Buying the Engagement Ring: What You Need to Know
So you’ve found the love of your life and you’re ready to pop the big question? Now you just need a ring. You know an engagement ring is probably the single most important piece of jewelry you will ever buy. You want her to love it and that means the ring has to be perfect. What to do? Here are a few tips for making sure the ring is all she ever wanted and more.
Know Your Lady
The first rule is to know your girl. This means if she is the kind of lady who wears vintage clothing and collects vinyl records, she may be happier with a vintage ring—or stone—than a new one. After answering some basic questions like new or vintage, you next have to address a very simple concern that has very much to do with knowing your girl: what’s her ring size? The easiest way to find out is to steal a ring from her jewelry box and have it sized by a jeweler. (They do this all the time, don’t worry.)
With A Little Help From Her Friends
Once you have the size figured out, you can enlist her friends or family in your conspiracy and get the scoop on what she likes as far as designers, cuts of stones, etc. Has she dropped hints about that sort of thing to her BFF? Of course she has! Besides her ring size you will need to know her preferences regarding diamond shape (round, princess, oval, pear, marquise, etc.), type of metal (white or yellow gold, platinum) and settings. The setting is the way the diamond sits on the band. Do your homework so you can “talk the talk”with a little authority at the jeweler’s. You won’t become an expert in a day spent with Google, but you should acquaint yourself well enough with the basics to understand what your girl wants and how to get it. You want to steer clear of any color grade below H (too yellow) in a diamond—or a cut grade below Very Good. Choose a clearer color and better cut over more carats unless your bride-to-be has her heart set on a huge rock.
The old rule of spending three months salary for the engagement ring is hard to swing on many budgets today. In this post-recession era, spending four to six weeks of paychecks on the ring is respectable. Keep in mind it will probably cost more if you seek absolute perfection and don’t mind the sting of paying for it. Don’t be afraid to shop around. An engagement ring is for life, so take your time and get it right. Some jewelers mark-up a stone that you can buy wholesale for $1000 to as much as $4000 and so many guys buy them, not knowing any better. Do some homework, and don’t pay some over-priced jeweler’s over-priced rent for him. Just buy the ring.