Shopping for an engagement ring? Here are 5 things to consider
Considering how long the ring is meant to be worn – a whole lifetime, or potentially even longer if it becomes a family heirloom – it’s worth investing time into picking exactly what will suit best.
When it comes to choosing exactly the right engagement ring for your sweetheart, Lanka Jewels founder Ken Selvaraja says the most valuable component to consider is time.
“It’s not the monetary value, it is an expression of your most sincere feelings to the other person – you’re transferring passion through a never-ending circle, with the promise of sharing your lives together,” he says poetically. “A ring will be there for the whole journey of gardening and baking cookies and going camping and playing basketball with the kids.”
Considering how long the ring is meant to be worn – a whole lifetime, or potentially even longer if it becomes a family heirloom – Selvaraja adds that it’s worth investing time into picking exactly what will suit best.
Here are some key points to think about, if you’re thinking about taking the next step in your relationship.
What colour is right for you?
A diamond is a logical and lovely choice for many, but at Lanka Jewels, they also like to highlight the beauty of coloured stones. Sapphire – available in a rainbow of colours like green, yellow, orange, and pink, as well as the more familiar blue – is a popular option, because of the variety available. It is also ranked as a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness (only one step below diamond) so it is durable. In the language of jewels, it is associated with sincerity, honesty, and wisdom.
While many consumers have heard of the four ‘C’s (cut, colour, clarity, carat) for buying diamonds, coloured stones also involve vibrancy and lustre – how they come to life in the light. There is something to be said for holding a loose gemstone and putting it directly on the skin of your hand; time after time, Selvaraja says he has seen an instant click of connection for people with a specific stone.
Custom-designed rings can be affordable
A custom ring need not necessarily be more expensive than one that is already made; for instance, Lanka Jewels is open to incorporating stones and metals from pieces that may be languishing in a drawer, or set in an outdated style. It’s key also to remember that having a huge central stone is not the best choice for some clients.
It might overwhelm their hand, or constantly twist out of position for being too top-heavy. Instead, staff members can introduce the thought of introducing more sparkle with strategically-placed accent stones. They can also ensure different stone shapes – like pear, oval, emerald-cut, and marquise gems – are set in ways that show the stones off best.
“Budget is something we’re very conscious of, and we will work with whatever someone’s comfort zone is,” Selvaraja says. “We use our expertise to help them pick the most beautiful, practical selection.”
Although Lanka continues to hand-make rings – as it has throughout its more than 40-year long history – its artisans are also up-to-date on the latest jewellery techniques involving computer assisted-design, and 3-D printing. The latter is particularly useful with micropave stones, and creating exact symmetry. Customers have the opportunity to weigh in at every step of the design process, to ensure the end result is exactly what they want.
See what’s out there with an in-person appointment
Some clients find it easier to work with existing rings, because they find it easier to narrow down what they truly want by looking at a range of styles. They may find it easier to follow the existing vision of a jeweller, rather than trying to create something on their own. For instance, Lanka carries the biggest selection in Western Canada from acclaimed Canadian designer Noam Carver.
While it can be efficient to do online research ahead of time, nothing can replace an individual, in-store consultation.
“We want to have an understanding of someone’s daily routine, what their style and personality are so we can make recommendations,” explains Selvaraja. “Then when their eyes pop out, their hands open, we see that smile, we know from their body language they’ve found ‘the one.’ That’s my favourite part!”
Is some customization what you want?
Having an in-person appointment also opens up the conversation around customizing a wedding set in some fashion. Even on pre-set rings, engravings can be added to incorporate someone’s cultural heritage, or something with special meaning for a bride or groom.
Softer coloured stones, like garnet or amethyst, can be securely tucked on the interior side of a wedding band, almost as a secret message between two lovebirds.
Men’s bands can be unique too
Selvaraja says it’s not just ladies rings that are important; time should be set aside to consider the bands for men. There is a trend toward incorporating birthstones in bands, as well as playing around with different metals and finishes. A shiny gold ring has quite a different effect than one in hammered metal, where the purposeful dents create texture and interest. They also lessen the sting if someone with a hands-on profession dings the ring later.
“I could go on forever, but I’d rather do it in person,” laughs Selvaraja. “Make a little date out of it – come visit Mission, chat with us for a while in store, and then go have dinner!”