Traditionally the engagement ring is chosen by the man, who spends a month’s salary on a diamond ring, before going down on one knee to pop the question. Nowadays anything goes and there’s even a ‘mengagement ring’ around for men who also want to have a shiny band or a sparkly rock on their finger to remind them how much they are loved. Here’s what to think about before choosing your engagement ring(s).
Image courtesy of Platinum
Buying an engagement ring
Whether you’re buying a ring for a male or female partner, it’s important to get an idea of what they would like, before you go out and buy what you think they’d like; it would be such a shame to get it wrong.
Look for clues in what they currently wear – if they already have jewellery in white gold or platinum then it’s best to go for the same metal. If your partner currently wears a ring on their ring finger then a jeweller may lend you a measuring stick for you to slip their current ring onto so you can get the size exactly right.
To go that one step further consider having the ring engraved with words of never-ending love and propose at a beautiful setting or on a memorable date.
The ‘mengagement ring’
The brilliantly named ‘mengagement ring’, or men’s engagement ring, was launched as the modern man’s essential engagement accessory, and it’s catching on fast. It’s the ideal way for a confident woman, who believes in her sexual equality with her partner, to make a memorable gesture as she proposes to her man – Leap Year or otherwise. Mengagement rings are also a sure winner for civil partnerships between two men. It’s the most obvious way for a man to show his love and commitment to his partner in the lead up to their wedding.
When it comes to choosing diamond rings, it’s useful to keep in mind the ‘four Cs’: the cut, colour, clarity and carat. A well-cut diamond will reflect light perfectly and the cut also refers to the shape of the diamond, which can be called round, marquise, emerald, princess, pear, oval or heart. All are beautiful to look at, but round is the most ‘brilliant’ with its symmetrical shape allowing it to reflect nearly all the light that enters the diamond. Diamonds are graded based on the presence or absence of colour; the most valuable diamond is absolutely colourless. The carat denotes the weight of the diamond and it’s generally better to go for a high-quality diamond of a lower carat, than a larger, poorer quality diamond.
Whatever you spend on an engagement ring, it’s the sentiment that is the most important thing and getting the style right for the person who is going to wear it. And if you get it right, your loved one may choose to wear that ring for the rest of their life.
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.