If you’re thinking about taking a walk up the aisle, you’ll soon have a thousand wedding decisions to make. Your bridesmaids will eventually forgive you if you choose the wrong dress colour, and no one will really remember what you served for a starter, but your engagement ring is something that you’ll (hopefully) have for life. If you and your hubby-to-be are choosing the ring together, keep these questions in mind:
Can you handle it?
Your ring needs to match your lifestyle. If you’re really active or don’t trust yourself to remember to take off your ring before exercising or doing chores, a big rock probably isn’t for you. Low-maintenance girls should also consider lower-set stones that won’t easily get snagged.
Will it last?
When you choose the band’s metal, don’t just think colour “ you’re also deciding how hardwearing the material will be:18k yellow gold is standard (24 karat or pure gold is too soft to use) and white gold is mixed with palladium or rhodium-plated, and is more durable. While platinum is known for being the most scratch-resistant, it also comes with a heftier price tag.
Where did it come from?
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of diamonds out there that are directly related to wars or human rights abuse in Africa. Look for conflict-free diamonds (they should be certified under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme), or if you don’t mind, cultured diamonds (ones that were grown in a lab). If you want to be doubly sure and feel patriotic at the same time, look for diamonds mined in the Northwest Territories “ they’re very closely monitored and they’ll have a microscopic laser-cut serial number on them that matches a certificate.
Do you care if it’s a diamond?
Not many women think about this one because we’ve come to assume that diamonds are just part and parcel of getting married. But if you just want something sparkly, consider other precious stones such as emeralds or sapphires (which naturally come in many different colours).
Does it match your style?
Although you want your ring to be beautiful and special, try to imagine wearing it in your pajamas or your foolproof office outfit. You can also look to your favourite jewellery for clues “ do you feel like you’d have to stop wearing your beloved antique bracelet because it would clash with your modern square-cut? And only get a brightly coloured stone if you’re confident that you’ll never worry about your wardrobe clashing with it.