7 Tips for choosing an engagement ring

What’s sweeter than chocolate and more romantic than a bouquet of red roses when it comes to wowing your loved one on Valentine’s Day? A well-planned marriage proposal, of course, sealed with a stunning engagement ring!

Romance is still very much in the air as we get nearer to Valentine’s — one of the top five most popular times for popping the question, after Christmas and New Year. But how do you choose the perfect piece of jewellery for your leading lady? Whether you’re planning to whisk your future fiancee on a romantic getaway or cooking a surprise dinner menu, you need to read these top tips for getting the ring right from Ruth Donaldson of Heirloom London first.  

1. Stick to the first ‘one’ you like
On average, finding the engagement ring takes three months. This is because you’ll go online, talk to everyone, go in store, go back online, go to other store, etc. To save you time and hassle, stick to the first ring that you love rather than waste weeks comparing and debating over several different ones. 
2. Take safety measures
As soon as that ring passes into your hands – it’s your responsibility! So look after it and make sure that you have it insured. 

3. Be romantic, yet practical
The location of your intended proposal may influence what you do with the ring and whether it’s recommended to bring it with you:
  • A winter sun beach holiday: If you are in a hotel or apartment with a safe, then you’ll have somewhere safe to keep the ring. But if you are in a beach hut this may not be a safe bet. Also think about what you are going to present your ring in. The elegant wooden box may not look as romantic full of sand.
  • A city break: Care should be taken in romantic locations where pickpockets are known to operate. Also take care, if you are presenting a ring on a balcony, bridge, or anywhere else it could be dropped.
4. Consider the surprise element
If your beloved tends to react physically to surprises, you may want to propose first, and then present the ring once she has finished waving her arms around or punching the air triumphantly. 
5. Keep it safe
A large ring box looks very nice and romantic in the store, but if you are going overseas, it is not something that wants to be placed in the hold, with the ring inside it!  How do the professionals move rings? Often wrapped in tissue paper, in a discreet little plastic bag. Not the most romantic, but it protects the ring in your wallet, which is a good safe place to keep it secure while you are moving through the airport.
6. If the ring fits
It is always better with a proposal that the ring is too big, rather than too small.  An organised store should be able to provide a ring insert, to ensure that it will at least stay on.  If the ring is loose, then it may be too risky to wear until it has been re-sized.  
7. Cherish the moment
Never confuse fashion with style when choosing an engagement ring. Your buying decision should focus around the latter, rather than former. This is probably one of the longest discussions I have with my clients, but also the most rewarding, as I can then present eight designs to choose from. Following that, some men may choose a bespoke style to create a ring highly personal to her.

Finally, don’t imagine that getting professional help will be expensive or result in you spending tens of thousands of pounds on the ring. A jewellery concierge can take the pressure off, save you hours of time and angst, and ensure your budget (whatever it is) goes as far as possible – meaning you get more ring for your money. With the right help, choosing the perfect ring for your partner does not need to be stressful – in fact it should fun!

With an added day to February, 2016 brings along an exciting tradition for couples, meaning that ladies can pop the question for a change. Now the only question remaining is which one of you will be asking the question first. 

Don’t forget to check out Ruth Donaldson’s advice feature on spotting  the difference between real diamonds and synthetics here.

Heirloom London 
W: www.heirloomlondon.co.uk