At McGuire Diamonds, we understand that the search for the perfect engagement ring is a journey filled with personal significance and style. Even the most non-conventional couples find themselves captivated by the allure of finding that dream ring. In today's world, where certain traditions have gracefully bowed out, the engagement ring remains a timeless emblem of love and commitment.
What is the “best” engagement ring? It's not just about trend or tradition; it's about finding a ring that genuinely reflects your individuality and speaks to your soul. It's the ring you've always imagined, perhaps even before you found your partner. Whether it's a classic design with a solitaire diamond set on a lustrous gold band, a contemporary twist on traditional cuts like emerald, princess, marquise, or cushion, a timeless three-stone, a ring that doubles as a wedding band, or something entirely unique and unconventional, McGuire Diamonds offers a diverse collection to suit every taste and budget.
A brief history of engagement rings reveals its rich and varied past. The tradition traces back to 1477 with Archduke Maximillian of Austria and his diamond ring for Mary of Burgundy. This set a trend amongst European nobility, though diamond rings were a rarity for most until the Victorian era when a growing middle class could indulge in such luxuries. Alternatives like paste diamonds were popular for those who couldn't afford real diamonds.
Historical engagement rings were made from the finest materials, each with its own story. From Napoleon’s toi et moi ring for Empress Josephine, to Queen Victoria's unconventional snake ring, Audrey Hepburn's studded bands, Jackie Kennedy's iconic emerald, and Lady Diana Spencer’s renowned sapphire and diamond ring, these pieces underscore the fact that there is no singular “best” engagement ring.
So, how much should you spend on an engagement ring? Forget the old fashioned rule of three months' wages, a concept from The Great Depression era to boost diamond sales. At McGuire Diamonds, we advise that your budget should be a reflection of your personal financial situation and the value you place on this significant token of your relationship.
The best engagement ring is one that perfectly embodies your relationship's unique story. Whether it’s a classic diamond, a ring with a modern flair, a piece inspired by vintage elegance, a bespoke creation, or something as individual as you, McGuire Diamonds ensures your choice will be as enduring and beautiful as the love it celebrates.
In 2024, the trend in engagement rings is all about making a personal statement. At McGuire Diamonds, we're seeing an exciting shift towards customisation and unique expression in ring design. This year, expect to see a surge in vibrant gemstones, custom-designed arrangements, and the charming addition of secret inscriptions within wedding bands. Dive into the most captivating engagement ring trends of 2024 with us, where your personal love story inspires the design of your ring.
For those who cherish timeless elegance, certain engagement ring designs have proven their enduring appeal at McGuire Diamonds. These rings are the epitome of classic beauty, featuring clean, sleek lines and solitaire settings that highlight the majestic sparkle of the brilliant cut diamond. These rings are designed to let the diamond shine as the undeniable centrepiece, a nod to traditional sophistication that never goes out of style.
The trilogy ring, a standout trend from 2023, is anticipated to maintain its allure well into 2024 at McGuire Diamonds. This design, featuring a harmonious trio of stones set along the band, has long been a favoured choice for proposals. Renowned for their symbolic representation of a couple's past, present, and future, trilogy rings are a perfect blend of sentimentality and tradition. Trilogy rings have consistently been a top pick for engagements, offering a meaningful emblem of a couple’s journey together. These rings are an ideal choice for those seeking a design that combines deep symbolism with a touch of time-honoured elegance.
The rise of lab-grown diamonds marks a significant shift in the jewellery industry, especially at McGuire Diamonds. Over recent years, these ethically sourced, high-quality alternatives to traditionally mined diamonds have gained considerable momentum. Their popularity in wedding jewellery, particularly engagement rings, is a testament to their appeal. Lab-grown diamonds provide the same exquisite beauty as natural ones, but with the added advantage of being a more sustainable and ethical choice. This growing trend is a reflection of modern values, aligning beautifully with the desires of environmentally conscious couples.
Without a doubt, the round-cut diamond stands as the most beloved and timeless diamond cut in the history of fine jewellery. First introduced in the 17th century, this iconic shape has become synonymous with the luxury and allure of diamonds. At McGuire Diamonds, we celebrate the enduring sophistication and elegance of the round-cut diamond. Its classic beauty ensures that it remains a sought-after choice, not just for engagement rings, but also for earrings, bracelets, and other fine jewellery pieces. Choosing a round-cut diamond means selecting a style that has stood the test of time, a style that promises to remain in vogue for decades to come. Whether you're making a statement with a stunning engagement ring or adding a touch of elegance with a new bracelet, the round-cut diamond is a choice that transcends fleeting trends, offering everlasting charm and grace.
