Engagement Ring FAQs

Wedding Ring FAQs – We answer the questions we hear all the time regarding commissioning an engagement ring …

Q. How much do your engagement rings cost?
A. see Prices page.

Q. What is the lead-time for ordering an engagement ring.
A. There is no simple answer. It depends on various things, like how busy we happen to be at the time. Certain times of year are busier than others. Christmas is the obvious busy period, but spring-summer can get very busy with wedding rings etc. and other times are not predictable. Another consideration is whether we have the necessary stones etc in stock, or have to source them for you.
We like to have as long as you can give us. Leaving things to the last minute puts pressure on you, as well as us.
The best thing is to phone us for a chat about your requirements. Once we know what is wanted, we can give you an idea of the lead time needed to create it.

Q. I am planning to “pop the question”. How much should I spend on an engagement ring?
A. The jewellery trade used to say that you should spend about a month’s salary (Some said two months’ salary) on an engagement ring.
We recommend that you spend an amount that you are comfortable with. If you would like to discuss what you could expect to get for your budget, please do not hesitate to drop into the shop, or phone us. We are always happy to offer advice. Most designs can be adjusted to suit a particular budget.
see Prices page.

Q. If I place an order, how do you accept payment? Do I have to pay everything up-front?
A. When you place an order we require a non-refundable deposit of approximately 30% of the total before we commence work. The balance is payable before you collect or we post to you your finished piece of jewellery.
You can pay by credit card, debit card or cash.

Q. I would like to surprise my girlfriend with an engagement ring. What happens if she does not like the ring I choose? Also, what if I get the wrong finger size?
A. There are various ways of handling this situation. You could buy a ring from stock with which to propose.
If She likes it, and it fits, Great!! –
If she does not like it, or it does not fit, you can exchange it for another ring, or we can alter the size.

An alternative is to propose with a loose stone. We can sell you a diamond with which to surprise your intended. You tell her that you have made an appointment with a jewellery designer to discuss the design. This way you get to surprise her, but there is no issue with choosing a ring that she does not like or that does not fit. – If it is not the type of stone she would have chosen, we can exchange it for one she really likes.

Q. What is your returns policy?
A. If you purchase a piece from our stock, and when you get it home, you decide you don’t like it, you may return it, un-worn and in perfect condition, and exchange it for another item to the same value, or for a credit note to use at a later date.

Items that are made to special order, and rings that have been altered (including re-sizing) cannot be returned.
If you are purchasing an engagement ring from our stock, and you are not 100% sure that you know the exact size, We suggest that you leave the size as it is. This will mean that if it can if necessary be returned, and we can make up a new ring in the correct size. If we change the size for you and the recipient does not like it we will not take it back. In this way we can guarantee that all our stock rings are pristine and un-altered.

Q. Can I supply my own stone(s)?
A. Yes. – If you have a stone or stones, we can design a ring around it. You might have inherited a piece of jewellery that has a suitable stone, or maybe you brought a stone back from a foreign holiday. Whatever kind of stone it is, we can create a ring to hold it.
However, if you are looking to source your own diamond in an attempt to save money on a engagement ring for example, the answer is still “Yes”, but please read on:-
We make our living by selling finished pieces of jewellery. We make some profit on the materials (stones and metal) and some profit on our labour. If we create a ring using a diamond supplied by you, it will take us just as long as it would if we supplied the stone, but we will not make any money on the stone, so we will need to make-up for this shortfall, by increasing the profit on the labour. This is the same principle as a restaurant charging you “corkage” for serving wine that you supply.
So, as an example, a ring mount that might cost, say, £800 if we supply the stone, could cost £1,200 if you supply your own stone.
The figures will vary in each case, so if you are thinking of sourcing your own stone, please do not hesitate to ask us, before you do so. It could end up costing you just as much as it would to buy the whole package from us.

Q. What sort of guarantee do you offer on your products?
A. On all engagement rings made by Aurum designer-jewellers we offer a full 25 year guarantee against any problem arising as a result of faulty materials or workmanship.
Rings should be returned to us for a free annual clean and check-up. If any work is necessary, it must be carried out by us. If any work is done by another jeweller your guarantee will be null and void. – This includes re-sizing.

Q. I have a picture of a design that I like. Can you copy it?
A. It depends. If you have a picture taken from a magazine or a catalogue of another jeweller, the answer is NO. Designs are the intellectual property of someone (normally the designer or the company advertising the product), and as such are subject to copyright.
However, you are welcome to show us pictures to give us the general feel of what you are hoping to achieve, we can use this as inspiration for a new design, or as a starting point for discussions about your requirements.

