This year I eloped to New York to get married in secret (you can read why and how here) and literally the only people who knew were Mark Melia who designed my dress and Wongs jewellers where we bought our rings. My now husband, proposed to me with a charm for my charm bracelet as he knew damn well I’m really fussy when it comes to jewellery and I’d want to choose my own ring. I didn’t just want to choose it; I wanted to design it.
A few weeks after the wedding I picked up the ring from Wongs (you can’t rush perfection – it’s only just been finished) and it was even more amazing than I could have hoped for. They even made me a lookalike one for me to get married with and engraved the wedding rings with the date of our wedding. They’re so fab and I really just need to personally recommend them – they couldn’t do enough for us. At first I was a bit intimidated (jewellery shops in general scare me, even without the bouncer on Boodles) but the staff are wonderful and they really do have a budget for everyone, which is lovely. You tell them what you want and they do it. As they’ve got a jewellery workshop on site they can do resizing, rhodium plating, engraving, cleaning etc. within a day and fully design your jewellery from scratch to your own specifications or even put a modern twist on a family heirloom.
my ring 👆
Before choosing an engagement ring (or allowing your other half to be let loose on ring shopping) you need to get clued up on diamonds. I went to Amsterdam years ago and they forced us to go on one of these free diamond tours in order to sell you stones – but – it actually turned out to be dead interesting and it’s really stuck with me ever since.
Here’s what you need to know about diamond shopping
The basis of any diamond (and most importantly, what dictates the price) are The 4 C’s – Carat, Clarity, Cut & Colour. You’ve probably heard about carats, but the other three are just as important when choosing your ‘forever stone’.
This is all about the weight and size of the stone. The bigger the carat, the bigger the diamond. A tiny one will normally be around 0.15 carats and they tend to be more for decoration around a bigger diamond, whereas a 3 carat diamond would have your arm aching from dragging it around all day. It’s all about how bling you want it…
This is the quality of the actual diamond. You might have a 3 carat sparkler on your finger but it could be full of ‘inclusions’ or flaws meaning that look closely, and it’s not all that. Much like a really fit lad – scratch the surface and he might be an absolute turd. The lower the number of inclusions, the better the stone.
The exciting one! What shape do you want your stone to be? The most common ones you see tend to be round cut or princess (square) cut but if you want something a bit different you could try a cushion cut or a pear shaped – there’s even heart shaped. Generally the more of the diamond that has to be shaved off to make the cut, the more expensive the stone – all that diamond waste *holds back tears* but the more facets (flat surfaces) in a cut, the more it sparkles in the light and blinds your enemies.
Diamonds come in all sorts of colours ranging from brilliant white, to pink, to brown, to yellow, to black… pretty much any really. Remember that time Paris Hilton got engaged to some Greek fella called Paris (that was really weird… I had to Google it to check I wasn’t making it up) and she had a canary yellow sparkler on her finger? Oh my, it was divine and started a craze for coloured diamonds. Some of the rarer and more desirable colours can get really REALLY expensive so if you think white diamonds are a bit blah and want a little colour in your life, here’s some alternatives:
Pink diamond – Try a pink sapphire or a pale ruby instead
Blue diamond – We all remember the heart of the ocean in Titanic – “I put the diamond in the coat, I put the coat on her!” but sapphire is an alternative fit for royalty… Remember Princess Diana’s blue sapphire engagement ring that then got passed down to Kate Middleton? Swoon! Penelope Cruz and Liz Hurley are other celebs who favour a sapphire ring. Or a cheaper alternative to this famous blue stone would be Tourmaline
Yellow diamond – Yellow diamond engagement rings are a firm favourite with celebrities (and a quick google seems they’re all blonde!) – if you love this stand out stone you could always try a yellow sapphire?
Red – Ruby or a cheaper alternative would be Garnet
Green – Emerald or a cheaper alternative would be Peridot.
Purple – Yes diamonds come in purple but a cheaper alternative would be Tanzanite or a purple garnet.
Loads of the coloured rings have quite a vintage feel to them which I personally think is timeless but whatever you can dream up in your head, you can have made for you – so if you’re picking a ring and aren’t finding ‘the one’ go in and see Wongs and see what you can dream up together, I swear they’re dead nice!
Whatever ring you go for and whoever’s getting down on one knee, just do me a favour, don’t marry a gobshite!