Put A Ring On It: Guide to Buying Engagement Rings in Hong Kong

  • By
  • Spacious
  • July 6, 2020

Image credits: De Beers Facebook page

From carats to clarity, styles to settings; the best places to purchase an engagement ring in Hong Kong that will make her (or him) say yes

As a symbol of eternal love, an engagement ring is an important piece of jewellery to purchase and possess. It’s that one item of jewellery anyone will wear for the rest of their married lives; hence it’s integral to get it right.

With a plethora of stones, cuts, settings, designs, luxury jewellery brands, and jewellers to choose from, it can be quite a challenge to select the right ring. Over the last few years, jewellers have seen a remarkable rise in interest for diamonds in Hong Kong. For picky ring shoppers, Hong Kong is a paradise as it is home to a host of fancy jewellery boutiques. These boutiques house various engagement ring styles and vast collections of stones for you to choose your ideal one.

On the hunt for the perfect engagement ring? This guide will come in handy for you.

Knowing your partner’s style

Making sure the engagement ring suits your partner’s style is paramount as it’s a ring they will wear and treasure every day.

Determine your future fiancé’s style by looking at their clothes and accessories. A closet packed with structured blazers/primary colours probably indicates they like simple minimalist jewellery and will lean on classic designs. A wardrobe consisting of printed dresses and bold-coloured tops in unique cuts probably means they adore large cocktail rings and bold jewellery, appreciating modern designs.

For minimalists, a timeless solitaire diamond in a prong ring setting may be a perfect choice. Other popular options are the classic Tiffany setting, the elegant split-shank setting, the slimming bar setting and the sparkly pavé setting.

For modern brides, a three-stone setting may be the perfect choice because of its ‘more is more’ aesthetic. Other favoured options are the cluster setting for the lover of everything that glistens and the double diamond setting for that extra sparkle.

Consider your partner’s lifestyle when choosing an engagement ring. If their job is hands-on, a chef for example, then a smaller diamond is practical. If they travel a lot or have a job where the ring will attract attention, a lower caratage would be ideal.

heart-shaped-diamond
Image credits: De Beers Facebook page

The 4 C’s of diamond quality

Each diamond is unique. Its size, shape, and brilliance are represented by time, place, and natural change where it was formed. In the middle of the 20th century, a global standard was agreed-upon. GIA created the first universal criteria for describing and identifying a diamond’s quality. This standard, referred to as the Diamond 4 C’s, indicates a diamonds Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat Weight.

As the developer of the Diamond 4 C’s, and the International Diamond Grading System, GIA is a trusted establishment for an unbiased assessment of diamonds.

Diamond colour and clarity

The diamond colour is a guide to the diamonds lack of colour. The clearer the diamond is, the higher its worth is. According to GIA, “a chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond has no hue, like a drop of pure water, and consequently has a higher value.” GIA created a D-Z grading system to evaluate the coolness of a diamond using controlled lighting and exact viewing conditions. D is the purest in colour and the highest in value, while Z-graded diamond has a yellowish tone which makes it not as valuable as the rest.

Diamond clarity pertains to the stone’s absence of inclusions and blemishes. GIA diamond clarity scale has six types with a total of 11 grades. The diamonds are observed under a 10x magnification by a professional and skilled grader. Flawless (FL) is free from blemishes and inclusions, while Internally Flawless (IF) diamonds do not have any additions. Very, Very Slightly Included (VVS1 and VVS2) has some compositions that are a challenge to see, while Very Slightly Included (VS1 and VS2) graded diamonds have minor additions observed. Slightly Included (SI1 and SI2) graded diamonds have visible inclusions, and Included (I1, I2, and I3) has inclusions so noticeable that it affects the diamond’s brilliance.

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Image credits: GIA Education Facebook page

Diamond cut and shape

To help you determine which engagement ring is best to purchase, it’ll be useful to know the difference between diamond shape and cut.

A diamond’s cut refers to its symmetry and how well it has been cut and polished. The diamond-cut will affect the ring’s sparkle as this will define how the stone reflects light. The diamond-cut scale ranges from excellent, very good, good, to fair. Excellent has a mirror-like facet and therefore produces the most magnificent sparkle where very good generates brilliance, a very high level of white light. A good cut diamond seems somewhat darker in appearance with a lack of contrast whereas a fair cut results in light leakage, where the light exits through the bottom of the stone, instead of from the top. 

Diamond-shape refers to the stone’s form when you look at it from top to bottom. The diamond-shape can vary from Emerald, Heart, Oval, Round, Baguette, and Pear to Princess, Cushion, Marquise, Asscher, and Trapeze. When choosing the diamond shape, consider your partner’s finger shape. Slim fingers will benefit from forms such as round, princess, and pear, while more full fingers can gain from slimming shapes such as emerald, marquise, and baguette.

Diamond carat weight and size

No two diamonds are created equal. Even two oval cut diamond rings do not look the same. When buying an engagement ring, the size of the diamond is often – if not always – the first feature that gets the attention of its wearer and its admirers, so it’s key to find a size that satisfies.

