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Image by Dan Soderstrom Weddings via Steph and Aaron’s Chic and Intimate Melbourne Wedding

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, the exciting and all-consuming moment when your significant other pops the question. While a proposal is about the two of you and your love for and commitment to each other, there is also one other important (and sparkly) component – the engagement ring.

Engagement trends come and go and the engagement ring is very much reflective of the personal taste of its owner. While everyone’s ring is unique and styled to them, there is one thing that everyone agrees is important and that is that the ring fits!

With surprise proposals, there is a risk that the ring may not fit your beloved and even if it wasn’t a surprise, over the years, the size of your fingers can change. When the ring doesn’t fit – well that’s where an experienced and trusted jeweller comes in.

Resizing is a fairly straightforward process that involves your jeweller either adding a piece of gold to make the circumference of the ring wider or removing a piece of gold to make the ring smaller.

Finger size is measured by letters and when resizing rings, it is ideal that the ring does not need to increase or decrease by more than three letters, for instance if your ring finger is an M, we can easily increase to N, O or P or decrease to L, K or J – but anything beyond that can still be altered but can be a bit trickier.

Image by Dan Soderstrom Weddings via Hamish and Alexandra’s Umbrian Destination Wedding

A trick we tell brides and grooms when they come in to purchase a ring, is if you don’t know your future fiancé’s ring size, bring in another ring that they wear, whether that’s on their ring finger or another one as this can help guide us in determining the size of the ring you’ll propose with.

If you can, a ring that needs to be resized should always be taken back to the manufacturing jeweller you purchased it from. If one of our clients returns with their custom ring and asks for a resize, we offer a complimentary resize and will normally resize it on the day it is brought in to us – for new engagements, we’ll try and do it within the hour, we know just how excited people are when receiving their engagement ring, so of course you want it to fit.

At JGS, we will resize rings that weren’t made by us, but we do encourage people to go back to the jeweller from which the ring was purchased as we wouldn’t want to do anything that might compromise the warranty agreement. General costs for resizing can range anywhere between $50 to $150, quotes will vary depending on the work that needs to be done and the carat of gold required.

Image by Dan Soderstrom Weddings via Steph and Aaron’s Chic and Intimate Melbourne Wedding 

About the author JGS Jewellers: Situated just off popular Glenferrie Rd, Malvern, JGS Jewellers provides exquisite service to it’s clientele and prides itself on the belief that there is no job too big or small. With an array of beautifully crafted pieces developed both on site & curated from around the world, you are unlikely to leave empty handed and are guaranteed to never leave disappointed.

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In a magical day held amongst the vineyards, Sarah and Lachlan tied the knot in Wollombi. Their wonderful photographer, James Goff captured the day where they truly celebrated the love they share for one another. Lachlan reminisces about the day and shares the moments he treasures.

My most memorable part of the day was every moment that Sarah and I would be able to have just the two of us. Most of this was during the photos, when the photographer would pull just the two of us aside and tell us to relax and “act casual”. So we got a few precious opportunities where we’d be able to just talk to each other, smile with one another, laugh and kiss.

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A Julia Deville ring from e.g.etal. Image by Gold & Grit

Choosing an engagement ring can be daunting for many grooms, after all, picking out a ring is something you may not have done before. Personally, I’d never been into a jeweller prior to buying my wife’s ring.

I can still picture that afternoon.

I was buzzed in at the door, which made me nervous enough, then I was confronted by endless rows of rings shining bright under purpose-built lighting. Where should I start? The only clue I had was that my wife liked simple elegance. Oh, and silver!Two clues. I was like Indiana Jones venturing into the Temple of Doom, only there was no way to know when (or if) I found the prize.

Since it’s engagement month here at Polka Dot Groom, I thought I’d go straight to an expert who can help shed light on the engagement ring process for those grooms who are brave enough to go it alone.

My expert? Emma Goodisir, Director of e.g.etal. – a Melbourne jewellery gallery, dedicated to contemporary designs.

