How to buy an Engagement Ring

Buying an engagement ring is a special event. Symbolizing your love and commitment, the engagement ring you select needs to be as special as the woman who will wear it. Yet it is equally as much a financial investment as it is a sentimental symbol. This is why striking the right balance between your emotions and your financial constraints is key. To help you make a selection that encompasses all that you want the ring to represent, is a wise expenditure of your resources and elicits the kind of joy that you both will remember for a lifetime, here are a few important elements to consider.

A Diamond’s Four Cs

To paraphrase Shakespeare, a diamond by any other name is still a diamond. However, there are four significant elements that determine the quality of that diamond: color, cut, clarity and carats. For instance, the clear, colorless diamond is considered superior to any other color, which accounts for its higher cost. Yet there are stellar diamonds of other varieties, from white to light yellow. Meanwhile, the facets of a diamond, which are what create the brilliant sparkle, are what is known as cut while the amount of flaws in a diamond determine its clarity. Size, referred to in terms of a fraction of a carat to many carats, is simply a matter of personal preference, with the larger the carat being the larger the diamond. With an understanding of these four features, you can move on to personalizing your selection of an engagement ring.

Personal Research

A little individualized research goes a long way in helping you make the perfect ring choice. Begin with her closest friends or her sister. Excellent resources simply for the possibility of having had chats about favorite style of engagement ring, her friends and sister can steer you away from the ring she would never want and toward her heart’s desire. For example, while round diamonds are classic, your lady may prefer a pear, an oval or a marquise shape, just to name a few. Additionally, the women who are closest to her are likely to know her ring size, enabling you to avoid having to secretly borrow one of her rings to take with you to the jeweler for sizing. Of course, if all else fails, you can forgo the element of surprise and take her along with you to make her own selection.

Determining Price

While your love for the one you intend to marry is priceless, diamond engagement rings are available in a wide range of prices. Fortunately, the antiquated notion that a man should spend two to three month’s salary on an engagement ring is no longer considered sound advice. Instead, you want to spend an amount that won’t break your bank account but still affords her a beautiful ring. This is where small concessions can make a significant difference. A white gold band as opposed to platinum, for example, offers very similar color at a lower price point. Likewise, a diamond that is .9 carats rather than a full carat is considerably less expensive as is virtually any diamond shape that is not round. Moreover, a small diamond mounted on a raised setting and surround by smaller diamonds offers the overall effect of a much larger diamond. Whether you can bear the expense of an engagement ring with every possible upgrade or prefer one that is both lovely and affordable, be sure to determine the amount you plan to spend before heading to the jeweler, and then remain within your allocation.

Personal Style

Everyone woman has her own personal style, and her engagement ring should reflect that. If she’s casual and sporty, for instance, a shiny ring with multiple diamonds set in the band is probably not her style. On the other hand, a woman who likes a little bling may find such a ring to be exactly to her liking. Therefore, to select a ring that is uniquely “her,” consider her personality and her style of dress. The casual woman may prefer the simplicity of a single stone set in a plain band while the woman with classic style might lean toward a ring with an antique setting or one that looks antique. Similarly, the lady who loves clothing and other items from a certain era may be thrilled to receive a vintage ring. Once again, keep in mind that celebrating her style and remaining on budget can work beautifully. By selecting a stone separately, and then having it set in a vintage or an antique band, you can decrease cost substantially. For extra charm, consider placing a new diamond in a ring that belonged to a beloved family member. As long as her engagement ring complements her inimitable style, that’s all that matters.

Social Consciousness

Perhaps you or your bride-to-be has strong convictions regarding the mining of diamonds in war zones and their use in war. To avoid making a purchase that conflicts with your social consciousness, try asking the jeweler what country the diamond came from. Diamonds originating in Canada or Australia, for instance, are not involved in war nor are those from some African countries. Additionally, some companies openly state that they sell only conflict-free diamonds, relieving you of any concerns associated with social issues. Alternatively, you might opt to purchase an engagement ring set with her birth stone, giving the ring special meaning without the inclusion of a diamond.

Armed with this information, you will be well equipped to buy an engagement ring that will make your proposal memorable in every good way.