So now... with the hows, whats and whys. We know the who ;)
Chris and I had been talking about getting engaged for a while, we were both in a happy place, could afford it and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.
One day in November 2011 Chris piped up and said "Hey lets go look at wedding rings! I won't buy one today, I just want to see what you like" or so we thought... I wasn't going to say no to that kind of offer!
We had intended on looking all over Wellington in chain stores and one-off boutique type places in order to find the most perfect ring we could afford. It didn't really work out like that.
We ended up window shopping on our way to Michael Hill Jewelers. We saw some things we liked but mostly they were too big, too small, to expensive or too generic. We walked into MHJ and had the most wonderful experience experimenting with what we liked, what we could afford and what ended up looking nice on my finger (not what i had originally envisioned). I have reasonably slender fingers and so some of the thicker bands with larger "rocks" overwhelmed my hand and it looked odd in comparison.
So we investigated daintier options.
Chris had given me a cz round cut solitaire ring for my 18th Birthday, I knew I liked that ring style but wanted something a bit different, a bit more unique and special. I like diamonds (who doesn't) and had never truly appreciated how much more they sparkled than cubic zirconia (but you'll pay the price). I'm not sure if it comes down to the way they are cut or the quality of the gem stone but even under dim lights I'm so happy we went to the extra expense.
We ended up choosing this little beauty
It had originally been out of our price range, but due to either good salesman ship or good timing it was on a great sale. We walked out of the store that day having bought the ring we were both extremely happy with. Both hot, nervous, and sweaty from the huge purchase and decision that had been made. I grow more fond of this ring everyday I wear it, I've never had that feeling about another item of jewelery so I think we made the right choice.
Chris wanted to wait and choose his moment to propose, we needed to get the ring re-sized before hand anyway. Little did I know that I would be waiting until mid-February before he actually did it.
- Diamonds are best complimented by white gold/platinum so that the clarity and sparkle of the diamond are not effected by any yellow or pink tones of other settings. Even if you would like another type of gold band, the metal surrounding the setting could be white gold/platinum.
- Different colour metals may compliment different skin tones depending on how much yellow/pink pigments your skin has, don't be afraid to try all options.
- Try before you buy, i was surprised at the what i liked on the shelf, compared to what i liked most on my finger.
- Ask about Lifetime care plans. Check out the Consumer Review of Care Plans here - i have already had my engagement ring re-rhodium plated before the wedding.
- Ask to have an independent valuation done
- If you can, try both rings (engagement and wedding band) at the same time, it may change their whole look (ie not enough sparkle or too much)
- Do your research on diamonds/gem stones, the more you understand, the less the jeweler can bulls**t you in buying something you aren't happy with.
- The 4 C's - Cut, Colour, Clarity, Carat. Oh and Cost!!
- Are you planning on surprising her? Do your research on her tastes - what style of jewellery does she already own? Does she prefer modern or traditional? Does she favour white gold, yellow gold, two-tone (white and yellow gold) or platinum? How does she react to other women's engagement rings?