Q1. Should he buy the engagement ring?
It's a nice idea to have your boyfriend whisk you away to some secluded location and present you with a sparkling ring... but ask yourself - does he have the same taste as you? Would you rather choose a ring yourself?"¨It is much more romantic for a man to already have the engagement ring when he proposes than to hand you an 'I owe you'. It means he has put a lot of thought into the proposal and carefully chosen a ring to symbolise his love for you. Also if you are presented with a ring you can wear it immediately.
The flip side
After your boyfriend has put in all that thought and chosen a special ring (he is sure you will love) you don't want to turn around and say "thanks honey... but no thanks.""¨Most women have a very good idea of what style of ring they would like. There are many design variables and not all styles suit all people.
There is a way to have all the romance of being presented with a token of love when he is proposing without having to commit to wearing a sparkler that you don't actually like. Your partner can present you with a temporary/ training engagement ring (such as costume jewellery, a Christmas cracker ring, or even a thread of cotton) until you both decide on the right one together. "¨That way, you will know your boyfriend has put thought into the engagement, and it wasn't spare-of-the-moment, you will have something to wear immediately and the proposal will be absolutely romantic!
Q2. How much should I spend on a ring?
It is up to each individual how much they can afford to spend, but do keep in mind the significance of this piece of jewellery. This ring symbolises your love for each other and will be worn everyday for the rest of your life. It may even be passed down to children and grandchildren. "¨Now that you're aware of the significance, you need to set a budget for yourselves. The suggested rule of thumb is that one - two months salary is spent on the ring, however the affordability of this is up to the individual. Decide how much you can afford and don't allow yourself to look at anything above that price."¨You will now need to think about your priorities when it comes to cut, colour, clarity and carat as this will determine the price. Read our article on choosing your diamond to learn all about how to choose the best diamond for your money."¨Check out our gallery and decide on a design. You are more likely to stick to your budget if you start shopping with an idea of what you want.
Q3. What diamond shape is best for me?
Round diamonds look great on most people. You need to ensure that it is not too big or too small for your finger size. If you have large fingers you need a larger stone, the same rule applies to those with smaller fingers (sorry ladies). A large stone may look unbalanced on a small finger."¨Do have small fingers? Go for:
- Pear, Marquise and oval shapes. They can make your fingers appear longer.
- You can have a big rock.... But not too big!
Do you have large fingers? Go for:
- Balanced ring - a symmetrical shape, such as a Emerald
- Marquise can make your fingers appear more slender.
- A large stone! Go as big as you wish... or can afford.
Everyone's hand is individual and so the best way to decide on a shape is to try on a few and see what shape you like and what looks best on you.
It depends on your wedding budget
Some diamond shapes are more expensive than others - an Asscher cut diamond is going to be more expensive than a princess shaped stone for instance.
What setting do you want?
If you have your heart set on a particular setting, then this may restrict what shape you choose. For instance a solitaire setting will need a symmetrical shaped ring so a heart or pear shape is out.
Q4. What difference does the cut make to my diamond?
The way your diamond is cut will affect the way light travels through the stone. An optimum cut (which will allow the most light through) may result in a smaller carat weight, but it will be more dazzling and of higher value. "¨Unfortunately many cutters don't conform to the ideal cutting proportions so that they can retain the weight of the stone."¨If a stone has been cut too deep or too shallow, light will escape through the sides and bottom - reducing sparkle value. The moral of the story - spend the money on a good cut rather than carat weight.
Q5. How should I care for my wedding rings?
To ensure your rings retain their shine, make sure you look after them well.
- Store your rings separately; it is a good idea to invest in a jewellery box with separate compartments so your rings don't rub against your other jewellery.
- Have your rings checked by a jeweller - they will make sure your settings are still holding your precious stone or stones firmly in place.
- Regularly clean your rings to ward off any stubborn and built up dirt that can affect the sheen of your gold and stone.
- Insure your precious jewels!