So you’ve found the love of your life, you’ve saved up the cash, and you are in the perfect mindset to pop the big question. Just when you thought things were falling into place, you meet the seemingly mountainous challenge of finding that perfect ring. Well, buying an engagement ring doesn’t have to be difficult. Doing a little research now will make walking into a jewelry store or making that purchase online a lot easier later on. Take some of these tips to get in the right mindset and prep yourself for finding that perfect gem for your perfect gal.
Find Out What She Likes
Some couples who have been talking about marriage are open to looking at engagement rings together, to get a good idea on what each other’s tastes are. Other grooms like to look at rings on their own, hoping to surprise their hunnies with the perfect one. When your girlfriend starts leaving you little hints, talks about how beautiful her friends’ engagement rings are, or even leaves pictures of certain sparkly jewels on your pillow, it’s definitely time to perk your ears up. The most important thing to remember when buying an engagement ring is to find one that she’ll love. After all, she’ll be wearing it for the rest of her life. The key is to find a harmonious balance to what you both like, that way the ring pleases both of you, and you can feel an equal ownership in it.
So what do you do if she’s not hinting around? Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from your mom, sisters, or a certified jeweler. Getting a women’s perspective is always a great way to open your mind to different ring ideas, and it’s especially nice when these women know your bride-to-be. Jewelers are not only professionals at looking at rare gems, but also in being mini therapists to the many men that come along that are diving head first into the unknowns of engagement ring shopping. Another thing you can do is to do a little detective work and check out her current jewelry collection. Does she radiate towards simple and clean, or intricate and gaudy? Is all her jewelry silver, or does she prefer gold? Also check out the size and shape of the rings she currently owns so you can get an idea of whether to invest in a round solitaire ring, square or emerald cut, pear-shaped gem, or a princess cut with side gems.
Be Realistic About Your Budget
The rule of thumb is to save up 2 months salary to go into the ring fund. However, it’s better to go into a marriage debt free, rather than having both of you trying to pay of her ring after you get hitched. Remember, you can always buy her an upgrade for an anniversary present down the line.
If you are a numbers type of person, realize that diamond engagement rings can range from $1,000, $10,000 or even $30,000 buckaroos. Don’t go in over your head to get a whopping rock, just because you think it will be impressive. Rather, do what you can with your budget and make sure that the ring truly speaks of your love for each other.
If you have a ring in the family, it’s not an automatic win either. What if it’s yellow gold and she prefers platinum? You might want to think about updating it to match her own style, and add your own personal twist.
Take Diamond 101
The first thing people learn about diamond quality are “The 4 C’s.” This refers to: Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat. Be sure to read up on each one to get an understanding on price vs. quality in a store. Browse through jewelry catalogs, on online diamond retailers, wedding blogs, and magazines to get an idea of what’s out there, and pick out a couple of styles that you like.
Tap into your support team. If you have guy friends that are already hitched, milk them for all their intel. The best way to learn what to expect is from someone who’s already been there. Taking a friend along with you to the jewelry shop can also make you feel more at ease to browse, since you don’t feel like you’ll be singled out by an intimidating salesperson. Also, ask around to see where others purchased their rings. They might refer you to a qualified family jeweler or trusted engagement ring website that you might otherwise overlook.