5 Things to Consider When Buying an Engagement Ring

So. You’ve found her. That girl who makes your heart skip a beat. Who makes you laugh. Who laughs at your terrible jokes. The one you can’t imagine being without. And so, you’ve decided to ask the big question. Mildly terrifying, right? Fear not. While we can’t ask the question for you (sorry), we can help by breaking down the process and highlighting the 5 things to consider when buying an engagement ring. Read on, friends.

5 things to consider when buying engagement ring

  1. Her style

    While it’s natural to look at engagement rings with your own eye for style, it’s important to remember that your bride will be the one who is wearing the ring for many years to come, so it should match her design aesthetic. Look at her existing jewellery, and even her wardrobe and hairstyle for clues.

    Does she favour classic, simple design? Perhaps she’s always browsing in markets and vintage stores, looking for romantic 1950s styles. Or maybe you’re in love with a complete glamazon, who loves nothing more than getting dressed up and making a statement.

    Once you’ve got this part figured out, it’s on to step two.

  2. Her lifestyle

    Engagement rings are worn all day, every day, for many years – so it’s essential that they suit the lifestyle of the wearer.

    If your partner is outdoorsy, or goes to the gym a lot, it’s probably not practical for her to have a delicate, ornate ring with lots of stones, because there’s a good chance that a stone will get knocked out, or the ring will bend or warp.

    On the other hand, if she enjoys spending time indoors and is more book club than bike club, more party animal than animal lover, a fancy style ring may be just her cup of tea.

  3. Her finger size

    This can be the step that causes many a would-be groom to lose sleep. How can you find out your partner’s finger size, without giving away the game? You don’t want the ring to be too small when you propose (Cinderella nightmare), and if it’s too big she won’t be able to wear it until it’s resized (although this is an easy process, only taking about half an hour).

    If you do want to make the proposal a surprise, this does require being slightly sneaky. See if you can get hold of one of her existing rings, and either measure the diameter, or trace around the inside and the outside to determine the size. Don’t forget, fingers have different circumferences so make sure to choose one she wears on her ring finger, not a middle finger or pinky. We can then help you to determine the closest ring size.

    Another option to consider if you’re worried about choosing the right size ring, is to propose with a beautiful diamond, and then design the ring together. Here at Simon Wright we offer a Perfect Proposal ™ package ,with just this in mind.

  4. The stone

    Diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement rings, because they represent the strength of love. That said, many couples opt for coloured stones like sapphires, rubies or emeralds, or even coloured diamonds, to create a piece that really pops.

    Choosing a stone can feel overwhelming, when you’re expected to understand the 4C’s (cut, colour, clarity, carat) and how they all come together to create the ‘perfect’ stone – at the perfect price, of course.

    At Simon Wright we don’t think it should be all that complicated. For example, diamonds are graded in laboratory conditions, so what you see under a white light with a high-powered magnifier is not necessarily what you’ll see in normal daylight conditions. While it’s helpful to understand the grading process, we suggest looking closely at a number of stones and choosing the one that is most beautiful to you, within your budget.

  5. The setting

    The metal you choose to set your stones in is an often underrated, but just as important part of designing the perfect engagement ring.

    Platinum’s molecular properties make it the most durable of precious metals, but your choice will come back to your partner’s style, as well as her lifestyle. Rose gold for example can create a lovely vintage look, while yellow gold is classic and tends to suit women at all ages and stages of their lives. If you’re including coloured stones as part of your design, that will also influence your choice of setting, as you’ll want to ensure a harmonious combination.

    Designing an engagement ring can and should be a joyful process, the start of many wonderful memories for you and your partner.

    At Simon Wright, we’re here to help. When you schedule an appointment at our workshop, you’ll meet our knowledgeable designers in a low-pressure environment, and you can see your design come to life with our use of Computer Aided Design and 3D printing, making sure that you come away with the perfect ring for the most perfect person in your life.

    Does that make you breathe a little easier?

