Valentine's Day is one of the most romantic dates of the year – and a fitting time to pop the question. While some grooms-to-be will opt for a beautiful traditional diamond, others may wish to surprise the love of their life with a truly unique engagement ring.
Some celebrities in the past have certainly been stunned by their partners' choice, and the length of time it took to make the ring.
Christina Aguilera's fiancé Matt Rutler spent over a year designing his lady's rock, which featured different stones that represented different aspects of their relationship. Natalie Portman's engagement ring given to her by Benjamin Millepied kept in line with the actress' eco-friendly ideals, being made of conflict-free diamonds.
Olivia Wilde's aqua emerald jewel was selected by husband Jason Sudeikis as it reminded him of the colour of her eyes, while Halle Berry's gold ring is said to bear symbols and codes that only Halle can decipher.
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Jason Sudeikis chose this aqua emerald jewel because it reminded him of the colour of Olivia Wilde's eyes
"Before the 1940s, diamonds were in fact not the traditional choice and engagement rings were used with precious stones," Holts Gems told HELLO! Online. "Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge brought back the coloured engagement ring trend with their beautiful sapphire and diamond cluster ring, as did Grace Kelly with her lavish ruby and diamond ring."
Grooms considering a coloured ring, should think about the bride's taste including stone type and metal colour, added jewellers Alexis Dove, who specialise in metals and gemstones.
Others things to bear in mind include the budget, style of ring and – said Holts Gems – "a piece that represents them both". The shape of a stone or diamond must also suit the hand of the ring wearer, for example oval-shaped stones elongate the fingers.
Natalie Portman's engagement ring kept in line with her views and was made from conflict-free diamonds
"Our customers are often keen to create a unique ring that signifies their personal style, one that their friends won't have, so they prefer unusual rings to traditional ones," said Alexis Dove, while the clientele at David Marshall London tend to be "fairly traditional" customers who "consider that they will be wearing a wedding band and possibly an eternity ring with it at some point".
For those who are unsure as to whether their bride will appreciate an unusual ring, all three London-based jewellers offer bespoke services, where couples can come in and look through the gemstones.
The other option – to keep the element of surprise – is for the groom to buy a stone and present that to his fiancée, and then the couple can go back and commission a ring together.