Asking the love of your life to marry you is the most exciting decision of your life but can also be quite daunting. Not only do you have to choose the perfect time, the perfect moment and construct the perfect speech, you also have to select that one ring that makes her heart melt the minute she opens the box. Now we might not be able to help turn you into the 21st century’s version of Shakespeare, but if there is one thing we know it’s rings!
Often built up into the most intimidating part of a proposal, choosing the perfect ring can seem like the toughest hurdle. With so many different styles, shapes and colours on offer alongside the opportunity to design a bespoke ring from scratch, we’ve taken a moment to lay out our main steps to choosing the perfect engagement ring – just to make that specific shopping trip just a little bit easier.
Step One: Research/Work out her personal style
You love all their unique quirks and cute oddities – that’s why they’re the only one who’s truly stolen your heart. So why not emulate the things you love most about your partner in your chosen engagement ring. Start by taking a little bit more notice of their personal style including everything from the celebrities they admire to the shoes they choose for date night. Are they naturally-born magpies, flitting towards anything with bling and sparkle or have you noticed that clean lines and tailored suits are more their thing? Our favoured way of determining which style of engagement ring to go with is by looking at any existing jewellery they have. If they gravitate towards understated pieces in plain gold, chances are they’re not going to have dreamed of an extravagant, multi diamond cluster all their lives, right? Basically, pay attention to the outfit choices they make and you’ll have a much better understanding of their personal style.
Step Two: Decide on a budget
Possibly the hardest part of choosing an engagement ring is the budget. There are plenty of old wives tales flitting around that tell you how much you should be putting aside. With anything from 1 month to 3 months pay, it can seem quite daunting spending such a large sum of money in one go, let alone saving up for it in the first place. The best piece of advice we can give you is decide on a budget that is comfortable for you. Avoid running yourself into financial ruin simply to buy the biggest diamond on the market. If your jeweller is experienced enough, they will be able to find you the best ring for your budget and make sure you’re getting the most for your money. And your loved one is sure to be blown over by the thought and consideration you put into choosing the ring that the amount paid will be completely out of mind.
Step Three: Finding out her ring size
Another daunting task that strikes fear into the hearts of all, finding out someone’s ring size without asking them direct is step three. In British tradition, the engagement and wedding ring will sit on the fourth finger (or third if we want to get technical and exclude your thumb!) on your left hand. According to the ancient Romans, this finger was chosen because it was believed that the ’vena amoris’ (the love vein) ran directly through this finger to the heart. There are a number of ways to find out your partner’s ring size so let’s get into them now.
1. Do they wear any other rings on this finger? The easiest way to find out someone’s ring size is to measure an existing piece of jewellery. If you can find an old ring that you know fits (or nearly fits), it may be the easiest option to get this measured, either in store or by downloading a ring size-ing template from the internet.
2. If you can’t borrow the ring, place it on a piece of paper and draw around the inside and outside of the ring. Essentially you have now made a paper version of the ring and will be able to get this sized in the same way.
3. Ask their friends. Chances are they have discussed ring size at some point or one of their friends knows they have similar sized hands. You could ask this friend for her finger size and you should have a near-enough estimate to go by.
4. A sneaky way that we have come across in the past is asking your partner to try on someone else’s ring. For example, if one of your friends has recently got engaged, asking your partner to try on the engagement ring could give you a clear indication of their ring size. (Obviously, make sure said friend doesn’t mind their ring being used as a pawn in this little game first!).
5. Some cheap rings (mostly those from vending machines or found in children’s goody bags) have split shanks so they can be moulded to any size. If you’re feeling particularly sneaky, why not get present your partner with one of these as a joke, ask them to put it on so it fits and ‘borrow’ it to have it sized at a later date.
6. If all else fails, you may have to ask the question directly. But feel free to be as sneaky as possible in doing so!
Step Four: Book an appointment with your jeweller
Now that you have a rough idea of your soon-to-be-betrothed’s general style and you’ve got your budget and their ring size sorted, it’s time to speak to a professional. An experienced jeweller will be able to walk you through all the different options on offer and advise on the most suitable one for you. With the advances in Computer Aided Design (CAD), it is now possible to create a bespoke ring tailored to your specifications and set with diamonds or gemstones chosen specifically by you. Alternatively, the range of stunning engagement rings available on the market these days means that you’re sure to find something that perfectly embodies the love you feel for your partner.
Step Five: Pop That Question
Share your engagement photos with us via Twitter using the hash tag #FHEngagement. If your looking for more information into diamonds, see our diamond buying guide here.