PICKING a ring to surprise your fiancée is a big decision. Vibe asked Mark Sandum of Broadway Jewellers in Bexleyheath for some tips to get you started.

Have a flexible budget

When choosing an engagment ring, always decide a budget but prepare to be flexible.

Buy the best you can afford. You may find just the right thing, which could be in your price range or not. Decide if it is the ring you have to have or look again.

Spy her jewellery collection

Take some time before shopping to see what else she has in the way of jewellery. Is it all white metal, modern, traditional or flamboyant?

What does she admire what her friends wear or has she pointed things out in magazines or shopping trips? This way you will gain some idea as to whether she would prefer a single diamond, a three stone, something with a splash of colour.

Size isn’t everything - choose a style that will suit her

A cluster ring may swamp a petite finger or a solitaire be lost on a larger finger. If she has a ring that fits her engagement finger, sneak it away and have it measured by the jeweller.

A ring that fits perfectly is a bonus but don't shy away from a ring just because it is the wrong size.

Most rings can be adjusted to fit, so choose the style that you like, not the ring that fits.

If you are choosing together, perhaps select two or three favourites and then make the final choice a surprise.

How often will it be worn?

Does her job mean she can’t wear the ring while at work?

If a ring is to be worn all day every day, avoid soft coloured stones such as Tanzanite. It's a gorgeous stone but too soft to stand up to everyday wear.

Diamonds are of course the most durable but can be combined with sapphires or rubies to make a beautiful long lasting engagement ring.

Go somewhere you can trust

Finally, go to a store you know you can trust. Compare and contrast a number of rings in your price range. And don't be afraid to ask questions.


So you've got the ring, but how do you pop the question? Vibe's Sean Delaney took to the streets to find out how people were proposed to, would propose or would like to be proposed to.

Toni Davey, 50, from Petts Wood said: “I was proposed to over a nice dinner, it was really lovely actually because he had already planned out the whole entire wedding.”

News Shopper:

Millie Jones, 17, from Petts Wood said: “Spontaneously ... and I’d want someone there to take a picture, and really capture the moment. It would be like Paris or a typical romantic setting.”

News Shopper:

Paul Young, 24, from Petts Wood said: “I’d take my girlfriend to the top of the millennium dome to propose, shortly after we’d get our own cubicle on the London eye. We’d just be by ourselves and I’d have a band play our favourite song."

News Shopper: