If you’re thinking about proposing to your girlfriend or boyfriend, huge congratulations! It’s a big step and one you want to get right. Statistically, people are more likely to propose on big dates such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s day and your anniversary. With those public holidays fast approaching, I’m here to help you orchestrate the perfect proposal with my new mini series Put A Ring On It. Here's the first instalment on how to find the jewel that is perfect for that special someone.
Photo by Anne Schwarz
Know your diamonds
Diamonds are funny. There are so many options out there that I can imagine it is quite dizzying trying to find one to suit your (hopefully) soon-to-be-fiancé. But knowledge, my dear friend, is your greatest weapon against smarmy salespeople. So let’s break down the 4Cs:
Clarity – Clarity is important when it comes to diamonds as it determines its brilliance. The scale goes from FL (Flawless) to I3 (Inclusions 3 – which means that it has noticeable flaws, even to the naked eye).
Colour – Diamonds are coloured by tiny tiny impurities in the stone formation. Colour is strange; a light/pale yellow diamond is quite affordable because it is considered imperfect. However bright canary yellow and some pink diamonds are more expensive than colourless diamonds as they are so rare. Generally speaking though, the less colour, the better quality.
Cut – The cut of a diamond is its overall shape. This is where you can show your partner that you understand their personality, but we’ll come to that a bit later.
Carats – Carats refer to the size and weight of the stone which DO NOT MATTER! I know the cliché is the bigger the better but the number of carats should not be a priority. A small diamond with a high clarity rating is infinitely more valuable than a big diamond that is muddy. Clarity, colour and cut also help the diamond look bigger so prioritise those.
Photo by Adam Riley
Know your budget
I completely respect that the tradition is that you should spend 2 months’ salary on the ring…
Actually scratch that – I don’t respect that tradition AT ALL! The reason I disagree with this is that if you are living hand-to-mouth then 2 months’ salary is quite alot and could be better used elsewhere. The ring is about the symbolism, the meaning behind it all. The fact that you can honestly say to your partner that you saw this beautiful ring and thought of them. It is not about cleaning yourself out to prove your love.
I don’t mean to call you an idiot but my point is..don’t be an idiot! You don’t need to spend everything you have on a flashy ring. With that in mind, your budget should be in line with your current finances. A well thought out, ethically sourced, clear jewel in a style they will like is what you want – not the most expensive ring you can find.
So how much should you spend? You can get a decent, clear diamond ring from £700-1,200. This is average but you can find diamond rings for much cheaper if you’re willing to sacrifice on the metal it is set in, the size or clarity.
Photo by Phil Drinkwater
Know your partner
Let’s get personal. You are about to embark on a proposal so you know your partner pretty well. You know their favourite colour. You know the kind of music they like. You know their favourite pizza toppings. You know what they like and what they are like. Both of these factors come in really handy when shopping for an engagement ring for them. My advice would be to go in steps:
First what colour jewellery do they usually wear? Remember that platinum and white gold are more resilient than silver if you want that colour.
Second what is your partner like? If they are traditional and modest, they might like the classic round cut diamond – simple and elegant. Are they a bit more modern and glamorous? Perhaps a princess or square cut will suit them. If they are all out flashy then I’m sure they’ll love the halo effect ring (which is one central diamond surrounded by tons of little ones).
Finally, do you (yes – you) resonate with the ring. I know that you are catering to their likes but it represents the two of you so get something that you like too.
And that’s it! Quite a long one but I wanted to pack in as much info as possible. If you need any more advice do leave a comment below and I’ll help as best I can :)
Stay tuned for the 2nd part next week!
Ta ta for now!