Shopping for an engagement ring can be intimidating. Let’s face it! For most guys, this is usually the very first time they went inside a jewelry store, and it’s quite often we don’t have any prior knowledge about rings and diamonds.
However, it shouldn’t be as hard as it seems. This should be a happy day for you, and here, we will share 8 practical tips to make the shopping process easier, and more fun!
Without further ado, let us start with the first one.
1. In the end, it’s all about HER preference
When shopping for your engagement ring, It’s easy to get lost in the technicalities like diamond cuts, shapes, metal choices, and other factors (and more often than not, our available budget.).
The most important thing to fall back on is the fact that your fiance will be the one wearing the ring (hopefully, for a long time and for the rest of their life). It’s important to understand her preferences, especially the ring’s overall style and also size.
Have a mindset that “I’ll get the best possible ring that will fit her style and also fit my budget.” It will give you the right focus during your search.
2. Finding out the right ring size
Measuring your special one’s finger (in secret) is a very tricky thing, but there are some tips to get around this:
- Ask her friends to find out the ring size. If you have someone that can keep a secret, they might be able to also help you in other aspects later on.
- “Borrow” an existing ring that she wears on her ring finger (important, but often overlooked).
- Better safe than sorry, so choose a jeweller that is able to resize the ring later. This will also depend on the ring’s complexity and other factors, so consult with the said jeweler to make sure.
- You can be creative and playful, for example by tying a thread on her ring finger playfully.
3. Plan your budget accordingly
How much should you spend on your engagement ring? The answer is ultimately up to you, and there’s no clear set of rules for this.
However, it’s wise to think hard about it with two main principles:
First, remember that the engagement ring will be worn every day for a lifetime. It will be exposed to a significant amount of wear and tear in a long-term basis, so it is best to get the best possible ring you can afford—design wise, and quality wise—. Of course, you should also consider boredom and trends here, rings with classic, timeless designs are typically more expensive.
Second, obviously you should be careful not to overspend. If the engagement goes well as planned, you will have a wedding to plan and a life to build. So, plan ahead and think of a suitable budget.
Also, many jewelers might offer flexible installments and even 0% financing plans. You might want to use these to your advantage not to break the bank.
4. Choosing the stone
For most people, diamond stones will be the default—and sometimes the only— choice. However, colored gemstones are also really popular lately, and can be a great (and often more affordable) option.
For a diamond stone, it’s always about the 4Cs:
- Color: Graded from D to Z, with D being totally colorless and Z being the lightest (read: yellow-ish).
- Cut: not to be confused with the diamond shape, cut grading determines the brilliance of the diamond in reflecting light
- Clarity: absence of imperfections from inclusions (internal flaws) to blemishes (external characteristics).
- Carat: the size of the diamond stone
Also, diamond stones come in various shapes, so choose one according to the previous principles. In general, the timeless round solitaire is often the safest choice, which can mix perfectly with various ring shapes and metal choices (more on this later).
5. Choosing metal
The type of metal which forms the ring will play a significant role in determining the ring’s overall style.
The classic yellow gold, platinum gold, and white gold are usually the safest choices, and generally are the best pairs for colorless and near-colorless diamond stones (grade D through J).
There are also other—more modern—choices like rose gold and even sterling silver. The idea is to find out your fiance’s preferences and choose the metal that is suitable for the ring’s overall design, stone choice, and style.
6. Finding out your fiance’s preference
This one can also be tricky, since obviously you would want to keep the proposal a secret, but on the other hand we can’t be sure of what she actually wants.
You might want to check out her existing jewellery pieces and find some patterns. You might also want to check her social media whether she had liked jewellery designs in the past, which can be an important clue.
Again, you can ask for help from her friends, sisters, or even her mother. They usually have a better insight about this, and in most cases they would love to help.
7. Finding the right jeweller
A very important aspect of engagement ring shopping, especially if you are going for a custom-made ring, is finding the right jeweller.
The most important thing is to look for a jeweller you are comfortable with, and one you can trust. An engagement can be a very significant—and sometimes long term— financial investment, so pay extra attention to security and reliability.
You should be comfortable in asking as many questions as you want with the jeweller, if they rush or pressure you through the decision, it’s a major red flag.
Check out the jeweller’s refund and exchange policies, including and especially about resizing. Also, check whether the jeweller offers a guarantee to cover manufacturing faults.
8. Consider taking an insurance
Your engagement ring is a very valuable investment, not only financially but it’s also about the memories. So, it’s a wise idea to invest on an insurance to cover theft or loss, and there are even insurances that offer damages.
Jewelry insurance nowadays is fairly affordable, where in general the costs average around $1.5 for every $100 of your ring’s worth.