The moment that you declare you want to spend the rest of your life with someone should be one of the most romantic and memorable experiences of your life. But that certainly does not mean that it needs to be the most expensive. Nor does it necessarily require diamond rings and over-the-top bling. Here are three pieces of engagement ring ‘advice’ that you can throw out of the window, right now!

1. You should spend 1-2-3 months’ salary 

Nope, there is no such thing. An engagement ring should reflect the unique bond between two people, not their salaries! The idea that an engagement ring has to equate to one, two, or even three months’ salary was part of a clever De Beers diamond selling strategy in the 1930s, creating a demand for diamonds at a time when sales of the precious stone were at an all-time low in the U.S. And the campaign was so impactful and successful, that this belief is still often ingrained in us today. But the truth of the matter is that buying an engagement ring should not be based on price – it is far more important to find a ring that reflects your love because you know your other half would adore a certain gemstone. Take the time to find a design that symbolizes something special for both of you and do not worry about it having to be above a certain price. Onto point two!

2. An engagement ring should have a diamond center

Diamonds are certainly beautiful, but the idea that engagement rings need to have a diamond center is another false concept popularized by the same aforementioned De Beer campaign with its famous ‘A Diamond is Forever’ slogan. Engagement rings should reflect the taste and preferences of your other half; they may have a soft spot for gorgeous green gemstones or love all things pretty and pink. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that the stones selected on engagement rings need to be durable enough to handle everyday wear. And this is where morganites, moissanites and sapphires really shine bright – both stunning and durable in equal measure! Find out more about these alternative gemstones here.

3. Bigger is always better

If you are still adamant about buying a diamond ring, let us be clear: big does not always mean better. Who wants a chunky ugly diamond with no shine, anyway? Enter the other important c’s besides carat weight – color, clarity and cut – the latter of which plays a massive role when it comes to the brilliance of a diamond. And even if you are not buying a diamond ring and are opting for another gorgeous gemstone mentioned above, do remember that some women prefer more dainty jewelry, especially if they have smaller hands or thinner fingers. The bottom line is, buying an engagement ring should be a very personal experience based on the style and taste of the individual you want to spend the rest of your life with. Be creative and let them know how much you care with a ring that perfectly suits their unique personality.

 Want more help on picking the perfect ring? Read all about the top 5 mistakes to avoid when shopping for that special engagement ring.