I've been shooting a lot of jewellery over the past for weeks for our fabulous jewellery supplement out with the March/April issue. It's so nice to be surrounded by so much bling! It made me think back to when I chose my engagement ring - which I actually found on a Brides shoot! I thought 'this will be easy - I love jewellery and I love diamonds' but it was one of the hardest things I've done. Why? Because your engagement ring is something you will wear for the rest of your life and is a visible statement of your love and indeed your taste (if you have any say in it, which many brides do) and that puts a lot of pressure on your choice. It took me almost six months, yet I fall in love with my ring every time I look at it - so it was worth the wait.
Most girls do go for the classic choice - diamonds. There is a lot to get your head around in terms of what carat weight means, shapes and clarity so here is a quick guide in layman's terms to help you.
Carat - The diamond's weight. Larger stones are much rarer - and more expensive.
Clarity - Brilliance and clarity increase the value of a diamond. Imperfections give a 'cloudy' appearance.
Colour - Personal choice is key here. Traditional white or a colour that goes with everything you wear? The most valuable stones are colourless.
Cut - The shape of the stone. Marquise, for instance, is long and pointed at both ends, suiting shorter fingers. Princess is round and suits longer fingers. Then there is flower, heart, oval, pear and eternity (aligned in a row). The term 'brilliant' meanwhile isn't so much a shape but a style of cutting - and that one gives the most sparkle, as it's so intricate. Emerald is two things: the term for a cut (clean, straight lines) and a shape too (rectangle).
We'll be covering all of this in the next issue too, so if you need more guidance on buying your ring, hold off until the beginning of February.
Remember, it's best to try on as many as possible to see what suits you best. What fun!