Thurlow Champness & Son provide us with the ingredients for the perfect Christmas proposal

Christmas is undoubtedly the most magical time of the year; but if you’re planning a proposal, this Christmas could be one that you and your other half will never forget.

Just like the creation of a diamond, popping the question takes time and the perfect conditions. Planning and research are key ingredients; you’ll need to consider ring sizes, stone shapes and types of metals, among other factors. But there’s no need to panic! Let Thurlow Champness & Son take care of your requirements and advise you on the perfect ring to turn your Christmas into an unforgettable one.

The first point on your checklist should be to calculate your budget. It is a heavily debated concept that two month’s salary should be spent on an engagement ring; however, Lesley Ryland, Director at Thurlow Champness & Son, explains that ‘a diamond ring is an investment, so you should spend as much as you can afford – but not any more than that’. The price of a diamond can vary widely depending on its carat weight, clarity, cut and colour (often referred to as the ‘Four Cs’), and these elements can be mixed and matched to create the perfect stone.

The cut of a diamond can vary greatly. You may prefer a heart-shaped stone because of its connotations of love and romance or you might favour an old-cut stone for its vintage aesthetic. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a diamond to achieve the best reflection and refraction of the light, a round brilliant cut or a shape such as a princess cut will both fulfil this requirement.

Colour ranges through the alphabet from ‘D’ (colourless) and may be a large factor in your diamond choice. Something that is completely colourless and flawless is quite rare and will therefore cost a great deal more than a diamond of lesser colour and clarity. Pinks and blues are particularly rare and will make a beautiful, unusual choice.

The clarity of a diamond determines the amount of inclusions. Clarity ranges from IF (internally flawless) to pique (visibly included): internally flawless diamonds will be completely clear under a magnifying glass; pique diamonds will be clear to the naked eye, but can be cloudy and show under magnification.

Finally, a diamond’s carat weight is its mass. To some, this is the most important of the Four Cs; however, a higher carat does not necessarily guarantee a better diamond, as it could be poorly cut, yellowish in colour, or heavily included. It would be advisable to consider all four Cs, rather than immediately dashing for the largest stone.

Now that you know what kind of diamond will suit your budget, you will need to consider which metal would suit your partner. Lesley explains, ‘it’s down to personal preference whether the metal is white or yellow. If yellow gold is preferred, we recommend 18ct gold as it has a rich tone and good wearing properties; it is also much less brittle than 9ct gold. White gold would need to be rhodium-plated regularly to retain its bright white finish, whereas platinum is more hard wearing and has a naturally bright white finish. If your partner wears a lot of white jewellery, we recommend platinum for its hardwearing qualities; at Thurlow Champness & Son, we polish platinum rings for £2, then we give the proceeds to charity’.

Perhaps the most difficult part of buying a ring is finding the correct ring size. There are many ways to do this: you could take a ring from your partner’s jewellery box and have it sized by a jeweller; you could ask a close friend or relative; or you could nonchalantly slip it into conversation. However, Lesley recommends purchasing the ring in its stock size, performing the proposal, and then getting the ring altered to its correct size afterwards. ‘This would be the most timesaving and cost-effective method, and rules out any chances of it not fitting. Thurlow Champness & Son will resize rings for free when they are bought from the shop’.

‘We have 150 engagement rings that are wedding ring fits (designed to sit next to wedding rings) in our portfolio of Fine Diamonds collection – and each one is certified. A certification will ensure that the diamond is 100% genuine, will determine whether the diamond is natural or enhanced, and also that the stone is a specific colour and clarity.

With all this in mind Thurlow Champness & Son wishes you a Merry Christmas, and the best of luck for your proposal!

Visit Thurlow Champness & Son at 14 Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1UN, or phone on 01284 754747

150 rings from the Portfolio of Fine Diamonds collection are available to view and reserve online at