Choosing an engagement ring can be a daunting process, particularly if you’re planning the proposal as a surprise for your partner. However, there are plenty of helpful tips that will make the shopping and decision-making a much easier and more enjoyable experience.
Considering Her Style
Think about the kind of jewellery that your partner already wears. Is it showy and ostentatious or more understated? Does she prefer sterling silver, white gold or yellow gold? Try to match the engagement ring to the jewellery she currently wears on a regular basis. If you’re unsure about sizing, borrow a ring from her jewellery box to measure the engagement band against. Make sure you replace it before she notices that it’s gone, as this could spoil the surprise.
Setting a Budget
Remember to set a budget before you start browsing, and stick to it. Your partner won’t thank you when they find out that you’ve grossly overspent or borrowed in order to be able to afford the ring. Weddings are expensive enough as it is, so don’t go overboard when it comes to splashing out on an engagement ring. When you arrive at the jewellery store, ask to be shown rings that are within your budget and discount any outside of it so that you won’t be tempted to overspend.
The Four Cs
Any good jeweller will be able to tell you about the four Cs; the cut, colour, carat and clarity of the diamond. These are the characteristics that make each diamond unique and impact on the cost and appearance of a particular stone. The carat is a measurement of the weight and size of the diamond, so a high carat refers to a large stone. The cut of the diamond is a man-made attribute and determines the shape of the diamond. Square or ‘Princess’ cut, heart-shaped, marquise, oval and solitaire diamonds are popular choices. A high quality cut will allow the diamond to sparkle more brightly. The whiter or more colourless a diamond is, the more expensive it will be. The gradation of colour between diamonds is often imperceptible, and some display very beautiful, subtle coloured tones. The clarity of a diamond refers to tiny imperfections or ‘inclusions’ that exist in the stone and are usually invisible to the naked eye. You can see them under a jeweller’s magnifying glass and the most flawless internally flawless diamonds are regarded as more valuable. However, the imperfections are naturally occurring and give individual diamonds a sense of character.