JOHN WOOLFE says

The important thing is the surprise. You only get one chance at that. It’s helpful to get an idea of finger size, but we will size it for you once free of charge. Does she have small, medium or large fingers? If she wears a ring on her engagement finger, secretly try it on and see where it comes to on your little finger, we can help measure from there.

Most ladies prefer platinum these days, but do check to see the colour of the metal in the jewellery she wears. If she wears yellow gold then we recommend yellow 18 carat gold. If she wears white metal then platinum is by far the best.  The trouble with white gold is that it is a little bit yellow and never truly white, so jewellers electro-plate it with a very white metal called rhodium. This rhodium coating wears off after a while and although it can be re-applied at a cost, the problem is that the ring has to be polished smooth and every time you do this the ring gets thinner and weaker and weighs less and less. Palladium is sometimes offered as a cheaper alternative, but despite what some inexperienced sales staff may advise, it is nothing like as durable as platinum. So if she wears white metal, stick with platinum.

STYLE is VERY PERSONAL

Remember she will wear it every day of her life, so it’s best not to buy a ring that is just a fashion statement, but may go out of fashion very quickly. A classic looking ring will always look stylish no matter how long you are married. Would she like a single diamond ring, known as a solitaire, or a design with more than one stone.

If you have any doubt about what style to go for, choose our classic diamond solitaire with six claws, in a price bracket to suit your financial position. We will be pleased to exchange it, or make special bespoke ring for her if she isn’t absolutely delighted with it.

What are your favourite gemstones?

I love most different beautiful gemstones, they all have their unique qualities, but my favourites are rubies, diamonds and sapphires. If I am really pressed, my absolute favourites are rubies!

I have a passion for beautiful gemstones of quality. When I have the opportunity to buy an exceptional gemstone I always buy it. The thing that surprised me most was a vivid memory that came back to me from my childhood after I had been working as a jeweller for some years. I must have been four years old and I remember getting a box of crayons, a pencil sharpener and one of those metal trays with small square compartments that you could put in a freezer to make ice cubes. It had a lever to pull that dislodged the ice cubes when they had formed. I remember turning the different coloured crayons in the pencil sharpener, so that the different coloured shavings dropped into the different compartments in the ice making tray. Then I filled the tray with water and put it in the freezer. That’s how I “made” my first gemstones when I was four years old.

BESPOKE ENGAGEMENT RINGS

Our bespoke service is excellent and you can be sure to help design something that will absolutely stun her! You can choose your diamond or coloured stone from our excellent selection and we will draw a design with you in the shop. Our very personal service will help you to put your thoughts into the process of making her the perfect ring.

DIAMOND or COLOURED STONE

Diamond is the traditional choice for an engagement ring. It is the hardest and most durable of all stones and a white diamond will go with any colours she may wear. However some girls just love colour, in that case we recommend a ruby or sapphire ring, or perhaps a coloured diamond. Rubies and sapphires both actually have the same chemical composition, with small traces of different metals responsible for the actual colour. A ruby should always be an attractive shade of red. Blue is the colour most people associate with sapphires, but actually sapphires come in many colours and we offer an excellent selection.

It is a combination of 4 factors – the Four Cs- which determines the value of a Diamond. Click here to view our guide to the Four Cs.

HOW MUCH to SPEND

We don’t believe we should be telling our customers how much to spend on an engagement ring. The truth is that sometimes when you are starting out in life there are lots of things you are saving for, maybe a house or children. Some people say you should spend one, two or even three months salary on the engagement ring, but you should spend what you are comfortable with.

Speak to one of our experienced consultants and they’ll be happy to talk you through the options available.