The Smart Guy’s Guide to Shopping For The Perfect Engagement Ring.
As it turns out, making up your mind to pop the big question was only the first – albeit significant – step in the process of marrying the love of your life. Perhaps by now, after reading up about diamonds and precious stones you’ve realised that shopping for an engagement ring is something of a science in itself. To make things easier for you, we’ve come up with a guide to help you find that perfect ring for her.
1. First, set your budget.
You should decide on how much you are willing – and able – to fork out for the ring. It will be one of the first questions that the jeweller will ask you. Come up with a range if you don’t have an exact figure in mind. You could always share the median with the salesman, and keep the upper limit to yourself.
Chances are you’ve also googled “How much to spend on an engagement ring in Singapore”. The old rule of thumb that calls for twice a man’s monthly salary is just that – old and outdated. A more sensible amount would be one that’s a happy medium between what you can comfortably afford and what your potential wife-to-be expects. Interestingly, a Singapore-based survey by Draco Diamonds found that most of their male respondents are willing to pay between SGD5,000 and SGD7,900 for engagement rings, while most women actually expected their rings to cost between SGD2,000 and SGD4,900. What a disparity.
Besides figuring out your “comfort figure”, it’s a good idea to sound your partner out. She might prefer that you splurge on the home or honeymoon instead. When the opportunity arises (like at a wedding dinner), you could casually mention how much a pal paid for his ring, and see how she reacts. Just remember to phrase it neutrally so you don’t sound like a scrooge.
2. Don’t get (too) caught up in the details.
The nitty-gritty of engagement rings can be really daunting. Besides the four Cs of diamonds, the sheer number of ring variables from settings (there are at least 18 types) to precious metals is mind-boggling. You don’t have to know every single thing. A good jeweller will help you narrow your options based on your description of your partner, her dress sense and her jewellery preferences. However, there are a few details that you should try to nail down…
3. Decide on the rock(s).
Diamonds are not “it” for everyone. If your girl is big on ethical trade, she will care about the origins of her precious stone, so make sure you pick a jeweller who provides detailed information about its sources. According to Michael Trio, most diamonds in Singapore are verified to be conflict-free. This usually means that suppliers meet the requirements of the Kimberley Process Scheme, which regulates the diamond trade and ensures that the diamonds are not used by rebel movements to finance armed conflicts. Let the jeweller know early if you’re seeking a specific gem (like her birth stone) or if you’re considering rings that pair diamonds with other gems.
4. Big isn’t always better.
Because the rock on the ring typically accounts for the bulk of its price tag, it will serve you well to understand the different factors that affect its cost. Carat weight is not the only consideration; its cut, colour and clarity also affect its sparkle and the price it commands. Working within your budget, you’ll probably have to weigh between the Cs and find the ideal combination. Need help? Read this.
5. Get her ring size.
If it matters to you that your proposal ring fits her finger perfectly, then it’s time to put your sleuthing cap on. The easiest option: Have a paper and pen on hand when you next visit her home so that you can trace the inner circumference of her favourite fourth-finger ring. If your girl doesn’t wear rings on that finger, then you’ll have to do it the hard way: measure it when she’s asleep. Should that fail, jewellers usually recommend going for larger sizes because a loose-fitting ring is always better than one that’s too tight to slip on!
6. Know your partner.
Does your partner have a dream ring in mind? She might already be dropping hints, so pay close attention. Is she the sort who knows exactly what she wants? If so, then you should get her involved. This may take away a bit of the surprise but it will make certain that she loves the ring. Show your sincerity by doing research beforehand, and recommend a few shops to visit together. It’s also wise to speak to them beforehand, and make arrangements to discuss the prices separately.
Not sure where to start? Take your pick from our curated list of jewellers in Singapore.
Local artisanal jewellers
The artistic, bespoke creations of these jewellers are perfect for stylish women who love to express their individuality through what they wear.
At Carrie K, a one-of-a-kind ring need not be of the usual diamond and platinum variety.
The innovative label is known for their playful and daring approach to creating luxury jewellery.
Choose from their pre-designed rings and customise one to your liking for a fee of SGD1,500; or have their designer create a unique piece for your love from scratch for a fee of SGD3,000.
Choo Yi Lin is an award-winning brand that is “proudly Asian”.
Here you’ll find distinctive works featuring jade, diamonds and other precious gems, as well as Peranakan and Asian heritage-inspired designs that are meant to be family heirlooms.
Their Engagement Jade Ring with a 1.25 carat (ct) ocean jade encircled by diamonds and set in 18 karat (18k) white gold is priced at SGD2,888 (including GST).
The brainchild of local radio presenter Maddy Barber, Madly creates bespoke engagement rings that feature colourful precious stones – some rarer than diamonds – selected from the top 1% of gemstones mined from around the world.
All jewellery are handcrafted in 18k gold or platinum. Bespoke engagement rings with a sizeable centre stone usually range between SGD3,500 and SGD15,000, depending on the client’s budget.
The atelier’s full suite of services ranges from jewellery repurposing and resetting to heirloom restoration, gem sourcing, and design customisation.
They even offer “facelifts” for engagement rings that need a total remake or a simple replating.
Prices vary according to the client’s budget; a bespoke ring would typically cost upwards of SGD3,000.
Singapore-based diamond jewellers
If you’ve decided that a diamond is an absolute must, then here are some shops that focus on diamond education – you’ll get plenty of advice in picking out the best for your budget.
To make the ring hunt less intimidating, JannPaul has many articles and video tutorials on their website that you can go through before booking an appointment.
After selecting a diamond, customers may have it set in an existing ring design or customise a ring. There is no extra cost involved to customisation unless the proposed design requires more gold or additional diamonds.
Prices start from SGD2,100 for a Super Ideal cut 0.3 ct diamond ring.
Promising good value for quality, Michael Trio does not work with middlemen so as to pass on savings to customers.
Not only does Michael Trio provide information on how to read a GIA diamond certificate, their site also provides an extensive diamond database which lists more than 100,000 diamonds, their specifications, and their prices.
A five-stone eternity diamond ring (1 ct total weight) in 18k white gold is priced at SGD4,018.
Soo Kee Jewellery
One of Singapore’s leading jewellers, Soo Kee Jewellery carries an impressive collection of diamonds, including the True Love diamond, which is specially cut to have 57 facets, 8 perfectly symmetrical hearts and arrows, and an exceptional sparkle.
True Love engagement rings start from SGD2,499.
International luxury jewellers
For the discerning woman who loves classic, timeless designs, you won’t go wrong with these fine global brands.
French high jeweller Boucheron has 11 enchanting bridal ring collections that will appeal to different aesthetic sensibilities.
Prices are available on request.
Some of Cartier’s most iconic engagement rings showcase pavé settings at their finest. These include the dazzling Destineé, where the central diamond is enhanced by a halo of diamonds, and the lavish Trinity Ruban, which features a brilliant cut diamond surrounded by a ribbon-like swirl of diamonds.
Tiffany & Co
Tiffany & Co offers some of the most coveted solitaire rings.
Setting hearts aflutter since 1866, the iconic six-prong Tiffany Setting is specially engineered to make a single sparkling diamond appear as if it is floating above the band.
A yellow gold Tiffany & Co Setting engagement ring featuring a 1ct diamond is priced from USD12,400 (about SGD16,995).
Prices vary according to the diamond.
Feature image True Love engagement rings by Sookee. All other images courtesy of respective Jewellers, all rights reserved.
This post is presented by TwentyxThirty by DBS. For more on how to navigate the important milestones of your 20s and 30s, visit TwentyxThirty by DBS.