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Engagement traditions have changed dramatically over time. Here is a vertical timeline of how engagement traditions have changed over time.
engagement-traditions

As engagement traditions have evolved over the years, so has the opportunity for couples to create their own special engagement by combining new and old traditions.

From the pre-historic caveman tying cords of braided grass around his chosen mate’s wrists, ankles, and waist, to bring her spirit under his control, to the modern day proposals of a diamond's purity and sparkle that now became the symbols of the depth of a man's commitment to the woman he loves.

For traditionalists, with having it be a leap year this 2016, just once every four years, on February 29 (Leap Day), a woman is allowed to take her destiny in her own hands and ask a man to marry her. But, how and why did the Leap Year tradition come about? Well, the tradition is thought to date back to the 5th century, when, legend has it, an Irish nun called St Bridget complained to St Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitors to propose. So, they struck a deal. St Patrick decreed this one day in February, which occurs once every four years, when women were allowed to propose. Oh, and women either have to wear breeches or a scarlet petticoat to pop the question, according to tradition.

So ladies you still have a chance to pop the question, make it a christmas proposal!

At the end of the day you need to ask yourself what is meaningful to you and your partner? If you'd prefer to tie braided grass around your partners wrists and ankles than propose with one of our finest cut diamonds then so be it..

Happy Engagement!

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[vc_row type="in_container" full_screen_row_position="middle" column_margin="default" scene_position="center" text_color="dark" text_align="left" overlay_strength="0.3" shape_divider_position="bottom" bg_image_animation="none"][vc_column column_padding="no-extra-padding" column_padding_position="all" background_color_opacity="1" background_hover_color_opacity="1" column_link_target="_self" column_shadow="none" column_border_radius="none" width="1/1" tablet_width_inherit="default" tablet_text_alignment="default" phone_text_alignment="default" overlay_strength="0.3" column_border_width="none" column_border_style="solid" bg_image_animation="none"][vc_column_text]We have talked previously about how best to go about planning your proposal. This article mainly laid out the key steps to help you get things right both on the lead up to popping the question, and on the big day itself. But while Diamond Dealer direct may have given you the steps to take, you may be struggling to put all the pieces together.

It can be very useful to know the major points you have to hit (the ring, getting permission, the location etc.), it can still be difficult to “connect the dots”. Thankfully, we live in a world where technology has an answer for almost every organisational problem, and in this article we are going to pick out three online tools that can make planning your proposal a piece of cake.

Calendars

CalendarThe first step to take is to place certain events on your calendar that you know are set in stone. If you have a date picked out for your proposal, like a significant date in your relationship or a date on which you’ll be in a certain town or city, this needs to be put down so the rest of the calendar can be formed. Other events you know for sure, like when the ring will be ready etc., should also be noted down on online calendars.

The reason you’ll want to use online calendars, as opposed to pen and paper ones, is that they can follow you anywhere. Whether on a laptop or a phone, these calendars are accessible to you, so you can always quickly check them. Most default calendars on your phone will allow you to sync them with other devices, but we suggest getting a calendar app, like Google’s, and using it only for proposal events, keeping it laser focussed on the task at hand.

Trello

Trello is an online to-do list, but it is a little more advanced than Post-It notes on a board. It is set up in a way that allows for maximum compartmentalisation (or tasks within tasks within tasks), tiered to your liking.

For example, you can set up several “boards”. One for the ring, one for planning the location, one for organising the engagement party, etc.. Then, within these boards, you can create columns. We suggest keeping it to “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done”, for simplicity, but you can experiment however you like. On these columns you attach cards, which are like Post-It note - small task that will need doing. Even within these cards, Trello allows for options - you can create check-lists, add notes, and store links.

Whilst the calendar is best for plotting out the timeline of events, Trello is your best go-to, day-to-day option.

Spreadsheets

SpreadsheetTo round out the online help, we have spreadsheets. Google and Microsoft both have online spreadsheet programmes, that can be accessed on computers and smartphones, and come with the added bonus of being sharable. If you aren’t alone in your proposal planning, you can easily share any spreadsheet you make with your accomplices, who can all view or edit information even whilst you’re offline.

We suggest using spreadsheets as a consolidation platform. Once things are booked, you can add them to a spreadsheet with all relevant details. At a glance, you can see the restaurant, the booking time, the link to the menu, and your booking reference number. This keeps the calendar free of clutter, and means Trello can be keep simple.

Put all three tools to good use, and you’ll find planning your proposal was a lot easier than expected. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

When people think about ring fingers, they tend to believe that just one carries any meaning. After all, the one in question is usually referred to as the “ring finger”.

