How to choose the perfect ring for your love

Engagement 101: how to choose the perfect ring for your love

For years, it seemed true love wasn't ever going to find you – until the day your soul mate waltzed into your life.

An innocent encounter in your neighbourhood grocery store led to a coffee date, where you connected on a deeper level than with any person you had known before.

Several months later, you're convinced: they are the one you been waiting for your entire life. It's time to shop for 'the ring', but to be honest, you haven't the slightest clue where to begin.

We get it: shopping for an engagement ring can be intimidating. By following a few key steps, though, you'll figure out how to pick a ring they'll look upon with fondness 40 years from the day you pop the question.

Recruit close friends and family

Don't shop for an engagement ring blind. Instead, gather intelligence beforehand from those who know them best – her family members and BFFs.

They may know off-hand what their ring size is; if they don't, it is often simple for them to 'borrow' one from their collection so it can be sized by a jeweller.

Further, it will be easy for close friends to start a casual conversation about what your partner would love to see in an engagement ring.

What tidbits should they extract? Ideally, they should find out what shape they like, whether size is important, and if they have any preferences which stand out from the norm (e.g. coloured diamonds, an eternity band ring, etc).

This will make it easier for you to elicit that look of total surprise and joy you want to see from your beloved.

Take care to select the right metal

The metal which will make up your fiance-to-be's engagement ring should also be taken seriously. This isn't just a question of style (get your 'spies' to ask about colour and type of band they would prefer), but also of compatibility.

Some people are allergic to nickel, which is used as an alloy metal in white gold rings. If your partner has complained about how the rings they currently own make their fingers break out in a red, puffy, rash, make sure the one you buy for the engagement is nickel-free.

Platinum and sterling silver are the most popular options for those seeking hypoallergenic engagement rings, though some types made from yellow gold are also crafted without using nickel as an alloy.

Ask a jeweller about the nickel-free bands they carry and opt for them when creating an engagement ring for your love.

Get the most for your money without wrecking your bank account

Conventional wisdom states you should spend upwards of two months pay for an engagement ring.

However, you and your partner deserve to start married life together on a solid financial footing.

If spending a load of cash on a flashy ring will put you deep into debt, know there are ways to purchase a stunning ring without crippling yourself financially.

Pay the most attention to cut when shopping for a diamond. If done improperly (too deep or shallow), the rock won't have the sparkle which elicits wow's from onlookers.

Clarity is also important – while imperfection-free diamonds cost the most, those with a few blemishes can be had at a discount.

These stones can appear to be perfect if their imperfections are located in the bottom of the stone. Take the time to examine scores of SI1 or SI2 diamonds, and you'll soon find the ideal one for your love.

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