How To Successfully Purchase An Engagement Ring


Cape Town is not only the number one place for a memorable proposal but also the best place to purchase an engagement ring and provides the ultimate backdrop for popping the question. With endless romantic locations in South Africa, getting engaged is bound to be the most memorable experience. Cape Diamonds is here to make it a seamless process. We’re able to source almost any diamond you desire at the most competitive price.

Maintain The Element Of Surprise

When it comes to purchasing an engagement ring for your partner, maintaining the element of surprise is always best.

You want to make sure she receives the ring of her dreams – and with a few simple tips, we’ll help you make it happen. 


If you’ve decided you want to shop together but would like to keep your budget a secret, you’re more than welcome to email or message us in confidence before you come in for an appointment.

Have you heard of

Check to see if she has a Pinterest account for some helpful clues on the style of diamond rings she likes! Pay careful attention to any hints or tips she may be dropping regarding what she’d like “if she ever got engaged”. Take notes. This will help you prepare for when you decide to pop the question! 

Ask her (reliable) friends for any pointers!

It might be a good idea to get advice from your partner’s closest friends. They may have some good insight on what engagement ring you should be looking at.



Diamond grading works with four Cs

When choosing a diamond, some key tips will make it a lot easier and ensure you invest wisely. The “four C’s” are here to save the day. Diamond grading works with four Cs – Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Colour. These categories are very important and the price of a diamond is affected by these classifications.

It’s helpful to remember that most diamonds will contain some form of impurity relating to at least one of the four Cs. Flawless diamonds of course contain no impurities at all but are much more expensive. 

Cape diamonds recommends ‘eye-clean’ diamonds, which means there are no diamond impurities visible but are more affordable than internally flawless diamonds. 

Click here to read more about The Four Cs of Diamonds.


GIA Certified Diamonds

A diamond sized 0.30 ct and upwards will come with a GIA certificate. GIA stands for the Gemological Institute of America.

It is a non-profit organisation that was founded in 1931 to ensure every diamond is documented and graded according to its cut, clarity, colour, and carat weight.

Cape Diamonds sells GIA certified diamonds that come with a certificate for you to keep.

This will assist you for insurance purposes as well as its resale ability. The diamond will have a microscopic code printed on it which will help you verify your diamond when needed. 


Getting Her Ring Size Correct

One of the most important parts of purchasing an engagement ring for the love of your life is getting her ring size correct! Luckily, rings can be sized (within reason) by stretching the metal shank slightly or cutting a small piece out and then rejoining the band to make it smaller.

Unfortunately, if the ring size is more than 5 sizes too big (or small) then the ring may have to be remade. This could result in additional delays, so consider the next point if you are not one-hundred percent sure. When finding out her ring size, it’s most accurate if you sneakily measure one of her rings (that fits her wedding finger) on a cone-shaped ring-sizer at a jeweller. This will give you a letter that corresponds to her finger size. The average woman’s finger is size “L” with size “Q” being an extra-large size and “G” being one of the smallest.  


Ring Size Adjustments

Cape Diamonds has manufactured over 10 0000 rings to date and seen more hands than you can imagine. We realise that a ring measurement may be slightly off, and therefore offer you one free ring resizing after your initial purchase. Measuring a ring with a ruler is not recommended as the measurement can often end up being distorted. We are measuring to the closest 0.1 mm per size and not to the closest millimeter. We do our best to get the size perfect the first time.

If you and your partner shop together, a Cape Diamonds consultant can get the ring size measured when you visit to discuss the design and choice of diamond. The chosen ring size might be adjusted for a split band or very wide ring but the jeweller will advise you on this. 


Engagement Ring Designs

The design of the engagement ring can be very daunting when you don’t know where to begin.

In this case, it’s always a great idea to keep it simple and wearable. After all, she’ll be wearing it for the rest of her life. Remember, this is not an “occasional” ring. If she hasn’t dropped very specific hints, it would be best to go for a classic ring style.

The Cape Diamonds website has an entire range of engagement ring options available for you to view online. The different styles are numbered for easy reference. 

Small, personal detail on the side of the ring is a great idea.

See Cape Diamond’s classic Fynbos engagement rings.

Our manufacturers can make almost any design work within your budget by exchanging the quality of the stones and type of precious metal used. Natural diamonds and gemstones are a superb emotional and financial investment due to their rarity. 



Moissanites have become very popular as they are man-made silicone and very affordable.

They will not have much resale value as the price decreases every year but they are visually pleasing because they sparkle just as much as diamonds. Some jewellers are calling them eco-friendly alternatives to natural diamonds.

