If you’re thinking of proposing, I’ve got news for you: when it comes to choosing the ring, you’re in way over your head.
I know, I know. It’s contentious and I’m not usually given to making sweeping statements, but there’s no getting away from it: the groom-in-waiting is usually the least qualified person to take on the job of picking out one of only two things she’ll (hopefully) wear for the rest of her life.
Oh yes, you think you’re qualified for the job. Of course you think you’re qualified – you’ve probably spent several years or more with her before you got to this point. But knowing her well enough to commit to spending the rest of your life with her is chicken feed by comparison to choosing the ring she’s been waiting her whole life to receive.
Can I be honest? Let her come in and choose it herself. You want to surprise her, I know. So, surprise her with a symbolic ring which may be as cheap as chips but which she’ll treasure for its sentimental worth.
No? Okay. Then let her best friend choose it. Right now, and whether you know it or not, she’s a lot higher up the food chain than you are. Trust me, she knows this girl in ways you will never know her.
You know she’s a size 10 top and a size 12 jean, her friend knows the eight makes and shades of lipstick she wears. You’ve probably got her vital statistics down pat, but her friend has consoled her through the broken relationships that led to you.
Really, it’s no contest.
But you still want to go it alone, don’t you? Even in the harsh light of the truth, you want to pick the perfect ring for her. Good on you. I like a bit of fighting spirit.
So let me help by being Mr Miyagi to your Daniel. If you put some time and effort into it, you can buy an engagement ring that she’ll love almost as much as she loves you.
Number 1: Buy my book!
My best-selling book, The Engagement Ring – How To Choose The Perfect Engagement Ring and Get It Right First Time, is not only brilliantly written and witty (well, I think so, at least!), it genuinely contains all the information you’ll need to make the decisions that will help you pick a ring she’ll love forever.
Number 2: Pay Attention!
Paying attention to her jewellery likes and dislikes is the first big step towards finding her the perfect engagement ring:
What metal colour does she wear now? Most women have a definite preference. If she loves white gold or platinum, don’t even look at a diamond or other stone mounted in a yellow gold ring setting.
What style of jewellery does she wear now? Is it contemporary-looking, with bold styling? Does she prefer vintage looking rings? Or would you say that the jewellery she wears is classic, resembling those timeless pieces that never go out of style? What is the difference between white gold and platinum?
The best indication of her tastes is the jewellery she wears all the time, not items she only wears occasionally. Why? Because it’s the full-timers that she’s most comfortable with.
Number 3: Has She Hinted at her Likes and Dislikes?
Has she ever mentioned her favourite jewellery styles or pointed out engagement rings when you’re shopping together? If not, take her shopping. It isn’t difficult to steer yourselves towards the jewellery shops.
If you want to be subtle, say you’re looking for a new watch, but be sure to pause at the engagement ring counters (just don’t go all De Niro on her and start talking about what you’re looking at - nothing gives the game away than a bloke with a sudden new-found interest in the paraphernalia of a proposal).
Maybe she has a friend who recently became engaged. Does she like her friend’s engagement ring? Why or why not?
Does she like diamonds? Some women don’t. Sapphires and rubies are both durable gemstones that are often set into engagement rings for women who don’t like to wear diamonds.
Number 4: What Looks Best on Her Hands?
An elongated diamond, such as a marquise or oval, can make short fingers look sleeker but be careful not to overdo the look or it could have the opposite effect.
Wide bands usually make fingers appear even shorter than they are, so think proportional:
women with long fingers can easily wear bold ring styles. A setting that’s extremely delicate could get lost on large hands, over-emphasising their size and making the ring look smaller.
Number 5: Choose the Right Shape & Setting
Round diamonds are the number one shape chosen by brides, but maybe not your bride. She might prefer an elongated marquise, oval or pear-shaped stone, or a square or emerald cut diamond. Fancier shapes, such as hearts, are another option.
Think she’d like a solitaire diamond, set alone in a band? Or would she prefer a cluster of stones? Again, her current jewellery can give you clues about her preferences.
Number 6: Consider her Lifestyle
How will the ring fit in with her lifestyle? Does she work in a profession where fussy jewellery would look out of place? Even if she doesn’t, remember that a pointed gem with high prongs could snag clothing (and people) and is harder to keep clean. Save that type of ring for gifts that will be worn on special occasions, not every day.
Number 7: What’s her Ring Size?
Does she have rings that she wears on her engagement finger? Maybe a friend or family member could get hold of one of them long enough for you to have it sized. Of course, you’ll have to swear the messenger to secrecy.
Number 8: Consider a Loose Diamond
If you think you know which shape she loves, buy a loose diamond to show her when you ask the big question. The two of you can shop together later for the perfect engagement ring setting.
Now you have a better feel for the style of ring she might prefer, it’s time to consider the diamonds that will go into it. Start with the Four C’s, and then take some time to browse our website for other designs and styles.
If you'd like an appointment, then please do call for a free consultation in our central London Hatton Garden office and we would be glad to try to help you. Our details are on the main page of the Lewis Malka London website.