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.

GQ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

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.

Size mat­ters

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

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