Many girls dream of finding that special someone who will one day slide a glittering engagement ring on their finger before walking the aisle in a glamorous wedding dress.
Savvy partners who are looking to pop the question will know to keep their ears out for their girlfriend dropping hints, but to lend an extra helping hand with what could be a stressful decision, here are three things girls want their partners to know before choosing an engagement ring.
1. Choosing the right metal
If you were to look back at your parent's and grandparents' wedding bands and engagement rings, there's a good chance you'll find a lot of yellow gold. This is not to say that the metal is dated, but one of the key decisions in ring buying can be made a lot simpler with a quick look at your fiance-to-be's jewellery collection.
Different girls' complexions will be naturally more suited to either gold or silver-toned pieces, so there is a good chance she'll have the majority of her jewellery in her preferred metal. If they tend to stick to the same core accessories, take note of these as well.
White gold is a modern choice for many brides, as it truly shines with any stone – especially diamonds.
2. Does it make the cut?
The four C's of diamond buying are a good thing to get your head around. Cut, clarity, carat and colour (which we'll cover below) are the stalwart standard for finding the finest examples around.
The setting is also important – a traditional prong setting is a classic option, allowing light to enter the diamond from all angles, but a bezel setting could be another choice. A ring with a bezel setting sits in its own tiny cup, meaning that it is more secure and has less chance of scratching or catching on clothing.
3. Colour of love
Fancy coloured diamonds (yes, that is the real term) are a bold choice, but with the right setting, your fiancee will love you all the more. According to the Gemological Institute of America, while diamonds are usually valued for their lack of colour, the rarer specimens that are saturated with vibrant colour are even more valuable, hence their higher price.
Yellow diamonds are often seen accompanied with a halo of clear, white diamonds around the central stone. For the girl who loves pink, a rosy-hued diamond is rarer still. Either will add a touch of whimsy to an engagement ring, but as it's a long-term commitment, be doubly sure before you go all out on a coloured diamond.