Ask The Experts – Serendipity Diamonds


Wedding and engagement rings are life long purchases. They will become your most worn possession. Hopefully, you will look at your wedding ring everyday and it will make you smile. A symbol of your union and your commitment to each other – but also very pretty and sparkly. Diamonds are a girls best friend after all.

The thing is that when it comes to investing in jewellery as special as your wedding and engagement rings, most of us don’t have the first clue where to start.

Different densities of metal, precious stones, carats, cuts…I didn’t even know that you should match the metal of your engagement ring to your wedding ring if you want to wear them together!!

Well never fear, as this evening we’ve got Mark Johnson, the founder of Isle of Wight based company Serendipity Diamonds to help you. He is waiting at his computer ready to answer any questions you have about finding the wedding rings of your dreams.

Anything wedding ring and jewellery related Mark can help – please fire away with anything you’ve always wanted to know, but never had the opportunity to ask.

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Serendipity Diamonds first went online in 2007. They are now one of the leading online jewellers based at their showroom in Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

Amongst a whole range of jewellery, they specialise in engagement rings and wedding rings for clients in the UK and around the world. Their small, friendly team includes Mark Johnson who founded the company in 2007.

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Mark and his team spend their days helping clients to achieve their perfect wedding rings. With over 20 years of experience in jewellery, they have achieved an outstanding level of great feedback to date.

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From simple wedding rings on a budget, to elaborate diamond set rings, Serendipity strives to find a solution. Their shaped wedding ring service ensures fitted wedding rings for most engagement ring settings.

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They also offer no-obligation-advice on personalising your wedding rings. Services include traditional hand engraving, modern laser engraving and machine patterning.

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Mark will be on-line to answer any questions you may have about organising your perfect pair of wedding rings.

For more info on Ask The Expert features, please contact

Author: Fern Godfrey
Fern spends most of her time dreaming about weddings and trying to convince her long-suffering boyfriend to propose. Lucky enough to live in sunny Cornwall, if you need her – you’ll find her at beach.

33 thoughts on “Ask The Experts – Serendipity Diamonds

  1. Hi Mark,

    I didn’t realise that you should match the metal of your engagement ring to your wedding ring either… what does this mean exactly? Are there any combinations that will work?


    Becky x

    1. Hi Becky,

      Many thanks for getting in touch. This is a question that arises quite often. The wedding ring metal is best matched to the metal of your engagement ring band.

      There are two main reasons for this.

      First, the colour between different precious metal alloys does tend to vary a little. An example is the bright white Rhodium plating applied to 18ct White Gold. Both Platinum and Palladium, although white metals, are less white by comparison to the Rhodium plating applied to White Gold.

      Another reason is wear. Both metals worn against each other should have similar hardness properties. A softer metal worn alongside a harder metal will cause one ring to wear more over time.

      Some wedding rings made with two different metals (eg. Platinum and 18ct Yellow Gold) have both metals fused. There is little wear between each metal and this is part of the design.

      Colour differences sometimes appear but keep to the same metal choice. Examples include 18ct Gold in Rose, White and Yellow colours worn together.

      On occasion we make Palladium wedding rings to sit alongside a Platinum engagement ring. The reason for this can be sometimes down to budget (Palladium tends to be less expensive than Platinum.) The two metals are close in colour and such commissions have worked well together.

      I hope this has provided some greater insight, but please get in touch at any time if you need any further guidance.


  2. This is perfect timing for me – Im not actually engaged yet (!) but I’m hoping that could change soon 🙂

    My friends have been telling me I should have clear stones for my ring but the boy knows I love green. Is there any reason that an engagement ring should be a diamond? I know some colours are supposed to be bad luck!

    Any help would be brilliant…then I can start dropping hints 😉

    Jade xxx

    1. Hi Jade,

      I also love green and always dreamed of an emerald and diamond engagement ring so when I got engaged that’s what my fiance bought for me. It’s an oval emerald with a halo of diamonds and diamonds along the band – I love it! I believe the whole diamonds for an engagement ring was popularised my De Beers in the 1940’s with “A Diamond is Forever” ad campaign. I say choose what you want and love! 🙂

      Elizabeth x

    2. Hi Jade,

      Many thanks for your question. First of all, I would just say that dropping hints is a great thing. Being a guy myself, I am always looking for hints from my better half when buying for her. They help us get as close as we can! (Especially helpful when it comes to finger size!)

