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

Stock picture of a proposal. (Getty Images)
What makes up the perfect proposal? (Getty Images)

With its twinkly lights and cosy vibes, this time of year has many of us thinking of romance - and some of us hoping an engagement ring will be under the tree.

But is the festive season the ideal time to propose? New research has revealed the ideal ways to get engaged - and the methods to avoid at all costs.

A study of 2,000 Brits has revealed a whopping 96% of women don’t want their proposal to happen in public, and that includes a fancy pants location such as a restaurant or hotel, which over a quarter (28%) wouldn't appreciate.

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

Read more: Low key celebrity proposals

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

Alongside hotels, fancy restaurants and at home, the research found all the other places where women least want to be proposed to dispelling some common clichés, with 11% not wanting the big moment to happen in front of a famous landmark and the same amount not feeling the idea of a romantic treasure hunt.

Turns out the idea setting is somewhere sentimental, with the majority of men (54%) and women (60%) stating 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.

Interestingly, 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.

Watch: Woman thinks she's on a girls trip to Paris - but it is all a ruse and her boyfriend shows up 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.

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.

Stock picture of an engagement ring. (Getty Images)
There's a gender split in terms of how much should be spent on the engagement ring. (Getty Images)

As well as the location and timing of the proposal it seems the ring also has a role to play in whether the moment goes with a bang.

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.

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

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%).

Read more: Six wedding trends that are disappearing

Commenting on the findings Kyron Keogh, Co-founder of ROX Diamonds & Thrills says: "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.

"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.”