My wife and I have been a couple since college (c.1984) and was only after a short seventeen years that I got around to proposing.
On one of our winter trips to Bora Bora
, it happened to be St. Valentine's day. I thought, "Well, probably a sign." The day before, I arranged for the two of us to visit the best pearl shop on the island in the middle of a jeep trip.
We went through the whole vault of the really fantastic black pearls...big, perfectly round, with amazing depth to the lustre, the kind you only see rarely even from the best jewelers. I noted which four that she liked the most, including her favorite. I told her that the prices were still too much, but that we would consider it later. She was a good sport.
The next morning was St. Valentine's Day. We woke up early just before the sunrise, and I suggested a hike up to a hill to see the sun break the horizon. We hiked up, and just as the sun cleared Mt. Otemanu
, I proposed, producing her favorite black pearl.
Her engagement ring has that pearl at the center in a platinum setting. There is a cluster of four diamonds on either side, two 1 carat FL-D oval cuts and two FL-D 3/4 carat oval cuts on each side. Done up by a local jeweler.
The effect is pretty simple, but spectacular at the same time. When my wife is in a room with women with honker diamonds, it is always her ring that gets the oohs and ahhs...and then she tells the story about how she got the pearl.
Doesn't quite make up for waiting for seventeen years...but its close.
Oh, and I bought all four pearls that she liked. Three are in reserve since a pearl is transitory like life and love.