For the past two decades here at EC One we have been helping couples find the perfect ring. Here are 10 tips for anyone thinking about proposing…
1. Research what you think they would like. Many people make the mistake of buying what they like rather than thinking of what their partner would like. You were probably not drawn to them because they are just like you (let’s hope not!) so think about what sort of thing they would like to wear. If you are really unsure, then take one of their friends along whose opinion you know you can trust.
2. Take a photo of your beloved with you when you go ring shopping. At EC One we will often ask if the proposer has a photo of their partner. This can give us a better idea of what sort of person they are and what we think they might like. Practical things such as do they work with their hands and will they have to take the ring off when they are working may make a difference to your choice.
3. Proposing with a ring is always much more romantic than being empty handed. You are much more likely to get a ‘yes’ when you turn up with a beautiful ring. Of course, most people want to choose what they wear – long gone are the days when the ‘proposed to’ have to settle for whatever they are given, so make sure the jewellers will exchange it if it’s not quite right.
4. Don’t worry too much about the finger size. Most jewellers will stock an average size which can then be fitted once the ring has been given. If you can find a ring that you know they already wear then do take it to your jeweller. However, it is unlikely that they wear anything on their engagement ring finger, so bear in mind any other will be just a guess.
5. Diamonds are a girl’s (or boys) best friend! Without a doubt, nothing says marry me more than a diamond. It is steeped in history as the most romantic stone and won’t be confused with a dress or cocktail ring when being given. Unless you know for certain they are not a fan, diamonds are the biggest signal that you are serious. Diamonds are graded using the four C’s and a stone should be chosen in this order; Cut, Colour, Clarity, and Carat weight. The hot trend now though is salt and pepper diamonds in an unusual cut. Make sure you have a basic knowledge and above all trust the person who is selling you the stone.
6. Don’t buy a diamond ring without holding it in your hand. Two diamonds can look identical on the certificate, but small differences in proportion can affect the look of the stone. The size of the table (the flat top of the diamond), for example, can affect how it catches the light. A large table reflects more white light, a small table reflects the fire of the diamond. It’s really down to personal preference, and it’s something you need to see up close. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, would you?
7. How much should it cost? This is often referred to as the fifth C! Most estimates vary from one to three months’ salary. Our advice is always to set yourself a budget and don’t go too far away from that. There are clever ways to make the most of your budget for example several smaller diamonds over a large single stone. It might seem expensive considering the size however in defence of the jeweller, they are selling you something that (if it is well made) is expected to be worn every day for the rest of your life. Pretty good value really.
8. Buy from people you like and have a long-standing solid reputation. I am constantly amazed by the number of people who proudly show their bargain ring bought with cash in the back room of some dodgy Hatton Garden ‘office’. Whoever you buy from, are they reputable, is the stone ‘conflict free’, and will they still be around when you come to buy a matching wedding band? All of their friends will ask your fiancé where the ring is from, and bargainbasement.com isn’t going to look very good….
9. Always ask the jeweller where the materials came from - and who made it. If they can’t answer that then maybe they should be treated with caution. At EC One we are passionate about making sure that your symbol of love hasn’t come about at the cost of someone else’s misery. Wherever possible, make sure the ring is made using recycled or Fairtrade gold and even better if the stones can be traced back to the place they were mined.
10. Finally – the proposal. Here at EC One we hear lots of amazing stories of different proposals. They range from The London Eye to scuba diving! Whatever you decide, asking for someone’s hand in marriage is one of the most important things that you will ever do.
Therefore, a good deal of consideration should be put into the timing and setting of this event. This is a memorable moment, which will be told and retold over the years to your friends, family, and maybe children and grandchildren. Make it a story worth telling…….