      An engagement ring does not need to be set with diamonds. Diamonds are a good choice because they are hard wearing. Many gemstones are much softer and easier to damage.

      There are many coloured gemstones, which are beautiful. Perfect for engagement rings and hard wearing. A great example is Sapphire.

      Each week we produce many customised versions of the rings we sell, with coloured stones. These are often incorporated into diamond set designs for contrast. An example appeared recently in our Instagram feed. A double diamond shoulder design, with a central Radiant cut Green Sapphire. The end result was beautiful.

      We also produced a three stone graduated engagement ring, with two green tourmalines. Our brief was to create the ring with an exact shade of colour, petrol green either side of a white diamond.

      Personalising rings in this was a wonderful idea. Don’t be lead by superstition but what works for yourselves. You will be wearing and loving the ring forever. So good luck with the hint dropping and get in touch at any time if you need any further guidance.


  3. Hello

    My engagement ring is an emerald cut trilogy, which a standard wedding band is just not going to sit neatly alongside due to the casing.
    Is there a shape which will work well? or will I have to have something with notches cut out?
    I would prefer something that I could wear on its own if needed, without looking odd.

    1. I’m exactly the same, Louise! Am currently thinking of a wedding band that has diamonds in it but finding them to be very expensive!

      1. Hi girls my wedding ring is designed to fit around my engagement ring which is a brilliant round cut diamond which is then surrounded by smaller diamonds. My wedding ring is also a band of diamonds but it didn’t cost the earth – in fact it was the same amount as my husband’s plain gold wedding band. I’d say shop around if possible and it’s always worth visiting lots of different jewellers for a comparison on price. Birmingham’s jewellery quarter is also worth a visit.

        1. Thank you Lolly, my engagement ring is actually from the jewellry quarter. It is a great place to shop.
          I am inclined towards a plain band, I am just worried I am going to need something with odd cut outs to go around the casing.

          1. Hi Louise,

            A plain band, customised with a small notch or cut-out can be an affordable option that works well.

            If the cut-out required is only very small, then there is always a risk of the rings moving apart or rotating (especially if the finger size is not quite snug enough on the finger)

            A gently shaped wedding ring with a slight curve or wishbone shape might work nicely. Sometimes trying a pre-existing shaped ring can give you the best idea.

            You’re always welcome to get in touch. Send across to us a photograph of the ring, and we can perhaps advise on potential styles that might work very nicely with your ring.


      2. Hi Sophie,

        Whether you are looking for a plain design, straight or shaped, with or without diamonds, there are many options. Some are less costly than others.

        Some pre-existing shaped designs exist which will potentially be less expensive then custom made designs. It can be a case of trying the design to see if it works. The 8th photograph above (4 shaped wedding rings) was originally a photograph I took for a client to show different options of existing shaped wedding ring styles. Wherever possible we try to forward information and suggestions and for some designs we can even send out sample designs to try.

        Some plain designs can be enhanced with the addition of small diamonds in your chosen quantity. This will result in a small cost on the original plain design – for the diamonds and the setting of each stone.

        The cost can depend on the margin added by the respective jeweller. For all work including custom made designs, we tend to apply a small margin to the cost of the materials and labour without a ‘designer’ price attached.

        If you get in touch with any requirements you have, along with details of your existing ring, we’re always happy to provide any guidance you might need.


    2. Hi Louise,

      Many thanks for your question.

      There are various options for a shaped wedding ring, all of which are worth considering.

      Firstly a wedding ring with a similar width to your engagement ring band, could be created to contour neatly around your engagement ring setting. This can be done with a gentle sweep, following the basic outline, or with a more defined shape to follow the outline faithfully.