Selecting an engagement ring is “one of the most significant pieces of jewellery you will ever buy”, Emma says. “The intention is for it to be worn for a lifetime and for it to be the piece that symbolises your relationship. So when you think about that, it can be quite daunting.”

Agreed. Ok, so picture a nervous groom-to-be wondering into a jewellery store for the first time. How do you make him feel at ease?

“When a client comes in to e.g.etal, we take time explain the process of buying or commissioning a ring, because we understand it’s most likely something they’ve never done before. We take a relaxed and warm approach, and try to get to know the person and understand their needs. Our staff aim to make the process as seamless as possible – we are the client’s link to the artist, so we take care of all the details, and communicate regularly.”

The good news is, Emma says it’s not as hard as you’d think. “We receive feedback from customers all the time who say, ‘We expected that it would be really daunting, but actually, it was a really enjoyable experience.’ Buying an engagement ring can actually be joyful, fascinating and memorable. Have fun!”

A Julia Deville ring from e.g.etal. Image by e.g.etal

A Julia Deville ring from e.g.etal. Image by Gold & Grit

Emma did note that it is becoming “more and more common” for couples to come in and choose a ring together. “They really enjoy the process of commissioning a piece that is a true expression of themselves and their relationship. Plus, commissioning a piece from an artist is extra special, because you will end up with a ring that is very unique to you.”

But for you would-be grooms who are going it alone, Emma helped me assemble a handy list for when you take those first few brave steps through the doors of a jeweller.

What are the three things you should ask when speaking to a jeweller?

  1. Is this stone suitable for everyday wear?
  2. Can the ring be resized?
  3. If you are giving the ring as a surprise proposal, what is the jeweller’s policy for return or exchange if the ring isn’t exactly right?

How do I know if I’m buying the right ring size?

It’s better to buy the ring that you like, regardless of size, and then involve the partner after the proposal in commissioning the ring in the correct size. This can also give your partner the opportunity to make design changes, such as a different coloured stone or metal, and gives you both a chance to come in together and share the experience.

Mr Houndstooth tip: I checked which ring my wife wore on her ring finger, then took that with me to the jewellers to get the right size!

When it comes to clarity, how do I know if my diamond has flaws?

Don’t worry about flaws! They are natural imperfections, and they are a beautiful reminder of the diamond’s origins and character. A diamond’s ‘flaws’ are its unique fingerprint. They are remnants of the incredible forces of nature, over millions of years, that created the stone.

Mr Houndstooth tip: I never knew there were grades of diamond, but there are. As Emma says, don’t stress too much about it, but it’s good to know they exist going in.

An Emma Goodsir ring from e.g.etal. Image by e.g.etal

An Emma Goodsir ring from e.g.etal. Image by Long Way Home Photography

How do I know how much to spend?

It’s a good idea to have a budget in mind, because that will determine the size and quality of the stone, which is a major contributor to the price. Setting a budget and communicating that to the jeweller allows them to source a stone that will get you the best value for money.

In our situation, the prices are firm. When you buy from e.g.etal, you are getting a handmade piece from an independent artist. Our artists spend a lot of time on design, construction and seeking out exactly the right stones and materials. They set a fair price for their materials and labour.

Mr Houndstooth tip: While prices are firm at e.g.etal, many other jewellers seem to list ring prices in the same way that car dealers list prices. Assume you can get a discount, but be tactful. I find the best way to broach the subject is to ask: “And is this the final price on this?”

How do I select a style of ring?

Go for something that really speaks to you about your partner’s personality. Whether it’s asymmetrical, colourful, delicate, matches their eyes or says something about where you met. For example, the ring might have a tiny blue stone set to one side because it’s your partner’s favourite colour. Or perhaps you’ll chose a ring with a name that reminds you of a treasured holiday. Personal sentiment and meaning is important.

Mr Houndstooth tip: Love this tip from Emma. As I said above, I had a general idea of what my wife wanted, and then I got to choose the ring I thought she would like the most. It makes it that much more special.

 

Ms Zebra Says: What a decision to make!? This is some great information for Groom’s to remember if taking the leap to choose a ring!

About the author Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.