How to Avoid Disaster When Buying a Surprise Engagement Ring

More and more newly-engaged couples are choosing to go shopping for a ring together. A lot of people view the process as something both should have some input into – after all, the one who'll be wearing the ring all the time is the one who, traditionally, wouldn't get to decide what it looks like.

There are still plenty of couples who prefer to do things old-school, opting for tradition over modernity because there's seems to be something romantic about doing things the way their parents and grandparents most likely did.

If you're shopping for a surprise engagement ring, however, it can be one of the most difficult decisions you ever make. Diamonds don't come cheaply, and you don't want the person you're planning to marry to feel disappointed. Here are some ways to help make sure you get it right.

Understand what makes up a diamond ring

There are a few factors that go into a ring's final appearance, and knowing what they are will help you narrow down your partner's preferences. Any aspect you can determine a preference for will inform your final decision.

First and foremost is the metal. Gold is common, but remember yellow, white and rose gold are available. You also sometimes find diamond rings in silver or, at the higher end of the price scale, platinum. If you've discussed potential wedding ring metals, it's best to get a matching engagement ring.

The next thing you should try to work out is what sort of diamond shape to go for. Various different cuts give distinct shapes to the stone. Finally, think about the size of the diamond, which is measured in carats. Bigger and more expensive isn't necessarily better in some people's eyes.

Diamonds are also measured in terms of colour and clarity, but this is probably something you'll need to decide on for yourself.

Pay close attention to conversations

You never know when a clue might arise in conversation, so listen carefully if the subject of jewellery might come up. If you're subtle, you can also steer the topic towards it – discussing a celebrity's engagement ring, for example.

Make an excuse to visit a jeweller

When you're out shopping, you could find a way to go into a jeweller's shop. Perhaps your watch battery needs changing, or you're looking for a gift for someone else.

While you're there, casually hover by the rings and see if your partner notices any particular designs.

Trust your instincts

Remember, the person you're buying the ring for is someone you know extremely well. As long as you pay attention to any clues they give you, and you trust what feels right, you should have no trouble buying the perfect ring for that special moment.