in the market. With online retail growing more popular in 2007 I began selling via Amazon and quickly became their biggest online jeweller in Europe.

I then set up the site www.DiamondManufacturers.co.uk in 2009 which soon be rebranded to www.vashi.com before we enter European markets.

What makes you different from other jewellers?

Because we source our diamonds directly from the mines we are able to offer our customers the best possible prices on diamond jewellery. Our prices are 72% lower than the high-street on engagement rings. We offer exceptional customer service to support our customers with the knowledge they require to make an informed purchase. For example, every diamond we set in our engagement rings has been handpicked by me. On average only one in ten diamonds meets my stringent quality control standards.

Each consumer that enquires about our jewellery is assigned to one of our Diamond and Engagement Experts to look after them throughout their customer journey, answering any queries and offering unbiased advice to help guide them through their purchase. On our website we also provide consumers with information in our guidance centre which offers advice on how and where to proposal as well as unbiased information about every aspect of choosing the right ring, from the carat and the cut to the metal type. We also offer free next day delivery and a free lifetime guarantee with every order which includes free ring resizing and cleaning.

How can you help customers find the perfect engagement ring?

Our experts are on hand to offer advice every step of the journey. Customers can use our ‘create your own’ service to ensure that they find a ring to suit their style and budget. If they are looking for something different, they can talk to our bespoke team and design something completely unique to them. We will always ensure that the customer’s wishes are catered for to ensure that they have the perfect ring to propose with.

What are the most popular types of rings?

Halo rings are very popular at the moment and the French Split Shank ring has become one of our best sellers.

We have also seen a rise in gemstone engagement rings. With the rise of celebrity gemstone rings such as Kate Middleton’s Sapphire ring and Halle Berry’s Emerald ring, people are beginning to opt for something different to a traditional diamond to stand out from the crowd.

Could you tell us your most popular type of metal for rings?

The most popular metal is 18 carat White Gold. This is a metal that can withstand every day wear and tear but is fairly inexpensive. Platinum is popular for Wedding rings, especially men’s as it is the strongest of the jewellery metals, but it’s also the most expensive.

What tips would you provide when choosing a ring?

My top tips are:

Budget – Know your budget and stick to it! It has often been said that men should stick to the two month salary rule, however I disagree with this and thing men should opt for a budget that is comfortable with them.

Research – Make sure you read up on the 4C’s before making your purchase so that you can ensure that you are getting the best possible diamond for your money.

Shop Around – Get to know what styles suit your hands and what you like. Diamonds are very subjective, so as long as you are wowed by your purchase that is all that should really matter.

Do you have many customers who come with their partners to choose their ring?

Many men come to us with pictures and images of jewellery that their girlfriend has already or has pinned on their Pinterest boards for advice and help.

Could you tell us a bit about price ranges please?

Our Engagement rings start at £599 but we will soon be launching a line that retails from £300. With our bespoke service you can create a ring to suit any budget. If you wanted a £1 million ring then we can design this for you.

Where are you based?

We are an online jeweller but we have a showroom in Covent Garden which is available for appointments if customers wish to view rings before they purchase.

What tips would you give to customers who don’t have a clue where to start when it comes to picking out the ring?

  1. My first piece of advice would be to stay calm and shop around. Don’t be afraid to go into stores and try things on and then take a look online to gauge an idea of prices. By doing this you will also come to realise the styles that you like and sizes of the ring that you need.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask her friends for help and advice when picking the ring as they may have an idea of the style of ring that she likes or even what her ring size is.
  3. Take a closer look at the jewellery that she wears now, is it mainly white or yellow gold? Does she like big costume jewellery or subtle delicate pieces? These are all signs as to the style of engagement ring that she may like.
  4. Take your girlfriend shopping. She is never going to say no to looking at jewellery and won’t even suspect an impending proposal. Or if you hate shopping so much then ask her mother or best friend to take her shopping to get an idea of what she likes.
  5. Make sure you decide on a budget and stick to it. There is no point getting yourself into debt before you even start married life together. By buying an engagement ring from Diamond Manufacturers you can often save yourself 71% off high-street prices (valid percentage at time of writing) so don’t be persuaded by pushy sales staff and fancy lights. Take your time when choosing any ring, whether an engagement ring or wedding bands these rings are likely to be worn every day for the rest of your life, so you need to be comfortable with your purchase. Make sure that there is a good returns policy and aftercare service.

For comparison, Diamond Manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty which ensures that you can have your ring resized at any point after the purchase along with regular cleaning.

You can also find them on twitter!


Aurus London Jewellers

We are totally in love with Aurus London’s collection of rings and insisted that we interviewed them on Secret Wedding Blog. Find out what they had to say below…

1) Tell us how Aurus London began?

