7 tips for the perfect engagement ring
Do you have a special woman that you’d like to gift a piece of jewellery like an engagement or anniversary ring? And you really want that piece to reflect her individuality, that certain something you know makes her unique?
If you already know exactly what would be perfect for her, you can skip this post and head straight for the jeweller…
But what if you have a secret fear you’ll make the wrong choice?
Getting a bespoke piece made for someone can be a big decision especially if you’re fretting: “What if she hates it?” Your instincts already say there’s no-one else like her – but how does that translate into something solid like a ring?
It’s stating the obvious to say you’re going to have to be a bit of a detective about this.
But even knowing what to notice isn’t always easy.
It’s not that hard if you follow these 7 steps. You’ll be able to decide just what details matter.
The pressure will be alleviated and you can get on with making tangible what you already love about her.
1. Watch, listen, take notes. What is she drawing your attention to?
Prick up your ears when she talks about stuff she likes, because that could be useful information.
When she points out something in a magazine, in a shop, or anywhere make a mental note.
Maybe casually ask her what’s so appealing about it. But don’t rush out and buy that thing.
Women aren’t really that literal – we like to allude to qualities in things rather than to the actual thing. (Unless she repeatedly points out the same thing, then you better get on it!).
2. Does she want what everyone else is having?
If you’re contemplating having something specifically designed for her, get clear how far she would want to go with ‘uniqueness’.
Is she’s the kind of woman who prefers things that are different to what you see everywhere?
Or does she need to have one of those handbags, a pair of earrings or gadgets that are the latest fashion?
Is she really the bespoke type? Or does she get excited when she sees Michael Hill ads on the telly?
Does she love it when people pay attention to what she wears? Does she go out of her way to stand out in a crowd? This is where you’ll have to zero in on the detail because how she dresses has much to say about who she sees herself to be. (By the way, we’re not talking the “I have nothing to wear” syndrome – that’s about women wanting to dress to suit a specific occasion.)
3. Gather evidence.
Ah, how much easier is life with your smart phone camera within easy reach! Take photos of her – and her jewelry so you can show your bespoke jeweller.
Get photos of her in work outfits and play clothes. Shoot details like the rings already on her fingers, or her earrings. Just be subtle about it, like pretending to be goofing around with your phone…
Take photos of some her favourite things – you know that stuff she pays attention to and likes to be around. (More ideas below…)
4. Note the details about her appearance and what she’s already wearing.
If you’re thinking of getting her a coloured gemstone then the colour of her hair and skin, as well as the colours of her clothes will help you choose the right stone.
Is she a black, white, ‘angles and sharp lines’ kinda girl? Or does she love floral prints and soft fabrics? Are her clothes bright colours or neutrals? Does she prefer ‘pared back’, or are her clothes a riot of colour and texture?
Is she short or tall? Small women usually need more subtle and delicate jewellery – except in the case where she’s a bigger personality and likes to stand out in a crowd.
5. What she surrounds herself with is also important.
I’m talking about the objects she owns: paintings, furniture and decorative objects. And don’t forget to take some pics!
Perhaps she has a collection of objects from her travels around the world. Perhaps her house is completely pared back and minimalist. Does she choose to drive a distinctive car?Any of these can be super important detail when it comes to the kind of ring she’d like to wear.
Along with the clothes we wear, what we live with not only shows what we like, it helps to define the way we want the world to see us.
Also the magazines and books she reads will give you much insight into what she really craves. Does she drool over Vogue or prefer Country Style? Does she read about gardening, or health, or is she more entranced by articles on business & finance?
6. Let’s not forget what interests her.
Does she play the guitar in her downtime, or is she an avid horsewoman? A dog lover? A knitter or a craftie? A keen frequenter of art galleries – or sporting events? A voracious reader of novels, or more focused on serious non-fiction topics? Does she have an unusual job? Is she passionate about the work she does?
Put simply, is she obsessed with something?
Does she care deeply about a cause? Does she love to talk about big ideas and dreams?
Is she focused on fun, or more inclined to be serious in the way she approaches her life and what it means for her?
7. Finally, and most importantly, What’s the vision you share?
A relationship is always more than the sum of two people. So what is the future you’re shaping together?
When I create engagement rings for people it’s always as much about meaning as it is about making something beautiful and unique. It can be the distillation of something essential or magical about the woman you love, and it can also be about the essence of the vision you two share.
And if it’s an anniversary ring you’re seeking then there’s an opportunity to distil something of what you already are, as a couple, into this piece of jewellery.
Imagery or symbols you both love can help shape the design of the ring. It’s not even necessary to know what a symbol means to you in order for it to continue to resonate with who you are, together.
One couple who were clients of mine had a mutual fascination for the constellation Delphinus and he asked that I map the pattern in sapphires. Another of my clients and his wife-to-be shared an interest in alchemical symbolism and roses – leading to a very unique design. Yet another client wanted to transform her mother’s engagement ring into a modern talisman for themselves as a couple.
Rings have a rich and ancient symbolism. It makes perfect sense that you want her to have the kind of ring no one else is having. And, by the way, it doesn’t even have to involve diamonds.
Long before DeBeers trained everyone to believe ‘a diamond is forever’, and thus the only choice for engagements, people had been exchanging betrothal rings as signs of dedication and future promise.
Much of this information, that you’re on a mission to collect, you probably take for granted. But it’s what shows she’s unique. And it’s not like all of it can be incorporated into a ring, but it can very useful intel that helps your bespoke jeweller to zero in on the perfect jewel for your lady.
So now you can feel confident on how to get that dream ring into a solid form rather than it just being a fancy idea in your head.
The next step is to find the perfect jeweller to create your masterpiece – and you’ll find tips on how to find that person over here.
P.S. Ring sizing tip: you want the ring to be a surprise but the size needs to be accurate? Here’s some ways to do it. Try her rings on your fingers and make notes about how these fit you – sometimes it may be a case of ‘second knuckle, pinkie finger’. You can also put one of her existing rings on a piece of paper and draw around the inside (and outside) with a sharp pencil. Take note of what finger she wears it on too. It’s not the most accurate of methods, but can be used as supplementary information. The best way of course is to sneak out a ring that she already wears on one of her ring fingers and present it to the jeweller for sizing.