    Click here to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

The Engagement Ring Process

Behind the scenes: The Engagement Ring Process

What’s the process behind having a bespoke engagement ring made? Here, we answer that question by taking you behind the scenes at our jewellery workshop in London’s Clerkenwell. Led by master artisan and fine jewellery maker, Simon Wright, our team works with you from the initial planning stages right the way through to the finished ring. Read on to find out how that process looks in depth.…

 

engagement ring process

 

  1. Consultation at the studio

    We start by inviting you into our Clerkenwell workshop for an honest chat with Simon, where he can hear firsthand what kind of ring you have in mind. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, you can rest assured that Simon is bringing a wealth of knowledge to the creation of your jewellery. However, it’s you who’s going to see it every day, so we want to make sure it matches up with your vision from the start. Simon takes a relaxed and friendly approach – there is no hard sell and no judgment; his priority is ensuring you end up with a ring that suits you, your personality and your budget.

  2. Tour of the workshop

    Next, we’ll give you a tour of our studio workshop – it always helps to be able to picture where your ring will be made – and explain the various making techniques used over the course of making your ring with us. It’s also a great chance for us to answer any questions you might have about the process before you commit to a specific design, and help you to understand more about the quality of stones and metals we’ll be using.

  3. Selecting the stones

    At the next meeting, Simon will have sourced a range of stones for you, selecting diamonds and gemstones that are of the utmost quality for your budget. Here he will take the time to explain the subtle differences in stones to you and you’ll be able to select which ones you’d like to be used. For example, if you’re having a coloured gemstone, there may be differences in how the colour is dispersed across the stone or slight differences in size and shape. Once the stones have been chosen, we can then place these into the plastic model to give you an even closer idea of how the finished piece will sit on your hand.

  4. Draw up sketches

    Then we put pen to paper. A traditional method but a vital one, Simon will sketch out some initial designs based on your discussions and what he’s learnt about your tastes so far. As art is a key influence in his work, Simon understands that proportion, negative space, perspective and the use of colour all have a bearing on what goes into making a bespoke piece of jewellery with him.

  5. 3D printed mockups

    We will then use our 3D software to create a mockup of your ring in wax or plastic. This gives you the best possible idea of how your ring will look once finished – you can try it on to see how it will fit on your finger and to check you’re happy with the size overall

  6. Final adjustments and creating the finished ring

    Hopefully at this stage it will feel just right, but if there’s any adjustments needed we can easily make them at this point before we cast the model in the metal of your choosing. Then it’s up to us to bring these elements together and apply the essential finishing touches, resulting in the bespoke ring of your dreams ready to wear in a few weeks.

    For us, the most important factor in our work is our personal approach – we believe that getting to know you better and having you involved throughout this process means you’ll have an engagement ring that is truly perfect for you. If you’d like to arrange an initial meeting to come into the studio, please get in touch here.

How Do You Determine Your Ring Finger Size?

How Do You Determine Your Ring Finger Size?

Judging the perfect ring finger size can be somewhat of a minefield, and should never be left up to guess work. So whether you’re trying to find your own ring size or that of your partner, we’ve put together some easy tips to get an accurate measurement.

  1. Measure it with string

By far the easiest way to get your ring finger size is, of course, to measure it. At home you can simply use string or dental floss wrapped around the finger, marking where it meets and then measuring with a millimetre ruler. Make sure you don’t wind too tightly and test that you can get the loop over your knuckle. Finally, compare this measurement to a ring size chart to find the closest match – here in the UK it’s the letter measurement you should be looking for.

  1. Print out a ring sizer

If you’ve got a printer to hand, this cut-out ring belt sizer is so easy to use. Cut it out and simply wrap it around your finger. Using this method means that you don’t even need to convert the measurement – just be careful to check that it’s printed accurately to scale!

  1. Measure a ring you already have

Try other rings on your ring finger and see which is the closest match. You can then measure the diameter of this ring and use a chart to convert it to your ring size.