But did you know that every finger on your hand carries it’s own meaning? You use them every day for numerous tasks, but it’s highly unlikely that you ever give the finger meanings a second’s thought. Why would you? They’re tools that are designed to help us through life, give us access to things that make us happy and ensure we receive a pay check at the end of the month.

To most adults, the ring finger is the one on which you place the most important piece of jewellery. It’s a symbol of ever-lasting love and full commitment to another person. As finger meanings go, it’s the ultimate.

Or is it? In today’s post, we’re going to explore each finger’s meaning, and consider the type of ring you should wear on them. We’ll even uncover some truths about rings that might just surprise you, including why the wedding ring finger in the UK isn’t necessarily the final word in ring placement or finger meanings.

Rings aren’t for everyone, but you may just stumble across something special below which will tempt you to designate at least one ring finger.

Little Finger

little-finger-ring-size

The first, and perhaps most culturally significant meaning attached to the little finger is its ties to organised crime. In many mafia movies - and TV shows like the Sopranos - the ring signifying ties to the mythical mobster ‘family’ was worn on the little finger of the left hand. But, thankfully, its meaning extends far beyond that these days!

The little finger is one of the ring fingers that is great for accessorising. Very few fingers demand attention - regardless of any rings placed upon them - than the little finger. That means the ring itself needn’t be big, as it will draw the eye just by having a presence on the finger. This makes it ideal for simple, subtle rings.

Ring Finger

ring-finger

As this finger has the most clearly-defined meaning attached to it, we’ll instead look at two frequently asked questions. The first regards the engagement ring. From proposal to wedding day, it sits on the ring finger on the left hand, but obviously it has to be moved somewhere when you are accepting your wedding ring at the ceremony. At that point, it can either be removed, or relocated to the ring finger on the right hand. After the wedding, you can either leave it on the right hand, or move it back to the left (just make sure the wedding band goes on first, as it has to be kept closest to the heart).

The wedding ring finger in the UK has always been dealt with in this way, but another question you may have is “why do some people wear their wedding ring on the right hand?”.

This is largely a cultural matter. In the UK, USA and most of the wedding ring-wearing world (Jewish and Muslim cultures don’t mandate a ring), the ring does indeed go on the left hand. But in a good portion of European countries, including Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia and Spain, the ring is worn on the right hand. It all depends on national and religious traditions, but the designated wedding ring finger in the UK certainly isn’t the last word in ring placement.

Middle Finger

middle-finger

The middle finger is usually used to balance out the hand. After all, a hand with rings on all the other fingers except for the middle finger would look odd, wouldn’t it? As it sits in the middle, it is also a good finger on which to place a non-symbolic ring (finger meanings don’t always have to be explicit, after all!).

But in this instance, we’ll use the middle finger to segue neatly into the astronomical meanings tied to each finger. All four fingers on the hand (sorry, thumb - you’re not part of this!) are linked to a ‘ruling’ or ‘guiding’ planet. The index is linked to Jupiter, symbolising power. The ring finger is linked to the sun, and obviously has ties to relationships. The little finger has ties to mercury, relating it to intelligence. And the middle finger is aligned with Saturn, which represents balance, justice and responsibility.

This link calls for “soothing” stones to be used on the rings themselves, such as aquamarine, coral or rose quartz. As Saturn has ties to strong metals, it’s also one of the ring fingers that is suitable for plain steel rings. Though, if you ask us, surely Saturn should be linked to the ring finger? Alas, we didn’t make the rules!

Index Finger

index-finger

To return to the astrological meanings for a moment, the index finger is linked to the power of Jupiter. It is perhaps fitting, then, that this part of the hand has often been the resting place for finger meanings denoting status.

Typically, the index finger is where you will find family crests and signet rings. Anyone familiar with the media’s portrayal of Kings and Queens will remember that the ring extended for ‘kissing’ often resides on the index finger. While we don’t recommend doing this in the 21st century, the index finger is still an ideal place for a family-centric ring.

Thumb

thumb

Ah, the poor old thumb. Of all the fingers (not that it can technically be referred to as that, but we feel a bit sorry for it in this context), there isn’t really any cultural significant that can be placed on the thumb when it comes to the business of rings and their meanings. This is likely due to its ‘odd one out’ nature, both in terms of shape and the position it occupies on the hand.

There were originally some ties to wealth for those that chose to place a ring on their thumb. The reason? Anyone who could afford to wear such a ring on such an unusual part of the hand was traditionally quite well-off. Quite why is anyone’s guess, although it would be fair to assume that it had something to do with the amount of metal required to comfortably surround what is traditionally a rather chunky part of the hand (relatively speaking).

