'I just attended an engagement ring consultation. Here are 14 things I didn't know.'

An engagement ring is one of the biggest purchases a couple will make throughout their relationship... you know aside from a house, a car and the actual wedding

There's also a lot of pressure to "get it right", but most people know exactly zero things about engagement rings until they actually get engaged.  

While I'm not engaged myself, like most women I'm obsessed with sparkly things. So, I decided to do an engagement ring consultation with Issy Adams, Sydney showroom manager at The Moissanite Company.

I went in there armed with the questions a clear-minded, jewellery-obsessed woman would ask, rather than the rosy-hued glasses most of us don during our fiancé era. 

And let me tell you, you need this. 

There are so many elements to engagement rings you would never think of until you're in the room, and without the sage guidance I was given, it'd easy to be led astray by flashy Instagram videos and celebrity rocks

Without further ado, here are the hacks and tips I learned. 

1. Go in for a consultation before you're proposed to.

engagement-ring-hacks-tips-consultationSome of the moissanite and lab-grown diamonds next to each other. Bet you can't tell the difference... Image: Mamamia


As someone who isn't thinking about marriage yet, I'd never set foot in an engagement ring atelier before. Not that it's stopped me from sending my best friend TikToks of the rings I like. 

The problem is, there is so much detail left unsaid. There are so many bespoke elements, from settings to birth-stone inlays and engravings that add extra sentimentality to a ring. 

Additionally, without trying it on the hand it's hard to tell if you'll actually like that carat weight and style. For instance, I have the baby hands of a child, and some of the mid-size diamonds looked huge on my hands (which, of course, I loved). 

"A lot of people come in and go, 'What's the biggest one you have?' Then they try a four carat and they're like, 'It's actually too big,'" Adams explained. 


I'm told that women are increasingly attending consultations with their partners before the engagement and picking the ring together. This is a new-age trend that arguably takes the 'surprise' out of the proposal, but also ensures it's a ring she likes. 

2. White gold or platinum? 

For a silver look, white gold may not be the answer. This is because white gold is created by alloying yellow gold with other silver-white metals to bleach the colour. It is then dipped in a rhodium plating to get a bright silver look.

Rhodium is one of the most expensive metals in the world, it's hard-wearing and has a beautiful finish, but the plating will wear over time, making platinum a favoured alternative.

"Platinum is more expensive [than white gold] but in the long term it's not," Adams said. "With white gold, you need to do rhodium plating every year, which is an additional $100."

"Then platinum is a more durable option, it's more long-lasting. You don't need to rhodium plate platinum which means that over the years, it actually comes out to be less expensive."

The more you know. 

3. 14k or 18k gold?

engagement-ring-hacks-tips-consultationImage: Instagram/The Moissanite Company


Bruno Mars sang about '24 carat magic' but with engagement rings, you don't want to go so high. 

Gold is a malleable metal in its pure form, and the daily wear-and-tear an engagement ring undergoes means stronger metal is preferred. 

Enter: the 18k or 14k dilemma. Both offer a rich gold colour and are more durable than 24k, but while 18k is more valuable, it is also bent more easily. This can be a good thing, as it's less brittle, but you may need to take it to the jewellers more often for shaping.

"For 14 carat it's 58.3 per cent gold, and for 18 carat it's 75 per cent," Adams said. 


"14 carat is more durable because it has more alloy in it, but 18 carat, because it has a little bit more pure gold in it, is more malleable. If you were to hit it on something it's less likely to break."

4. Consider your other rings.

engagement-ring-hacks-tips-consultationIf you have other solid gold rings, ensure they're the same carat weight. Image: Mamamia.

When choosing the material for your engagement ring, consider the material of the surrounding rings. 


For example, if you have a 14-carat engagement ring next to an 18-carat wedding ring, the 14-carat will wear at the 18 over time, because it is stronger. 

"When you commit to 14, you almost need to commit to having 14 in a wedding band as well," she explained.

5. Gemstone weight and diamond carats.

For the centre stone, keep in mind that not all gems carry the same weight. For example, the look of a 1-carat diamond will be smaller than a 1-carat moissanite, because moissanite is 7 per cent lighter. 

Likewise, as sapphire stones are heavier than a diamond, a 1-carat sapphire will look smaller than a diamond. 

It's worth shopping around to find the type of stone size you like (to the eye), and then confirming which weight it is, to avoid any miscommunication. 

6. Manipulating diamond size.


Diamonds are measured in carat weight, but the way that jewellers cut them can make them look bigger or smaller. For example, shallower diamonds that carry their weight on the face will look bigger than deeper V-cut diamonds, which have less surface area on the face. 

"We can kind of manipulate the size. You can still get a one carat and manipulate the face of the stone so that it's less deep. It still looks like a certain type of dimension that they like," Adams explains. 

"It's the way that the stone is cut. You can manipulate it a little bit, but something to be careful of, that our jewellers are very careful with, is not manipulating it too much so that the sparkle is impacted. Our jewellers have over 100 years of experience all up, so they know what they're doing. 

"We've had heaps of customers come back happy with the fact that they're able to spend a little less and still get the look they want."

7. Mined diamond, lab diamonds and moissanite.

If you're after a clear stone, consider whether to go with a mined diamond (created in the earth), a lab diamond (chemically the same but created in a lab) or a moissanite (also lab-made but a unique chemical makeup). 


ICYMI, moissanite was first discovered in Arizona inside a meteor and has since been replicated in lab conditions to great effect. I'd heard a lot about moissanite online, and looking at it next to lab diamonds in the store, it was nearly impossible to tell the difference. 

The lab diamonds were also impressive, with the same chemical makeup as mined diamonds. They're identical, so a diamond tester cannot tell the difference. 

On pricing, a rule of thumb is that a lab-grown diamond is around half the price of a mined diamond, and a moissanite is around a quarter of a mined diamond, so they really allow customers to get the big ring of their dreams without dropping over $50,000. 

"This is why the company was established because [Moissanite Company founders] Tom and Makayla, they were 21, a super young couple. They just bought a house and they didn't want to spend all of their money," Adams explained. 

"Essentially, it's the modern couple. Not everyone has $20,000 to $30,000 to throw at a ring, or maybe they don't want to. It comes down to personal preference."

8. Consider cost.

While it's easy to get swept up in finding the perfect engagement ring, getting married often happens at a time in your life where you're facing a lot of other bills — house repayments, childcare bills and the cost of the wedding to name a few. 


The Moissanite Company are transparent around their pricing, which may help to guide you as you cost out what you're prepared to spend. 

"Generally speaking, we usually say moissanites start at $2,000 to $6,000, depending on size," Adams said, while lab-grown diamonds can go from $3,000 to $18,000, depending on size and clarity.

If you're looking for a mined diamond — double that (and more).

9. Choose your facet.

engagement-ring-hacks-tips-consultationImage: Instagram/Natalie Marie Jewellery


Faceting is essentially the style which the diamond is cut in. Brilliant cuts (58 facets) are the most popular, as well as radiant cuts (70 facets) as they tend to be more glittery and twinkly. 

Meanwhile, princess cuts (as little as 50 facets) hide stone inclusions very well, while asscher-cut diamonds (50-58 facets) are cut similarly to an emerald cut with elegant stepping. 

It's important to chat with your consultant to find the right cut for the colour and clarity of the stone you choose. Faceting is also more than just the number of facets, but also the expertise in the angles they've been cut in, to promote shine and sparkle, so be sure to go to an experienced jeweller. 

10. Embrace new settings.

When I ask about settings, Adams is pretty honest in saying that a lot of people "don't think about that."

There's the popular basket setting (where four prongs hold the diamond in place), which also comes in a low setting with a secret split, to allow room for a wedding band to sit flush. 

Another style is a cathedral setting, which has little buttresses and a little more support, and also a bezel setting, which is the most secure with a band of metal encasing the entire edge of the diamond, which can either be a thick or thin bezel. 

They also do a tension, which looks like the two ends of the band are holding the stone in place, and a split shank, where the bands split on either side and hold the diamond at four points. 


11. Stone height and wedding bands.

engagement-ring-hacks-tips-consultationCan you spot the difference between the high and low settings. Image: Mamamia.

As mentioned above with the basket setting, it comes in a handy low setting, but you need to make sure it will go with your wedding band.

"You have a low setting and a high setting," Adams says. "An issue a lot of people run into when they go for a low setting is that they can't get a wedding band to sit flush, because it's so flush on your hand."


Likewise, high settings can be seen as undesirable for the accident prone, who worry about their diamond getting caught or damaged if they tend to be a little careless with their hands or work in more hard-wearing industries. 

12. Try on your wedding band with your engagement ring.

This leads us to the next point. Try on the wedding band, or one similar to the one you will eventually wear, with your engagement ring to make sure it all works together and fits. 

There's nothing worse than having two beautiful rings that don't work in harmony with one another. 

13. The 4 C's.

the-4-c-s-engagement-ring-consultation-tips-hacksThe 4c's. Image: Mamamia


If you're looking at rings you've probably heard of the 4C's: cut, colour, clarity, and carat.

  • The Cut: refers to the expertise in the ring's faceting, and comes in 'excellent, very good, good and fair', often referencing how much the faceting makes it sparkle.
  • The Colour: refers to the absence or presence of colour in the stone (in most engagement ring diamonds we look for colourless stones). Colours are on a letter scale in the segments 'colourless, near-colourless, faint, very light and light'
  • The Clarity: refers to the number, size and position of any inclusions or blemishes that might be present in the stone. The scale includes 'flawless, internally flawless, very very slightly included, very slightly included, slightly included, included'.
  • The Carat: refers to how much weight the stone has, and will determine how large the stone is.

Speaking to Adams, she says they only stock 'excellent' cuts, but prospective ring buyers can play around with cut and clarity to fit their budgets. 

"We streamline this for our customers, and we only sell the diamonds that are clean. So that means that regardless of which one you choose, they're all going to have no inclusions to the naked eye. 

"A lot of people will be like, 'What does that one look like versus this one?' They all look very, very similar. The only difference between the best of the best and the bottom end of what we supply, which is still very good... the only difference would be under 10 times magnification.

"There may be a small scratch or a piece of dust, but nothing you can see to the naked eye."

14. Consider mixing stones.


And finally, if you're going for a mined or lab diamond for your centre stone, consider saving money with your accent stones. Swap out mined accents for lab-grown, or lab-grown for moissanite. 

"I just had someone bring their ring in for a resize and her accent stones were moissanites and she had a lab centre stone," explains Adams.

"You're just saving $500 here, $250 here, it really adds up to the overall price."

Feature Image: Supplied.

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