You might assume that valentine’s day would be the most popular choice of date for popping the question (it is the day of love after all) but actually the festive season is often a far more popular time for love and romance so it’s no surprise that December is a more popular time to get engaged. It has been recorded to outdo Valentine’s Day, with Christmas Eve being the romantic date of the year, followed by Christmas day and then New Year’s Day
It’s an emotional time where people are around their families and want to share those incredible and special moments with all their loved ones around.
I guess there are memorable gifts, then there are really memorable gifts and there is nothing more memorable like an Engagement ring. So for those of you that are planning on getting down on one knee, here’s a few things you may want to know before rushing out to buy the ring!
An engagement ring is so much more than just another piece of jewellery. This sparkly symbol is an exceptional piece of jewellery but importantly symbolises your commitment to your loved one.
WHERE TO BUY?
The rise of the internet and e-commerce allowing for the added privacy and convenience of purchasing online has meant that more and more people have turned to their computers or smartphones to do their shopping. However, when it comes to engagement ring shopping most people still prefer to visit a bricks and mortar store for their once-in-a-lifetime purchase.
WHY IS THIS?
A ROX diamond specialists says: ‘The special significance of an engagement ring means many shoppers prefer a face-to-face experience with a trusted expert. With this comes the opportunity to view a selection of diamond rings side-by-side in person, see them in different light sources, try them on, ask questions and truly be aware of exactly what you are purchasing and who you are purchasing from – and of course, you can walk away with the ring that very day!’
ENGAGEMENT RING ETIQUETTE
Times have changed and it is becoming more common for couples to venture out ring shopping together. With many couples openly discussing marriage before a proposal they will often take their time to savour the experience of researching, shopping around and trying on rings together. Bridebook suggests that 44% of couples shop together.
However whilst many couples do visit stores together, and sometimes even purchase together, the ring will then often go into hiding until a surprise date that only the proposer knows with the confidence that their partner is going to love the ring. Then all the proposer has to do is focus on nailing that romantic dreamy proposal.
TIP: NOT SURE WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO WEAR YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING DURING YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY? THE MOST POPULAR METHOD IS TO SWITCH YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING OVER TO YOUR RIGHT HAND FOR THE WALK DOWN THE AISLE.
What about after the wedding? There are no hard and fast rules, but the traditional option is to wear the wedding ring first, closest to your heart and then the engagement ring next to it.
SHARING YOUR NEWS
More and more couples are announcing their engagement on social media. According to a recent Wedding Wire survey, 64% of couples are uploading their happy news for friends and family to see online.
SO AS IT’S COMING UP FOR CHRISTMAS, NEW YEAR, THEN VALENTINES, PLUS WE HAVE A LEAP YEAR GIRLS, WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS FOR THE PERFECT RING?
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR RING?
So when choosing your ring, there are the 4 C’s. Cut, Colour, Clarity & Carat
CUT - The most popular diamond shape for an engagement ring is the round brilliant cut created back in 1919 by Marcel Tolkowsky.
COLOUR - The ‘colour’ of a diamond is graded on a scale that judges how colourless the stone is, with white diamonds being the most sought after and valuable.
CLARITY - The ‘clarity’ of a diamond refers to the number and type of inclusions found within the stone that will have appeared whilst the diamond was forming. Think of them as nature’s birthmarks!
CARAT - the ‘carat’ refers to the weight and size of the diamond.
Under the impression that the size of the rock is the most important part of the engagement ring? Don’t get too bogged down on this – bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to diamonds, you have to consider all the other C’s too.
According to a Wedding Wire survey, a staggering 86.2% of brides said that the overall design of the ring was the most important feature to them.
Not a fan of the more traditional style rings?
Remember, there’s no rule that says that an engagement ring has to look a certain way. Alternative rings are becoming more and more popular – we’d suggest subtly swinging the conversation towards your partner’s opinion on what they prefer before making the decision.
ALTERNATIVE DIAMOND RINGS
Diamonds are by far the most popular choice for an engagement ring however, you can also opt for alternative engagement rings that feature various coloured gemstones.
One of the reasons the term “diamonds are forever” exists is because diamonds are considerably more durable than any other gemstone and rank 10 on the Mohs scale.
Looking for durable stones to use in an engagement ring instead of a diamond? Most jewellers recommend sapphires and rubies as the best option as they rank at a 9 on the Mohs scale.
While you can technically choose to present any ring as an engagement ring, it’s worth remembering that jewellers often recommend not using opals, pearls and a number of other gems as they’re too soft to be durable enough for wearing every day.
The perfect ring will be set in Platinum, White Gold, Gold or Rose Gold, but it is imperative if you are not buying from a jeweller direct that you check for a hallmark. It is the oldest form of consumer protection.
CARING FOR YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING
According to one of our engagement ring specialists: ‘Engagement rings (especially platinum ones) are super tough and made to endure a lifetime of wear, but of course no piece of jewellery can be completely infallible.
To ensure your ring is kept in good condition, yearly check-ups with your jeweller are recommended. Ring claws can be caught on clothing and hair; and carrying heavy bags can cause shanks to become misshapen. A build-up of dirt and oil underneath claws can also cause them to move and your diamond to become loose – so keep that ring clean!
You probably never want to take it off, but there are times when you really shouldn’t keep your engagement ring on – but the National Association of Jewellers recommends taking off your jewellery if you’re ‘involved in sports, swimming or gardening or any activity which could knock or damage it.
Do you wear your sparkler to bed? While it is completely down to personal choice, catching your ring in the sheets when you’re tossing and turning can do some damage to the stone or the setting, so take care!
Chemicals can also do a lot of damage to precious metals and gems, so take your engagement ring off when you’re spring cleaning, and put any perfumes or body lotions on before you slip it back on, not after.
Want to get your ring back to looking like the day it was purchased? The metal can easily be polished or replated by a jeweller – problem solved!
However, if you want a DIY option for the time in between your yearly visit? A ROX specialists suggest that you can restore your diamond ring’s brilliance by using a solution of warm water and washing up liquid. Leave your ring soaking in the solution for around 20 minutes before removing, gently brushing with a soft toothbrush and rinsing. I would usually recommend a babies toothbrush for this.
TOP TIP: after cleaning your diamond, dry it with a hairdryer and polish with a lens cloth (the one you get with spectacles). This will ensure a super glossy, streak free finish to your beautiful ring!
While you can’t do anything about the sentimental value, if you have your ring properly appraised and insured for its full replacement value, you’ll at least be covered financially if it’s ever lost, stolen or damaged.
FINALLY - ENGAGEMENT RINGS MYTHS
Ever heard the ‘rule’ that an engagement ring should cost the equivalent of two or three months’ salary? That’s a thing of the past! There are no hard and fast rules on how much to splash out on a ring – the most important thing is that you pick one that both you and your future spouse fall head over heels for.
So why not start to have a little look before Christmas is upon us and get ready to get down on one knee. Click on the below and enjoy the world of bling!