      Alternatively if a straight opposite edge is required, a wider band with one contoured edge can be created. Sometimes design can influence this. One of our returning clients particularly wanted a straight channel of princess cut diamonds on one edge. We created a wider ring, with one straight edge, a channel of diamonds, and the opposite edge was contoured.

      For any such commission, we tend to begin the process by requesting any photographs to be emailed to us through the Serendipity Diamonds website. ( From the photographs and any additional details (e.g. metal choice, plain or diamond set) we can provide guidance on the cost.

      Most rings begin with us working from your engagement ring, creating a wax model of wedding ring. We can send photographs showing the model alongside for you to approve before we cast your ring.

      The entire process tends to take around 3-4 weeks and we can even clean and re-finish your engagement ring to deliver both back in pristine new condition.

      We have many examples and further information on our shaped wedding ring page here :

      Please get in touch with me anytime and we would be delighted to help in any way possible.


  4. Hi Jade,

    Many thanks for your question. First of all, in my own opinion and from speaking to so many guys, hints are great. They help enormously when we’re trying to decide on the perfect ring design.

    Engagement rings don’t necessarily have to be diamond. Diamonds are popular owing to the hardness and durability of the stones. But the same can be said for Sapphires and other gemstones.

    We regularly advise and make up engagement rings with both coloured stones and mixtures (such as diamond and sapphire) in the form of our website designs and also bespoke ring designs. There are no specific rules for what you should wear.

    One of the recent commissions we produced was a lovely design with a radiant cut green sapphire. We featured this on our Instagram feed. The design is shown with double diamond shoulders, and an emerald cut diamond on our website, but on this occasion, the green sapphire worked beautifully in the centre of this engagement ring.

    We also produced a beautiful version of one of our graduated 3 stone ring designs with 2 x outer green Tourmaline stones, which were a petrol colour, either side of a white diamond. Always choose a durable type of gemstone (such as Sapphire) for long term wear.

    If you need any further advice on this Jade, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at any time. We are always happy to provide any guidance yourself or your partner might need on alternative coloured stone choices.

    Best of luck with the hint dropping 😉


  5. Hi Louise,

    Many thanks for getting in touch with your question. Depending on the ring style, there will be different options all worth consideration.

    A simple shaped wedding ring could be made with a similar width to your engagement ring band. This can be created to contour around your engagement ring setting, creating a perfect seamless fit.

    Alternatively a wider design could be created with a straight edge, having a contoured edge to sit alongside your engagement ring. One of our recent commission briefs required a straight channel of princess cut diamonds. On this occasion the straight outer edge was necessary to provide this styling detail.

    Many such designs are initially created in the form of a wax model for you to approve, working alongside your engagement ring. The process takes around 3-4 weeks and we can send you across photographs of the wax model alongside your engagement ring before we cast your wedding ring.

    In the first instance we usually ask clients to email us a photograph or two, with any details such as the metal type and whether the ring should be plain or diamond set. We also offer consultations here in Ryde for clients who prefer to visit us in person to discuss their requirements.

    The following page shows some of the commissions we have produced, with a little more information. We are always adding to this over time, so well worth coming back to occasionally.

    Please do get in touch with us any time you need to for additional guidance. It is always a pleasure to provide any help and guidance you might need.


  6. Hi Mark, not sure if this is the right question to ask but how much should I be spending on an engagement ring? I’ve read all the traditional views but I’m just not sure if it matters?? Obviously I don’t want to make a mistake though.

    I live near Birmingham and I’ve been to the Jewellery quarter there and some of the savings they advertise are hard to believe. How can they be so much cheaper and how can I be sure of the actual value compared to the ticket price?

    1. Hi Rob,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Great questions by the way. My first advice would be to forget the blurb on how much you should spend on an engagement ring. Since so many jewellers work on different margins, your budget will often go much further online, for example, compared to within the high street chains.

      It is possible to set an average spend on an engagement ring. This is something I wrote about recently, giving some examples of what you get for a particular budget.

      We create engagement rings, working to a specific standard. We favour GIA and IGI certification, and work with a very good cut grade as standard. Diamonds are set into the chosen ring design and metal choice and we sell with a small, sensible margin on the cost.