In recent years, the oval diamond has emerged as a newly celebrated shape among the array of popular stone cuts. While oval diamonds have always been admired for their traditional and elegant appearance, they have experienced a notable surge in popularity. At McGuire Diamonds, we've observed this growing preference for oval-cut stones, which offer a unique blend of classic charm and contemporary appeal. One of the standout features of oval-cut diamonds is their generous surface area. Compared to round stones of a similar carat weight, oval diamonds often appear larger, making them a striking choice for those seeking a substantial presence. Additionally, their elongated shape has the delightful effect of lengthening the appearance of the finger, lending an overall sense of luxury and grace to the hand. The appeal of oval diamonds has been further heightened by their popularity among celebrities, who have increasingly chosen oval stones for their personal jewellery collections, further cementing their status as a desirable and fashionable choice.
Emerald-shaped diamonds have carved out their own niche in the realm of popular diamond cuts, celebrated for their classical elegance and distinct artistic flair. At McGuire Diamonds, we appreciate the unique allure of emerald-cut stones, which are distinguished by their step-cut, rectangular form. This cut creates a stunning silhouette, marked by gorgeous angular lines that showcase the diamond's inherent beauty. The emerald cut places a significant emphasis on the clarity and color of the stone, aspects that are crucial given its open and broad facets. While emerald-cut diamonds may not exhibit the same level of sparkle as some of the other shapes we've discussed, they possess a captivating 'hall of mirrors' effect. This characteristic enables the emerald cut to capture and reflect dramatic flashes of light, ensuring a display of optimal beauty and sophistication. The emerald-cut diamond is a choice that speaks to a refined aesthetic, offering a unique and striking alternative for those seeking something beyond the traditional.
The radiant-shaped diamond, a relatively new addition to the world of diamond cuts, has swiftly risen to prominence as one of the most sought-after choices of the year at McGuire Diamonds. Renowned for its extraordinary sparkle and captivating shape, the radiant cut offers a unique blend of features. This cut ingeniously combines the step cuts seen in emerald-shaped diamonds on its top with the facet cuts of a round stone on the bottom, creating a mesmerising hybrid. This innovative fusion in the radiant cut not only enhances its overall aesthetic appeal but also imparts a distinctive manner in which it interacts with light. The result is a stone that sparkles with exceptional brilliance, making it a standout choice for those seeking a diamond that's both eye-catching and unique. Radiant-shaped stones are particularly popular in diamond rings and necklaces at McGuire Diamonds, serving as an impressive focal point that captivates and enchants.
The pear-cut diamond, with its distinctive and elegant shape, holds a special place in the array of exquisite diamond cuts available at McGuire Diamonds. This cut, often referred to as the 'teardrop' due to its single point and rounded end, seamlessly blends the brilliance of a round cut with the uniqueness of a marquise. The result is a diamond cut that is both traditional and daring, offering a sophisticated yet individualistic choice for those seeking something truly distinctive. Pear-cut diamonds are celebrated for their ability to create an illusion of elongation on the hand, making them a flattering choice for engagement rings, pendants, and other fine jewellery. Their asymmetrical shape offers a versatile aesthetic, perfect for both classic and contemporary designs. The pear cut’s unique silhouette also allows for exceptional light reflection, producing a captivating sparkle that highlights the diamond's quality and craftsmanship.
It's important to note that distinguishing between lab-grown and natural diamonds with the naked eye is virtually impossible. The similarities in their appearance are striking, reflecting the meticulous process behind the creation of lab-grown diamonds. However, expert gemologists at McGuire Diamonds can discern the differences using specialised techniques. Most lab-grown diamonds have unique characteristics or "fingerprints" that set them apart from their natural counterparts. One effective method used by our gemologists to identify lab-grown diamonds involves spectroscopy, which analyses the fluorescence patterns unique to these gems. Additionally, lab-grown diamonds may exhibit specific inclusions or growth patterns that are rare in natural diamonds. These subtle yet distinct markers provide clear indications of a diamond's lab-grown origins. This level of detail ensures that every choice at McGuire Diamonds, whether a lab-grown or natural diamond, is made with full transparency and knowledge.
