If you’re planning on dirtying a knee, aka proposing, to your partner in the near future, there’s probably a very particular type of bling you’re looking for.
There’s no denying how much pressure there is when choosing and paying for an engagement ring. You only get one chance to do it (hopefully), and you want it to be perfect. No pressure!
If you need a little help on buying an engagement ring that will do your partner and your proposal justice, keep on reading.
6 Factors to Consider When Buying an Engagement Ring
Getting engaged is an exciting time in your life, albeit a little daunting, too. If you’re the one getting down on one knee, it can feel like there’s tremendous pressure in choosing the right ring, planning the engagement, knowing what to say, and more.
Your best place to start is knowing how to buy an engagement ring that best expresses your love. These considerations should help:
1. Carefully Assess Your Budget
It’s no secret that the purchase of an engagement ring is not cheap. There are two main considerations to think of. Your partner’s expectations and your own budget. In short, this decision is both rational and emotional.
Nowadays, the average amount spend on an engagement ring ranges from $1,000-$6,000. Yes, this is a big margin. But you want to stick to a budget that will not leave you with mountains of debt in the future.
Consider your current income, expenses, personal savings, and future expenses, i.e. the wedding! If you have are set to receive an income bonus or increase, you may want to plan your purchase around this time.
You can also consider spending more on the actual diamond, and less on the setting and ring material. Check out these ladies sterling silver rings for inspiration.
2. Understand the Importance of the Four C’s
When it comes down to engagement ring shopping, keep the four C’s in mind: cut, carat, clarity, and color. This is an official diamond grading system that is used today.
First off, think about the cut of diamond your partner would prefer: pear, oval, square, princess? The carat of the diamond and color determines a large portion of the overall price you’ll pay.
The average engagement ring features a one-carat diamond, which weighs 200 milligrams. This is about the size of an Advil pill. Would your partner prefer a diamond without color, which is typically the most expensive? Or a yellow, pink, or chocolate-colored stone?
Remember that clarity of the diamond also influences price. The fewer imperfections inside a diamond, the more expensive it will be.
3. Choose the Right Metal and Setting
The metal of the engagement band also plays a large role in the price you’ll pay for it. Today, the most popular materials include gold, white gold, silver, and platinum. Rose gold is also a rising star, and perhaps a more affordable option.
All of these precious metals have varying price ranges. But, as a standard, you’ll pay the most for gold, white gold, and platinum. Some of these metals also tend to scratch easier than others, so keep your partner’s job and lifestyle in mind, too. Finally, make sure to choose a material that best matches the stone you’ve chosen.
4. Have a Good Idea of Your Partner’s Ring Size
This is the more tricky side of buying the perfect engagement ring. If you don’t know your partner’s exact ring size, how do you know what to buy that will actually fit?
Well, there are a couple of ways you can tackle this. You can sneakily rummage through your partner’s jewelry collection and take one of their rings with you for reference. You could also use a photo of their hands for a basic idea and it would also be helpful knowing their height and weight, too.
Or, you could enlist the help of a friend or family member to find out their ring size for you. Ideally, you want it to fit snugly – not too tight, or too loose!
5. Decide Where You Want to Buy the Ring From
In today’s day and age, there are numerous options for engagement ring shopping. You can even do it online. Each option has its own set of perks and drawbacks, though. It’s crucial that you do your own research and choose the best option to suit.
Some of the most popular options include:
- National jewelers such as Robbins Brothers or Jared. These stores have a large selection, financing options, and diamond upgrade programs too
- Local stores and trunk shows — if you have your eye set on a particular ring designer, be sure to visit trunk shows at your local stores in your area
- Enlist the services of a private jeweler to create a custom, one-of-a-kind ring for you
- Shop for your engagement ring online — you can buy loose stones and take it to your local jeweler to set in a band for you
Just be wary when shopping online. Keep a close eye on the clarity of the gems you find, and read the grading reports very closely. These reports should be from GIA, AGL, or EGL. Make sure the website offers a 360-degree view of the stone so that you can do a thorough check of its shape, size, and color.
6. Always Buy Certified Gems
As mentioned, an engagement ring purchase is an expensive, once-in-a-lifetime purchase. You want to make sure you’re buying the best, top-of-the-range, certified product. In order to this, you must shop smart.
When you find the perfect ring, do a bit of homework and ensure the stone is certified by an accredited laboratory. This includes the American Gem Society or the Gemological Institute of America. Don’t fall for diamonds that are certified by other lesser-known labs. You could pay an inflated price for a lower-quality gem.
If you have your doubts, ask your jeweler to check the laser-inscription on the diamond, and make sure they match up with the diamond/gem certificate.
Don’t Just Choose Your Ring on a Whim
When buying an engagement ring, don’t overlook the importance of doing your research, first. Do your homework on what would really resonate with your partner, what matches up with your budget, and whether you’re buying a quality product. An engagement ring is a lifetime investment, so make it count.
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