You have found your ‘The One’ and they love you just as much. You have spent time together and you know that the next step is the perfect proposal, complete with ideal venue, carefully chosen words and the ring presentation. But you have seen and heard horror stories of badly chosen rings being rejected, along with the suitor and you do not want this to happen to you. How can you choose the absolute best engagement ring?
Although it is often presented as the ‘right’ way to do, very often couples do not have one person choosing the ring. More commonly, they go together, after the proposal to indulge in a little bit of engagement ring shopping. Not only does this ensure that the recipient of the ring is content with their new piece of jewelry, but it takes a lot of the pressure off the proposer to somehow psychically understand the exact ring that their partner might like!
It is very unromantic to think of money when one is proposing to spend the rest of one’s life with a loved one, but it is sensible! Choosing too expensive a ring can put a blight on your relationship – as can going too cheap. Once the heady delight of the proposal is over (or, if you are going the solo route) it is time to take a long look at your finances and work out how much of your savings you can spend, or how much you can afford to pay monthly should you be buying your ring on an instalment plan. Nothing curdles love quicker than resentment engendered by being overly generous and getting into financial trouble, so it is important that you set a budget and then stick to it, as prosaic and clinical as that might sound!
If your budget allows, you might want to design your own unique engagement ring. Many couples who design their own rings include elements that are a nod to the place or event at which they met, show details of a shared interest, or that are a quirky commemoration of your uniqueness as a couple.
This can be something like a musical stave with a few notes on it as the band of the ring, if you met at a concert; a magical symbol as the stone setting, such as Harry Potter’s Deathly Hallows symbol if you are both Potterheads, or even something a little spooky, if you both love Halloween!
You can even design your own version of a traditional engagement ring, if you cannot find a ‘ready-made’ one that you both agree upon, choosing the diamond’s size and cut before having it set just the way you want it.
Which stones do you think sum up your relationship the best? Cheerful colorful precious gemstones, rare colored diamonds, or the traditional clear diamonds that reflect out rainbow sparkles from their hearts? Did you know that rubies are symbolic of passion and courage, while emeralds are associated with love and fertility? Sapphires represent purity and trust while diamonds, the stone most commonly associated with romance, actually stand for purpose and clarity!
But, of course, diamonds are the traditional stone associated with engagements, and they are both beautiful and very hard-wearing and will last your lifetime – like your relationship, one hopes! Have a look at the loose diamonds at Whiteflash, a trustworthy and reliable diamond specialist, for those wanting to design their own engagement ring, to see some of the cuts and shapes that you can choose between.
When buying a diamond, you do not want to end up with an expensive fake – not only is that humiliating and financially ruinous to you, your fiancé, too, will be affected. The best and easiest way for a layman to be sure of getting a good deal is to look for (or ask for, if necessary) proof of AGS or GIA accreditation. These are certificates that come with every legal stone sold in the USA and both institutions take care to minutely detail every aspect of the diamond, including all that information on the certificate – which is verifiable through their online registers.
Which metal you are going to use will depend on which stone or stones you have chosen. Clear diamonds look much better against pale settings such as though made from white metals: platinum and white gold being the two most common. This is because diamonds are so intensely reflective that they take in and throw out any colour that is close to the stone. In the case of yellow gold, this means that the gorgeous rainbow sparkle of the diamond will be predominantly yellow, which is not ideal.
White gold is not a pure white metal, being coated with rhodium at purchase to give it that lovely silvery sheen, but fading over time (ten years or so) to a very pale golden. The rhodium coating can be reapplied if the look is preferred.
Platinum is naturally silvery but does patina over time to a slightly duller sheen than seen at first. It is more expensive than white and is heavier too – but it tends to be harder-wearing and more durable over time.
Yellow or rose gold can look very effective against colored stones, and here you can use your imagination a little, comparing and contrasting your favorite stones against your preferred metal, and seeing which combination is the one for you.
Whichever route you go down: choosing a ready-made engagement ring from your local jeweler or designing your own ring and retaining complete creative control over the look of the piece, you can, with a little planning, saving and forethought, have the perfect engagement ring which with to please your partner – an ideal start to what will hopefully be a lifelong partnership rich in happiness, contentment and love.