The Art of Buying the Perfect Engagement Ring

Buying an engagement ring is a big step in a relationship and a significant milestone in life. With so much importance surrounding this single purchase, it’s important to find and buy the perfect engagement ring for your loved one.

An engagement ring is a symbol of your love and your relationship, so not just any ring will do. Buying the right engagement ring truly is an art – but you can make the process easier by following these steps.

Figure Out Your Budget

It’s tempting to start looking at ring styles, but the first step should always be financial. There’s a staggering range of prices for engagement rings. Buyers can find very affordable rings, or they can splurge and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ultimately, it depends on what you feel comfortable spending.

Since the 1940s, Good Housekeeping reports, it’s been said an engagement ring should cost two months of your salary. While it’s perfectly fine to spend two months of your salary on an engagement ring, you certainly don’t need to. One thing is vital: don’t wait on your purchase because of price. Buying the ring you can afford today is more important than postponing the big day until you can buy something bigger or better.

If you walk into a jewelry shop without a clear budget, it’s hard to know where to start. Once you’ve established a clear price point, you’ll know where to begin the search.

Find Out Their Ring Size and Research Their Style

Buying the perfect engagement ring in the wrong size isn’t the end of the world. In virtually all cases, it just means heading back to get the ring resized. However, it can be far more romantic and exciting if the ring fits just right for the proposal. The tricky part is finding out your partner’s ring size without ruining the surprise.

One option is to take a ring your partner wears regularly to the jeweler. They can size the ring and help you buy an engagement ring in the right size. Another option, if you’re feeling brave, is to measure your partner’s ring finger with a piece of string while they’re asleep. Measure the length of the string once you’re done, and you should be able to accurately pick out the right size.

Size isn’t the only thing that matters: it also helps to know what style of jewelry your future spouse prefers. The biggest clue is to look at their current jewelry collection. Is it mostly silver or gold? Is it sparkly or subtle? Vintage or modern? Use this as a guide when considering different ring styles.

Pick Out the Engagement Ring Band

Before you start looking at gemstones, be sure to focus on the engagement ring band. This is often overlooked, but it is a vital component to the perfect ring. First, pick out the right metal. Some popular options include sterling silver, gold, white gold, titanium, and platinum.

Yellow gold is less durable, but it’s a classic favorite for men and women alike. Platinum is incredibly durable, but it’s hard to keep polished and shining for years to come. Silver and white gold are currently very popular, making them a safe bet.

Select a Quality Rock, Shape, and Setting

Without a doubt, diamonds are the most popular stones for an engagement ring. However, you are not limited to diamonds. Plenty of rocks will look great in an engagement ring, and there are plenty of choices available. Rubies, emeralds or other birthstones can be a beautiful and original way to propose without the cost of a diamond. Some women prefer alternative rocks as a way to be unique or stand out from the crowd.

If you do decide to invest in a diamond engagement ring, you’ll want to get familiar with the four Cs: cut, color, clarity and carat.

Carat is the most obvious distinguishing factor: it dictates the size of the diamond. The more carats the stone, the more expensive it will be.

Clarity describes how clear a diamond is. The higher the clarity, the fewer the imperfections within the stone. If budget requires you to pick a lower clarity, look for a diamond without imperfections on its face, so that it will reflect more light and shine.

Color describes the color of the diamond on a scale from D to Z. A colorless diamond, rated D, is both rare and expensive. A Z diamond will look light yellow. Most white diamonds are somewhere in the middle.

Finally, cut describes the way that the diamond itself is cut. The right cut can showcase a diamond’s sparkle, emphasizing its quality and detracting from any minor imperfections.

The shape of a diamond is also crucial, and there are plenty of shapes to choose from. A round or princess cut is a classic option, and both are very popular. However, some alternatives might include heart shaped, oval, or emerald diamonds.

A ring’s setting refers to how the diamond will be set in the band. A pave setting includes lots of small diamonds, and a channel setting typically does the same. The iconic Tiffany setting is great if you have a solitary stone you want to show off. Other settings include the bezel setting and the eternity band, among many others.

Researching the Right Fit

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all engagement ring. Buying a ring is subjective, and what one person dislikes another person might love.

The key is to start planning for the purchase as early as possible. The last thing you want is to be rushed into making a purchase. The sooner you start thinking about your options, the better your final decision will be! When you start your engagement ring search early, you’re able to assess your options, find pricing within your budget, and do some comparison shopping.

If you’re looking for the perfect engagement ring, start your search today.

Featured Tip

Most people think Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year – but it’s not. It’s actually November 11, Single’s Day, a Chinese holiday on which Fortune reports that shoppers spend nearly $40 million.