Gemstones: rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds and other quality gemstones

Gemstones: rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds and other quality gemstones

From the earliest times, diamonds and other gemstones – both precious stones and semi-precious stones such as rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls – have adorned the richest and most noble people in the land. Kings, Queens, Emperors – even dictators – have all been amongst the privileged few able to afford to wear gemstones, precious and semi-precious stones on their clothing, on their heads and hands and in ceremonial decorations like crowns and coronets.

Although fashions change, there is still a desire for those rich enough to show off their wealth by wearing rare and expensive objects such as gemstones – gemstone rings, gemstone bracelets and other gemstone jewelry.

Over the years, a wide range of materials have been classified as gemstones and we provide a list of gemstones.

However, these days, whilst a diamond – along with a ruby,  emerald, a sapphire and even a diamond – is still one of the most expensive gemstones around, you don’t need to be wildly rich or regal to afford one. Nevertheless you do need to be able to assess the quality of the gemstones you want to buy – whether it is a diamond, a ruby, sapphire or emerald. 

sapphire-deep-blue-tRubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds are considered to be the main gemstones. These four precious stones are considered the most important of all the gemstones. Other colored stones(precious stones and semi-precious stones) tend to be prized for their color and their association with certain months of the year (eg as birthstones, birthday gemstones) and their  perceived characteristics.

In recent years, colored gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds – and even colored diamonds – have been attracting much attention. That extra touch of dramatic color to a piece of jewelry is now seen as highly desirable.

Chalk emeraldOf course, diamonds are still considered to be “a girl’s best friend” and the demand for large, good quality diamonds with that touch of “oomph” is increasing. Jewelers around the country have been receiving requests for super-sized diamonds – largely as a result of the huge rocks worn by celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston.

millenium_starIn this environment, it is important to be able to assess the quality of a stone and its setting. Ultimately, it is the quality of the stone together with the setting and the metal that determines the value of any piece of jewelry.

Of course, that may be secondary to the fact that you like a particular piece of jewelry. There can be no substitute for a ring, necklace, pendant, or some other piece of jewelry that has romantic or other associations. Whether it is a family heirloom handed down from a close relative, a gift from a loved one or simply the first piece of jewelry you bought for yourself. Even if you can’t put a value on these memories and associations, you can still put a value on the piece itself. This can only enhance the memory and its value to you.

Here on the pages of this website you will find an alphabetical list of the most important gemstones and precious stones, together with background information on each gemstone – name, colors, mineral origins and any meanings or associations that are connected with each stone. We also provide a list of birth stones – the stones associated with each birthday – and with each Zodiac sign. All of this is brought together on our Birthstones Chart.




Antique and Vintage Rings: Art Deco Rings and Jewelry: Origins, Styles and Influences

Whilst other Antique and Vintage periods of jewellery can be defined specifically to dates during which a monarch reigned – eg. Victorian and Edwardian – the commencement of the Art Deco period is less able to be specified, since the movement was influenced by a wide range of designers, architects and other creative people.


Continue reading Antique and Vintage Rings: Art Deco Rings and Jewelry: Origins, Styles and Influences

Wow your girlfriend with a ring on a budget

If money is no object, then choosing any kind of ring – and especially an  engagement ring – is usually no problem.

Most of us, however, have to work to a budget.  This doesn’t mean just opting for a cheap ring; it means that you should choose carefully.  If you’re set on buying a diamond then our article “How to choose a diamond ring” will give you some helpful tips on how to select a great ring.

If you’re wanting to surprise your girlfriend with a great ring, but are a bit short of cash, then there are ways of making your budget go as far as possible. There are ways that will allow you to ‘wow your girlfriend with a ring on a budget”.

– a number of stones costs less than a single stone with the same overall weight;

– a cluster of small stones looks bigger than a single stone;

– the setting can enhance the overall presentation;

– the shape of the stone is important in creating the right impression;

– the cost of the metal in the band can add significantly to the cost;

– it doesn’t have to be a diamond…. 

