Saturday 11 February 2017

WEDDING: Choosing my engagement ring

Story of choosng an engagement ring using bespoke design service from Purely Diamonds

It feels like absolutely ages ago now that I announced my engagement on here - and it kinda was, to be honest, as it was back in October. Well, if you remember, I was left with a little task... to choose my own engagement ring. Matt proposed with a beloved, broken ring of mine that he'd secretly had fixed, because he knew I'd want to choose my own ring.

He knew this because every time we idly looked in a jeweller's window or the conversation came up, I confessed that I had no idea what I wanted, just that I didn't want the standard cartoon emoji ring - you know, one square or round stone on a gold band. Of course, that's classic and beautiful, but I just wanted something a little different. And therein lay the problem.
Story of choosng an engagement ring using bespoke design service from Purely Diamonds

It took me about two months to find a ring that I loved, and I'm going to go through the process here. We started off by spending an afternoon in Hatton Garden in London, which was really useful for both of us. At the end of that trip, I had a really clear idea of what I did and didn't want, and so did Matt. If you're planning to get engaged, but your partner wants to choose your ring, then I'd really recommend a trip like this. Matt said that after that day, he could have happily chosen me a ring that I would have loved. We looked in a lot of windows, I tried on a lot of rings, and we learnt a lot about buying a diamond. There's a lot to consider - cut, clarity and... the other Cs. Which I have forgotten. But we found all the salespeople at the stores we went to very helpful. We also didn't need to make appointments (we went on a weekday though) and learned that you can haggle, too.

Anyway, I learnt that I like a specific shape, the elongated diamond. I tried on some trilogy rings which are - you guessed it - a trilogy of three diamonds set together. I was drawn to the ones that created the same shape though, with tapering on the ends. Like so:

Story of choosng an engagement ring using bespoke design service from Purely Diamonds

However, I kept thinking about a ring that I tried on in one of the first shops we went into - you can see it there in the middle of the second row. The shop itself was a bit strange, and I was wary of buying a ring there as I didn't feel like I'd get much in the way of aftercare (say, if I lost a diamond, or even just wanted my ring cleaned before the wedding). So I didn't buy that ring, but I started to keep my eye out for something similar to it.

Someone at work recommended a couple of websites to me - Blue Nile and Purely Diamonds, and Purely Diamonds really appealed to me. They're a longstanding, reputable business who actually have an office in Hatton Garden, and they had some more unusual cuts than a lot of the websites I tried. They also have a good aftercare service, and will do the first clean and polish for free. Oh, and you can customise your ring, from the metal used down to the quality of the diamonds. What's more, they offered a sample service where, for a refundable £50 deposit per ring, they'd send out sample rings for you to try made of silver and cubic zirconia. I ordered these three:

Story of choosng an engagement ring using bespoke design service from Purely Diamonds Story of choosng an engagement ring using bespoke design service from Purely Diamonds Story of choosng an engagement ring using bespoke design service from Purely Diamonds
(Pictures from Purely Diamonds website)

I liked the cluster ring in the middle a lot - which you're probably guessing, as it looks rather familiar - but it wasn't quite right. What I liked about the ring I'd tried on previously was the spikiness, rather like a squished star, so I got in touch with the guys at PD to find out about their bespoke service. It was incredibly reasonable, and still well within our budget.

They were really helpful, easy to work with and came back very quickly. I wanted the band made thinnner, the diamonds a little smaller and closer together, plus the 'spikiness' that I was so keen on. So I sent them some pictures, and they sent me a CAD drawing of my ring. Once I was happy, I passed them over to Matt to do the ordering. And that was it! I think it took about 3-4 weeks to come, but Matt decided to save the ring for our first wedding venue visit and gave it to me in the car, which was really lovely - it felt like an oddly official way of starting the planning process!

And that's the story of how I chose my ring. If you find yourself in the same position, don't be scared of wanting something different - it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, although if you have expensive tastes, obviously it might! My bespoke platinum ring was cheaper than pretty much all the rings I tried on in Hatton Garden, and it's exactly what I wanted. I'm planning to get our wedding rings from there too - I was really impressed with them.

Nope, not sponsored - if only I was lucky enough to be sent a diamond and platinum ring to review!

Story of choosng an engagement ring using bespoke design service from Purely Diamonds


  1. Such a gorgeous ring! I didn't choose mine - and all the guidance he'd ever had was 'not a solitaire, something interesting on the shoulders, and small' as I have small hands. Oh, and he was warned it would be a no if it was yellow gold (I say I'm joking, but realistically I would have been hugely upset as I hate it!). He managed to get my perfect ring, he designed it himself (as in using sketches then CAD) and got it made from his grandma's eternity ring.

    Good to know about the company though, we're just starting to think about wedding bands!

    Hope your venue visit went well!

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

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  3. Lovely ring. I prefer ones that are more unusual - my engagement ring features a chunky piece of onyx and our wedding rings are tattoos! Looking forward to hearing more about your wedding planning.

  4. Gorgeous ring and cute story too :)! I also wanted something very different for my engagement ring, thankfully my husband chose well :)

    Rachael xx.

  5. It's beautiful Sarah, sounds like a pleasantly straight forward process too. I never had strong feelings about picking my own engagement ring, turned out Tom really wanted to pick mine if I'd let him, so I did. The only snag I foresee with a custom ring (mine is too) is that I think the wedding band will have to be a custom shape to fit around it too.


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