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How to Pick the Engagement Ring of Her Dreams

Anyone with a certain amount of money can buy an engagement ring. But picking the right one is a different kind of challenge altogether – and choosing the engagement ring of your partner’s dreams is hardest of all. Forget the expense and forget the nerves as you take to one knee to propose in front of a crowded restaurant, or in front of her family, or quietly at home. It will all be worth it if she breaks into a smile as dazzling as the diamond presented to her.

After the glow of the accepted proposal, the beaming fiancée will inevitably look at the ring, try it on and spend several moments staring at it, turning it over to examine it from every angle possible.

If you’ve chosen correctly, she’ll tell you she absolutely loves the ring and you’ll be ecstatic that your work has paid off. So, how do you pick an engagement ring that’s not just "nice", but the one of her dreams? Follow these pointers and you might just crack it. It’s well worth doing your homework on diamond engagement rings. Walking into a high street jewellers, looking at the window display and picking a ring out is temptingly easy but hardly demonstrates much thought and attention. Time spent researching is time spent well. Alistair Smith, the author of How To Buy An Engagement Ring, has been through the journey when he decided to propose to girlfriend before realising impartial advice was hard to come by.

“I talked to friends who had already popped the question to get an idea of how they went about the process but found that most of them had jumped in without knowing what they were doing, spent way too much money and regretted their purchase,” he wrote. “I didn’t want to make the same mistake... so I spent six months researching before I bought my ring.” The end result, after a rather exhaustive search across three continents, was success. 

“I spent less than my friends and less than I originally budgeted but ended up with an eye-popping ring that she loved. I nailed it.” Smith’s quest sounds like total commitment for half a year and certainly a load of hard work. Just knowing where to look and understanding what to ask can achieve the same result in much less time, however. Choosing the diamond first and then building the perfect ring around it is one strategy.

Specialists like 77Diamonds work with loose diamonds and it may come as a surprise to the uninitiated that there are several shapes available – from Round to Oval, Cushion to Heart, Emerald to Marquise. The experts can talk you through important details and explain why cut, clarity, carat, colour (diamonds are graded on their ‘whiteness’), contour and certification govern the overall cost. Certain shapes suit people better than others. Some really compliment long fingers, such as the Princess cut, while others – Asscher, Cushion and Emerald – help to elongate shorter fingers and make them look more slender. 

Consider, too, your partner’s style. What type of jewellery and accessories does she usually wear? Subtle or showy? If she prefers clean and classic, Round or Emerald would suit. For a stone that is a little more quirky and individual, the Marquise or Pear may appeal. Once the diamond has been chosen, add the ring itself and the metal. Ring styles usually fall into categories such as Classic, Contemporary, Vintage or Trilogy, which range from simple in design to more intricate. Metal can be coloured; white gold and platinum are similar, yellow gold and rose gold are warmer. Again, you need to know the tastes of your partner before deciding which to choose.

Finally, get the size of the ring right. It’s not an easy thing to know, but this guide offers some advice. Try to borrow a ring she already owns and wears – if she takes it off to shower or exercise, for example – and trace around the inner circle on a piece of paper. If that’s not possible, make a note of your partner’s height and weight, and the jeweller should be able to make a close estimate; go with a slightly bigger size than a slightly smaller size as sizing a ring down is easier to do than increasing it. Combine a decent understanding of your partner’s likes and style with some thorough research on your behalf and picking the engagement ring of her dreams need not be such a daunting task. Put the effort in, it’ll be well worth it when you see the joy on her face at the end of it all. 

*Red box, Suited man, Couple, Wedding day, Wood table images via Shutterstock

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