For  more information on these … 

Choosing a ring where the diamond (or gemstone) looks larger than it is

Alternatives to buying a diamond ………… more



How to Choose an Affordable Engagement Ring

A guide on how to choose affordable engagement rings for women.

Diamond engagement ringChoosing an engagement ring can feel like a daunting task – especially if you want to surprise your girlfriend with a ring that’s so special, she’ll just have to say “Yes!” 

However, it is not necessarily so. Choosing an engagement ring – even without your girlfriend knowing what you’re planning – can be a relatively straightforward process as long as you follow a few simple guidelines.

These rules apply no matter whether you’re working to a budget and looking for an affordable engagement ring, or where money is no problem, whether the ring is a diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire, aquamarine, amethyst, topaz, or any other gemstone from which you may choose. So just follow these guidelines for choosing an affordable engagement ring and you will be fine!

Most guys hate shopping for anything, let alone something as important as an engagement ring. With so many things to think about: the style, the stone, the metal , the quality, the price ……it can be enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. However, since you’ve already decided that you want to marry your girl, let’s look at the ways to make the ring buying process as painless – and ideally, as enjoyable as possible for you.

Buying a ring online from an online jewelry store can be an excellent way to find that special ring. It gives you the ability to browse a wide range of jewelry options – and do it in the comfort of your own home, without feeling under pressure to buy, until you’ve found the perfect ring…. the one that feels right for you.

Another benefit of shopping for jewelry online is that many websites sell rings at much lower prices than shopping mall and other retail jewellers; their overheads are much lower and therefore some of these savings can be passed over to you.

However, before you settle down to check out some jewelry websites, let’s look at some of the things you’ll need to know beforehand:

1. What type of ring will you’re girlfriend like?

If you’re going to surprise your loved one with a ring that you have chosen, you had better do your homework to discover the type of ring that she would choose for herself.

You need to observe and check out the following:

What style of jewelry does she tend to wear? (eg. does she favor gold or silver metal jewelry? Does she like modern designs or antique styles or maybe jewelry that’s a little unusual? Does she wear any jewelry with gemstones and if so, what color are they? Are the rings she currently wears simple slim bands or chunky in design? Has she ever made any comments about a friend’s engagement ring that can give you a clue as to what she really likes?

Checking this info out with your girl’s mother or best friend can be a good plan of action – as long as they can be trusted to keep your secret.

2. Your girlfriend’s ring size

Again, your girl’s mother or best friend may be able to help out here. However, if this is not an option – or they don’t know, then read our other article “How to find out your girlfriend’s ring size” for some helpful tips on the different ways you can discover this.

3. How much to pay for a ring?

Recommendations on this point vary tremendously, with figures ranging from allocating anything from 3 week’s to 3 month’s salary on buying an engagement ring. Three month’s salary may be fine for those flush with cash, but for many guys, finding that special ring without bankrupting yourself in the process is an important fact to take into consideration. If your budget is a little limited, there are some ring styles you can buy that look impressive, but are less expensive than some others. (Our article: “How to wow your girlfriend with a ring, without going bankrupt” will give you ideas on how to make the most of your budget.

However, when money is no object, then choosing an engagement ring is usually less of a problem – once you’ve figured out the type of ring your loved one will like.

Most of us, however, have to work to a budget. This doesn’t mean scanning the web for cheap (and possibly substandard) rings. It means that you should choose carefully. If you’re set on buying a diamond then our article “How to choose a diamond ring” will also give you some helpful tips on how to select a great ring.

Ruby Gemstone Rings – Choosing Your Ruby Ring

How to choose your ruby ring; how do you assess the quality of a ruby ring?

Vintage 1990 1.60 ct Ruby and Diamond Engagement RingRubies are very much in vogue nowadays; demand for rubies-along with diamonds –  is one of the top trends in rings and there has been increasing demand for ruby rings for the past few years. This is understandable. Rubies are one of the 4 major gemstones and a premium ruby ring can often put some of the larger diamonds to shame. 

