How to Buy the Perfect Engagement Ring

The experience of choosing an engagement ring should be as diverse and encompassing as the love it reflects.
There are many decisions to be made when choosing to get married, and this is one we hope to simplify for you. However, the very first question for you to consider is – do you wish to surprise your intended, or design something together?

Modern Rules

Whereas it used to be customary for one partner to propose as a surprise to another, it is common now for couples to choose an engagement ring together. Many couples feel as though it is a symbol of their partnership to make these important decisions as a pair, and some just have particular tastes. However you choose to proceed, both options have great capacity for romance, and ultimately the choice lies with how much your prospective spouse enjoys surprises.

Whether you decide to brave it alone or shop together, try to pin down what design elements may be most important. Does the wearer typically wear cool metals (silver, white gold, platinum) or warm (yellow or red gold)? Are they a traditionalist in their style, or do they like to make a unique statement? A classic style is timeless and transcends fashion trends, but something offbeat may appeal to a modern sensibility. Increasingly the provenance of the materials (the stone, the metal) is at the forefront of people’s minds as they shop for their ring.

There really is no set answer on the perfect engagement ring – we are here to simply advise you on what is right for you and your beloved.

Shop Around 

It is our responsibility as your jeweller to use our expertise to guide you through your choices and create a profound and treasured experience as you choose your ring. Book a consultation to speak to us and we will advise based on your exact needs.

Those looking for their proposal to remain a complete surprise may need some additional design direction. We advise many of our customers in this scenario to consider shopping amongst our collection pieces – they include many classic designs unique to Cox & Power, as well as individual one-off pieces, so you are choosing something rare and distinctive.

Additional support in this venture may come from a trusted friend or family member of your partner – they may have further insight into the likes and dislikes of your partner or a shared aesthetic appreciation, for example.

If you keep thinking about a ring you’ve seen, chances are it is the one for you.

diamond engagement ring with pink diamonds

Natural Beauty: What Stone Should I Choose?

A white diamond is a time-tested classic, guaranteed to suit everyone and make a statement. However, the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing the stone (or stones) for your ring. A different gemstone may have particular personal significance to the intended wearer. Reasons for this can include colour, astrological significance, provenance or geographical significance. Other popular gemstones for engagement rings include sapphires, rubies and emeralds, but beautiful high-quality gems such as amethyst, garnet and aquamarine make lovely choices as well. Just because a diamond is traditional doesn’t mean it has to be conventional, either – natural diamonds range on a colour gradient from white through yellow and olive green to browns and greys, pinks and oranges. Blues, reds and violets are known to occur also, though these are exceptionally rare.

Our diamonds are of natural colour and are not colour enhanced unless stated. Anyone who is familiar with Cox & Power will know that we are crazy about beautiful, unique gemstones, and we pride ourselves on our eye for the unconventional and the dazzling. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or take the opportunity to examine a gem through a jeweller’s loupe – it is fascinating to see the facets and details of a stone that give it character and make it sing.

Provenance and Sustainability

For the ethically and environmentally conscious, the provenance of the ring adds to the romantic story. We make most of our jewellery with Fairtrade and Fairmined gold, and are always keen to take commissions with ethically sourced materials in mind.

We are committed to promoting provenance and ethical consumption in the jewellery industry and very keen to work with stone suppliers that source fairly mined and traded precious stones. We will always do our best to source the best quality stones available. Whilst certificated diamonds are not synonymous with ethical sourcing, increasingly a certificate may list the stone’s origins as well as physical attributes.

Some alternative options for consciously sourced gemstones include vintage and reclaimed stones, and lab grown gems. Using gemstones or jewellery previously belonging to a family member can also be a beautiful and heartfelt way to both treasure the memory of a relative and ensure that you know the full provenance of your ring.

More information detailing the benefits of ethical sourcing in the jewellery industry can be found at The Ethical Making resource:

A Note on Sizing 

We understand that ascertaining the exact measurements of your partner’s ring finger is not very easy, save for breaking out the tape measure whilst they sleep. We will do our absolute best to find a way to size the ring as close as feasibly possible – we have been designing and creating bespoke engagement rings for over thirty years, after all.

If the intended wearer typically already wears a ring on either ring finger, bringing this information to your consultation may be a huge help in determining size. Even a ring worn on either index or middle finger is helpful for scale. If this isn’t possible, there are many ways around the issue and we will do our best to advise using our expertise. If you are designing together but would still like to make a proposal gesture, other options include purchasing a symbolic ring or other piece of jewellery to present at the engagement, having a temporary ring made in silver or even possibly selecting the stone and presenting that to your partner before creating the finished ring.


What if the ring doesn’t fit? 

If you have purchased a ring from us and it doesn’t fit, please bring it back and we will size it for you. We often accommodate halfway, or even a quarter or three quarters, between sizes as well. As a general rule, it is easier to resize a solitaire (single stone) ring than a ring with multiple settings, or stones inlaid around the band, so please bear this in mind if you are planning to commission a surprise ring. 

Can you design a wedding band?

Yes! We offer a number of classic wedding band options as well as several designs unique to Cox & Power, for a wedding band with some intrigue. We can even work to create something completely new that will sit beautifully alongside your engagement ring.

What materials do you work with?

For our engagement rings we work in platinum and in 18ct yellow, red or white gold as 18ct gold benefits from being more durable and than 22 or 24ct. If you have an alternative preference for your precious metal then we would be happy to advise and accommodate. 

How do you guarantee your diamonds are responsibly sourced?

Cox & Power diamonds are purchased from legitimate sources, in compliance with United Nations Resolutions, and subject to the Kimberly Process, designed to ensure that diamonds in the supply chain are not involved in funding conflict. We are happy to confirm that our diamonds will have come with written guarantees provided by our suppliers and are also working closely with suppliers who can give fuller provenance to the gemstones we work with.

Can I make modifications to a collection piece?

If you have seen a design that you like but that isn’t quite right, please get in contact with your ideas and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements. Typical changes include a different choice of metal or a larger or smaller stone. With this, please bear in mind that a bespoke piece will take roughly six to eight weeks to create.

How do I clean and care for my engagement ring? 

We recommend that you remove your engagement ring when exercising, cooking or undertaking DIY etc. in order to maintain the surface of the metal and to avoid knocks and scrapes. Avoid applying cosmetics and hand cream with your ring on as residue can build up and dull the ring’s appearance.

Although gold and platinum are non-reactive, silver and pearls will reward you for avoiding all chemicals and perfumes. You can polish your ring with a soft cloth, and we suggest popping to our Marylebone workshop at least once a year for a complimentary clean that can be done whilst you shop or pause for a coffee nearby. 

What is your returns and exchanges policy? 

Please see the full terms and conditions of our returns and exchanges policy here.