Once you’ve popped the question and she’s said yes, it’s all about the ring – you’re responsible for choosing a ring she has to fall in love with as much as she loves you! No pressure. It’s hardly surprising that many men choose to play it safe with a solitaire setting. So how do you choose something more special that will wow your bride to be?
We asked Vashi.com, diamond and wedding ring suppliers, who let us in on a few trade secrets.
What’s her style?
“A white gold band with a solitaire setting is certainly in fashion, and it’s a safe and traditional choice. But think about your potential bride to be. Is she the traditional type, or does she have more of an alternative or vintage style? Is her personal style consistent or does she like to change her look? All of these factors will help you to discover a ring that’s right for her.”
Look for hints
“If marriage has been on the cards for a while, then there may be some not-so-subtle hints lying around. Check her Pinterest account to see if she’s liked or shared any pictures that might help; see if she’s left any magazines or catalogues open, listen out for comments. For example ‘I really love Kim Kardashian’s ring’ probably isn’t just an expression of admiration, it means you should start looking at emerald-cut rings with halo settings.”
Ask her friends
“Find a friend of hers that you trust not to spill the beans and ask for help. Yes, she wants something that you chose but I’m sure she won’t begrudge you getting some sound advice. Chances are she’s talked to her friends about her likes and dislikes, so a friend who can keep a secret may be able to point you in the right direction.”
Use a dummy ring
“If you’re absolutely convinced that only she could pick her perfect ring, then let her. Many men propose with a stand-in ring and then go ring shopping together. It might not sound romantic but if she is someone who really knows her own mind, she will thank you for it later.
The most important thing about proposing is getting to marry the girl of your dreams, and while the ring is important, don’t lose sleep over it. She will love whatever you choose because of what it represents, so be creative, brave and make a real statement about your feelings for her.”
How to buy
DiamondGeezer.com is a second-generation family-run firm based in the Cotswolds – we asked them for their expert advice on buying an engagement ring.
“The 4Cs are a universal grading system for comparing the quality of each individual diamond. However, we think that there are two more Cs that should be considered why purchasing that special diamond – Certification and Confidence.”
Diamonds and other gemstones are measured in metric carats; however, the carat is the weight of the diamond, which does not necessarily reflect on the diamond’s size. One diamond may look bigger than another but might in fact weigh less.
Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colourless – the more colourless they get, the higher the value of the diamond (unless you’re buying coloured diamonds, of course). At the top of the scale is the letter D, which represents colourless, and the scale then has an increasing presence of a colour until it finishes at the letter Z, which is a light yellow colour.
Diamonds are formed deep within the earth under extreme heat and pressure, meaning that they often contain unique birthmarks, either internal (known as inclusions) or external (known as pique).
A short word with a lot of meaning. The cut affects the proportions, symmetry and finish of the diamond and it is an extremely important feature to consider. The five-point scale starts with Poor and escalates to Excellent.
This validates the diamond’s characteristics and it means that the diamond has passed some of the strictest guidelines. There are five major laboratories including:
- GIA (Gemological Institute of America)
- (American Gemological Society)
- HRD (Antwerp World Diamond Centre)
- IGI (International Gemological Institute)
- EGL (European Gemological Laboratory)
This is essential. Have confidence in the company you’re dealing with when buying a diamond. We look at each individual diamond to check the fluorescence, hearts and arrows, polish and symmetry and ensure that all diamonds adhere to the Kimberley Process and United Nations resolutions. This means all our diamonds are bought from legitimate sources and we have no ‘blood diamonds’.”
We love a diamond ring here at Wedding Ideas, and it may be the traditional choice, but if you’re the kind of couple who would prefer something a little different, then how about commissioning a unique engagement ring? Choose someone like designer Sian Bostwick, who makes rings about as far away from a diamond solitaire as you can imagine!
There’s a lot of ring discussion going on at the Wedding Ideas Forum, including ‘Should you go Dutch on your engagement ring?’ Join in and have your say here!