The term ‘carat’ pertains to the weight of the diamond, but is often mistakenly referred to as the stone’s size. The international standard has been 200 milligrams, and diamonds can range from a fraction of a carat to several carats. A one-carat diamond is equal to a 100 points, and a ½ carat diamond equals 50 points or 0.50 carats, for example.

As large diamonds are rare, they can be costly. Therefore, diamonds with higher caratage have a significantly increased price. When there is more than one diamond in a setting – a three stone ring, for example – the diamonds are weighed together, resulting in ‘total carat weight’.

You may also opt to purchase loose diamonds, and choose the ring, metal, and setting later as a couple to create a personal and genuinely noteworthy memory.

jewellery-ring-on-finger
Image credits: De Beers Facebook page

Diamond ring settings

There are several ring settings, offering you a smorgasbord of options that fit your partner’s style. From classic settings to avant-garde, there’s one that will surely tickle your fancy.

Prong Ring Setting

Named as the most popular ring setting, the Prong Engagement Ring offers a classic design with a small metal claw that holds the diamond in place, highlighting its grandeur and beauty. As it has a classic, minimalist design, this setting focuses the attention on the diamond itself.

Bezel Ring Setting

The second most favoured ring setting by most couples, the Bezel Engagement Ring provides a sleek design that has a thin metal ring – often custom-made – that holds the diamond instead of prongs. It’s ideal for those who lead an active lifestyle as the bezel setting protects the diamond from damages.

Split Shank Ring Setting

Ideal for both minimalists and maximalists, the Split Shank Engagement Ring has a split band that encircles the finger and holds the diamond. It offers the option of adding side diamonds or other stones, making the ring look extravagant and extra sparkly.

Three-Stone Ring Setting

Another classic engagement ring setting, the Three-Stone Engagement Ring proposes making use of diamonds or other gemstones of the same or varying sizes, making the whole style customization easier. This setting is said to represent the couple’s past, present, and future.

Where to shop for engagement rings in Hong Kong

Now that you’ve established your partner’s style and the diamond’s features, it’s time to hunt that perfect engagement ring. Hong Kong offers a multitude of large jewellery boutiques, so finding a rare cut and shape can be a breeze.

Legendary: Chow Tai Fook

The largest jeweller in Asia – and one of the biggest in the world – with over 1,000 locations, Chow Tai Fook is a household name that rings familiar in the fine-jewellery scene. They have over 1,000 jewellery outlets in Mainland China and countless boutiques in Hong Kong. You’ll even find about two to three Chow Tai Fook boutiques along Nathan Road and Hennessy Road around Central. This jeweller only carries GIA and AGS-certified diamonds.

Grade-defying clarity: Bee’s Diamonds

Award-winning jewellery brand, Bee’s Diamonds, purchases and stores its diamonds rather than sourcing them from the open market. They offer rings with clarity that even extends GIA standards, and their consultants also fly to Hong Kong’s regional neighbours for private appointments. It’s known for delivering not only outstanding grade diamonds but excellent customer service as well.

Sustainable stones: The Diamond Library

Due to the environmental costs of traditional diamond mining, more and more jewellery shoppers are looking for sustainably-sourced diamonds. Shoppers will find it a pleasure to discover that The Diamond Library has a selection of lab-grown diamonds that are as magnificent as traditionally-sourced rocks.

Located at Harbour Center, the brand’s designs are curated by experts who have decades of industry experience and expertise. They also employ a team of concierges to educate the shoppers of the features of a lab-grown diamond,

Best value: Diamond Registry

Hong Kong’s premier diamond supplier since 1961, Diamond Registry is known for selling prized jewellery and stones at wholesale prices. Their boutique in Central accepts by-appointment-only visits for one to look and appreciate their GIA-certified selections of diamond jewellery. They are also the supplier of choice for jewellers in New York and Hollywood because of their value for money.

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Image credits: De Beers Facebook Page

Shopping for engagement rings online

The traditional route of visiting a jewellery boutique and selecting the criteria in-person offers convenience. If you can’t find the time to go to an online jeweller, for example, Temptations, Tasaki, and Darry Ring. These online jewellers offer a curated selection of beautiful engagement rings available right at your fingertips.

Wrapping it up

An engagement ring is a sign of eternal love and commitment. It will be the single most crucial piece of jewellery anyone will ever have to purchase. It’s integral to get the style, diamond shape and cut, and the ring-setting right. Your partner’s fashion sense should help you determine the engagement ring design to go for, as well as their lifestyle.

Diamonds have four essential features that one should know – colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight. These are universally-accepted criteria to identify a diamond’s value. Once you’ve understood your Diamond 4 C’s, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the different settings, shapes, and cuts of an engagement ring. There are multiple timeless shapes and cuts – as well as modern and contemporary ones – that will likely go with the style of your partner-to-be. Thankfully, Hong Kong is home to a myriad of jewellery brands and boutiques; hence, the choice is limitless. Whether you’re looking to surpass GIA standards or a sustainably-sourced diamond, you will find many options from which to make a choice.