 

how do you determine your ring finger size

  1. Pop in to our workshop

The most accurate way to measure? Visit our workshop. If you’ve decided to have a bespoke ring made with us here in London, we can easily determine your ring finger size using our measurement tools to find the absolute perfect fit. We only offer this service to customers making a ring with us.

how do you determine your ring finger size

  1. How to determine ring size without your partner knowing

If your partner already wears jewellery on their ring finger, (even if it’s on the other hand), wait until they take it off and trace the inside and outside with a pencil. This can get you a pretty close match, though it’s likely to fluctuate a little between hands.

how do you determine your ring finger size

You can also enlist a married friend or family member to play the old ‘Let’s see how my ring looks on you’ game.  If all else fails, you could try looping a piece of string around their finger while they’re asleep. Although we don’t really recommend this as it could be a little creepy…! Just make sure it’s not wound too tightly; the ring should be able to move gently over her knuckle.

how do you determine your ring finger size

 

And finally – when in doubt, go bigger; it’s easier to size down than to size up. We offer ring resizing at our London workshop for rings that we have made – it only takes us half an hour to resize a ring, about ten minutes if it’s a plain wedding band.

 

Book your appointment to make a bespoke wedding ring now.

 

 

The 7 Best London Proposal Ideas

Thinking of proposing to your other half? Arguably the biggest question you’ll ask in your life, planning a romantic proposal idea requires a lot of careful planning – from the setting, to the words you say and, of course, the all important engagement ring. Our jewellery workshop is based in London’s Clerkenwell, so we’ve got more than a few good ideas of romantic proposal ideas in the city. Read on for our guide to the 7 best London proposal ideas.

1. Kyoto Gardens

A leafy setting in the west of the city, Holland Park should have plenty of romantic London proposal ideas in its 54-acres of greenery. Our favourite? The Kyoto Gardens. A traditional Japanese garden with tranquil tiered waterfalls and a pond full of beautiful koi carp, you’d be forgiven for forgetting you’re in London at all.

Opened in the early 1990s, the garden was a gift from the city of Kyoto to commemorate the long friendship between Japan and Great Britain, a fitting sentiment to couples looking to cement their future together. Afterwards, the Belvedere restaurant – also situated within the grounds – is just the location for a celebratory drink.

The Kyoto Gardens in Holland park are great for those looking for the perfect proposal ideas in London

Image credit: SUITCASE Magazine

2. Exmouth market at night

Begin your evening at Clerkenwell restaurant The Quality Chop House, with it’s foodie-approved menu and chic bistro interiors (think simple monochrome tiling and vintage pews to sit on). Once you’re full up on the modern British menu, take a walk around the corner onto Exmouth market. The area has been a market place since the 1890s and a number of the street’s buildings date from the 19th century, so it’s a pretty iconic London vignette. It looks most engagement-worthy at night, when the strings of street lights turn on, inviting you up the parade.

A dinner at The Quality Chop House following a day out in London calls for a perfect proposal.

The Quality Chop House in Clerkenwell

3. Serpentine boating lake

Located in the heart of Hyde Park, the Serpentine boating lake will make for a picturesque proposal following a day out in London. Jump in a boat with your loved one, row them out to the middle of the water and pop the question surrounded by swans and scenic views.

If you’d rather a London proposal idea without having to do the rowing yourself, opt for the Solarshuttle, a stylish boat which glides across the lake powered only by the sun. The Solarshuttle carries up to 40 passengers, so whilst it won’t be a private proposal, it will still offer a serene spot with a small audience to congratulate you afterwards. You will have to commit to a proposal between April and October as boating on the Serpentine is shut in the winter months. Opening times go until sundown, so if you’re looking for an extra romantic touch, choose a clear day and head there close to sunset.

The Serpentine boating lake is a beautiful location for a picturesque proposal to your loved one

Image credit: Mr Bell Travels

4. Barbican conservatory

A brutalist London icon, an Instagram favourite and the second biggest Conservatory in London, the Barbican Conservatory makes the perfect setting for modern romance. A short walk from our Clerkenwell studio, we can’t imagine a more verdant setting for plant-loving couples to say yes in.

