Buying the Perfect Engagement Ring: York’s 8 Step Guide



More than the sum of its parts, an engagement ring is a palpable symbol of love and devotion given to your partner as a constant reminder of your commitment to a shared future. Above all, this romantic purchase requires careful thought, serious consideration, and a deep understanding of your partner and your relationship. 

For many a star-crossed lover, buying an engagement may be the first foray into the wide – and seemingly complicated – world of jewellery. Depending on your circumstances, an engagement ring may be one of the most significant purchases of your life to date, and considering the multifarious options on the market today, making a final decision can be appreciably a little overwhelming.  

Browse our Engagement Ring Collection

As one of the longest running jewellers in Sydney, York Jewellers in Penrith have over 40 years experience in helping future fiancés pick the perfect ring. We understand that no romantic relationship is the same, and that your engagement ring should be exemplary of the unique and precious bond you share with your partner. With an estimable range of timeless, beautiful rings and decades of invaluable experience, York Jewellers are here to help you find the perfect ring that will bring you and your partner joy for years.


1 - Establish Your Budget:

It's a popular belief that an engagement ring should cost you around two months salary. In reality, it's not that simple. As part of a rather successful marketing campaign in the 1940’s, Mining magnate De Beers came up with the antiquated “two month rule” as a way to boost diamond sales and people have been buying ever since.  

Here at York, we believe that picking the perfect engagement ring is an extremely personal undertaking that can’t be reduced to a simple mathematical equation. This is an entirely case specific purchase, and the size of your budget should not reflect your love for your partner.  Two us, the price of your engagement ring should rather be dictated by two crucial factors: your financial situation, and your partner’s expectations. If the two marry up - pardon the pun – then your task is made all the more easier. If they don’t, then you have two serious questions to ask yourself: How feasible is it to save for “that” ring? And, how important is a costly ring to your partner?

Aim to find the nicest ring you can afford, but it is imperative that you don’t overstretch. Remember, most rational people would prefer that your start a life together with a modest ring and no debt, than with a giant rock and crippling repayments. And, once you’ve settled on a ring, there are other considerable expenses to consider, too, like the wedding and the honeymoon, and let me tell you, those things don't come cheap. 

The cost of a ring from York's stunning "Chloe" collection will vary depending on the size and certification of the diamond you choose. This makes it easier for the buyer to find a ring that fits their budget. 

2 - Find Out Your Partner’s Ring Size:

For those who aren’t planning a surprise proposal, then all you have to do is ask your partner their ring size; for those who are, your mission – should you choose to accept it – is much more difficult. Chances are, your partner will want to wear their ring straight away, but finding a ring that fits like a glove is no a simple task. However, with some careful planning and secretive sleuthing you can save yourself some money and embarrassment. To make matters easier, we’ve compiled a fool-proof guide to finding out your partner’s ring size: take a look and thank us later.

3 - Research Their Style: 

Essentially, you want to find a ring that compliments your partner’s style and character, one that they will be proud to wear for the rest of their lives.

For most people, the pressure to get it jusssst right can be a little overwhelming, and choosing an engagement from amidst the countless and varied options available can seem like a daunting feat. 

We suggest that you start by taking inspiration from your future fiancé, from their individual character and style. Look through their jewellery box and take note of what you find there. What rings does your partner already wear? Are they silver or gold? Subtle or conspicuous? And, if any, what stones to do they favour? 

It’s important to trust your judgement, too – nobody knows your partner like you do. We believe it’s a good idea to write a list of words that you would use to describe them – their style, character and appearance. Armed with this invaluable information, a skilled jeweller should be able to help you find a ring that encompasses your partner and how you feel about them. It’s worth revisiting some of the precious moments you have shared together, too. Perhaps is a moment of special significance that you want to capture and commemorate in your choice of ring. Honestly, you can’t give your jeweller enough information. The more you have, the easier it becomes to pick the perfect ring   

The timeless simplicity of York's "Ashley" engagement rings will beautifully accompany any style. Browse the collection

4 - Pick The Band: 

Dating back to ancient Egypt, the circular design of the matrimonial ring is a symbol of eternal love and devotion. The band is probably the first component you need to decide upon when choosing your partner’s ring. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, your band needs to be practical, too, able to stand up to the realities of partners lifestyle and the nature of their work. If you want a ring that can be worn day in day out, tough, durable metals like rose gold and platinum are best, especially if your partner leads an active lifestyle of works with their hands.

5 - Select a Stone:

Oftentimes it is in choosing a stone that you face the most difficulty when buying an engagement ring. The uninitiated buyer is faced with a seemingly ungodly amount of options and styles, all expressed in foreign terminologies. Traditionally, engagement rings are  set with diamonds, but even if decide to go down this road, the options remain many and varied. A diamond, is not a diamond, is a not a diamond: exemplary of the earth’s multifarious beauty and the protean forces under which they were formed, diamonds come in a vast array of shapes, sizes and colours. Obviously when buying a such a precious stone, it pays to know a little bit about what you are buying into for obvious reasons. So, to make things easier – and to make sure you get the best value for your money – York jeweller's have published a go-to guide on purchasing diamonds focusing on the all-important  "Four C's" – cut, carat, clarity, and colour. 

These days, it is just a common for an engagement ring to feature an alternative stone, or none at all. The choices really are endless, and as as we've stated, buying an engagement ring is a deeply personal purchase, so what you end up with should be representative in some way of the love you share with your partner.

6 - The shape & Cut of the Stone: 

To the uninitiated, the distinction between a stone's shape and its cut can seem can be difficult to discern. Essentially, the shape refers to the general from of the stone appearance, and the cut to the quality of the stone's facets and its ability to reflect and refract light.

The most common shapes are square, round, rectangular, heart-shaped, pear-shaped, and marquise. The picture below shows the ten most popular shapes:

7 - Choose The Setting:

Once you've picked your stone, you'll need to consider the way in which it is mounted on the ring. Look for a setting with a quality finish that displays attention to the finest of details, one that is both beautiful and secure – you don't want those stones coming loose. Much more than a practicality, the setting of jewel also has a marked and noticeable effect on it's lustre and ability to reflect and reflect light. York Jewellers pride themselves on the estimable craftsmanship and quality of all their mountings

Setting the diamond above the stone above the band of this beautiful "Angelina"  engagement ring allows the stone to capture, resulting in a more brilliant and radiant shine.

8 - Make It A Surprise, Or Don’t:

Of all the steps, the decision to keep your matrimonial intentions a secret, is without a doubt the most flexible, and most personal. As we’ve said, every relationship is case specific, and – unfortunately – there’s no definitive guide to popping the question out there. While some people expect and revel in the romance of the “down-on-one-knee” proposal, others may be shocked and taken aback. After all, asking someone to spend the rest of their life with you is a mammoth question, requiring some serious thought and consideration. Luckily these days, it’s becoming more and more common for couples to talk about the idea of marriage in advance. This offers both individuals multiple  opportunities to express their feelings on the situation and to come to a joint understanding of what marriage means to them as a couple. This kind of open communication does not necessarily lack the romance of a spontaneous proposal either. I mean, choosing the perfect moment to ask someone their thoughts on marriage can be some powerful emotions, too. And the proposal itself can still be a surprise, a precious moment abounding in love and romance.