THE ENGAGEMENT RING – Do’s and Don’ts:

DO let her help pick it out, if possible. Learning about rings is helpful, but you can be a jewelry expert and still not pick out what she really wants. The truth is, every girl wants romance: a proper proposal, including the ring — but she also wants to be practical and pick out what she wants herself.

DON’T present a family ring without consulting her first. What if your loved one can’t stand the diamond shape your great-grandmother left you? Unless the diamond is spectacular, let your bride-to-be choose her own, and even if she accepts the family jewels, let her pick out a new setting.

DO consider her personal style before choosing a setting. Does she tend towards the traditional? A bold statement? A dazzling original?

DO listen for clues. Don’t tune her out like you normally do when she window-shops or leafs through Modern Bride. Pay attention – if she yells “Platinum!” to her friend on the phone, she doesn’t mean her Visa card!

DO consider the shape and size of her hand before you buy a ring. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if she has tiny fingers, a large setting will look like she’s carrying a cell phone on the back of her hand. And a tiny setting on a large hand won’t look like much at all.

Here’s the bottom line: Since you’re about to spend the rest of your life with your bride-to-be, make sure she’s content with the final choice. Because- if she’s happy, you’ll be happy too!

Cos Altobelli, is a third generation jeweler and president of Altobelli Jewelers in Burbank, previously located in North Hollywood for 60 years. His specialty is appraising for all functions and acting as an expert witness.

He holds a graduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America and the title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser, from the American Gem Society, is the author of three appraisal books, and has appeared on “Prime Time Live” several times.

Mr. Altobelli can be reached at (818) 763-5151.