How to Shop for the Right Engagement Ring

You are about to propose to the love of your life, so you need to make sure you find the right one.

According to research, the average cost of engagement rings is now over £3,000. If you're spending that much then it's only right you choose and shop for the right ring for your other half.

Reality is you should spend what is comfortable for you and what you can afford; there's no unwritten rule on how much to spend and most importantly pick a ring that she will love because she's going to be wearing it for a very long time.

Here are some tips on shopping for the perfect engagement ring:

- Shop Around: You need to know that you are getting the best deal possible and value for money so it is important to shop around. Buy from a vendor that you can trust and would give you honest opinions.

Take your time to shop around and do some comparisons to know what vendor offers you a better deal for your budget.

Start searching for an engagement ring ideally two-three months before you propose. This way you have ample time to narrow down your options, find the right jeweller, add any special touches and have it made and shipped in time. We find it's better to work with wholesales, that way you are cutting out the middle man and you avoid unnecessary markup fee.

- Know your Budget: Before you step into the jewellers, you need to know your budget as it will help them provide you with better options that fit within your price range. Always remember that the price of an engagement ring can often be negotiated, so I hope you're good at haggling.

There is no rule of thumb around how much a man is meant to spend on an engagement ring so dispel whatever you may have heard stating he has to spend 3 months salary, that may not be realistic. Also going into debt just for a ring ain't cute or romantic..nuh uh!

The jeweller is on hand to help you find the best and nicest ring that you CAN afford. At the end of the day, it's the thought that counts not the amount of money you spend. So please don't blow all you savings on a ring as there is life after the proposal.

The ring is a symbol of your love and if you really are not able to get her the ring she desires at the moment you want to propose, there's always your anniversary when you can upgrade her ring.

- Know What She Wants: A ring is very special to every woman and sentimental so you need to make sure you know what she wants and you get it right.

It's important that her ring suits her personal style and preferences. You don't want to spend that much only for her not to like it (*thumbs down*), she needs to be over the moon for her ring.

This is where your attention to detail will come into play.

Does she wear silver a lot or rose gold? She might be a yellow diamond or sapphire woman (there are 20 gemstones to choose from). There could be a particular stone that she wears a lot in her jewellery pieces; take note of the little things. Does she prefer silver or platinum? these are the key things to look out for.

What cut would she like and what settings on her ring`?

Is she a simple or glam and glitz kind of girl? If she's very bubbly and outgoing then maybe something big and sparkly? Is she a sentimental person? You can be the judge based on her personality.

These days ladies often send hints to their significant other so make mental notes or better yet find out what she likes through her close friends (can't go wrong).

Also try and find out her size, this is important.

- Know Your Four Cs: Before splurging, it is important to familiarise yourself with the four essential Cs in the diamond world because the value of a diamond is also determined by this. This way before you make a purchase you understand the costing behind the rings.

These 4 Cs will give you more insight into the diamond's brilliance, beauty and quality.