Tradition may dictate that an engagement ring should be a surprise, lovingly picked out by whomever is offering it up to you, but for those of us with a strong sense of personal style, there’s nothing wrong with dropping some major hints – after all, you’re the one who’s going to be wearing it. But where to look, what to look out for and how to be sure you don’t fall out of love (with the ring, not your other half)? This is a purchase with longevity and importance like no other, so the stakes are high and, for many of us, shopping for stones is out of our comfort zone.
Start with the designer – the brands that instantly appeal will tell you something about the type of ring that you can make a lasting commitment to. The likes of Boucheron specialize in impeccable craftsmanship and outstanding sparkle. Their Quatre Radiant Edition ring in white gold, made up of four signature bands (including a dazzling layer of diamonds) is an homage to the house’s jewelry-making heritage. Chopard’s ‘Happy Hearts’ collection includes exquisite statement rings for those with bold tastebuds. If you want a simpler or antique style, then jewelry houses such as Pomellato or Amrapali are sure to win your affections.
If you prefer something unconventional, there’s a clutch of independent, boundary-pushing, female-led brands who should be on your radar. Anita Ko, Melissa Kaye and Suzanne Kalan all create rings with an equal measure of personality and elegance. Look for multiple bands, sculptural curves and delicate, decorative patterns. These designers all have what women want at their core, meaning their rings will make the perfect accompaniment to day- and occasion-dressing alike.
Think carefully about whether to go yellow, white or rose gold – which works best with your skin tone? Don’t go with something you admire but feels out of kilter with the rest of your wardrobe and jewelry; this needs to be the jewel in your crown, not a standalone piece. And be cautious too about the setting – as the most-worn item you own, it will be put through its paces, and some designs can catch on your clothes or act like dirt traps. Save those pieces for special occasions, but for your engagement ring, perfect needs just a little practicality. Ultimately, though, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Just like the object of your affection, if you fall in love, nothing else matters.
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