The question is how do you detect the quality of a ruby ring; how do you assess the quality of the stone and the setting? How do you choose the one ruby ring that is right for you? 

First of all the stone itself. Continue reading Ruby Gemstone Rings – Choosing Your Ruby Ring

Birthstones by month: which data to believe

blue sapphire ring set in white goldWith so many lists of gemstones by month and so many birthstone lists – many of them with contradictory information – it’s not surprising that many of us get confused as to which ones are correct.  Well, quite simply – they are all correct in one way or another.  

The history of birthstones goes back many years to various points in history – and to different cultures. In ancient times, gemstones were ascribed specific qualities that related to beliefs about health, healing, astronomy and astrology.  Some of these cultures include: Hindu, Hebrew, Roman, Arabic, Polish and European pagan civilisations – all with different beliefs about the qualities and meanings of the different gemstones that they were familiar with.  As a result, we now have an abundance of information about many of the gemstones currently used for jewelry today – much of which is paradoxical .

In the early part of the last century, an attempt to produce an official list of birthstones by month was made by the American Gem Trade Association – in 1912 to be precise. This list has now become known as the “Modern” gemstone list to differentiate it from all the previous ones. 

However, the rationale that the American Gem Trade Association used for designating a gemstone for each month is unclear – and if anything has only served to confuse people even further.  The more cynical gemstone experts consider that the “Modern” list was constructed purely in order to promote certain gemstones on a commercial basis and bears no relationship to any of the underlying belief systems, customs or traditions of the different ancient cultures. Continue reading Birthstones by month: which data to believe

Edwardian Rings – The Edwardian Age 1901-1920

Edwardian ringsAlthough the reign of King Edward Vll ended upon his death in 1910, this was not the end of the Edwardian period for jewelry – or for other style products. In design terms, the Edwardian period continued right through to 1920, when the Art Deco Style began.

In the Edwardian period, advances in technology allowed Platinum to be used in jewelry for the first time.  The introduction of the oxyacetylene torch, which was capable of producing the high temperatures needed to work with this new metal, opened up new opportunities for jewellers.  After the Victorian years, when yellow gold was the prime metal, the whiteness and lustre of platinum soon found favour and this new metal became a popular metal of choice – particularly since it enhanced the color and sparkle of diamonds that were also increasing in popularity.

The strength of platinum meant that less metal needed to be used in the setting. This enabled a more elegant style of ring to be produced.  Jewellers took the flowery styles of the Victorian era and re-defined them so that the diamonds and other gemstones, such as sapphires, took centre stage with settings becoming less visible. Continue reading Edwardian Rings – The Edwardian Age 1901-1920

Sapphire Gemstone Rings – symbolising love, longing, loyalty

The Sapphire gemstone symbolises love, longing and loyalty.

Overstock - princess Diana ring - white gold, sapphire, diamondAlthough we can describe the Sapphire as an example of the mineral corundum, it is more sensible to describe the sapphire in terms of the feelings it generates: love, longing and loyalty. 

In practical terms, Sapphire is the mineral corundum – as is the ruby. This mineral is the second hardest gemstone after the diamond: red corundum is known as ruby, while all other colors are referred to as Sapphire. 

Blue is the most famous of the sapphire colors and the prized Kashmir and Burmese sapphires have a deep blue that is intense and velvety.

However, these sapphires are not often seen on the market today. Sri Lankan and Madagascar sapphires are the most common today, with a wide range of colors from light sky blue to dark blue. Other producers of blue sapphire are Australia, Tanzania, Thailand, Cambodia, and the USA (Montana). Continue reading Sapphire Gemstone Rings – symbolising love, longing, loyalty

A Royal History of Ruby Rings

Rubies, particularly ruby rings, have been a popular choice for jewelry for  members of the British Royal Family for several hundred years.

For example, Queen Victoria was given a ruby ring at the time of her marriage to Prince Albert, by her half sister Feodora, Princess Hohenlohe-Langenburg. The ring has two overlapping pear shaped gemstones with a ruby and diamond tiara setting above the stones – see right.

Many years later, a similar style of ruby and diamond ring was given by Charles Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother, to his first wife Victoria Lockwood – see below left.

Another beautiful Victorian diamond and ruby ring was given to HRH the Duchess of York (who later became Queen Mary) as a wedding gift from her father-in-law, the Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward Vii). The ring is a Marquise shaped diamond with rubies set in platinum and gold.

A ruby engagement ring was also the choice of gemstone for another Duchess of York – Sarah Ferguson, who became engaged to Prince Andrew later

The ruby ring has similarities to that of another royal ruby engagement ring, that of HRH Princess Margaret, the Queen of England’s late siste, rin that both rings have a central ruby stone surrounded by diamonds

HRH Princess Margaret’s Ruby and Diamond Engagement ring was designed by her husband, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowden. The ring, comprising a central ruby surrounded by diamonds, was set in the shape of a rose, because Princess Margaret’s second name was Rose.

See a more in-depth article on Rubies and Royalty; Click Here.

Antique and Vintage Rings – Victorian Rings: 1837-1900

victorianA review of Antique and Vintage Rings. The Victorian period: 1837-1900

The Victorian age, from the start of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1837, has become one of the most popular eras for those wanting an antique or vintage ring. The range of engagement rings, weddings rings, anniversary rings and other, special occasion rings available from this period demonstrates the jeweler’s art of combining beautiful gemstones with romantic settings. Never has Victorian jewelry – and Victorian Rings – been more popular.

Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 through to 1901, brought about a long period of prosperity in Britain. A combination of a high level of trade across the whole British Empire together with and the Industrial Revolution led to a rising affluent middle class. These were people who were eager to spend their new -found wealth – and some of it on expensive jewelry. Continue reading Antique and Vintage Rings – Victorian Rings: 1837-1900

Popular Ring Settings

There are several ways of setting a gemstone into a ring; the main purpose of a ring setting is to hold the gemstone securely. However, the setting is also designed  to allow the light to show off the stone to maximum effect: the light will reflect off the stone and refraction will allow light to pass through the stone. 

Which is then right setting?  There is really no right or wrong to this question. The setting is very much a case of personal preference.

Here is a selection of the most popular ring settings:

Prong setting:


Bar setting:


Bezel setting:


Tension setting:



Flush setting:


Channel setting:



Pave setting:


Cluster setting:


Ballerina Setting:


For more information see Choosing Your Ring: Popular Ring Settings 


Choosing your diamond ring

Choosing your diamond ring

1950 Vintage 1.60 ctw Diamond RingAlthough there may be a number of reasons for buying a Diamond Ring, the most common  reason is as an engagement ring.

As such, buying a diamond engagement ring is therefore part of a much bigger decision in your life – one that goes well beyond the choice of jewelry.  You have found the love of your life; you are making a commitment for the rest of your life; you have a wedding to plan. Choosing your diamond engagement ring is only the first of the decisions you will have to make as a couple.

Choosing the perfect engagement ring – a diamond ring – is not as difficult as it may appear …. as long as you follow some basic steps. Below, you can discover the things you need to take into account in “how to buy an engagement ring” – the diamond basics so to speak. We give you a simple checklist of the steps to follow together with links to other pages where you can expand your knowledge.

Do your Homework: usually unpleasant advice but essential here; look around, see what is available out there; get a feel for what you (both) like and don’t like.

Budget: work out how much you can afford to spend: determine your budget and try to stick to it. Don’t be persuaded to spend just because you can get a “great deal”. And if you are working to a very limited budget, see our article on “How to WOW your girlfriend without going bankrupt“.

The stone: when it comes to the stone itself, it all comes down to the four C’s. These are the 4 factors that jewelers take into account themselves, when assessing a diamond gemstone.

Color: do you want a white diamond or a colored diamond? Traditionally, white diamonds were seen as the only option. In recent years there has been a trend towards colored diamonds.

Carat: diamond size is measured by weight in carats: the larger the number of carrats (abbreviated to ct.) the more expensive the diamond. 

Cut (and shape): the cut determines how well the diamond reflects light to shows its brilliance. The cut is the outline or shape of the diamond and the way the facets are arranged. Shapes range from round to hearts, pears, emerald and more -see below. 

Clarity: most diamonds have tiny flaws (inclusions) invisible to the naked eye; these give each diamond its own uniqueness. You do not want inclusions to be visible to the naked eye, nor should they be so excessive that they affect the diamond’s brilliance or durability.

Shape: although this is often used interchangeably with “cut” they are not the same. Cut refers to the proportions and symmetry. Shape, on the other hand, refers to the actual shape or contour of the diamond. There are 8 popular shapes: round (also called brilliant cut), Princess cut, Emerald cut, Asscher cut, Marquise cut, Radiant cut, Pear cut, and Heart cut. 

Setting: this includes any accent stones and the way the stone is fixed on the band – in fact everything except the center diamond itself. For more information on settings ….

The band: often considered as part of the “setting”. You will have a choice of metals and styles. Most diamond rings are set in either gold (yellow, white, etc) or platinum.

Get to understand what these terms mean and look at different diamond rings. Decide which ones you like … and remember, you are choosing an engagement ring that will be with you for many years to come. 

Diamonds remain the most precious of all gemstones; a diamond represents love, commitment, and endurance—three aspects of every successful relationship. To find the perfect diamond engagement ring for you and your loved one, take into account the tips on choosing a diamond ring above and you won’t go far wrong. 

For more information and help, see our page on How to Choose a Damond Ring.




Selecting Shapes and Cuts

Buying an engagement ring can be an exciting, but often confusing activity.  Even when you’ve made the decision to go for a specific type of gemstone, there’s still the question of which cut and shape.

The way that a gemstone is cut will make all the difference to the amount and quality of light that is reflected.   There are many different types of cuts but quite simply each cut uses a geometric balancing of small, smooth and polished surface areas (known as facets) that are cut and positioned at different angles to allow the light to bounce off the facets.  The amount of sparkle or lustre coming from a gemstone will be determined by the type of cut and the quality of cut – as well as by the clarity of the stone itself.

A jewelry cutter will look at a gemstone and any imperfections it may have and decide on the best way of cutting the stone to get the most out of it.  Each cut gemstone is created by a jeweler using one of 5 main cutting techniques.  These are:  Brilliant, Step , Mixed, Fancy and Cabochon.

Brilliant Cuts:

These cuts are primarily used for diamonds and other clear gemstones.  There are many variations of the brilliant cut  The single brilliant cut has 17-18 facets, whereas the full cut round brilliant has 58 facets.  Brilliant cuts are used for a number of gemstone shapes, such as the popular round solitaire, the oval, the pear and the marquise.

Step Cuts:

Colored gemstones commonly have this cut because it helps to enhance their colors.  The cut is used for four sided shaped stones such as the Emerald Cut – a cut that is rectangular in shape.  The Step cut has similarities to a staircase – hence its name.

Mixed Cuts:

Using a combination of step cuts and brilliant cuts, these mixed cuts are found with oval and pear shapes as well as the popular cushion cut.

Fancy Cuts:

These cuts allow the cutter to shape the natural stone in such a way that they eliminate imperfections whilst retaining as much of the stone’s carat weight as possible.  Fancy cuts use a combination of cuts to create shapes such as The Princess Cut, The Heart Cut and the Trilliant Cut.

Cabochon Cuts:

Derived from the French “Caboche”, meaning a “small dome”, the Cabochon cut does not have any cut facets but is simply cut into a dome like shape and polished.  It is commonly used for stones like opals and other stones that do not benefit from cutting into facets.

The above cuts are used to produce a wide range of gemstone shapes and styles of rings – all with varying degrees of brilliance, sparkle, glow and lustre.

The eventual shape and style of the stone is determined by the cutter’s assessment of how the raw stone can be cut to minimise any flaws whilst retaining maximum carat weight.