      Many retailers will purchase rings made in this way adding a further margin on the cost from the manufacturer. This (and the retailers specific margin) can account for great differences on the same item.

      If you insist upon reputable certification, (e.g GIA) with a very good cut or above, the ring and diamond quality itself should be consistent irrespective of where you purchase. Be aware of other details such as fluorescence. Strong fluorescence can reduce the diamond value slightly, so we try wherever possible to retain a nil or slight level of fluorescence.

      There are many other factors besides basic cost to take into consideration. Details such as after sales support, and additional help (should you want a matching wedding ring in the future) and favourable reviews are always worth looking into for any chosen store.

      Since we have a no quibble 30 day returns policy, in the event that the ring is not right, you have the reassurance than it can be returned or exchanged. This and our lifetime warranty are worth considering for additional reassurance.

      The value of the ring itself, can be independently established with a valuation from an establishment such as Safeguard at the Assay Office. This will typically be a value to cover the replacement cost of the ring for insurance purposes.

      If you want to discuss any of the above, or if you need any further clarification, please get in touch at any time and we would be delighted to help.


  7. Hi Mark,

    I’ve got two questions which I hope you can help me with.

    I want to propose to my girlfriend with my great grandma’s engagement ring, it’s a really beautiful marquise cut diamond on an 18 carat gold band (I’m so lucky to have inherited it, and my girlfriend will love it).

    I want to clean it up a bit and was wondering what the best way to do this was? Would you recommend having it done professionally, or is there a method I can do at home?

    Also, she really likes rose gold, so I was wondering if it’s possible to have a wedding band that is made of rose gold and ‘normal’ gold?

    Thanks for your help!


    1. Hi Matt,

      Many thanks for getting in touch with your question.

      This is a really lovely idea by the way, and the sentiment associated with your grandmother’s ring will make this an engagement ring made even more precious by the family history connected with it.

      It will certainly be well worth taking the time to re-finish the ring. Having this done professionally will be the best option. The setting will be checked, the diamond will be thoroughly cleaned and the refurbishment will ensure the ring is back to an ‘as new’ condition. The cost will also be fairly small. Domestic cleaning / polishing kits won’t re-produce the polish and sparkle that professional cleaning and re-finishing will provide.

      For the wedding band, if rose gold is a metal choice she likes, then I am sure you will find a suitable design in the same 18ct gold, but in your preferred metal colour. A further suggestion would be adding a third colour of white gold, since all three colours, white, yellow and rose gold work wonderfully well in combination. The white gold might also compliment the engagement ring setting (if this is indeed white gold above the yellow gold band.)

      We hope it all goes well for you and I’m sure she will be delighted when you present the ring.

      Please get in touch any time if you have any further questions or if you need additional guidance.

  8. Hi Mark

    This may be a bit of a daft question but it’s been the subject of much debate between my friends and family. I wondered if you could tell me which way round you’re supposed to wear your engagement and wedding rings. I’m due to get married later this year and have yet to buy my wedding band. My ring is quite an unusual shape in that it’s round so I’m thinking that I’ll probably need to have a custom ring made to fit around it. I have tried some bands on to get an idea of how it will look and so far I only like bands that sit on top of my engagement ring i.e engagement ring on my ring finger first followed by a wedding band.

    My family and some friends say that traditionally the wedding ring goes on first followed by the engagement ring whereas some other friends say that it doesn’t really matter. Because of the shape of my engagement ring I don’t really want to conform to the traditional order – it just doesn’t look right but I wondered how important it is to wear them ‘the right way’.

    Have you had many brides who have chosen to wear their rings in a certain way? Does it really matter?

    Thanks Liz x

    1. Hi Liz,

      Great question. This does come up quite frequently and there is a specific way that the engagement ring and wedding ring combination tend to be worn.

      The wedding ring tends to go onto the finger first, followed by the engagement ring. There are two main reasons for this – the romantic reason and the practical reason. I usually like to add both.

      For all of us romantics, the wedding ring is worn on the finger, closest to the heart.

      For practical reasons, the engagement ring is next. This makes it easier to remove for a variety of reasons during daily wear.