This takes a little more planning than the others as the Conservatory is open only on selected Sundays each month and Bank Holidays, but the fine details are certainly worth it to get engaged in this striking urban oasis.

The Barbican Conservatory is perfect for plant loving couples

Image Credit: Max Colson

5. St Dunstan-in-the-East

If you’re looking for a romantic proposal idea that’s a little more private, look no further than the gardens of St Dunstan-in-the-East. The Grade I listed building of the Church of St Dunstan was damaged in the Great Fire of London and again in the Blitz of 1941, but the remains were later turned into a public garden, giving what was left of the church new life, now covered in luscious greenery. Pop the question amongst the magical ruins and make this secluded garden a setting you’ll remember forever.

St Dunstan in the East is situated in a secluded, magical garden, perfect for proposing to your other half

Image credit: Haarkon

6. Tate Britain

We can’t imagine a more fitting proposal spot for aesthete couples than the Tate Britain. After exploring London’s most-loved historic British art gallery, home to the annual Turner Prize exhibition, stop at the top of the visually stunning monochrome rotunda staircase and pop the question to your significant other.

As the gallery is situated on Millbank, it’s ideally situated for a walk along the River Thames afterwards – head toward Westminster to celebrate, taking in London’s landmarks as you go.

The beautiful Tate Britain is a visually stunning proposal spot for couples

Image Credit: Art Rabbit

7. Make it a Perfect Proposal™

This option works in any location you like… from your front room at home, to the location of your first date and more. Our Perfect Proposal™ box is a unique way to pop the question: you propose with a precious stone packaged beautifully in a small box, along with a handmade book inviting your partner to schedule a design meeting at the Simon Wright workshop. It’s a romantic proposal idea that works particularly well if you’d like to involve your partner in the design process too.

Find out more about the Perfect Proposal™ now.

The Perfect Proposal box is a unique way to propose to your other half - anywhere, anytime

Emma Soulsby Collaboration

In April this year we were fortunate enough to once again collaborate with the incredibly talented florist, Emma Soulsby at a decidedly fun and vibrant shoot for the luxury wedding blog, B.LOVED. The shoot, which was primarily to showcase Emma’s show-stopping ‘Moongate’ floral designs, was brought to life by our engagement rings and the work of several other wedding professionals.  A favourite of ours had to be this sumptuous four-tiered wedding cake engineered by West London’s Angus de Sucre and the critically acclaimed cake designer Reshmi Bennett. However, we were also bowled over by the meticulous detail in Kate Edmondson’s wedding dresses.

 

 

Photographed by bridal couture and wedding photographer, Amanda Karen, this composed medley of creativity and timeless style features several of our bespoke creations including engagement rings, pendants and earrings.

 

Rings

This 18 kt yellow gold  ring boasts a glistening 0.79 ct round cut yellow sapphire centre stone surrounded by intricate petals comprised of 12 round brilliant cut diamonds. We’ve called this piece the Yellow Floral Sapphire. This piece is particularly breath-taking. The metals used in the stone settings have been manipulated in a way that recreates the visual delicacy of a flower’s petals whilst clutching a shimmering yellow sapphire that emulates a radiant central disc, similar to that of a daisy.

Natural forms can be mimicked on such a small scale but this piece describes a more contemporary take on an organic design. This ring is clearly a standout piece – starlight yellows and contrasting mill-grain brilliant cut round diamonds in a remarkable halo of white and yellow gold petals. The image to the right shows our ring off alongside Emma’s arrangement and one of Kate Edmondson’s elegantly woven wedding dresses.

 

Pendants

Two of our stunning diamond drop pendant necklaces were gracefully modelled on this shoot. The first of which is our three-tier platinum Triptych pendant. Graduating pear shape diamonds flow over a detailed lace Florentine neckline ending in a 1.09ct diamond. The pendant belongs to a set with matching earrings. This is a special piece and one of the more valuable at the shoot.

We’ve named the second of our pendant and earring sets exhibited at Emma’s shoot the Peony Collection. As the pastel colours are an imitation of those of the flower’s, we think the name is fairly appropriate.

