Expert advice on buying the perfect engagement ring.
WHETHER GOING FOR A TRADITIONAL LOOK OR SOMETHING MORE MODERN, HERE ARE THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KEEP IN MIND.
Classic is key
Although there are plenty of diamond cuts and combinations, few things beat a classic. Traditional favourites like the solitaire – a ring with a single diamond – are still the most popular, and will never go out of style. Like clothing, jewellery goes through various trends and while that might not matter as much with other items, when it comes to engagement rings, you want something that will last forever. Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend The stats don’t lie. Diamonds still account for the vast majority of engagement ring stones – about 95 per cent – followed by sapphire (about four per cent) and then other varieties. Put simply, a diamond is your safe bet. That said, coloured diamonds like yellow or pink have become more popular in recent years, and could be a handy option if you want something different. These are generally more expensive than regular diamonds, though the fact Western Australia accounts for a large share of the world’s yellow diamond production could add a local characteristic to your ring selection.
But not always. While your fiancée may have her heart set on a stone the size of your fst, a diamond’s value is about more than its weight alone. It pays to familiarise yourself with the four Cs (see right), since a diamond’s cut, clarity or colour may give you a more beautiful result, even if it’s not the largest stone on offer. More often than not, you’ll be able to reach a nice middle ground to suit your budget.
Book an appointment
Nothing beats an expert opinion. Once you have an idea of the kind of jewellery your partner likes (does it tend to be showy or more conservative? Classic or modern?), you should arrange a consultation to go through the styles on offer with someone in the know. It’s also worth paying attention to your partner leading up to popping the question, since she’s probably been dropping some hints.
And it’s OK to come in together
While many people think an engagement ring should be a complete surprise, you don’t want it to be the wrong kind of surprise. That would be bad. These days, as many as half of all engagement ring consultations are done together. With many couples sharing the fnancial load a lot more evenly, it makes sense for both parties to be comfortable with the choice. If you do want to keep an element of surprise, you may want to come in as a couple to decide on the right ring – then, it’s up to you when to actually pop the question. Other than that, be sure the retailer you choose will allow you to return the ring if need be, so you’re covered if you do miss the mark.
Find a reputable dealer
While there are plenty of jewellers out there, it pays to do your research. More established names will come not just with a greater range of options to choose from, but also with more expert advice to help you fnd the right ring. Also, it’s worth checking things like warranties and returns policies – for instance, Tiffany & Co. gives you 30 days to bring the ring back and exchange it.
DIAMONDS STILL ACCOUNT FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF ENGAGEMENT RING STONES – AS MUCH AS 95 PER CENT.
4 THE GQ GROOM GUIDE