The Ring: What, When, Where, How?

There are no rules these days when it comes to engagement rings. American actress Meghan Markle recently wed Prince Harry and they opted for a traditional diamond engagement ring set in yellow gold. Harry, however, selected the center diamond, because it was a conflict-free mined diamond from Botswana, while the single diamonds on either side were from the private collection of Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana.

In a “They’re just like us” moment, many commoners could relate, both to the desire to have a ring that is environmentally friendly as well as an heirloom from a cherished family member.

Maybe you’re not royalty, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to feel like a queen when you look at your ring finger. What I love about the era we are living in, is that this means different things to different people. So here are some things to consider when you’re about to take the plunge:

1) Brides-to-be (or hoping-to-be): Would you rather your significant other surprise you? If you know he knows your style, or you really don’t have any specific vision in mind for your engagement ring, you might want to stick with the age-old tradition of the groom picking out the engagement ring.

2) Have you been dreaming of a specific ring your whole life? Are you really picky? Have you been talking about getting married for some time now? If you fit into any of these categories, it might be best to make this shopping trip together. Not only are there no surprises for those who may not like them, but you’ll be making a significant budgeting decision together as well.

3) If it’s got to be a diamond, be sure to educate yourself on the 4 C’s (Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight). While all are important to an extent, it also depends on your priorities. For example, if you’ve always dreamed of a big ole diamond, but you’re on a budget, you may want to sacrifice some clarity for a larger carat weight.

4) Maybe it doesn’t have to be a diamond. That’s right, years ago, many different gemstones were used for a betrothal. In recent years, trends have been going back in this direction with anything from colored diamonds, to aquamarines, emeralds and pearls being used for engagement rings. To reference our beloved Royals once again, Kate Middleton, was gifted Princess Diana’s Sapphire engagement ring when Prince William proposed to her.

5) Lastly, there is the “heirloom factor”. Perhaps there is a ring in either of your families that has been handed down through the generations and in a perfect world, it’s fits like a glove and you LOVE it. But that’s not always the way it works. If you want to honor this tradition but it’s not quite a perfect fit, you could simply have the ring re-sized (there are ways to make a ring both larger or smaller than the original). Or consider having the stone or stones put into a new or more modern setting.

However you choose to show off that bling, be sure it’s something you truly love; after all it will be with you for the rest of your life!

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