In modern society, the thumb plays a similar role to that of the little finger when it comes to rings. So unlikely is the sight of a ring on such a part of the hand, that it demands attention. Think about it - when was the last time you saw a ring on someone’s thumb?

So, if the meaning you want to apply to your thumb is eye-catching razzmatazz, and the ability to create a talking point when you first meet people, you can do a lot worse than add a quirky thumb ring to it.

Diamond cut

In the final part of our 'What is?' series, we focus on 'diamond cut', some industry experts would say this is the most important part of purchasing a diamond. Using the Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) grading system, we will go into depth and give advice on what to look for and what questions to ask.

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Diamond Colour

The topic of our next post, in our 'What is' series is 'diamond colour', we explain the process of grading using the Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) colour scale.

Diamonds are not graded by the presence of colour, but rather the absence. A diamond with the presence of colour is deemed less valuable (other than diamonds that lay outside the D-Z hue (shown below), which are known as 'fancy coloured', more on these types of diamonds in a future post). The below describes the D-Z diamond colour chart.

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What is diamond carat?

In our second post in our 'What is?' series, we focus on diamond carat. Diamonds are measured using the weight metric 'carat', a carat is equal to 200 milligrams (1/5 of a gram). Each carat is made up of a total of '100 points', for example a 0.75 carat diamond could be described as a 'seventy five pointer', where as weights over one carat are normally described as a 1.05 carat would normally be described as 'one carat 'o' five'. Throughout the industry sometimes a different term may be used to described diamonds in 0.25ct increments, a 0.25ct  could be described as a 'one grainer' continuing in 25 point graduations, a 0.50ct diamond would be called a 2 grainer and so on.

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For the would be proposer, choosing a diamond is always a daunting task. We always educate our clients in accordance with the Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) grading system, known throughout the diamond industry as 'The 4C's'. The 4C's being colour, clarity, cut & carat. Over the next four weeks, our 'What is' series of blogs will be focusing each week on explaining one of these characteristics in depth as well as a further blog focusing on 'The anatomy of a diamond certificate'. During this post we will be focusing on 'clarity'.

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Buying a diamond can be a daunting task, with many things to consider such as the colour, clarity, cut and many more what do you choose? Below is a list of advice that we believe can guide you to choosing the perfect diamond. Choosing a diamond for an engagement ring has to be thought out, as this will be a ring for life. Considering what type of diamond(s) should match what you’re trying to achieve, this comes down to the age old trade-off of size over quality.

Larger diamond

Should you decide that you would like a larger diamond for your budget, looking at slightly included (SI1/2) diamonds can offer excellent value for money, ensuring that the marks are not noticeable to the naked eye, our diamond consultants can search through a vast list of diamonds available and offer you a selection to meet your needs.

Lower colour diamonds can also offer value, keeping a diamond with H or I colour will ensure that the diamond ‘faces up’ white, and combined with an eye clean clarity, this should meet the objective of obtaining a larger diamond.

Although most websites will tell you to keep an excellent cut grade, the polish and symmetry must never be overlooked, keeping these ‘very good’ and above will offer a sparkle that anyone will adore. When searching through our website, clicking on the ‘advanced options’ in the ‘diamond search’ will open up more options.

Choosing a larger diamond over a higher quality diamond, will not necessarily mean that the look of the stone will be vastly different from a diamond that is of a higher quality. We will always help all of our customers in finding a happy medium of the colour and clarity of a diamond, again not forgetting the cut grades.

Higher quality

Should you wish to achieve a finer quality diamond for your budget, we recommend looking at the colourless group, D, E and F. These colours are the whitest diamonds known and have no colour in them to the naked eye, appearing bright white.

Looking at diamonds with a clarity of VS1 and above will offer the purest diamonds available. A certification of GIA, HRD, IGI & AGS, will ensure the strictest of grading, in the safe knowledge that your investment has been appraised by the most superior opinions for complete peace of mind.

When selecting the ‘advanced options’ on our website, choosing the ‘excellent’ cut, polish and symmetry for rounds or ‘excellent’ polish & symmetry for fancy shapes. This will optimise the sparkle of the diamond and give maximum refraction of light.

The decision

The decision ultimately lies with what you believe is best value for your money. Deciding this can be a hard process, but our diamond consultants are always available to help, they are always happy to give impartial advice and assist with any questions you have with regards to your purchase.

Information

Information on clarity 

Information on colour 

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