The Gemstone Shapes and Styles:


People often have strong views about the shape of gemstone that they like and it is important to do your research to understand the type your girlfriend may prefer.  When buying a ring as important as an engagement ring or promise ring, it’s advisable to check out your loved one’s current jewelry to see if she has any preference for specific shapes – or have a discreet word with her mother or close friend to see if they can find out for you.

To help you get a better understanding of the range of shapes and cuts that your girlfriend may like, here is a brief overview with pictures to illustrate the differences:

Round Cut Stone:

A round, brilliant cut diamond creates great sparkle and is one of the most popular shapes for a solitaire ring.  Look for a “Full Cut Round Brilliant” if you want the maximum amount of brilliance – and make sure that it also has a good Clarity and Color grading.

Princess Cut Stone:

This is another favorite for many girl’s engagement rings.  The princess has a square shape with pointed corners that reflects light beautifully – well, like a princess, you could say.  So, a princess cut engagement ring for your princess may be the perfect choice.

Emerald Cut:

An elegantly cut rectangular shape with truncated corners and facets cut around the outside to reflect light.  The shape is great for emeralds as well as many other gemstones.  However, because it has a large flat surface, it is essential to have a stone with good clarity, or it will look dull.

The Asscher:

The Asscher is becoming an increasingly popular cut.  It has similarities to the Emerald Cut, except the Asscher Cut is square and not rectangular.  An almost octagonal outline help to enhance the brilliance of this special stone.  The famous 33.19 carat Krupp Diamond that Richard Burton bought Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960’s, is an Asscher cut diamond.

The Radiant

Similar to the Princess Cut, the Radiant has trimmed corners that enables it to reflect even more light – hence it’s name.  The Radiant is not found as often as the Princess Cut and can be more expensive.

The Cushion Cut

Also known as “The Pillow Cut”, this is a four sided deep square or rectangle stone with rounded corners and large facets that reflect high levels of light.  It is  one of the most sparkling of the diamond cuts.   A much loved cut that has been around for a long time.  It is often seen in original antique and antique style rings.

The Oval

The advantage of the Oval cut is that it can create an optical illusion of size and make it look larger than it is.  The Oval is a good choice for those on a tight budget who cannot afford a large diamond.  For example, an Oval will look larger than a Round cut stone of the same weight.  The Oval is also a good shape for women wanting to make their hands look longer and slimmer.  Oval stones can be step cut or fancy cut and are an excellent choice for someone wanting a solitaire ring, but with a bit of a difference from the traditional round shape.

The Marquise Cut

The Marquise provides the illusion of increased size, in a similar way to the Oval.  A pretty shape, it will also enhance the length of the wearer’s hands.  The Marquise cut is attributed to King Louis XV of France, who commissioned a ring in the shape of his mistress, Madame de Pompadour.

The Pear Cut

Also known as the “Tear Drop”, the Pear Cut is ideal for someone who wants a ring that’s a little more unusual than a round solitaire.  A classic Pear Cut has a combination of the Round Brilliant and the Marquise Cut and a length to width ratio of 1.5:1.  Because of elongated cut, it has the ability to look larger than it is and provide a hand slimming effect.

The Heart Cut

If you’re looking for a romantic way to show how much you love you girl, then what better way than to give her a Heart Cut ring.  The Heart is a pear shape with an indent at the top and should be perfectly symmetrical.  Containing 59 polished facets this romantic and sparkly ring is a popular shape for an Anniversary or Valentine’s Day gift, as well as for engagement rings.  The Heart Cut is used for both diamonds and gemstones but looks even more romantic when cut from pink diamonds or pink sapphires.

The Trilliant:

The triangular shape gemstone is a wedge of fire that can produce nearly as much light and sparkle as a round brilliant cut stone.  Commonly held in place by a simple prong setting, the Trilliant is an excellent choice for someone who wants a ring that’s a little bit different.  Trilliants can be found in diamonds as well as a range of colored gemstones.