We suggest that if you purchase a moissanite ring, you should consider using authentic, small diamonds on the side of the band as it will not affect the price hugely and you will be able to keep the existing ring should you choose to swap the central feature moissanite for a natural gemstone or diamond at a later stage. 

Natural vs. Man-made

Man-made sapphires were almost as valuable as natural earth-made sapphires in the 1970s as the technology used to produce man-made gemstones was new and expensive.

Now, many years later, a man-made 1ct top-quality sapphire will cost you under 10 USD,  while the natural stone could be worth up to 10 000 USD.

Similarly, the price of man-made diamonds is dropping every year as technology to manufacture man-made diamonds improves. 

Make Sure The Ring’s Weight is Evenly Balanced.

The Engagement Ring & Wedding Band Fit Together

Consider how you want the engagement ring and wedding band to fit together. If you want the rings to sit flush (band to band), the shape of the two rings needs to complement each other. In other words, if you are going to make both bands the same height, the diamond setting needs to allow space for the wedding band to sit perfectly next to it. There are some very interesting ways in which the engagement ring and wedding band can be made to fit together and fit flush. Here, research is key. Our Fynbos collection has been designed especially to fit a wedding band. See the image below.


Incorporate Side-stones

Many of Cape Diamonds’ ring styles incorporate beautiful side-stones. We only use high-quality small diamonds that contain 56 facets and are colour D-G and clarity Vs – Si. Beware of purchasing small diamonds elsewhere as they may contain fewer facets (called 8-cuts) or may be of low quality. Some large chain stores sell these diamonds with zero resale value and little lustre as soon as they’re exposed to a bit of dirt. This is because they do not reflect light the same way a 56-faceted diamond would, and you can actually see the dust or dirt under the stones. 

Eight-cuts may look great in a shop with dazzling lights but in less than a week they’re bound to look dull. Additionally, the wayside stones are set in a diamond ring is very important. The metal claws should never overpower the side stones. 

Imitation Gemstones

Be careful of getting scammed by advertisements claiming that you are purchasing a gold diamond ring but, in fact, it’s only gold-plated and that only one diamond is genuine and the rest are imitation gemstones.

Different metals contain different properties that affect the ring’s overall durability. For example, a ring made of white gold (although very beautiful) will require regular maintenance to keep its colour and shine. Platinum metal is the hardest and most durable metal and will require the least amount of maintenance as an engagement ring. Gold and platinum are both substantial financial investments. Platinum also makes the diamond appear whiter which lends itself to be the perfect metal for an engagement ring.

Aesthetics vs. Durability

Any diamond ring buyer should think about the ring’s aesthetics vs. its durability. It’s not a good idea to choose a beautiful ring design that won’t last. Cape Diamonds will always advise you on what works best regarding the outcome you desire. A diamond may look very beautiful in a revealing setting, but if there’s a high risk of a diamond falling out, we will advise you on how best to go about it without risking the longevity of the diamond.




Joel Graham, the owner of Cape Diamonds has created a trademarked ring called the Soul Diamond Ring that is durable but showcases the diamond through effective metal and setting techniques.

When purchasing an engagement ring, you should make sure the diamond ring suits her general taste in jewellery. Look at the other jewellery she owns.

    • What colour metal does she wear most regularly?
    • Is it rose gold, yellow gold, or platinum?

Try and match the metal of your engagement ring to her other regularly worn jewellery.


Metal Thickness

Let’s talk about the metal thickness and width of an engagement ring. Metal thickness can play an integral part in the overall look of an engagement ring. The advice given by Joel Graham is that both the thickness and width of any ring shouldn’t measure less than 1.7mm at any point if you want the ring to last. Claw thickness should not be less than 1.00 mm for a 1ct gemstone.


Some rings are made too thin which will buckle and bend with the stones potentially falling out. Rings that are hollow or have a hollow gap beneath the setting collect moisture and dirt which can lead to irritation on the skin. 

Natural Gemstone Engagement Rings

Cape Diamonds also offers a wide selection of natural gemstone engagement rings.

Gemstones can be extremely alluring and beautiful alongside diamonds, or even on their own in an engagement ring. A useful tip regarding gemstone rings is how the type of metal and colour of the gemstone will look together.  For example, certain morganite gemstones come to life when paired with rose gold metal. 

Ring Engraving

If you would like a special engraving on the wedding ring, it’s best to plan or allow for a bit of extra time in the ring manufacturing process. Cape Diamonds can organise your ring to be engraved using any existing Microsoft Word font. There will, however, be an extra fee as the engraving is professionally outsourced to Cape Diamonds’ preferred engraving specialist. 




Cape Diamonds prides itself on their ability to exceed their customers’ expectations. Please let us know how we can assist you.