Christmas is the season to be jolly; and for some, engaged. The cheer flows on tap, and relatives are more accepting than annoying; which makes for a steady combination of high spirits, liquid spirits and family spirits– the perfect recipe for popping the most important question of your life. December is officially the ´unofficial engagement period´. Just take a look at your Facebook feed on Christmas Day – rings, smiles and #engaged remain for days which is a reasonable action – after all, committing to a lifelong partner is a landmark event, and as we are supposed to propose only once in a lifetime, it should be a memorable one.
Popping the nearest Champagne bottle is far easier than popping the question itself. It takes months of preparation, planning and of course, the perfect ring – especially if you’re planning on a surprise. With all these factors in mind, we have equipped you with the information below to educate you on what you need to know before you stoop to one knee (and spend the next four months eating noodles).
It´s All About The Preparation
So you’ve found the woman (or man) of your dreams. However, before heading to the nearest jewellers for a rock to rival Kimye´s, you need to get your head round the trade technicalities.
If you’re buying in secret, a ring size is very important. A ring from the jewellery box is a good indication of the size needed. But if she’s more hawkeyed, there are printable online ring sizers that measure the right ring finger from which you can estimate the engagement band. There’s still a margin for error, though, which is why most jewellers offer an adjustment service to ensure a closer fit once she has said yes.
Learn The Four Cs of Diamonds
It’s also important to learn the four Cs of diamonds – Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat weight;
- Colour – A chemically pure diamond has no hue, so look out for a distinct lack of colour.
- Clarity – High-quality diamonds should be clear, so no frosting, blemishes or ingrained crystal.
- Cut – A strong diamond should boast outstanding light interaction (sparkle).
- Carat Weight – Heavier is larger (and often better quality), but also more expensive.
But there is another ‘C’ you should consider: Cost. It helps to have an idea of budget and their taste in general too. As diamond bands range from £400 to the hundreds of thousands, your initial consultation won’t be all that beneficial if you haven’t done your research.
Forecasting Jewellery Trends
Like menswear, jewellery is subject to style trends. The difference though, is that they’re even more discreet. Plus, at a time when ostentatious pieces are a fatal attraction for robbers (Paris and Kim K, anyone?), bigger isn’t always better.
Coloured gems are one of the brightest trends of 2016. But diamonds, rubies and sapphires are the best choices as they offer colour, but are also the most resilient, which is worth bearing in mind, unless you’re prepared to fork out for re-stoning.
If there are infinite zeros on your budget however, coloured diamonds could be an option. This is also a move which is increasingly on trend, but inevitably more expensive. Coloured diamonds are a strong trend, but they’re costlier than white varieties. Opt for a white diamond of a lower colour grading as they’re similar in appearance to yellow diamonds, but can be up to a third cheaper.
In addition to this, there are several brands to consider such as Nirav Modi and Polly Wales which both cater to the colour wheel. And if you’re looking for added value in the future, Kataoka and Andrew Geoghegan are names which are up and coming in diamond circles.
Though jewellers boast larger ranges, bespoke design is an option if you’ve got a greater understanding of your partner’s tastes. With regards to your wallet, bear one thing in mind, one-offs don’t necessarily cost the world in comparison for the wow factor that you will achieve.
Bespoke can be far less expensive than a high street retailer, with rings starting at around £2,000, making them more affordable. So, if you’re willing to look beyond the traditional white solitaire diamond, there is merit to be found in selecting other stones and settings.
For this bespoke service, most of the time you are paying for the personalised one-to-one service. This will involve an in depth consultation with a designer, who in person which will confirm the budget, timescales and a general design outline. When the design is developed, ideas are shared and amendments are made at every step until your piece is perfect.
Bespoke jewellery can also be a more ethical choice. An experienced jeweller can not only identify the country of origin, but also the diamond cutter and source mine. All of which proves you needn’t compromise your morals for an impressive ring.
After all that, just hope they say yes!