Buying an engagement ring?

We take a look at trends and the 4 C's of diamonds

With Saint Valentine’s Day approaching romantic thoughts about popping the question and backing it up with an engagement ring may be in the air. Let’s explore a few customs: the rule of thumb was that the ring should be equivalent value to one's month salary! 'Diamonds are a girl’s best friend' but these days all sorts of gemstones are popular. Be aware that gems have traditional meanings and connotations. Opals were regarded by some to bring about bad luck whereas rubies have a long historical connection with luck, fortune, power and love, hence the preference by Royalty.

There is the problem of getting the sizing of your intended’s ring finger in advance and this requires collaboration with friends or family to conduct covert sizing operations.

Of course fashion considerations dictate what might be current and we all have our preferences. Princes Diana made the classic sapphire and diamond ring popular. But round brilliant cut solitaire diamond set in platinum will never go out of style. The round cut being the most radiant of all designs.

Each zodiac sign has a recognised birthstone which could be another consideration when choosing a precious stone. But beware, legend has it that that birth signs Aries, Cancer, Sagittarius and Pisces should never wear Emeralds! Nonetheless, 87% of newly engaged couples will purchase a diamond engagement ring each year.

When buying a diamond the 4C’s determine value of Colour, Cut, Carat and Clarity the most important of these that determines value together with size/weight is of course the clarity because this enhances the sparkle and provides the rarity value.

You should contact your Insurance Broker straight away to add the purchase to your policy. We give cover for new purchases including jewellery and watches, providing you tell us within 60 days of the purchase and pay any additional premium.

Having a professional valuation for insurance is important. Anyone can give you a valuation and we see many valuation documents prepared by unqualified jewellery shop keepers. We recommend that reliable insurance replacement valuations are provided by a National Association of Jewellers registered valuer.

We also strongly recommend that you retain the original purchase receipt and any gemmological certificates to evidence the unique features of gemstone jewellery in the event of having to make a claim for loss. We also suggest that you have your jewellery regularly re-valued every 3-5 years, especially in the current economic climate.

It is a myth that diamonds are indestructible. Each year we see several claims for fractures arising from ordinary impact damage as well as rings accidentally lost when gardening or mistakenly thrown away, or even sometimes hidden in the home and forgotten!

If you accidentally lose any item of jewellery, don’t wait for it to turn up. Tell us straight away.