Modern thought these days recommends that men shop with their partner to choose engagement rings together, thus avoiding the awkwardness of choosing a ring that the bride-to-be doesn’t like.

However, many men still want the experience of choosing a diamond ring on their own and surprising their partners. In their hearts they hope to choose a ring that their future wife will love and cherish – the reality is they might get it wrong.

Follow these tips to avoid choosing the wrong diamond rings, or indeed a ring made out of any precious stone.

Have a think about your partner’s tastes in jewellery. Does she wear white gold or yellow gold? Does she wear bold statement jewellery or have a more classically discreet style? Try to choose something that fits in with what she already wears. Similarly, before you presume that she would love a diamond ring make sure that diamonds are to her tastes – some women might prefer an alternative gemstone.

Pay close attention if you are ever on the subject of wedding rings. See if she comments on a friend’s engagement ring and when you are out shopping, wander past the jewellery shops.

Think about what suits her hands best. Larger diamond engagement rings will swamp petite fingers and delicate settings on bigger hands will make the ring look even smaller. It isn’t impossible to work out what her ring size is, just sneak one of her usual rings away for measuring.

Keep these things in mind and you should find buying the perfect ring easy. A final tip: if you are sure of the shape, buy a loose diamond, and then choose the setting together.