Q. I would like to buy a piece of jewellery with diamonds, but I am concerned that I might be purchasing “conflict diamonds”. How can I be sure that the diamonds I buy are not Blood Diamonds or involved in funding conflict?
A. If you buy from a reputable jeweller you can be sure that they source their diamonds responsibly, through bona-fide diamond merchants, who comply with the Kimberley Process. Certainly, any diamonds purchased from Aurum designer-jewellers are sourced only from legitimate sources, and are guaranteed to be “non conflict” stones.

Q. Should I choose a diamond with a certificate?
A. First you need to understand what a diamond certificate is. It is not really to prove that the stone referred to is a genuine diamond.
A certificate shows the diamond has been tested by an independent laboratory. It gives a lot of technical information, which will not mean a lot to you unless you are a “diamond expert “. The important bits concern the “Four Cs” – colour, clarity, and carat, (or weight) and cut  which encompasses shape plus proportions, symmetry and finish.
A certificate will tell you how the diamond measures up on each of these criteria. If you can understand the basics of the certificate, you will be able to compare one stone with another. You will then be able to see why stones that look very similar to the untrained eye can vary enormously in price.
Many people buy a diamond with a certificate, just because it comes with a “piece of paper”. Very often that piece of paper, if they understood it, would tell them that the diamond they have purchased is a poor quality stone.
Many of the diamonds we sell do come with a certificate, but we feel it is only worth certificating stones of a reasonable size. – Certificates cost money. Some jewellers will tell you that it is free, but really it is included in the cost of the stone. (Gem-testing labs don’t work for nothing!).
If you are buying a small diamond, you could be paying, say 25% of the stone cost for the certificate. We feel that it makes more sense to put that extra money into the stone itself. You could go for a slightly bigger or better diamond for the same price. We suggest you don’t think about a certificate on a stone weighing less than 0.25ct (a quarter carat).
The diamonds we use are of very high quality. For our stock we go for D – F colour, VS1 clarity. We prefer to use Russian diamonds because the proportions and finish are very good. If you are looking for a stone of a particular size, colour and clarity we can source it for you.

Q. What metals do you work in?
A. We make jewellery in platinum and 18ct yellow or red gold. Certain pieces can also be made in palladium. We prefer not to work in 9ct gold or in 18ct white gold and we do not generally work in silver.

Q. What is the difference between platinum and white gold?
A. Platinum is a naturally white metal which is very tough and hard-wearing. White gold is produced as a cheaper alternative to platinum. It is made by alloying pure gold with other metals to make it as white as possible, but it is not a “clean” white, and needs to be electro-plated with rhodium to make it look as white as platinum. This is very thin, and sooner or later (often within months) it will start to wear off, revealing the dirty off-white colour of the white gold. White gold is much less hard-wearing than platinum. Many of the white-metal wedding rings we make these days are in Palladium, which is a “platinum group ” metal. It looks virtually identical to platinum, and is almost as hard-wearing, but comes at a price comparable to that of white gold.

Q. What does “carat” mean when referring to gold or diamonds?
A. The word carat has two totally different meanings!
Carat, when referring to gold is a measure of purity. 24ct gold is pure, and is generally not used for jewellery because it is considered to be too soft.
22ct gold is 22 parts pure gold out of 24, and 2 parts other metals. It is still soft, and generally only used in plain wedding rings.
18ct gold is 18 parts out of 24 pure (75%). It is the alloy favoured by high class jewellers, as it combines good durability with a beautiful rich colour.
9ct gold is just 9 parts out of 24 pure gold (37.5%) – that is only half as pure as 18ct. It has a much paler colour than 18ct and is much more prone to tarnishing.
The colour in carat gold varies depending on what is mixed with it. Yellow gold usually has copper and silver in equal proportions. Red gold (or “rose gold”) has just copper. White gold could have silver or palladium alloyed with the gold.
Carat when referring to gemstones is a unit of weight. One carat = 1/5 of a gram, so 5 carats of diamonds would weigh 1 gram.
Each carat is divided into 100 “points”. A stone weighing half a carat 0.50ct is often referred to as a “fifty pointer” a “half carater”.

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Bespoke jewellery designer since 1976.


Andrew is the owner and lead designer at Aurum jewellers.

Andrew Leggett’s Experience

- December 6, 2018

It's nice to have an engagement ring that you won't see anyone else wearing. The Flick is our signature style and… https://t.co/i1OZz5Tgxv
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- December 5, 2018

The Flick is our signature style of engagement ring. It's designed with one flat side to sit perfectly with a strai… https://t.co/62cdfZbZqM
h J R

- November 30, 2018

Textured wedding rings in platinum and gold. If your lifestyle means that you are likely to scratch or dent your w… https://t.co/dqE9EzODMP
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