It’s the single most important piece of jewellery you’ll ever invest in — and with any luck, you’ll only ever buy one of them. There’s no denying that choosing the right engagement ring is a serious undertaking, and one capable of bringing even the most relaxed of gentlemen out in a cold sweat. How much should you expect to spend on her dream ring? Are you obliged to rely on the family jeweller? How in god’s name do you know what metal will suit her skin tone?
Never fear, whether you are looking to update your grandmother’s rock, want to source an antique or design a bespoke piece from scratch, we’ve found just the person to guide you through this notoriously tricky quest, and better-secure your chances of getting a ‘yes’ when you propose. Jewellery consultant Beanie Major has spent a decade speaking to women about the role jewellery plays in their lives and has travelled the world seeking out the very best jewellers.
In 2011, Beanie founded In Detail to provide a unique and accessible perspective on the jewellery industry and last year launched an Engagement Ring Concierge specialising in matching couples with the perfect ring. Here, she shares her top tips for finding the ring that’s right for you and, more importantly, your fiancée-to-be.
Step one: Start with her
Way before you even think about approaching a jeweller, says Beanie, you need to start the process of sourcing a ring by thinking about the woman who will be wearing it. “Start with the essentials — like her values, her style, what she does for work,” Beanie recommends. “Consider the lifestyle the ring you choose is going to have.”
For example, if she’s someone who works with her hands, you’re going to need to consider a practical option that won’t get in her way. “The ring you choose needs to be as much about her personality and style as anything else. If you’ve never seen her wearing white gold jewellery, maybe steer clear of a white gold band when it comes to the engagement ring.”
Each client has a different personality, different taste, different values — so it makes sense that they would seek out a ring that is equally distinctive. “Customers are becoming more discerning, and clients are looking for something as truly unique as they are. When I speak to men, this involves letting go of their ego a little bit — especially if their girlfriend wouldn’t want something traditional.”
Step two: Do your research
It might sound simple but the importance of doing a bit of homework before you start searching cannot be overstated. “You don’t want to end up with buyer’s remorse,” Beanie says, “so it’s worth spending time looking for design ideas on Pinterest and Instagram or visiting a few different jewellers to get an idea of what is out there and exactly what it is you are looking for.”
“The market has been blown right open now,” says Beanie. “There is more choice than ever before and there are so many jewellers creating amazing pieces in a truly signature style.” The enduring appeal of choosing something totally unique and personal, she says, is more significant than ever.
“At In Detail, that’s our focus — it’s not for the client who is simply looking for the biggest, most flawless solitaire diamond he can buy for his budget. We work with clients who are willing to really investigate their options and make a clear, unique statement.”
Step three: Connect with the right jeweller
Connecting with the right jeweller is key to finding your dream ring. Many houses are known for a particular style, cut or setting so using a service like In Detail will help you find the jeweller whose approach suits you perfectly.
“Approach a jeweller only once you have an idea of the budget and style you are looking for,” suggests Beanie. “The experience of finding or designing your perfect ring should be enjoyable — and the best way to do this is to meet the designers and craftspeople and get involved!”