The time has come: you are ready to ask your partner the Big Question. The first thing that you need to do, after taking some deep breaths to calm your nerves, is to find the perfect ring, one that will ensure a resounding ‘YES!’ from your sweetheart.
You will need to scour the Cape Town jewellery shops in search of a ring to trump all rings, and using the trusty guide below will help you have a successful mission.
Know their size
Knowing your partner’s ring size will help you when you are shopping at the many jewellery shops in South Africa that specialise in engagement rings. If the ring is too big, it can easily slip off and get lost, and if it is too small then it will not fit onto their finger for the big proposal.
While measuring your future fianceé‘s ring size is the ideal approach, it could ruin any surprise you have planned for them. You could borrow a ring she wears on that finger to take to a jewellery shop to measure or ask a trusted friend to visit a store with you who knows your beloved’s ring size. It is better to reduce the size of a ring rather than increase it, as reducing involves hammering the metal to the exact fit, while increasing means stretching the metal, which could make it weaker.
Look at their style
One way to choose the perfect ring is to look at your partner’s personal style. The way he or she dresses can tell you a lot about what sort of jewellery they would be happy to receive and can make the choosing process easier and less confusing.
- Traditional and elegant: A classic solitaire setting is an ideal match for this style. It has a plain metal band with a central diamond or other stone, without distraction or other details. A row of diamond accents can be added to the band for extra sparkle.
- Stylish and outgoing: If the wearer wants to dazzle with flair, then a halo setting is the perfect choice. Halo settings on engagement rings add a circle of diamonds around the centre diamond to enhance the centre diamond and add panache and style.
- Outdoorsy nature lover: Is your significant lover an outdoorsy type who loves spending time in nature? A ring inspired by vines and flowers will sweep them off their feet. For the more active, consider a ring setting that holds the diamond in place, such as a bezel setting.
- Romantic and timeless: Does your partner love all things romantic and vintage? Milgrain details, filigree or scrollwork patterns, intricate galleries or dainty bands are the ideal choice for a ring for them. An authentic antique ring could seal the deal for you, as could a ring designed to look vintage and whimsical.
Decide on a budget
Deciding on your budget will help you to make a final decision on which Cape Town jewellery shops to go to. There is no hard and fast rule about how much you ‘should’ spend on an engagement ring but there is truth behind the saying, ‘you get what you paid for’.
You should decide on a budget that is comfortable for you, and remember not to get too caught up in buying something ‘big and sparkly’ but rather keeping to a ring that truly shows your feelings for your partner. Your budget should include any resizing that may need to be done, as well as any alterations you deem necessary to make the ring just right.
Understand the four C’s of diamonds
If you are going to be popping the question with a diamond ring, it is important to understand the four C’s of choosing a diamond. These include cut, carat, clarity and colour, which are outlined below.
- Cut: The cut of a diamond is the shape of the stone. Diamonds are specifically cut to ensure brilliance and reflectivity. The diamond cuts include solitaire, oval, pear, princess, radiant and emerald.
- Carat: This refers to the weight or density of the diamond, and the higher the carat, the more expensive the diamond. Two diamonds may be the same carat, their prices could differ according to clarity, cut and colour.
- Clarity: The clarity of the diamond refers to any flaws that are visible under a microscope. Generally, all diamonds will have a few ‘inclusions’, such as blemishes or other flaws, but a diamond with few inclusions is considered to be better quality.
- Colour: Did you know, most diamonds are not completely transparent? They will usually have a light yellow or brown tinge when viewed in bright lighting. Colourless diamonds are extremely rare and very expensive, so those ‘colourless’ options you see in some jewellery stores are most likely cubic zirconia.
Always ask for help
One way to ensure that you choose the perfect engagement ring for your sweetie is to ask a jeweller or jewellery designer for help. They are, after all, the experts in the field and will be able to offer you advice on the style, the size and everything to do with the diamond or gemstone you prefer. Rather than simply stumbling into a jewellery store, take your soon-to-be-fianceé‘s closest friend with you, as they will likely know the correct ring size and style your partner prefers. Remember to have fun, you are choosing a ring for a very special occasion and it should not be stressful, it should be exciting!