      I tend to advise that these are conventions, and not necessities. What harm does it do if you choose to do things a little differently? 🙂

      I say do what makes you happy and what works best for yourself.

      Some engagement rings are worn one way or another (such as asymmetrical designs.)

      It is a good idea when commissioning a shaped wedding ring to convey to the jeweller which side of the ring you want to wear the wedding band. This can have a great effect on the ring style.

      Many of our clients send us a very basic sketch showing the way they wear their engagement ring.
      An example is the 5 stone engagement ring on our shaped wedding ring page
      (last gallery image at the time of this post) – gentle contour.

      Our client indicated she wore the smallest diamond in the engagement ring positioned to the right. We created the shaped wedding ring based on this orientation, working in a gentle curve but keeping the band as plain and simple as possible.

      If you need to email us any time, we’re always happy to make suggestions and provide any advice you need (all no obligation of course.)

      Best wishes,

  9. Hi Mark,
    I wonder if you can help me. I’ve been married a year (and still can’t wean myself off RMW!) and am having a problem with my rings. I have a solitaire diamond on a slightly twisted band and choose to have my wedding ring made to fit faithfully around the band of the engagement ring, which means it has a curve to fit. However, my engagement ring rarely sits together properly with my wedding ring and I’m forever fiddling with it to get it back in place. Is there anything I can do now to prevent this? I can never imagine myself wearing one without the other so I did wonder if there’s anything I can do to join them together in some way? That may be a ridiculous suggestion so I’d really value your advice. Both rings are platinum.
    I hope you can help! Thank you,

    1. Hi Katie,

      Thanks for sending across your question. I can appreciate this must be very frustrating for you. Great to hear you’re still coming back to RMW. We’re big fans ourselves!

      There are a couple of reasons why this might be happening with your rings. Finger size can be one reason why this is happening. Are both rings the correct size? i.e. fairly snug on the finger. Sometimes one ring will move away from the other, and spin on the finger slightly if they are a little too big. A size adjustment for one or both rings might be a potential solution.

      The other reason might be that the shape is not quite enough to ‘lock’ the rings together and hold them in place. A solution might well be (as you suggested) to fuse the rings if you’re happy to have them as a single piece of jewellery.

      On a cautionary note, over a period of time, especially where one ring moves against fine details such as a diamond setting slight wear can occur. Fine detail even in the same metal type can be worn by this friction even over 12 month period.

      I would tend to advise getting a little more guidance sooner than later. Perhaps take a couple of photographs where possible and email them across to me ( so that I can initially get a better idea of your ring designs. I’d be more than happy to provide any guidance on this you might need.

  10. My partner works on a farm and in tree surgery and I was wondering what would be the best metal type of wedding band to go for for him that will stand the nature of his work?

    Thanks 🙂

  11. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for getting in touch and for posting your question. This is a great question and there are quite a few choices that will work well.

    950 Platinum and 950 Palladium are good choices. Both are naturally white, and lack the rhodium plating of white gold which can wear away over time (although easily refinished.)

    Most metals will scratch, something that is more noticeable at first, due to marks being easily seen against the perfect finish of the new ring. Most metals will however wear to a fairly consistent appearance. Many men prefer the even worn look that builds over time.

    There are very durable non precious metals, such as titanium, but right now, for men’s wedding rings 950 Palladium is extremely popular with many of the properties of 950 Platinum but with a lesser cost.

    I would advise a simple design, without decoration that can be damaged. Opting for a medium or heavy weight will give the ring additional strength. Ensure that the size chosen is snug on the finger to prevent loss when his hands are cold or wet.

    Deeper marks or wear can be polished out from time-to-time but as best advice I would always recommend removing rings for heavy manual work. General marks and scratches are fairly easily polished out if he wants to have the ring re-polished from time-to-time.

    I hope there are a few pointers here that might help, but please do get in touch any time with me at Serendipity Diamonds and I’d be happy to provide any more guidance you might need at any time.

    Best wishes. Mark.

  12. My fiancé thinks that a diamond set wedding band would detract from my 1 carat asscher cut solitaire engagement ring.
    I think it would set it off beautifully (I think a thin band of 1/2 – 3/4 carat of tiny princess cut stones set like an eternity ring would add sparkles?)

