Choosing an engagement ring is an essential and personal purchase. There are many factors to consider, from gemstone and metal options to sizing.
Be sure to pick a jeweler that offers certification for their stones and a return policy, should you need one. You can discreetly borrow one of their rings or use a ring sizing chart to get a good idea of the sizing before shopping.
Know the Gemstone
Diamonds are the most popular engagement ringstone but are not the only option. Other stones, such as sapphires or rubies, are a great choice. Look at your partner’s jewelry collection to see what kind of stones they wear, or ask one of their close friends.
You should also know if they prefer natural or lab-grown diamonds. While scientists in a laboratory create lab-grown diamonds, natural gemstones are developed on the earth. The two are chemically and optically the same, but lab-grown diamonds can be 30% less expensive than their natural counterparts. Another important consideration is determining her ring size. Depending on the design of her ring, it may be challenging to have it resized later on. To prevent this, you can discreetly borrow one of her other rings or use a ring sizing chart at the jeweler.
Know the Metal
The metal band accompanying the gemstone is vital to an engagement ring. Some metals scratch more effortlessly than others, and some have additional maintenance requirements. It is crucial to gather information beforehand to make an informed decision.
You can discreetly ask your significant other their ring size or use a sizing chart to determine it yourself. However, it’s best to have them sized by a professional before buying one so you don’t risk ruining the surprise or buying a too-big ring.
Determining what type of metal you like is also a good idea. Gold, silver, and platinum are the traditional options, but more modern metals have entered the market, too. For example, black metal has recently become popular with brides-to-be.
Know the Setting
The metal framework holding the gemstone or diamond is known as the setting. Unless your significant other has specifically told you the style they want, it’s worth looking at their jewelry draw or asking friends for recommendations (especially ones who have already gotten engaged).
Aside from aesthetic considerations such as whether she prefers yellow gold or silver, the shape of her finger is vital to consider. For example, rings with larger diamonds tend to suit those with longer fingers, whereas a pear shape will look best on those with shorter fingers.
It’s also worth assessing the durability of each setting before buying. For instance, some metals scratch more quickly than others. Similarly, some types of diamonds are more vulnerable to chipping and discoloration. It will enable you to focus your search and identify the ideal fit.
Know the Budget
The accepted wisdom nowadays is that a man should budget three months of income to buy the ring. However, this is not an accurate calculation and can lead to disappointment when the real world kicks in.
Consider your partner’s lifestyle and expectations when you set your budget. If they have a specific idea of their dream ring, you should meet those expectations as much as possible within your means.
It is also a good idea to tally up your joint monthly income, including any investments or savings, and to include future potential pay increases in your budget calculations. That way, you’ll know you can afford the ring without going into debt. It will also help prevent any surprises after the proposal.
Know the Timeline
Many people like to surprise their finances with a ring, but it’s also perfectly normal and recommended to shop ahead of time. If you know the date you want to propose, count backward and start shopping at least a month in advance. It gives you ample time to find a pre-designed ring and get it sized before proposing.
Lean on your fiance’s friends and family for help, too. Chances are they’ve already dropped hints about the type of ring they would love (or at least have a rough idea they’ve shared with a friend or added to a Pinterest board).
Remember to review warranties and return policies before buying your ring so you’re comfortable handling it as we advance.