Giving an engagement ring is a highly exciting experience, but unfortunately it’s also a high stressful and scary one. Of course it’s stressful and scary because you want to get it right – and of course there is the possibility that getting it wrong will result in your proposal not being accepted (something that every man loses sleep over). At the same time though there’s also the simple fact that this is an incredibly big gift to give someone – it’s perhaps one of the most expensive things you will buy, and at the same time it’s also something that has a huge amount of sentimental value, and something they will want to wear every day for the rest of their lives most likely, and something they will want to show all of their friends and family – get this wrong and it will be a huge waste of money and a massive disappointment.
If that’s not helped to make you any less nervous then I apologize. The good news though is that I am going to share with you know how to go about getting this decision right so that you don’t need to worry about any of these things. There are various factors you need to get right when choosing a diamond ring, so here are just some of them to help you out.
The Diamond Itself
First of all you need to know how to choose a good diamond. This means knowing how to spot quality and how to talk to the jeweller on their own terms. What you are looking for in this regard is the ‘four Cs’ which describe the quality of a diamond. Those Cs are ‘Carat’ (AKA the measurement of weight), ‘Colour’ (usually on a spectrum of white to yellow-ish, though other colours are available), ‘Clarity’ (how easily you can see through the diamond – are their air bubbles and mineral deposits in the way or does it look ‘pure’), and ‘Cut’ (the way the diamond is carved in other words, what shape it ends up). If your diamond scores highly on all these points then you will be on to a winner.
The Style of the Ring
By using the advice above you can choose diamonds that are good quality – but should the ring have one or many diamonds? And what color/shape/design should the band be? Choosing a ring that is technically good quality isn’t enough, it also has to suit your lady and her preferences.
To find a ring that will accomplish this, you should first of all speak with her friends/sister. She will have chosen a confident to give this information too and they will be able to relay it to you without spoiling the surprise. Even if they haven’t been officially briefed by your girlfriend they will have an idea of the kinds of things she likes, and you can use this in order to guide your decision. And if you can’t find a willing friend then bring a female friend or relative of your own to help as they’ll have more idea of what’s in and what a girl would like in general.
At the same time you should also use your common sense, and it’s a good idea for instance to look around at the various different things that your partner already wears by routing through her jewellery box etc – this can give you an idea of the general style of ring she prefers and whether she likes gold or silver bands for instance. Choose a ring that would fit well with these items and you won’t go too far wrong.
While you’re doing this routing you should also steel one of her rings that she won’t notice and bring it with you to the jewellers. They will be able to use this to size the ring for you and that way you can ensure that it will be a perfect moment when you slip the ring onto her finger.
Finally you need to consider your budget. Many people say that an engagement ring should cost 1-3 months’ salary depending on your financial situation, but it’s important to make sure that you don’t spend too much money on the ring if your girlfriend will be uncomfortable wearing something so valuable. Have the foresight to bring up a casual conversation prior to buying the gift and this way you will be able to find out how she feels about having a hugely valuable ring. Don’t buy a ring in order to show off how well off you are – buy one she’ll genuinely enjoy and want to wear.
Chris Maddy is a jewellery designer who designs precious jewellery for celebrity weddings. He writes blogs on wedding jewellery and also uploads many of his jewellery designs on 983weddingcom.