How to propose: How much to spend on a ring and the dates and locations to avoid

A man gets on one knee to propose to his girlfriend. (Getty Images)
So you want to get engaged? Here's the best way to propose. (Getty Images)

Getting engaged is an exciting milestone in any relationship. Whether you’ve been together for six months or six years, knowing when to pop the question is a big step. So is there a right way to do it, and how do you know when it’s the right time?

If you were thinking about getting down on one knee in public, you may want to think again, as a study has found that 96% of British women don’t want their proposal to happen in public - including fancy restaurants or hotels which 28% of respondents said they wouldn’t appreciate.

Likewise, getting engaged at home isn't the ideal scenario women are picturing, with almost a fifth (17%) of the 2,000 Brits polled by by ROX Diamond & Thrills claiming they wouldn't want to have the big question popped there.

Read more: Low-key celebrity proposals

A further 11% said they didn’t want the big moment to happen in front of a famous landmark and the same amount weren’t keen on the idea of a romantic treasure hunt.

New Year's Day was found to be the least popular choice, with only 2% of the population saying they would like to get engaged on that date - perhaps because the festive hangovers could spoil the mood.

So when and where do people want their proposals to happen and how much should you spend on an engagement ring?

Stock picture of couple getting engaged. (Getty Images)
Christmas is a popular time to propose, not New Year's Day though. (Getty Images)

How do I know when it’s time to propose?

When it comes to the ideal time to get engaged, four out of five (82%) women believe that the engagement should happen on or before the three year mark in the relationship, with two years and 112 days into the romance considered the ideal time to drop on one knee

Read more: Bargain Bride: 'How I saved £15,000 on my dream wedding'

It seems most people don't want to wait much longer for a proposal with just 15% of women believing a couple should be together for four to five years before someone pops the question and just 1% claiming over six years is the acceptable time to wait.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

Google search data shows that one of the most common questions surrounding engagement rings is how much you should spend on them, with over 2000 people in the UK asking for advice on this every month.

According to the research, while 90% of people would pay up to £3,000 for an engagement ring, the perfect amount to spend on the ring was found to be £1,429.

But it seems there's something of a gender split concerning how much men and women believe should be spent on the sparkler, with females believing that on average a ring should cost £1,567. Comparatively, men believed it should cost £1,284 - £283 less.

Stock picture of a couple on a beach getting engaged. (Getty Images)
Most people believe you should be engaged by three years into the relationship. (Getty Images)

It seems diamonds are still a girl's best friend, with over half (55%) of women saying their gemstone of choice would be a natural diamond.

The least popular gemstone with women appears to be aquamarine with just 2% of them choosing it, closely followed by opal (2%) and amethyst (2%).

What is the best way to propose?

While we’ve ruled out proposing in public, most of the men and women polled (54% and 60% respectively) said that somewhere personal and meaningful to them and their partner is the best location for the proposal.

For those who would like to propose on a significant date, the most preferred choice was found to be on the couple’s anniversary, with 34% of romantics thinking this would be a sweet way to mark the occasion.

Read more: Wedding expert's strict dos and don'ts list divides social media users

"It can be challenging to know where to begin when it comes to proposals. Social media can be oversaturated with 'perfect proposals', but the most important thing to remember is that a proposal is merely the beginning of the beautiful union you're creating with your partner,” Kyron Keogh, co-founder of ROX Diamonds & Thrills says.

"And while it's easier to think your partner might want something straight out of a fairytale, in reality, they might want something much simpler and personal to you as a couple.”

Watch: Christina Hendricks engaged