Each piece consists of a round brilliant cut pink diamond. Naturally pink diamonds are extremely rare and unlike almost all other coloured diamonds, very little is known about how they attain their rosy hue which makes this creation even more special. Click here to take a look at our selection of pendants

 

Our final piece used for the shoot was this deep blue sapphire settled amongst a halo of round and pear shape brilliant cut diamonds. The piece, which is set in platinum contrasts well against the white of a wedding and makes a statement whilst maintaining a sense of class and elegance. We’ve named this the Midnight sapphire. You can also see this particular dress and more of Kate Edmondson’s deigns on her website here.

 

Wedding Trends, Statistics & Figures (Infographic)

For most people, tying the not with your loved one is one the happiest and most cherished moments you could ever experience in your life.

Well, maybe until they see how much a wedding and everything that comes with it costs!

On average, it cost £27,000 for a wedding in the UK in 2017 (that’s includes the full bells and whistles) and this figure is expected to rise to over £32,000 by 2028.

These figures include everything from venue costs, food, transport, decorations, engagement rings and, of course, the honeymoon.

It’s hardly a surprise that over 50% of couples asked for money as their wedding present – sensible move!

We decided to put together an infographic based around wedding trends, statistics, facts and figures. Take a look at our findings…

Great British Brands

Great British Brands is billed as ‘the luxury bible’ for British products. Published annually by the exclusive Country & Town House magazine, its purpose is to recognise and promote the very best British brands and luxury goods. The publication features 150 of the top names in British luxury; from heritage brands that have earned their place in our nation’s history, to emerging brands that represent the new Britain: young, vibrant and world-class.

Photo Credit: Country & Town House

Simon Wright Jewellery has been selected as one of those brands, alongside names like Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Harrods and Jaguar. Great British Brands recognises high standards, respect for traditions and handcrafting skills. Attributes that together contribute to achieve what clients in the luxury market are looking for: unparalleled quality and a timeless elegance that resonates across generations.

Simon Wright Jewellery on Great British Brands 2018

Find out more about how we can bring our passion for quality craftsmanship to the design of your next piece of jewellery.

Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Awards 2018

This year Jenny had the privilege of being invited to the 2018 Goldsmiths Craft & Design Awards, a competition that rewards distinction in technical skills and creative design.

SWJ is a proud contributor to the event, and in the past Simon has volunteered his time to judge the CAD Presentation section of the competition.

Below are some pictures of the impressive pieces and beautiful venue:

Gold Award & winner in the Junior Diamond Mounters category

Silver Award in the Junior Diamond Mounters category.

Boodles Award Winner, Silver Award in the Jewellers  category and Bronze Award in the Senior Setters category.

Gold Award in the Junior Setters Category  & Silver Award in the Senior Setter category

The Golsmiths’ Hall in Central London.

 

 

The Great British Brands 2018 Party

On Wednesday 17th January we had the pleasure of attending the 2018 Country and Town House’s Great British Brand party at the stunning Hotel Cafè Royal on Regent Street.

For the past two years, Simon Wright Jewellery has been one of the 150 “British Success Stories” featured on the annual edition of the GBB publication, showcasing excellence in the various fields of British luxury.

We had some drinks with the Country and Town House team and had the chance to have a close look at the GBB cover dress. The dress is a bespoke piece created by Alice Temperley for the occasion and was auctioned during the event with all the profit going to charity.

We are already looking forward to next year’s party!!

A day at the Gem-A HQ

The SWJ team was invited to an open evening hosted by The Gemmological Association of Great Britain and taking place on Monday 15th January at the of Gem-A London HQ, in the heart of the historic jewellery quarter.

The event consisted of a series of presentations by the CEO Alan Hart and the experienced Gem-A tutors who offered the chance of viewing different stones in the laboratory and learning how to recognize and be aware of “sneaky simulants”.

We really enjoyed the experience and had the chance of testing our knowledge: out of a bunch of fake diamonds, our skilled Jewellery Assistant Jenny spotted the only real diamond without hesitation!