    What do you think?

  13. Hi Madeline,

    Thanks for posting your question. During many wedding ring consultations, we regularly enter into similar discussions on whether or not diamonds will add to, or take from the engagement ring itself.

    Like many aspects of buying jewellery, finding the right combination is a very personal matter. We regularly compose photographs showing ‘with’ and ‘without’ combinations for clients (who cannot view ring designs in person.) This helps clients visualise both options.

    In my own opinion, I would recommend small carré cut diamonds over princess cuts. The asscher cut diamond is step cut, and small carré cut diamonds will match the style of diamond cut. Unlike the asscher cut, they have corners and so a continuous channel will be possible in the same way as a princess cut ring design.

    Examples of these styles can be found under carré cut eternity rings, on the following page – you will see this subtle difference. Jewellery it is all about the detail 🙂 Don’t worry too much about designs being classified as ‘eternity rings’ or as ‘wedding rings’ styles are often listed under both categories.

    My only other advice would be to keep the ring simple. Perhaps a simple channel set design which has the same profile for the band as your engagement ring. I am sure this combination will pair both rings beautifully if you decide upon a diamond set wedding ring.

    Please get in touch at any time if you need any additional information or guidance.

    Best wishes. Mark.

  14. Hi there

    My engagement ring is white gold and but i think I have had a reaction to the ring.

    It is not all the way around my finger but just on the top from the middle of my finger to the right and it red and slightyly inflamed.

    The ring is not loose but i can move around a bit so i am not sure of whether it is the rubbing against the skin or a reaction to the metal.

    Have you come across this before and if so what would you advise? My wedding is in 3 months and at the moment i am not wearing the ring to make sure i do not have a red wedding finger for the wedding day!

    Someone suggested changing it to platinum which is less of a reactive metal. I do tend to have quite sensitive skin.

    Thanks so much


  15. Hi Suzanne,

    Many thanks for getting in touch. From experience, some people do encounter reactions with gold, but a reaction with gold would typically appear when the ring was first worn.

    There are many more reasons why this might be happening. Moisture often gets trapped under the ring after washing hands, and this can cause issues, along with detergents causing reactions following regular contact whilst wearing rings.

    I would generally advise leaving your ring off the finger until the rash has gone. Then ensure that your rings are cleaned thoroughly before wearing them again.

    Although Platinum is hypoallergenic, some people do on occasion experience rashes even with that metal choice.

    We included a short section on our blog on this subject :

    Within this article there are a few causes noted and some suggestions, and remedies that have been suggested.

    We regularly provide a resetting service in alternative metals . We can replicate many existing ring styles in new metal choices to provide a new, or very similar design in 950 Platinum. The cost of the new setting can be offset with the existing setting. Please get in touch with us anytime if you are interested in this service.

    On a final note, I would always recommend consulting your GP on any persistent issue if this continues when the ring has been removed.

    We hope you manage to sort this out before your wedding, but if we can offer any further guidance or advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

    Kindest regards,


  16. I have a 2mm plain wedding band that I’m not sure really works with my engagement ring. What I love about the ring is how delicate it is, and on either side of the setting, the ring is only 1mm thick. Ideally I would have preferred a 1mm wide wedding band, and over time have become more and more sure of this! I’m really struggling to find them anywhere.

    Can anyone recommend where or how I might be able to get a 1mm platinum band?

    Thanks all!

    1. Hi Emily,

      It would be possible to produce wedding ring that was either 1mm, 1.25mm or 1.5mm, but I think the reason why you’re having difficulty finding such a ring is due to the popularity of wider ring designs. (Usually upwards from 2mm)

      1mm is particularly narrow and regardless of metal choice, a wedding ring in this width would be weaker, and easier to be bent or crushed out of shape. This is perhaps a good reason why wedding rings are usually wider than 1mm.

      If you are interested in a particularly narrow wedding ring, please do feel free to get in touch via our website and we can provide you with any guidance and costs you require.

      Kindest regards,

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