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A man’s guide to choosing an engagement ring

Valentine’s day is today, but let’s face it, there are guys in long-term relationships who know they have found the one, the love of their life, but are unprepared for the next life-affirming step - buying an engagement ring and proposing. 

This is unknown territory, a daunting task of diamonds, shape, size, with or without colour, contemporary or antique and the financial cost. Here is the no nonsense guide you have been waiting for! 

1) Budget. There are various phrases of “you must have two or three months salary” to purchase the diamond ring for you. In reality you buy what you can afford and knowing what the person in question likes. However you still need to be realistic. There is no point thinking your modest “Ford Mondeo budget” will buy you a new C class Mercedes. 

2) Utilise what she currently has. Whilst she is out having a drink with her girl friends, have a good look at her jewellery box. What does she go for? Are they new or vintage? Is there a lot of colour? Does she like diamonds (read this diamond guide) or would the rich colours of gemstones such as Rubies, Emeralds or Sapphires do the trick? 

3) Work your power base! Understand from all her friends, colleagues and family what she likes. This can be done either with their knowledge you are looking to propose, and they can be trusted to keep it quiet. Or, by being subtle with questions. Has she provided any hints, or does she have to have a specific designer brand? 

4) The 4C’s. This is where people get lost in copious diamond jargon detail and can lose interest. To keep it simple, it was created by the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) and is the industry standard for grading diamonds. Cut, clarity, colour and carat weight. 

• Cut proportions and shape determine the brilliance and fire within a diamond. A poor cut diamond will not sparkle as much as an excellent cut and polish. 

• Clarity – All diamonds have natural traces of growth, these are known as internal characteristics. When discussing clarity, we talk about the size, number and location of these characteristics when examined under 10 x magnification. The highest grade is Flawless, the lowest grade is Included (I3) 

• Colour. Colour in white diamonds is actually graded as the absence of colour, i.e. the whitest it can be. The vast majority of white diamonds actually have yellowish tints. The scale starts at the highest D – colourless and goes down to Z – light yellow/brown. 

• Carat weight. The weight of a diamond is measured in metric carats. One carat is equal to 0.2grams. The larger the weight, the more expensive.

The better the combination of these factors means the greater the quality of the diamond. Does size matter? It is often better to select a diamond with high grade cut, clarity and colour than simply choosing the biggest. However you know what she likes, and size might rock her world more! 

5) Traditional or vintage inspired. Jewellery and rings span centuries. Would she want a traditional single (solitaire) diamond or more of a twist with additional diamond shoulders? Perhaps multiple diamonds as centre stones. Would she prefer something from the Victorian or Art Deco periods? 

6) Custom to the perfect fit. Specialist designers can use state of the art computer aided design (CAD) to create a ring made to your exact specifications. All the quirky details you have mentioned she likes can be incorporated. “She loves horses, can I have a horse on it?”... Yes. Additionally, you could have the wedding band(s) made to fit perfectly around your engagement ring. 

7) At N. J. Geddes Fine jewellery concierge, you will can get an exclusive and personal service unique to your relationship. Offering the finest diamonds and jewels any women would dream of. Time is taken to understand what you want with an aim to take away the stress of the purchase, without the burden and pressure of a high street store. After all who wouldn’t want a personal jeweller to guide them?

"It's better to select a diamond with high grade cut, clarity & colour than the biggest"
"It's better to select a diamond with high grade cut, clarity & colour than the biggest"


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