Lab diamonds cost a lot less than natural diamonds - typically a lab diamond will cost between 60% and 85% less than a natural diamond with identical carat weight and grades. Take a look at the typical cost of a lab diamond vs natural diamond below.
As we approach 2024, the approach to budgeting for that all-important proposal has become increasingly personalised. At McGuire Diamonds, we recognise that the investment in an engagement ring is a deeply personal decision, with budgets varying widely among individuals. The old norms of how much to spend have evolved, giving way to a diverse range of spending patterns. While some may have a modest budget of around €1,500, others might allocate as much as €10,000. Budgets exceeding €12,000 are less common, but every choice is respected for its personal significance. For those with a budget between €1,500 and €2,500, a beautiful diamond ring is still well within reach, particularly with lab-grown diamonds. Since January 2022, the cost of naturally mined diamonds has risen significantly, making lab-grown diamonds an increasingly attractive option. These diamonds, cultivated in controlled lab environments from natural diamond seeds, undergo a process involving carbon atoms and intense heat pressure, mirroring the natural diamond formation. It takes about six weeks to grow a lab diamond, after which it's processed identically to mined diamonds. This ethical and sustainable choice is gaining rapid popularity.
The landscape of jewellery is undergoing a significant transformation, aligning more closely with the values of today's consumers. Now, more than ever, there's a growing demand for transparency, exceptional value, and ethically sourced products in the jewellery industry. At McGuire Diamonds, established in 2000, we've been ahead of this curve, embracing these principles from our inception. Our mission has always been to redefine the jewellery experience by offering not just exquisite pieces, but also a commitment to ethical practices and transparent operations. McGuire Diamonds provides an array of handcrafted engagement rings and stunning jewellery for every milestone, crafted with care and ethical consideration. We proudly offer both natural and lab-grown diamonds, ensuring each has the same impeccable quality and composition. Our approach combines the convenience of modern shopping with expert guidance, ensuring every client feels informed and confident in their choices. We stand as a testament to a jewellery brand that doesn't just meet expectations but sets new standards in commitment and quality.
In today's digital age, many wonder: Is it safe to buy an engagement ring online? The answer, particularly when it comes to McGuire Diamonds, is a resounding yes. The key to a secure and satisfying online purchase lies in choosing a reputable brand and ensuring the diamond is certified. Doing your research is crucial. It's vital to verify the authenticity of the jeweller. At McGuire Diamonds, we're committed to providing our customers with both the provenance of each piece and globally recognised certification for peace of mind." We encourage our clients to stick with brands they trust. McGuire Diamonds has built a reputation for reliability and excellence since our inception in 2000. For those unfamiliar with our brand, we welcome you to explore customer reviews and seek recommendations from friends and family. Our dedication to transparency and quality has made us a trusted name in the world of online jewellery shopping, ensuring that every purchase is not just safe, but also a joyful and memorable experience.
Choose Your Ring Setting
Start by browsing our curated collections of lab-grown or natural diamond engagement ring styles. Click the "Select This Setting" button to pick your favourite design. A popup will prompt you to proceed to the next stage: "Add a Diamond".
Personalise Your Diamond
Use our intuitive slider tools to specify your desired diamond characteristics:
For experts or those with specific requirements, utilise our advanced search criteria dropdown. Not sure about a term? Click on the information icon (i) next to each criterion for more details. As you adjust the sliders, view a real-time list of diamonds sourced directly from our global trade partners. This ensures you get the best value and a broad selection. Once satisfied with your diamond selection, click to add the diamond to your ring setting.
Review & Finalise Your Creation
For those of our clients in Dublin considering an online purchase with McGuire Diamonds, we also offer an enticing alternative: we extend a special invitation to visit us at the McGuire Diamonds showroom in Gorey, Co. Wexford. Located just a short 45-minute drive from Dublin, our showroom offers a personalised and intimate setting for you to explore our exquisite collections. We understand the importance of experiencing the quality of our jewellery in person. Therefore, we encourage you to book an appointment with us. Our team of experts will be delighted to guide you through our selection, providing a bespoke service that ensures your visit is as memorable as the piece you choose. Come and discover the perfect expression of your love and commitment at McGuire Diamonds.