Our Guide to Engagement Rings

Our Guide to Engagement Rings

You are in the market for an engagement ring, or think you might be—congratulations!  Here are our recommendations: 

The setting shouldn’t be an afterthought

Think of the centre stone as a piece of artwork and the setting as the frame. You can be bold and do something different and unique, but it is important that the ring design reflect the stones quality. In a similar vain, opting for a neutral frame means the painting suits any room. White metal or two metals tends to match everything. 

It's not about the price tag

During the Depression, in a campaign that would have made Don Draper proud, De Beers' started running an ad pushing men to spend one month’s salary on a ring if they wanted to be “responsible”! While we firmly believe an engagement ring’s worth comes from the meaning behind it, money does play a major role in determining which ring to propose with. We can assist you in finding a diamond or other gemstone that balances size with quality at a price that works within your budget, and can tell you about lab-created diamonds, which can be a budget-friendly option. Our recommendation is to set a budget now and work to it.

Thoughts on precious metal

Our recommendation is Platinum from the more environmentally friendly and long lasting metal option. White Gold needs to be rhodium plated to make it more resistant, whereas the Salvaged Platinum we use has 16% palladium, which gives it that high shine and keeps it looking vibrant and fresh without having to repeatedly apply chemicals. 

A stone doesn’t have to be perfect on paper

It is better to judge a stone by the feeling it gives you rather than the GIA grading it received. The grade can serve as a starting point, but should not be the sole determining factor. This is why buying a diamond site-unseen is inadvisable.

- Carat -

A carat is a standard unit to measure the weight of a diamond. One carat equals 200 milligrams. This can be divided into points, where 0.75 carats = 75 points. Diamonds may be equal in weight but vary in price due to the difference in quality. This means that a smaller diamond with a high carat weight may be more valuable than a large diamond with a lower clarity, colour or cut. 

- Colour -

A diamond’s colour is caused by natural trace elements of nitrogen that were present when the diamond formed. A diamond with less colour will exhibit greater brilliance and fire, be considered rarer, and therefore be of more value. Diamonds are graded from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow). The closer a diamond is to colourless, the more extraordinary and rarer it is. 

- Cut -

When a diamond has been correctly cut, the diamond’s ability to reflect and refract light is greatly enhanced. 

- Clarity -

Clarity refers to the presence, visibility, number and size of inclusions in a diamond and is graded from 'flawless' to 'included'. Often the inclusions are microscopic diamonds that were absorbed by the larger crystal. The quantity, size, colour, location, orientation, and visibility of inclusions all affect the final  clarity grade of a diamond. Diamonds with no or few inclusions are considered particularly rare and highly valued. 

Striking a balance between these characteristics can help ensure you get the best diamond for your engagement ring.    


Do you really want a ring set with a diamond if the money you have paid for it is helping to arm a rogue government with a questionable human rights record, or a militia group? We thought not. Consider opting for a recycled antique diamond or a man-made diamond.

If you would like to discuss a bespoke engagement ring, please email


Eliza Walter


Lylie's Ltd

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