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How to choose an engagement ring (the right way)

Planning on proposing? Choosing an engagement ring is daunting, so check out these tips to choose an engagement ring that fits you & partner perfectly - find out how to avoid choosing the wrong ring style.
By Melissa Ban
7 min read
How to choose an engagement ring (the right way) - Holts Gems

What to know before choosing an engagement ring

In order to begin your engagement ring search, it’s important to do at least a little planning ahead. A great place to start is with your finances - working out how much you should spend on your engagement ring means you’ll have a good idea of the kind of ring and centre stone you might be after. Diamonds and gemstones vary vastly in cost depending on their size and characteristics, so determining a budget means you’ll have a good grasp of the kind of stones to look at.

At Holts Gems, our solitaire engagement rings settings typically cost £600-£700, diamond shoulder engagement rings settings between £1,100-1,500, halo engagement rings settings £1,450-2250, and trilogy engagement rings settings between £800-£1,950. Knowing the typical price brackets for these engagement ring setting styles should help you figure out how much of your budget you can allocate to your centre stone.

Still wondering how much you should spend on your engagement ring? Check out our definitive guide to how much engagement rings cost and how to budget for yours.

How do I choose an engagement ring style?

If you’re buying a ring for your partner as a surprise, deciding on a style may seem difficult, but there are a number of ways to get a grasp of what your partner might be hoping for. Engagement rings come in all shapes, sizes and cover just about every style out there - from dainty and feminine to chunky and androgynous, minimalist and subtle to bold and glam. And if the perfect engagement ring style doesn’t exist already - luckily our custom engagement ring service means you can create the unique ring you envisage.

First, think about your partner’s style. Are they…


- prefer to dress in simple shapes, sticking to a refined colour palette and a penchant for keeping things neat, simple and always chic. Choose from solitaire engagement rings or for something more unusual, a diamond eternity ring - if your partner sees the beauty in simplicity, there’s no need for added frills. A diamond solitaire engagement ring setting allows the centre diamonds to display its beauty without distraction.


- mixing bright, bold clothes with different textures and an eye for all things unusual and distinct. It sounds like your partner is after something like no other, so make the most of our bespoke engagement ring service and create something as unique as they are. Choose bright sapphires, rubies or emeralds and a multi-stone setting to reflect the many facets of their taste.




- looking to the likes of Millie Mackintosh & Louise Thompson for sartorial decisions, with a love of delicate, classic style with a modern twist. A classic, super feminine choice of engagement ring is the diamond set shoulder style. Diamond shoulder engagement rings are simple, the addition of melee diamonds to a centre diamond creating a subtle sparkle. Stick with a classic, enduring diamond set shoulder engagement ring style.




- rejects the archetypal feminine aesthetic for something a little edgier, and not into typically glitzy jewellery. It’s important to steer clear of anything too sparkly, so consider diamond shapes with large facets, such as emerald cuts and Asscher cuts. Alternatively, consider a dark-coloured gemstone or even a black diamond. Androgynous styles suit atypically chunky rings and bezel settings - why not get creative with our bespoke engagement ring service?


- the modern, stylish professional that’s somewhere between minimalist and contemporary feminine. Their engagement ring should be an updated classic, such as a diamond halo engagement ring. Round diamonds and cushion cuts are a great choice, or try a pear diamond for something a little more contemporary, set in a refined halo of melee diamonds.




- spends their free time exploring flea markets and vintage stores, with a love for all things nostalgic. When it comes to choosing a vintage engagement ring, there are many styles to choose from - one of the most commonly celebrated eras being Art Deco. Art Deco engagement rings often feature a diamond centre stone with gemstone halos and bold, parallel lines. For something a little softer, try a flower halo ring or adding milgrain detailing to a classic design. Recreate your favourite vintage engagement ring with our bespoke engagement ring service.


- free spirited, with an obsession for finding boutique bridal looks and flower arrangements on Pinterest. Consider an engagement ring that will work well with a shaped wedding ring, for a boho bridal set. A pear shape diamond is the perfect ethereal choice, whilst peach sapphires, opals and melee diamonds make great boho design detailing, particularly when set in rose gold. Bohemian engagement rings are dainty, romantic and unique - create your ideal style with our bespoke engagement ring service.




- loves all things countryside and cosy, and keeps up to date with news of the Royal Family - not to mention the latest royal engagement rings. Why not model their engagement ring on a royal classic, such as Kate Middleton’s engagement ring - a blue oval sapphire in a simple diamond halo setting. Or try a Padparadscha sapphire for a design like Princess Eugenie’s. Try a sapphire in one of our halo engagement ring settings, or explore trilogy engagement rings for a traditional engagement ring choice.

What if I choose the wrong engagement ring?

Whilst it’s important to put time and consideration into choosing an engagement ring for your partner, don’t put yourself under too much pressure. After all, there is always a solution if the engagement ring you choose isn’t quite right. 

Unless you’re certain your partner will love a particular style, you may want to hedge your bets with a classic design - our core collection of engagement rings features some of the most popular engagement rings of our time, and they’re popular for a reason. Tried and tested, our collection of ring designs are versatile yet refined - true contemporary classics designed by a team of experts - there isn’t much room for error.

If your partner decides you haven't chosen the right ring style, Holts Gems will remake your engagement ring - this time working with both of you to create the perfect ring. 

To avoid any mistakes in the first place, you may want to forgo the engagement ring altogether.. At least, just for the proposal. Many of our clients are preferring to propose with a loose diamond or gemstone. This way, plenty of thought has gone in to finding the perfect stone, but you can return to our studio with the knowledge you’ll be designing the engagement ring together - a reflection of your relationship’s future. A passionate and sweet sentiment - that also happens to save you worry in the meantime!

Quick tips for choosing an engagement ring for your partner


  • Choose an engagement ring style that suits your budget. Ring styles can vary hugely in cost as some are more complex to create. Decide whether you’d rather dedicate your budget to an intricate design or the centre stone
  • Consider their style. Think about how they dress, the rest of their jewellery collection and the celebrity or design houses’ styles they admire. They may have dropped hints in the past about what they might like, or commented on friends’ rings.
  • If you’re not sure, keep it simple. Simple engagement rings are the most easily wearable rings - suiting most styles. You can still tailor make your ring, editing the metal colour and type of centre stone, or adding an engraving. Explore our core collection of engagement ring designs to find a ring you can be sure looks great.
  • If you’re really not sure, propose with a loose diamond or gemstone. A romantic way to get around the dilemma - this way you can create the sentimental piece together, in unison. To choose the diamond or gemstone, do your research and learn about the 4Cs and how to find the perfect gemstone, before coming together to create your ideal engagement ring. The perfect way to start your new life together.

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