1 Surprise! We’re going to tackle the most controversial question first: “Should the ring be a surprise?” Views on this are decidedly polarised. A very unscientific poll among the Omnēque team came out 50/50, with each of us very definitely on one side or the other – no grey areas.
According to the US publication Brides, 62% of prospective partnerships shop for the engagement ring together. If you think shopping with your partner takes away the romance, however, we’d still advise you communicate, even if this is via a third party: your BFF, your sister, what you highlight and reshare on your social feeds, via Omnēque’s Concierge service! If you have strong feelings about that potential engagement ring and you’re not prepared to join in the physical hunt, then you will have to find a way of getting your message across.
If you don’t have strong feelings, you can ignore all of the above, and just wait for the moment.
The debate came into sharp focus recently when American jewellery designer Madison Wright (@madberetjewelry) stated on TikTok that: “This is a message for everyone who’ll propose one day. The ring should not be a surprise, but how and when you propose should be a surprise.” Sounds like good advice to us. Her video has been viewed 1.1 million times, with more than 1,000 comments.
2 It’s time to do some research – before you hit the shops, whether online or physical – and it should be on the gemstone cut versus the carat. What works for you (or the intended recipient), for their every-day style, and what’s possible in the budget? A diamond with fabulous characteristics might beat one of lesser quality but larger carat, though they could be around the same price. Let’s take a closer look, however, at the gemstone cut, which is the main dictator of style.
There is no right or wrong to cut, it is all about preference. It might help to think about cuts in groups. Round is, well, round, but for equally soft edges you could think about Oval, Pear and Heart. You could well prefer a more symmetrical and square feel with Art Deco undertones, with Asscher, Emerald and Radiant. For more asymmetry, think Pear and Marquise. Which one suits the finger? Call me old-fashioned, but I can’t resist an emerald-cut.
3 Does it have to be all about diamonds? Quite simply, the answer is, “No”. If you need a more qualified endorsement look no further than royalty. Princess Margaret: her engagement to Antony Armstrong-Jones (in 1960) was marked by a ruby surrounded by diamonds. Diana, Princess of Wales: her celebrated 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire (surrounded by diamonds) engagement ring was given by Prince William to Kate Middleton as an enduring legacy of love. Two other stones worth highlighting here are the orange oval diamond centrepiece of the engagement ring of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, and the emerald-cut rubies that flank an emerald-cut diamond in the ring of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Both are fabulous and unusual rings.
4 Classic? Modern? Vintage? This is the one time in life not to be “on trend”. The engagement ring is not about what others are doing but about what you adore. Trends should be treated as just another idea to get you thinking (see Toi et Moi below). But here at Omnēque, there is one incredibly important trend we are encouraging clients to think about, and that is sustainability. It should be more than a trend – and we think it will be – so we want everyone revelling in the satisfaction and joy of buying something pre-owned and pre-loved and not adding to unnecessary extraction of raw materials from our earth. Every piece of jewellery holds a story and to buy a classic, vintage ring means that you will be sharing in that story. By the way, if you’re determined to be “on trend”, conscious consumption is right up there in 2022. According to a recent McKinsey & Company report, by 2025 between 20% and 30% of fine jewellery purchases will be influenced by sustainability. Full disclosure: we think that’s great.
5 When Should You Double Up? There is one trend that is a joy to watch, and that’s for the Toi et Moi ring. Two stones, and often two bands, married to form one ring. Pretty symbolic, eh? Although it’s finding favour now, it’s been around since the late 18th century when Napoleon Bonaparte proposed to his Josephine. You may be tempted, and here are a few from the Instagram and TikTok worlds who would agree with you.
Machine Gun Kelly (aka Colson Baker) collaborated with Stephen Webster for his engagement ring to Meghan Fox, combining an emerald – Fox’s birthstone – with a diamond – Kelly’s birthstone. Ariana Grande’s Toi et Moi from Dalton Gomez (in 2020) combined the traditional diamond with the unusual addition of a pearl. And then there is model Emily Ratajkowski whose glorious Toi et Moi was slipped onto her finger by producer Sebastian Bear-McClard in 2018.
Enjoy the hunt!