Posted on in Practical guide

How to choose an engagement ring ?

The engagement ring is a highly symbolic piece of jewelry, perhaps the most symbolic of all. It is the one you will give to your other half, traditionally at the time of the proposal. Your future wife will wear it for the rest of her life, so it must be chosen with care! It is a crucial moment, source of many questions. We will try to help you in this choice by addressing several aspects: style, metal, stone, quality and budget.



There's one question you'll probably ask yourself many times: will she like the ring? To try to answer this question, you can look at your future wife's style. What clothes does she wear? What are her favorite colors? What jewelry does she wear? Is it fine and discreet, or more voluminous? No woman will fit into a specific box, but these points can help you get an idea. If you're not sure, imagine your bride wearing the ring you're considering: if it looks good on her, then chances are you're on the right track!

Maison Alchimie Paris - Bague de fiançailles - Bague Naturae

Single solitaire, Naturae setting

Now let's look at the ring itself. There are three elements to consider: the style of the ring, the metal and the stone. The most commonly used ring style for engagement rings is the solitaire: a center stone set in a band. The simple solitaire is the purest form. The center stone may be accompanied by diamonds, in a pavé solitaire for example. Other types of engagement rings include the you and me or the designer ring.

Maison Alchimie Paris - Bague de fiançailles - Bague Aurora

Pavement solitaire, Aurora setting


Maison Alchimie Paris - Bague de fiançailles - Bague Toi&Moi

Toi&Moi ring

Then comes the metal. The most common metals used in jewelry are gold, platinum and silver. The 18-carat gold is the reference metal: yellow, white or pink, it is extremely durable over time. This is also the case for platinum. On the other hand, silver is less durable, which is why we do not recommend it for an engagement ring that will be worn for a lifetime. At Alchimie Paris, we offer jewelry in 18K yellow, white or pink gold.
To choose the color of your metal, you can look at the color of your future wife's jewelry. If she wears mostly yellow or pink gold jewelry, you can choose this color. White gold is the most common choice for engagement rings, but yellow and rose gold are still excellent choices, as is platinum! White gold and platinum are very similar; the main difference is that white gold tends to yellow slightly over time, so it is necessary to do what is called "rhodium plating" after a few years with a jeweler. Platinum keeps its color over time, and it is rarer than gold, so it is a little more expensive.

Finally, the stone! The most classic stone for an engagement ring is the diamond. It is a very pure stone with exceptional durability, which can only be scratched by another diamond. Thus, it is said that the diamond is eternal, perfect to symbolize a union and a commitment for a lifetime! But the world of gemstones extends far beyond diamonds, and other stones are perfect for engagement rings. In addition to diamonds, the most commonly used stones are blue sapphire and aquamarine, as well as ruby and emerald.


Bague de fiançailles de Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton's engagement ring, featuring a beautiful blue sapphire.

When choosing a stone, we advise you to pay attention to the durability of the stone. Sapphire and ruby are extremely durable, while opal and to a lesser extent emerald require special care. Sapphire is an excellent choice: it can wear all the colors of the rainbow, enough to delight every heart! Colored stones offer endless possibilities, and they also carry symbols, especially birthstones. So if your partner has a favorite stone, or you want to attach your own meaning to your stone, colored stones are an excellent choice.

Whatever stone you choose, it will be cut in a certain shape. The most classic shape is the round shape, especially for diamonds (often cut "brilliant"). Oval and cushion shapes also offer gentle curves. The emerald or RPC (rectangle cut) is the usual shape for an emerald. Many other shapes exist, such as the pear shape which adds a touch of character to the jewelry.


Les différentes tailles de pierre

The different shapes of gemstone


Now that you are about to order your ring, there is a very important question: the quality. The first thing to do is to make sure that the metal used is what you expected. You can do this by looking at the hallmarks on the ring. For example, an eagle head hallmark indicates the use of 18 karat gold, while a dog head hallmark indicates 950 thousandths platinum. In France, any jewelry made of precious metal weighing more than three grams is required to be hallmarked, so this is a good indicator !

As far as the gemstone is concerned, you can ask that it be accompanied by a laboratory certificate. This is a document issued by an independent laboratory, which attests, for example, that a stone sold as an unheated sapphire is indeed an unheated sapphire. The quality of diamonds is evaluated according to the 4Cs (carat, color, cut, clarity). Colored stones are evaluated according to similar criteria.

Maison Alchimie Paris - Certificat

Laboratory certificate of one of our stones

However, even if the metal and stones used are durable, they are not indestructible (even diamonds!), and it is therefore advisable to take care of your jewelry to ensure that it keeps its splendor for decades.

Finally, there's a point that can be tricky: the budget. In general, it is said that the value of an engagement ring should be between one and two months salary. But this is definitely not a rule set in stone! An engagement ring is an important piece of jewelry that needs to be of high quality, which usually means a certain budget. But it doesn't have to break the bank. It can be helpful to have a rough idea of your maximum budget, and then put together the ring that you will be proud to give to your future wife and that will adorn her finger for the rest of her life. A budget idea can also help the jeweler guide you, it would be a shame to find the perfect ring, but with a ruby that is way too expensive!

Maison Alchimie Paris - Bague de fiançailles - Bague Favi

Favi ring model, with one yellow sapphire and two diamonds on the side.

Choosing an engagement ring can be difficult and raises many questions. So don't hesitate to be accompanied by someone you trust who understands your future wife's style. The experience of a designer jeweler can also help you greatly! In an increasing number of cases, the bride herself is involved, or even directly chooses her engagement ring. In any case, the most important thing is trust: you should have confidence in the craftsman who will make your jewelry and who will help you unleash your creativity to design the creation of your dreams!

Two last little tips: make sure you can get a free size discount, it's hard to judge the exact size of a finger without measuring it directly - you might as well have your back. Also, many women want to wear their wedding ring, which is offered at the wedding ceremony, on the same finger as the engagement ring. Don't hesitate to discuss this point with the jeweler-designer, to make sure that the ring created is compatible with the wearing of a wedding band, or even that the two pieces of jewelry can fit together perfectly!

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