Choose your engagement ring carefully
A relationship matures through many stages, the significant ones being the initial stage of dating and coupledom, followed by a promise of togetherness resulting in an engagement which is then followed by cementing the promise by getting married.
While the dating period is full of shy smiles and thoughtful presents which don't need to be expensive at all, the stakes are obviously higher when it comes to getting engaged. This is a time when the would-be groom starts panicking because not only does he have to buy a piece of jewellery for a pretty sum of money, he has to ensure he gets it right.
Purchasing an engagement ring is expensive, so the gentleman who wants to propose to his lady can think about emptying out his account of at least two months worth of salary – according to the diamond jewellery industry. There are a few lucky ones who inherit their family heirlooms to give to their blushing brides so this does not apply to them and they can breathe a sigh of relief - they can reset the stone and get it cleaned so that it sparkles for one tenth or less of the cost of a new diamond ring.
It is worthy to consider the bride’s personal taste before buying a ring for her and the groom should be astute enough to ask the advice of one of her closest friends or, in fact, her mother. Chances are that they will have discussed ring styles and preferences because ladies do tend to do that even if there is no wedding in the immediate horizon. However, to help out the groom, who is sure to be befuddled, here is a list of engagement ring styles that are popular...
The solitaire: This is the classic style. A beautiful, big diamond, set in gold, white gold or platinum has always been the first choice for many. A slender band with a single, round stone looks beautiful and will never go out of fashion. The band is important – platinum is the most expensive but also the most durable, white gold and gold are soft metals and there might be wear and tear which will need to be repaired later.
The princess cut: second to the solitaire in the list of must-haves for a woman, is generally the princess cut or square cut diamond ring. Because it is not the classic cut, it stands out and it does look very pretty, especially if you surround the large square diamond with small stones of a different colour, or smaller diamonds. Heart, pear and oval are other cuts which would look beautiful as a ring. The stones in question can be any colour – diamonds come in some beautiful shades – including blue, yellow and black.
Design and size: when a man is choosing a ring, he should make sure that he is going to a reputed brand. Tiffany’s is obviously, the best and most sought after brand where diamonds are concerned and for the discerning bride who knows her Blahniks and Balenciaga’s , this would be the best option. The Tiffany rings have a special feature – the prongs or collets of the band holds up the diamond in such a way that it catches the light from all possible angles. Even if you are not fortunate enough to have access to a Tiffany’s you can still ensure that the setting of the ring is such that the prongs of the band hold it up in such a way so as to let light pass through its facets. And of course, consider carat, cut, colour and clarity – the famed four C’s of diamond buying.
Three stones: Instead of a single solitare, three smaller solitaires are also a favourite – representing past, present and future. Not only that, they really sparkle so they up the ante in that aspect! Remember, major sparkle is key, always! You can also present your darling girl with an eternity ring – one which has small diamonds set all around it – a circlet of diamonds as it were. These rings symbolise a promise of eternal love and togetherness.
Whatever the ring is, make sure you present it with the right amount of pomp, surprise and flourish – that will make the ring most special for the years to come. Also, try and match it with a wedding band as a set – many brides have the problem of not being able to match their wedding rings with their engagement rings. A modern take on this is to wear two, gem encrusted bands around the engagement ring. Otherwise, a plain gold band as a wedding ring will not look out of place when worn with a beautifully set diamond one, anyway.