How to choose the perfect engagement ring

The Goldsmiths’ Centre is more than the perfect location to hold your wedding. Not only can you now say “I do” in our intimate spaces, but you can also have your wedding rings designed and made by one of our award-winning resident craftspeople. Jeweller Anton Kata occupies a workshop here and believes a piece of jewellery can be more than a simple accessory. It can become a unique and personal art piece, and so Kata Wearable Art was born. Anton shares his tips with us on choosing the perfect engagement ring.

How long does it normally take from design to the finished piece?

Well it depends on the complexity of the design as well as the design process. The design process can go from someone coming in and drawing their design to the client wanting a few changes that makes the process a little bit longer. But physically working on a simple design can take as little as three weeks. The average time it takes to complete a ring from start to finish is 6 weeks. There’s so many aspects to consider such as design, ordering material, setting, hallmarking and polishing.

Which key features should I consider when choosing a stone?

The 4 C’s, Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight are the most common but if you’re not an expert in diamonds then it’s difficult to identify those elements. My advice would be to know the person you are buying it from and make sure they are a certified seller. It’s very difficult to buy the right stone online because you’re unable to look for the 4 C’s in detail and choose the right stone, but if you do buy online it must be from a certified company. If someone came to me I would choose the right stone to make the most of their budget by using several design elements.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

That’s always the big question, they say someone should spend three times their monthly salary but in my opinion, it’s what you can afford. The average amount people spend is £3000 - £5000, and of course people can spend much more than that, for example, I can make the same ring with the same carat diamond but one can cost £5000 and the other £20,000; the difference in price is down to the quality of the diamond (those C’s). 

What are your top tips for buying the perfect engagement ring?

One of the most important things is to make sure you know what style of engagement ring your partner would want. Do they want something modern or more vintage? Do they even want diamonds? Yellow gold or white or two tone? Take them out to have a look at a few shop windows or open a website and entice them to show what they actually like, for example I had a client who felt his partner would like something elegant and dainty but in the end she felt that the ring design was too small on her finger.

I would also suggest to whoever’s looking to buy an engagement ring to ask for recommendations. This way you know you will be going to a reputable source. Also I would say going to a trusted designer who can discuss the ring design with you and give you more of a personalised service. For example I will meet with the client over the weekend and go through potential designs such as the cut of the stone, colour, setting etc. The process can take a whole. Some people are interested in the workshop and I will invite them into the workshop to see how their ring is being made, and document the process with photographs. This sort of experience cannot be offered by a shop or online. 

Which ring designs are particularly popular? And what are your favourites?

The classic design with a single stone in claws or a single stone with pavé setting of smaller stones is always popular. My favourite is the design I submitted for the GCDC which is where I took an old Victorian style ring design and modified it with a modern twist such as with the little flares coming out of the marquise.

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