Aurus began as there were no retail stores that focused solely on engagement, wedding or eternity rings in the UK with more than 1,500 styles - there are retailers that sell rings however, they may sell matching jewellery along with watches or other accessories. With our extensive range of engagement, wedding and eternity rings to choose from, Aurus is the largest engagement and wedding ring specialists in the UK. The company’s primary aim is to offer you beautiful rings of unsurpassed quality to make it an unforgettable gift for your loved one. We also have a specialists who can engrave rings if you would like to add a personal message or a memorable date.

Following their launch at the end of the year in 2012, they have gained a reputation as one of the newest hidden gems on Clerkenwell Road with their first boutique based in Farringdon, Central London.

2) Who is behind the company?

The co-founders of Aurus have a combined experience of over 50 years within all aspects in the diamond and wedding ring industry from wholesale. In Europe it is common to have retailers that only specialise in engagement, wedding and eternity rings however, in the UK there are no retailers who are specialists, as well as holding over 1,500 different styles. Our rings come from some of the best reputable suppliers in Europe to include France, Switzerland, Germany, along with our own in house designs.


3) You have an amazing collection of rings - how can you help customers pick out the perfect ring for their partner?

Many couples now research and pick their rings together however if you are planning a surprise proposal here are a few tips:

1.  Have a rough budget - It is often said that you should spend at least 3 months of your salary on an engagement ring however, it is all down to personal preference. Be sure to spend what you can afford.

2. Research - It is very important to research before you purchase anything especially diamond engagement rings. Learn about the 4 C’s of a diamond (cut, colour, clarity and carat) these should all equally be considered. At Aurus we also add in an extra 3 C’s (certificate, care and confidence) make sure your diamond has a diamond certification by a reputable lab. At Aurus you can purchase with confidence and ensure the care of the diamond is well explained.

3. Know your partner’s style - Make sure you know what your partner’s personal preference is, ie. solitaire diamond ring or a ring that has multiple diamonds surrounding the centre stone. The preference of metal colour between white, yellow, rose, two toned or three toned? A good way to find out is to ask your partner’s close friends or family otherwise take a look at your partner’s existing jewellery to get a rough idea.


4) Could you tell us what has been a popular product?

Plain bands have always been very popular as they are classic and timeless, although we are now seeing more gents opt for a ring with diamonds and grooves in it to add a simple touch of design. We also see two and three tone rings being selected, this is great especially if they want their ring to match all their other jewellery. Lots of ladies are also opting for diamond wedding bands instead of the plain traditional band as it also gives them more option to match their engagement ring.

Everyone has their own unique taste and style but, with our extensive collection we are sure to you are able to find your perfect ring. We also offer customisation to our rings. i.e. customising your diamond, finish and profile or alternatively completely design your entire ring from scratch.

5) What is the most popular choice of metal for rings?

We have seen a rise of people interested in rose gold as it is in trend at the moment. Platinum has always been very popular as it is 95% natural white metal and is known to be the “King of Metals”. Platinum is much stronger and heavier than gold and the colour will remain nice and white. However, with gold there is the choice of having colours like yellow or rose unlike platinum and palladium.

It is all down to budget as the biggest advantage to white gold over platinum is certainly the costs. Platinum is more expensive as it is rarer and mined much less than gold. Alternatively you could look into other metals such as Palladium; a naturally white metal which also is popular as it is a fraction of the cost of gold and platinum.


6) Do you have any tips that you can provide our readers about picking their rings?

There are many tips to look out for however, our 4 main tips are:

1. Know your budget - You and your partner should consider a budget as you also have wedding preparations underway. Your ring is one of the most meaningful pieces of jewellery that you will wear for the rest of your life, it is a symbol of your commitment and love for your loved one.

2. Do not leave it too late - Make sure you leave plenty of time to choose your rings, we recommend between 3-4 months before your big day. Sizes can change and rings may need to be adjusted.

3. Think about your style - Once you start researching into your bud

get you will naturally begin to discover what you prefer.  Do you want a classic and timeless plain wedding ring, or would you prefer something with a touch of design or even diamonds? Do you want matching wedding rings? Whatever you decide upon design wise, be assured in your own mind that you are happy with it

4. Choose a reputable seller - Choosing your wedding rings is a important task; you need to be able to trust the expert in front of you. When choosing a store to help you in one of your most sentimental purchases make sure you feel comfortable with pleasant, helpful and knowledgeable staff. They should be there to answer any potential questions that have arisen within your prior research. The experience of buying your wedding rings should ultimately be enjoyable and fun.

7) How does the book an appointment work?

You are able to book an appointment with us via our website www.auruslondon.com or alternatively call us on 020 7523 9522, our London showroom is open six days a week and we can accommodate late evening bookings. Although, appointments are strongly recommended walk-ins are also welcomed. An appointment can take between 30 minutes up to 2 hours, we will discuss your requirements and explain the different styles and virtues of precious metals or diamonds you require.

8) Could you tell us a bit about price ranges please?

Our prices can range from as low as £69 which is basic 2mm 9k plain wedding band to £6,300 for a full eternity diamond ring. However, our diamond engagement rings it can start from £650 and can go up to tens of thousands depending on your choice of diamond.

You can also connect with them on facebook and twitter!