If absence makes the heart grow fonder, quarantine prepares it for commitment. That’s what customers have been telling Jeffery Bolling, ring designer and owner of Jeffery B Jewelers in Cherry Creek. And with the holidays already a popular time for proposals, we put Bolling on the spot by popping either-or trend questions (his answers in bold) in preparation for engagement season.

Jeffery Bolling says ‘I do’ to his favorite proposal traditions

An engagement ring with a solitary diamond setting VS. A ring with smaller diamonds framing the big one
“You can have a beautiful window and leave it as is,” Bolling says. “But if you did put a trim on it and add curtains, it makes it a little more finished.”

Making an unauthorized proposal VS. Asking the parents of your beloved for their blessing
“What can I say; I’m old and like the tradition,” he says.

Diamond VS. A colored stone, like a sapphire or ruby
Diamonds are impervious to perfumes, acids, and other forms of wear. Other stones, not so much: “There’s no way a sapphire is going to look as good as a diamond in 20 years,” Bolling says.

Design an engagement ring with your SO VS. Design an engagement ring by yourself
Bolling always tells customers to purchase a simple ring then come back after the “OMG, yes!” to design another ring together. “That way, they can get exactly what they want,” he says.

Emerald cut VS. Brilliant cut
The vintage-inspired, eight-sided emerald is popular now, but the brilliant cut is “designed to allow the maximum amount of light to shine through,” he says. Translation: It’s the most sparkly option.

Proposing in front of family VS. Proposing when you’re alone
The actual proposal should be just the two of you, but celebrate with family afterward. “You need all the support you can get,” Bolling says.

Putting the ring in Champagne during the proposal VS. Not doing that
“Cherish the ring!” he says. “Don’t put it in booze!”

Hometown wedding VS. Destination wedding
“If you make people travel, only the people who really want to be there will show up,” he says.

Gold band VS. Platinum band
“Platinum dulls over time,” Bolling says, “so you need to go get it polished semiregularly.”

Outdoor wedding VS. Indoor wedding
“If it’s in Colorado, definitely outdoors,” he says.

This article was originally published in 5280 November 2020.
Angela Ufheil
Angela Ufheil
Angela Ufheil is a Denver-based journalist and 5280's former digital senior associate editor.