The Rose Cut:

This is a cut that is rarely found other than with antique and antique style rings.  Dating back to the 16th century, this cut went out of fashion during the early 1900’s due to its lack of brilliance.  However, due to an increase in demand for vintage jewelry, these rose cut rings are currently experiencing a renaissance.

How to find out your girlfriend’s ring size

One of the problems facing any man choosing an engagement ring, a promise ring – or indeed any ring designed to show his love and commitment – is discovering what size to buy. It’s OK knowing that the average ring size is 6 but is this good enough? Of course not. In a situation like this it is important to make sure that the ring is the right size!

Rings with Love - Gemstones - Garnet - Double Heart Garnet Ring Rings with Love - Gemstones - Amethyst - Infinity Twist Band - 14k Rose Gold with Amethyst White Gold Diamond Promise Rings - 14k White Gold Diamond Promise Ring

Finding out your girlfriend’s ring size, if you’re trying to keep your proposal a surprise, requires a certain amount of ingenuity – and sometimes the help of her mother or a friend. Here are some ideas:

  • If she already wears a ring on one of her ring fingers and takes it off at night, then this may give you (or her mother or friend) the opportunity to quickly figure out the size. This you can do either by:
    • pressing it into a small bar of soft soap to leave an imprint
    • tracing a line round the inside of the ring onto a piece of paper, or
    • pushing the ring down onto one of your fingers, as far as it will go and making a small pen mark at the point where it stops – then measure round your finger to determine her ring size. (Note: If you’re using the soap trick then do remember to wipe any traces of soap off the ring before you put it back)
  • Check out her jewelry box for a ring you can borrow or take a tracing, as described above.
    Where possible take one that you know she wears on her ring finger, in case you take one that she wears on a different size finger – or is one that doesn’t fit her any more.
  • Take a piece of string when she’s asleep and gently wind it once round her finger. Make sure that the string is not wound round too tight and that it can be moved gently over her knuckle. Take hold of it at the point where it meets the end of the string and then gently remove the string from her finger, whilst keeping hold of the meeting point. Make a pen mark or cut the string length at this point. Measure the short piece of string to figure out her ring size. This trick can be difficult to achieve if she’s a light sleeper. Plus the sizing may not always be totally accurate. However, it can provide a guideline.
  • This next trick is a good way of checking whether your string measurement was correct. Buy an inexpensive but pretty costume jewelry ring in the size of your measurement. If however, you haven’t been able to do the string trick, then aim to buy a costume ring that is a size 6 – since this is the average ring size for a girl (or, if you suspect that her fingers are larger than the average girl, get a larger size) Next, pretend that you’ve either a) found it lying in the street b) won it in a competition, or c)say that your friend bought it as a present for his girlfriend but it doesn’t fit her. Offer the ring to your girlfriend. Hopefully, she’ll like it enough to try it on and you can see how well it fits her finger. This trick can also be a good way to check out her taste in jewelry – for example: try and get a costume ring in a similar style to the one you are thinking of buying her as an engagement ring.
  • Get help from your girlfriend’s mother or a good friend, who can keep a secret. Ask them to include a window shopping trip to a jeweller and try on some rings, the next time they go shopping with your girl friend. This is a good way to discover not just the ring size but your girlfriend’s preference for ring styles as well.
  • If all else fails, you will either have to:
    • guess the size and have the ring re-sized if you get it wrong (so make sure when you buy the ring that it can be re-sized – bearing in mind that the average size is 6); or
    • let your girlfriend in on part of the secret by suggesting that she try on some rings whilst you are out shopping one day. Now she’ll probably guess what you’re planning but won’t know when or where. However, at least this way, you’ll know her exact ring size and have a better idea about her likes and dislikes. Plus, by her reaction to the jewelry trip, you’ll get a good idea as to whether she’s likely to accept your eventual marriage proposal.

The ring sizing chart below gives you the diameter of each ring size and the corresponding code letter for each size. Use this to help you determine your girlfriend’s ring size, once you have managed to obtain a tracing from one of her rings, or you have one of her rings to compare.

Good Luck !