Design Your Engagement Ring Before He Proposes… The Norm?

So, apparently I am a dying breed.  Am I alone in this?  I had not an inkling that my sweetheart was about to do what he went ahead and did that wonderful evening in Mexico.  And, to me, that’s what made it so special.  My thoughts and feelings the moment he began to kneel were none I had ever experienced before.  A mix of exuberance, shock, extreme shock, fright, happiness, nervous anxiety, indescribable joy and more came rushing into my body, all at once mind you, which can UNDERSTANDABLY result in what was for him, deeply uncomfortable silence.  But at least it was genuine, due to the pure surprise of it all, and down to the less than ladylike expletives that can pour from the mouth that will often come in a moment of utter shock and extreme joy.  All good for me, but for him, it was a slightly different story, which I came to learn soon after… and which I’ll recount in full for you sometime soon.

The Tiffany Setting diamond engagement ring

Anyway, sometime after the proposal, we discussed the ring, which was the world renowned classic – “Tiffany Setting” – yes, the very one that Charlotte York’s character wore in “Sex and the City.”

The ring was too large for my finger, and so at the very least it had to be re-sized.  This was unavoidable, and understood by both of us that, once we returned stateside, we’d need to make some changes.  He then asked me what I thought of the ring itself, the design.  I told him I thought it was a beautiful ring and I loved it.  He then asked me if I wanted to keep it that design, or if I’d like to do some research and redesign it completely (essentially the only constant would be the diamond itself).  I chose this option.

… To me, it was on this topic that he said one of the most peculiar things he has ever said in all of the years that I have known him – and boys say pretty peculiar things, so that’s saying a lot.  It was about my engagement ring, and it was essentially a complaint.

FH:  “Well you didn’t exactly give me any hints about what kind of ring you wanted.  Girls give hints!  You never gave me ONE hint!!!”


‘Girls give hints’?  … to the men they are dating, and about the design and carat size of the engagement ring with which they have not yet been presented?  I know a lot of things, but I didn’t know this one.

Of all the things I predicted my FH would get upset over throughout our lives — my inherent and persistent lateness; my inability to open and close my Kiehl’s Intensive Treatment and Moisturizer tube without making a ‘snap’ sound and jolting him awake –  the fact that I never once hinted at exactly what I wanted out of his marriage proposal to me was not one of them. It had never occurred to me to hint.

Anyway, the article below — which I stumbled upon earlier while searching for something entirely not on this topic — piqued my interest; enough so that I felt inclined to bring it back here to you.

Study Shows Most Brides Take Part in Engagement Ring Selection By B. Earth

be1rbh1_white_top_lgTracking an upward trend, wedding website The Knot recently surveyed 9,000 newlywed couples and found that 67 percent of the brides were involved in the selection and/or purchase of their engagement rings. The results reflect an increase of 5 percent from just a few years ago. The website also tracked shopping habits in cases where the bride was involved in the ring-purchase process. It found that couples spent an average of $5,800 on an engagement ring.

In generations past, brides were most often surprised with rings chosen by their fiancés, but these days it is increasingly popular for a bride to participate in her ring selection. After all, not only will she be wearing the ring for the rest of her life, but there is also now a much wider selection of rings styles, diamond shapes and cuts, and ethically sourced materials available. And while round brilliant and princess shaped diamonds remain the most popular, with so many choices grooms are now grateful to have the bride’s help with selecting or designing the perfect ring!

Brilliant Earth carries hundreds of different ring styles, diamond cuts, setting materials and side stones that allow you to customize your perfect engagement ring, whether it be traditional, modern or romantic. Our step-by-step ring design process explains and helps you to select from all of the available choices and makes putting together a beautifully designed ring an exciting and smooth process. Plus, as always, our conflict-free diamonds and recycled gold and platinum are socially and environmentally responsible, so that you can feel good about your choices.

Take a look at our Create Your Own Engagement Ring guide for ring inspiration.

Label(s): Real Life Issues, {Engagement}, {Trends}

Love all of this...


  1. rikraff on October 27, 2009

    Platinum is definitely the superior choice for an engagement ring. Diamonds set in platinum look great, and platinum is naturally strong. By setting your diamond in platinum, you are literally protecting your investment. When you scratch platinum, little mass is removed, so platinum and be refinished over and over. By paying a little more for platinum now, you get a ring that lasts a lifetime. And beyond!

    With today’s economy being a mess and everyone looking to save some money, palladium is a good choice over white gold if platinum is just not an option. But at this time, the market value between gold and platinum is a few hundred dollars, so for a little more, you can get a naturally white metal that is very durable. Palladium has similar characteristics, and currently costs less than white gold. Keep in mind that white gold is not a naturally white either. However, if you are looking to truly save a few bucks, then consider palladium. But platinum is totally worth the investment.


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