Determine if Proposal With or Without Ring
So how are you going to propose, or have you done it already? If you haven’t popped the question yet then you need to decide whether you will have the ring with you or whether you will buy it together afterwards.
This is the traditional method where you head down to the local High Street jewellery store and ask the sales assistant what she thinks your future fiancée would like. She then picks out a mediocre diamond engagement ring (diamond already set in a ring) at an inflated price and tells you that your future wife will melt when you propose with this.
Of course, you now know that a High Street or national brand jewellery store is the not the best place to get the most diamond for your buck.
It is a good place to go and look at potential styles. It is also a good place to find out what your pre-determined budget will buy you on the High Street, knowing that you can then reduce that price by 30%
to 50% to get the same specification diamond online or wholesale, or increase the diamond specification to fill your entire budget.
Determine Her Preferred Diamond Ring Style
You need to be certain before you buy the ring of what she is going to really love; after all, she will be wearing it every day for the rest of her life!
Look at her existing ring styles. Is she traditional, contemporary modern or funky in her tastes? Does she wear predominantly gold or silver coloured jewellery (some women don’t like to mix the colours)? It will probably follow that she will use that same sense of style with her engagement ring style.
Get Her Ring Size
There are two main ways to go about determining her ring size.
a) Sneak one of her existing rings (make sure it is one she wears on one of her ring fingers) from her jewellery box and take it with you on one of your recon trips to the High Street jewellers. Then get the jeweller to measure the ring using a ring sizer.
b) Take a small bar of soap or plasticine and make an impression of one of her rings in it. Then take the
soap/plasticine to the jeweller and get them to measure the ring size from that.
Don’t let finding a great diamond, in her perfect setting, at a great price but the wrong ring size put you off from purchasing it – the ring itself can be easily resized at negligible cost.
Loose Diamond then Set Pre Proposal
This is where you purchase the diamond separately and then have it set in a ring before proposing. You will probably make large savings doing it this way as you will most probably buy the diamond from an online diamond retailer or independent diamond merchant.
I think it can be a good option as long as you are confident in your diamond knowledge, know exactly what style of setting your girlfriend wants, and that you will be meeting her expectations.
This also gives you the option of pulling out of having the diamond set before the proposal in case you lose your confidence in selecting the right setting. You then still have the diamond to use to propose to her, after which you can both shop for the setting.
Loose Diamond Pre-Proposal then Set Post Proposal
This is where you buy the diamond before proposing and then shop for the setting together afterwards. It is quite similar to the previous option but completely takes the heat off you to guesstimate what her perfect setting is.
I think this is a great way to do it because you go to a lot of time and effort to find her the perfect diamond and she will appreciate this immensely. You are then also thoughtful enough to let her make the decision herself as to how the diamond is set – a double winner!
It also ensures that you stick to your budget for the diamond without being influenced by your girlfriend on how much you should be spending.
Off-the-Shelf Ring Post-Proposal
This option is a less traditional means of proposing but is a great way to get your girlfriend very excited! Just think, women adore shopping, they adore diamonds, and most adore the thought of getting engaged and married. No wonder it blows their mind when you combine all three!
There are a few obvious downsides to this option. First, you can’t present her with anything when you get down on one knee.
Second, there are now two of you shopping for the perfect diamond engagement ring and you both have different agendas. One of you wants to minimise the cost and one of you wants to maximise the size and sparkle!
One way around this is educating your fiancée with this diamond information. Explain exactly how you are going to go about maximising her diamond while minimising the cost of that diamond.
Third, less scrupulous diamond retailers may use hard-sell tactics on you when they realise that you are shopping for the ring together. A common tactic would be for them to bring out a few diamonds of the specification that you request plus a bigger one that might be another £1000 or so more expensive, just for “comparisons” sake. Don’t let trickery like this sway you from your budget.
Using CZ Shapes to Propose
Using Cubic Zirconium stones (fake diamond) during the proposal so that you can present ‘something’ to your girlfriend and still then go and find the perfect diamond together.