Today’s lovely guest post comes to us from Javian of Draco Diamonds, based in Singapore. Enjoy!

As a guy, I know what it feels like when you want to bring your relationship with your girlfriend to the next level. That is, to create a personal and memorable proposal for your girlfriend. To create an experience that is pleasant to reminisce about in the future. To set the context, I’m Chinese, living in Singapore. As far as my understanding of the traditions goes, there are many things that need to be done even before I can propose to her. Things like finding an auspicious date, getting permission from her parents, and so on. If you are an introvert like me, perhaps the most difficult task is getting permissions from her parents. Despite having a good relationship with them, it is still not easy to ask.

Read the full post after the cut!

Once that is off the checklist, next comes the plan for the BIG idea. To me, the most important item of the proposal is the engagement ring. This will last forever, on her finger. So, how do we pick the right engagement ring for our significant other? Over the years, my relatives, friends, and customers shared their stories with me, some are happy while some are painful. I have deconstructed and compiled them into a list tips for buying an engagement ring.

1. Study Her Style Carefully

Throughout your time with her, pay close attention to the style of accessories she wears. Study the small details, her favorite style, her favorite color. Check out her Pinterest (if she has one). Listen attentively to what she talks about. Look at what she focuses on when walking past jewelry stores.

Sometimes, she may unknowingly drop hints to her friends and family. Ask her sisters or BFFs if they know her preference and style.

2. Be Clear on What Matters the Most

Guys always wonder, “does size matters?” And most ladies say it does! Yes, the size of the diamond definitely matters. But is it the most important aspect? I am sure she would not want you to be in debt in order to get a large diamond for the engagement ring.

For some, the design of the ring matters more than the quality of the diamond. Another group of ladies prefers it uniquely customized to be one-of-a-kind.

Another aspect to think about is what happens to the ring after the engagement. Is it meant for everyday wear? Is it suitable for her to wear to work? For example, if she is a makeup artist, the engagement ring should not have a large diamond protruding out. This will hinder her work as the ring might come into contact with her customers’ faces.

3. Set a Budget

Once you catch all her hints and find out what matters most to her, it is time to decide on a budget. If size does matters and you are planning to get a 1-carat diamond engagement ring, be prepared with a larger budget.

I have previously heard about the ‘rules’ on how much to spend on an engagement ring. Depending on where you live, it ranges from 1 month to 3 months. Well, these are not rules, but myths set by the marketing teams of some jewelry stores some decade ago.

The real ‘real’, is instead set by your girlfriend. You might want to casually discuss this with your girlfriend. For me, she said that it must not exceed $6,000 Singapore Dollars. And I quote, “Your money is my money after we get married…”.

4. Measure Her Ring Size Without Getting Caught

There are many ways to find her ring size. First, you can sneak out one of her rings and bring it to a jeweler. But before that, observe which finger and hand she wears it on. This is the most accurate method.

Second, recruit the help of her close friends or family. Perhaps they went shopping together and found that they have the same ring size.

Third, accompany her to shop for costume jewelry. There is a chance she will try on some rings. Look for the one that fits and find out the ring size from the shop owner.

Fourth, compare the size of your fingers with hers. Well, there is a high margin of error, but it is the easiest method.

The final method is to just ask directly. Yes, I know, this method will let the cat out of the bag. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot keep the actual proposal a secret. You can subtly ask this question when you are discussing the engagement with her.

5. Start Your Research

So now we know what she likes, we know what matters the most to her, and we also have a budget to work with. The next step is to research both the online and offline sources. There are many facets to research on.

You can create a mood board for the ideal engagement ring design that suits her hand. Write down a list of jewelers that you may want to visit or talk to. Have a chat with your relatives and friends who have bought an engagement ring before and learn from their experiences.

Sometimes, you might not find the engagement ring that you want from jewelry stores. In that case, you can customize your engagement ring.

For jewelers who use 3D printing technology, customizing an engagement ring is no longer a test of your imagination from paper and ink. You can see and touch it from any perspective that you want before crafting the actual ring.

6. Research on the 4Cs of a Diamond

The major bulk of your budget will go to the diamond. Which explains why it is important for you to learn the 4Cs of a diamond well. They are the Cut, Clarity, Colour, and Carat Weight. You can check out the official website of Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to get some basic education on the 4Cs.

Here, you need to take into account what matters most to her again. Is it the size, or the brilliance? Consult an experienced jeweler and they will share with you some tips on choosing a diamond that can help you maximize your budget.

7. There’s no love at first sight for diamonds

This statement holds true when buying anything, more so for something with an expensive price tag. Don’t buy it just because the diamond is shining brightly in the shop. Compare a few diamonds and their price tags.

A tip is to go for diamonds certified by well-known and reputable institutes like the GIA or the International Gemological Institute (IGI). Watch out for consistencies when comparing diamonds from different certification institutes. The diamonds may look different even if they are given the same grade by different institutes.

8. Watch the Diamond Shine in Different Lighting

After you have shortlisted a few diamonds, it is time to check the diamond in different lighting. Noticed how brilliantly all the diamonds shine when you are in a jewelry store? The truth is, the showcases are carefully designed to maximize the brilliance of the jewelry.

If possible, check the diamond outside the store, under normal lighting condition. It will be even better if you can bring it outdoor, under sunlight. The key idea here is to simulate how the engagement ring will look like when she wears it every day, everywhere.

9. Call it Your Own

After you have applied all the tips for buying an engagement ring, it is time to make the decision. Add the finishing touches by personalizing the engagement ring with her name or your couple name (if you have one). Also, learn how to take care and maintain the brilliance of the ring from the jeweler.

Remember that the engagement ring is only part of the entire proposal. Make it a memorable event for both you and her. And go ahead and make her cry, it’s the only time where you can make her cry and not apologize afterward.


Javian is the co-founder of Draco Diamonds, which specialize in bespoke and customized engagement rings and wedding bands in Singapore. To learn more about Draco Diamonds, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profileDraco Diamonds, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.