AS Beyonce once sang, if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it.
And it seems the men of Bolton are taking note of the superstar’s words this Valentine’s Day, under the expert guidance of the town’s jewellers.
Staff at Lauren Ashley Jewellers, in the Market Place Shopping Centre, are on hand to advise couples on the perfect engagement ring and to offer unsure chaps words of wisdom.
Men across the town can breathe a sigh of relief as mother and daughter, Julie and Lauren Carter, from Lauren Ashley Jewellers, insist it is not all about how much money is spent.
Julie said: “The most important thing is to get it right.
“I don’t think it comes down to money, it comes down to doing what feels right for them. We never encourage them to overspend.”
Lauren said: “There’s the whole thing that they should spend so many times their earnings, but that’s a load of rubbish.
“At the end of the day, if you spend £200 or if you spend £10,000 it definitely, is for us anyway, more about the sentiment.”
The pair help to ensure the course of true love runs smooth, although in one man’s case the proposal was nearly scuppered before he had bought the ring.
Lauren said: “He was surprising her with it and he was coming to collect it and he had obviously put the shop’s number in his mobile phone under the name of Lauren.
“She went through his phone and accused him of having this girl’s number.
We knew him quite well by this point and he said, ‘you will never guess what’.
“He got round it by saying she was an old friend he’d bumped into.
“He proposed to her at Christmas and he came back and we met her and we all laughed about it.
They bought us flowers and Champagne.”
Julie said carat solitaire rings, around the £3,500 to £4,500 price range, are popular, and Lauren said women tend to want unique, oneoff designs.
When it comes to the actual proposals, they have advised men to tie the ring to a Christmas tree or hide it in a Christmas stocking, while another customer surprised his brideto- be with a pair of sunglasses, for their holiday, with an engagement ring attached.