There is nothing easy about buying an engagement ring. It is an overwhelming experience for most men due to the wide variety of rings in the market. You have to learn about different jewelry metals, ring designs, the 4C’s, settings and precious stones. Quite a task, isn’t it? Well, you are not through yet; you have to compare prices, avoid jewelry scams and of course the conflict diamonds. By the time you are through with the task, your head will be spinning. Shopping for an engagement ring freaks every man more than going down on bended knee.
Well, this is a task that you have to complete and the ring you buy will be the icing to one of the most important occasions in your life. If you have mustered the courage to propose, don’t allow the search for engagement rings to slow you down.
This article will give you all the help you need to find that dream ring for your spouse and good value for your money too. Here are some of the tips you should consider:
Set a Budget and Stick to It
There is no denying that money plays a major role in the shopping decision. You see, the best engagement ring will cost quite a sum and like with any other big purchase, you need to budget for the same. It is advisable to assess your current financial situation and expected income. Avoid going overboard with the ring purchase as this might force you deeper into debt.
With most households now struggling with mounting debt, it is important to avoid borrowing when starting off on such a crucial phase of your life. You might have heard about the one/two month’s salary rule on how much to spend on an engagement ring but you should ignore it. The slogan was coined by one of the largest diamond companies to dupe consumers into spending more on jewelry. The bottom-line is to set a budget for a good ring and stick to it to choose the cheap engagement rings.
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Find a Ring that Suits your Partner
Many couples have started on the wrong footing on account of the wrong choice of a ring, and this is a mistake you should avoid. Take time to learn about your partner’s preferences when it comes to jewelry, her favorite ring styles, and colors among other preferences.
Talk to her closest friend in confidence to find out her dream ring and note everything down. The idea behind a surprise proposal is to present a ring that your spouse has always had in mind. You need to get clever to avoid arousing suspicion. Look for magazines featuring jewelry and comment about the rings featured. Every bit of information you find will help in the forthcoming search for her dream engagement ring.
Take Time to Learn About Engagement Rings
Now that you have a budget in place, you need to get down to work. The first thing you have to do is learn as much as you can about engagement rings. There is no way you can find the perfect ring if you don’t understand the intricacies of this industry. Whether you are alone or doing the engagement ring shopping together, you need as much information as you can gather. For a start, you need to consider the following:
Choose the Perfect Gemstone
You have multiple precious stones to choose from with the top choice being a diamond. Research shows that diamond is the top pick, but there are other equally beautiful stones including sapphires, Turquoise, Amethysts, Emerald, morganite, Garnets, pearls, topaz, Tourmaline among others. The type of stone you choose should reflect your spouse’s style and personality. Make sure you go for a beautiful and durable stone, which requires minimal maintenance.
Consider Engagement Ring Styles and Shapes
You need to look at some of the ring styles in the market to identify one which suits your partner’s style and personality. Popular ring styles include prong and solitaire setting, vintage styles, halo, three-stone style, Pavé style, the Tiffany setting, bezel setting, tension setting, channel setting, cathedral setting, Bar settings, flush/gypsy setting, cluster setting and Eternity bands among others.
The ring style, setting or cut should complement your partner’s fingers, height, body shape among other features. Remember the ring you buy should last a lifetime and hence take time to observe what your partner would love.
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Choose an Engagement Ring Metal
Gold (yellow, white and rose), platinum, palladium, silver, titanium, and zirconium are a few of the popular metals for your perfect engagement ring. Take time to learn each metal’s strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, yellow gold is one of the most glamorous metals you can find for an engagement ring but it might not be perfect if your partner is allergic to metals such as nickel. Silver and other shiny metals work perfectly with brilliant diamond stones but they might fade over time thus necessitating costly polishing. Other things to consider when searching for the perfect precious stone include your partner’s skin color
Consider Bespoke Engagement Ring
If you have been following the news, you must have come across Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle. A lot of focus went to the self-designed engagement ring Prince Harry used to propose. The custom ring included one diamond sourced from Botswana which has a special place in the couple’s life. Also included were two smaller stones from Princess Diana’s collection. The band is yellow, Meghan’s favorite color.
If you can’t find the perfect ring in the market, you can get creative just like Prince Harry, and while you might not have access to his resources, you can design an engagement ring with meaning. A custom-design ring reflects your partner’s quirks, style, and personality and you can add meaningful touches that relate to your relationship. From the choice of the center stone, color, metal choice, style and shape, you have limitless opportunities to design the dream engagement ring.
Try a Girl’s Best Friend; Diamond Ring
Well, if you want to impress your lady, you need to consider a unique diamond ring for an engagement. Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend was right on point. You can never go wrong with a diamond ring but it requires a lot of in-depth research. You have to consider the all-important 4C’s (cut, clarity, color, and carats).
- Cut: The cut (sparkle factor or angles and proportions of the stone) is the most important consideration as it determines the brilliance of the stone.
- Color: There are various diamond colors to choose from with the grading starting from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow).
- Clarity: It is the least important quality as diamonds like most natural stones contain imperfections. On the clarity scale, diamonds lying between SI1 and SI2 have imperfections, which you can’t see with the naked eye.
- Carat weight: The average diamond weight is 1 Carat. The heavier it is, the more money you have to pay for it. Avoid paying too much for large diamonds and instead focus more on the cut.
There are various diamond ring shapes to choose from including round and princess which are the most popular. Others include pear, Emerald, Marquise, Asscher, ovals, heart among others. For the settings and metals for your diamond engagement ring, you will use any of those you had earlier researched.
Engagement Ring Shopping Together
There are several reasons to opt for engagement ring shopping together. For a start, the wide variety of rings might overwhelm you. To avoid buying the wrong piece, you can invite your partner along for the purchase. Shopping together makes the experience fun, and it is an opportunity to bond. It makes things easier, and you can also cut on the cost. Fun, learning and bonding replace the secrecy and difficult of the engagement shopping experience.
Identify A Reputable Jewelry Store
A reputable online jewelry store is among the top places to buy engagement rings for many good reasons. It is cheap, convenient and you have a wider variety of ring styles to choose from than at your local jewelry store. Seek referrals and recommendations to find the best jeweler and confirm they use third-party certifications for their diamonds. Look for GIA, AGS, EGL and other diamond grading certificates to guarantee the quality of the stone you buy.
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Engagement Ring Shopping Etiquette
You didn’t see this coming, did you? Well, engagement ring shopping etiquette will determine how this special occasion turns out. Some of the things to remember as regards to etiquette when shopping for an engagement ring include:
- There are more choices than the diamond solitaire ring, and you are free to explore more options.
- Be ready and polite about the true feelings of the ring you buy.
- It is normal to seek help in buying an engagement ring.
- Focus more on the moment in your engagement photos not nuts the ring.
There you have it; buying an engagement ring is an involving task, but with these tips, you can now ace it. Remember to start with a budget, learn everything about engagement rings, find out what your partner loves and identify the best jeweler to use.