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The proposal is essentially a symbolic gesture to signify that you are ready for the next stage of your relationship – marriage. It is a significant step; hence choosing an engagement ring  can often bring about a fair amount of stress. On the one hand, the engagement ring holds romantic value, but on the other hand, societal pressure, existing perceptions, and marketing have turned the value of love into a measure of monetary expression. To understand what is essential in choosing an engagement ring, let’s explore the practical and emotional aspects associated with it.

Diamonds – a girl’s best friend?

Today, the answer to this question is no longer straightforward. Although we typically envision engagement rings as large and sparkling, nowadays, when choosing jewellery, increasing attention is paid to their origins – whether the precious metals and gemstones are ethically and sustainably sourced. How can you determine the origin of a ring?

In truth, the answer is quite simple – if the relevant information is not available on the chosen brand’s website or if the jeweller is unable to provide it, it is advisable to consider another brand or jeweller. Nowadays, it has become a standard practice to openly discuss these aspects with customers. It is also worth investing some time in researching the specific brand because each jeweller has their own story and values. Since the ring is a lifelong purchase, the jeweller’s approach and values must be aligned with your own.

Additionally, perhaps a well-known brand name is important to you, for which you may need to pay a bit more, but it is possible to find a fancy ring from a lesser-known brand at a smaller price. Of course, high-quality and skilfully cut diamonds hold timeless and proven value. If you prefer to stick with the classics, it’s essential to inquire about the diamond colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight, as these factors determine its value. However, if you prefer something more affordable, lab- grown diamonds, which are also more environmentally friendly, are gaining popularity. When choosing them, it’s important to note that they are relatively new, so their future value is uncertain. This is significant if you see the ring not only as a symbolic item but also as a financial investment that may be passed down to future generations. If your priority is a sparkling engagement ring rather than an exclusive one, you can also explore the increasingly popular options of lab-created moissanite or the semi-precious stone cubic zirconia.

Giving another answer to the question of whether diamonds are a girl’s best friend depends on the individual girl. For some, a romantic gesture with a sparkling ring is an important symbol, and they will proudly wear it every day. However, for others, it may be seen as excessive and make them feel uncomfortable wearing such an extravagant gemstone daily.

Engagement ring trends

An engagement ring is a piece of jewellery that will be worn and cherished throughout a lifetime. Therefore, its selection should primarily be guided by personal tastes and desires, with trends taking a secondary role. However, certain trends will undoubtedly withstand the test of time.

This year, oval-shaped gemstones, which don’t necessarily have to be diamonds, are particularly popular. To add uniqueness and colour to the ring, you can choose various gemstones, with emerald, ruby, and sapphire being the most popular choices. However, you can certainly opt for other gemstones, but it’s important to research their hardness and durability to ensure that their surface won’t deform or get damaged when worn daily. Choosing a ring with two different gemstones is also trendy. Regarding gemstone shapes, they can vary, but the aforementioned oval shape is one of the most comfortable to wear, as it doesn’t have sharp edges that could catch on anything.

Continuing with gemstones, smaller-sized stones are also popular this year. The flashy logos on clothing and striking gemstones in jewellery have recently been replaced by quiet luxury, which means that greater attention is given to quality and timeless, tasteful values. Additionally, a large and expensive stone is not always better – it is much more comfortable to wear a smaller stone. The importance of individuality and uniqueness is also gaining significance, so more couples are choosing diamonds with various perceived imperfections, such as different colours or minor inclusions.

There is a relatively stable trend of using different metals in jewellery. Therefore, there is no need to worry if the chosen ring is made of a different material than the rest of your future fiancé’s jewellery. Yellow and white gold are often combined, for example. Although it is generally recommended to consider the metal for the wedding ring in advance, it is less relevant today because an engagement ring and a wedding ring can be made from different materials. The most popular noble metals for rings are silver, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum.

Inherited and custom-made engagement rings

A ring passed down through generations holds deep symbolic value, but careful consideration should be given to the specific situation to ensure it does not become burdensome. One should consider their own and their future spouse’s relationship with the family. For one person, it may be an honour to receive a ring passed down through generations, while for another, it may become a burden because they don’t feel an emotional connection to the ring. Personalizing an inherited ring by making changes to certain details can be considered. In general, inherited rings are often in vintage style, but not all women choose to wear such style jewellery. However, if vintage aligns with the future spouse’s taste, it is a thoughtful and commendable choice, as vintage rings are more environmentally friendly.

Custom-made rings, without a doubt, are very special. However, if you order such a ring, you must be confident in the chosen design because it will not be possible to exchange or return it. It is also important to find a skilled jeweller who can best carry out your desires. By the way, when choosing both a jeweller and a ring brand, it is important to clarify the possibilities of resizing, exchanging, or repairing the ring, as well as maintenance and cleaning. Another aspect to discuss with the jeweller is whether they can create the ring from recycled precious metals. Perhaps you have some family jewellery to melt down or gemstones to use in the ring. This can also add sentimental value to the ring.

How expensive should an engagement ring be?

There is a myth that the price of an engagement ring should be at least one month’s salary, preferably two or three. However, this is an old marketing trick that has become established and created a general perception of how valuable an engagement ring should be. With such an approach, people are encouraged to spend more than they can afford. Rather than adhering to abstract standards, it is more important to set a budget for the ring based on your values and financial situation. Of course, the ring can serve as a token of status and a declaration of financial wealth, but nowadays, such symbols are gradually losing significance, and the symbolic meaning of the ring is far more important. Perhaps the ring is made of less expensive gemstones, but it carries a special story. Maybe material value is insignificant to you. These are nuances to consider to make an informed and financially justified choice.

What about a temporary engagement ring?

Discovering your partner’s desires without raising suspicion can cause a fair amount of stress for men. You can try finding situations where you can casually discuss jewellery and gemstones and ask for opinions on someone else’s engagement ring. You could even watch a romantic movie that includes a proposal scene, during which you can specifically discuss the engagement ring. Maybe you often gift jewellery to your partner, and she reacts with joy, but you can never be sure – perhaps it’s just out of politeness, and her taste is slightly different. However, an engagement ring is a special piece of jewellery, and you wouldn’t want your future spouse to wear it just to avoid hurting your feelings. Many choose to seek advice from friends and family members, but you should also be cautious that your friend doesn’t let slip the secret of the proposal, and consider whether she truly knows your partner’s taste and won’t choose a ring that she likes.

Good news for men – there is a trend of proposing a simpler and more affordable ring and then choosing the actual engagement ring together. By picking this scenario, you preserve the important element of surprise during the proposal, but you don’t have to worry about whether your loved one will genuinely like the chosen ring because she will have the opportunity to select it herself.


If your finger is adorned with an engagement ring worth thousands – congratulations! If you are engaged, but the ring does not match your taste, it can be adjusted, exchanged, or customized; just explain your desires to your loved one with gratitude and empathy. If you have decided to get married but want to forgo the traditional proposal with a ring – that’s also perfect! Regardless of whether there is a ring or not, the important thing is that you know that symbolically, you have confirmed your desire to embark on a shared married life with your beloved partner.

Author: Renāte Berga

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