Give a Ring That Lasts Forever This Valentines Day

According to the United States Census Bureau (USCB), an average of 2.2 million couples get married each year. And one of the most popular days for couples to get engaged is Valentine’s Day.
While professions of love are an important part of each Valentine’s Day, for the thousands of men who pop the question on February 14th, the way he proposes is what takes precedence. And no part of that proposal leaves a more lasting impact than the engagement ring. In fact, the Bridal Association of America reports that 85 percent of all grooms propose with a ring. For grooms getting down on one knee this Valentine’s Day, consider the following engagement ring and proposal tips, courtesy of noted jewelry and style expert Michael O’Connor.
* Give a ring that lasts a lifetime. O’Connor is quick to note that an engagement ring is a piece of jewelry that a bride will wear everyday for the rest of her life. Therefore, grooms should look for a ring that’s not only beautiful, but durable as well. Platinum provides the best of both worlds. A naturally white metal, platinum, unlike gold, won’t cast a yellow color into a glittering diamond, but instead, enables the diamond to sparkle brighter. In addition, platinum is a more durable setting than yellow or white gold, an important point to consider when purchasing a ring, especially since you want to make sure that the center diamond is always properly secured.
* Take a cue from celebrity style. These days celebrity weddings and engagements are big news. But for couples not earning celebrity paychecks, it is still entirely possible to afford engagement rings similar to those of Hollywood’s brightest stars. After all, platinum and diamond engagement rings start at under $2,000 from retailers including BlueNile.com, Hearts on Fire, and De Beers.
“Choose a ring style that’s comfortable, practical but also unique to your personal style sensibility,” says O’Connor. The classic platinum and diamond solitaire remains one of the more popular ring designs among celebrities, including Fergie, Beyonce and Rachel Bilson, while other Hollywood A-listers like Jennifer Hudson and Eva Longoria-Parker have gone for a more romantic style. They’ve selected platinum settings that have a technique called ‘micro-pave,’ where tiny diamonds are set all over the band and/or center stone to create a shimmering effect.
“Whatever platinum engagement ring style you purchase, always remember to select the same metal for your wedding band,” notes O’Connor. “A white gold wedding ring will lose metal over time, so it wouldn’t look appropriate with a sparkling platinum engagement ring.”
* Craft a platinum proposal. Costly proposals are long gone. Nowadays, men are opting to create a meaningful experience for their future bride. “Take her to the location of your first date, or cook her the best meal that you shared together,” says O’Connor. “Your bride-to-be will think back to this moment for the rest of her life, so I encourage men to spend time planning the perfect proposal and to think of your favorite shared memories.”