Buying an engagement ring is one of the most important things you’ll ever do. And there’s a lot involved in the process. You have to consider ring styles, look at gemstones, and find the perfect choice for your lifelong partner.
Even more importantly, you need to get a great, high quality ring at a price that you can afford. This alone can make shopping for an engagement ring challenging. With so many different choices and factors to consider, finding the perfect ring is no easy task. But it doesn’t have to be difficult.
With the right knowledge, you can shop for – and find – an amazing engagement ring easily. Just follow these four tips to make the process more straightforward.
1. Consider Personal Style Over Popular Trends
When you first start shopping for an engagement ring, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. There are rings in every shape, every style, and every combination imaginable! And with jewelry trends changing frequently, it can be hard to figure out what’s timeless, what’s desirable, and what’s really the best of the bunch.
A smart way to narrow down the available choices is to consider your partner’s personal style.
Instead of trying to figure out which trendy rings your future spouse will love for the rest of their life, think about what they already love. Is their everyday style simple – do they wear understated jewelry? Do they like gold or silver? Is statement jewelry more their style? This can help you get a good idea of whether they’d prefer a ring that’s more dramatic or ornate, or if they might like a simple, refined ring instead.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to consider your future spouse’s lifestyle too. As the Zoe Report recommends, you want to choose an engagement ring they’ll feel comfortable wearing every day¹. Do they need a smaller ring because they work with their hands? Are they comfortable wearing big gemstones? Think about these factors as you shop.
2. Don’t Get Caught Up in the 4 Cs
One of the key aspects of choosing an engagement ring is picking the diamond that’ll be its centerpiece. Many engagement ring buyers focus on getting the perfect, flawless diamond. Yet the gemstone itself doesn’t actually need to be perfect.
The four Cs are used to determine a diamond’s quality and rating. Those Cs are cut, carat, color, and clarity. Finding a diamond that’s “perfect” means choosing one that’s highly rated in all four Cs. And that can result in a very, very expensive diamond.
But there are other options. You can focus on one or two aspects of the four Cs instead of trying to find the perfect diamond. As Vogue explains, a diamond with a D Flawless rating (a perfect rating) is beautiful, but it might not be the most visually stunning diamond². And one C, the “color” rating, actually doesn’t indicate anything about a stone’s quality, the Zoe Report notes³. All the four Cs can do is give you information about a stone; they can’t determine which is the best for you.
The four Cs can be a starting point to help you understand a diamond’s overall quality – and its price. You should choose the diamond that looks the best in your opinion, and the one that meets your budget.
Additionally, you can also consider other gemstones. Diamonds might be the most popular stone for engagement rings, but they aren’t the only option. Plenty of modern engagement rings feature stones like rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and even moissanite, a diamond alternative. Lab-grown diamonds are also becoming increasingly popular. If your partner is open to other gemstones, you can consider even more options.
3. Don’t Shop Alone – Shop With Your Partner
It’s very common for individuals who are planning to propose to shop alone. But picking out something as important as an engagement ring all by yourself is very difficult. And enlisting the help of a friend or loved one doesn’t always make the process easier. They might not know what your partner wants. They might not be able to keep the secret, either.
Realistically, there’s no one who knows your partner’s style better than your partner. So why not make the engagement ring shopping process easier by bringing them along?
As the Zoe Report explains, shopping for rings with your partner guarantees that you’ll buy the perfect ring⁴. Sure, you might not be able to keep the fact that you’re proposing a secret or a surprise. But you will be able to discuss rings together, narrow down the options, and find a few to choose from.
Take your partner shopping and try out a bunch of rings. Discuss what they like about each one, and ask them to choose a few that they really like. Then, you can return to the store (or shop online) by yourself. Your partner won’t know which ring you’re choosing, or when you’re proposing. And you’ll know you picked a ring they absolutely love.
4. Negotiate the Price
The price is one of the most important aspects of buying an engagement ring. Once you’ve decided on a style, a stone, and a setting, you’ll need to make sure the ring fits your budget.
And that isn’t an easy task when you’re dealing with expensive gemstones like diamonds and pricey metals like white gold and platinum. But there is a way to save – and it’s one few people consider.
You can negotiate the price of an engagement ring. You should negotiate the price, whether you’re working with a family jewelry store or a well-known jewelry chain.
Engagement rings are one of the most marked up pieces of jewelry you can buy. According to Brides.com, they’re marked up by as much as 500 percent⁵. That means that jewelry stores will purposely make engagement rings more expensive than they’re actually worth, hoping to make more money off the sale.
However, a good jeweler will work with you to make a sale. You can – and should – negotiate the price of the gemstone and the ring itself. Let the jeweler know what you like and what your budget is. Ask if they can match another store’s price, or if they can offer a discount if you buy a wedding band with the engagement ring. There are a number of ways you may be able to save.
So, you need to do your research. Learn what types of stones, and what diamonds at different grades, are really worth. Compare prices from other jewelers, including wholesalers where you can buy gemstones. Then, you can head to the jewelry store armed with information to negotiate a better deal on the perfect engagement ring.