Find the perfect girl…check. Ask her father for permission to marry her…check. Purchase the perfect engagement ring…hmmmm. For many people – men and women – the task of shopping and picking out an engagement ring, which is a symbol to their love, can be an extremely daunting one. To ease the stress associated with ring shopping, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide, full of helpful tips.
Tips for Finding the Perfect Engagement Ring
- Decide Your Budget
Two months’ salary is typically what the average person is willing to set down on a engagement ring. The key is to make sure you are completely comfortable with its cost. You should avoid taking out a loan, dipping into your 401k, or racking up a hefty credit card charge. It’s simply never a good idea to start a new chapter with debt.
- Metal Type
Check your significant other’s existing jewelry, or ask her family and friends for advice, as to what metal type she will prefer. The options are limitless – you can choose from Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, White Gold, Sterling Silver, Platinum or Palladium. Keep in mind the fact that the price of the ring will vary depending on the type of metal you choose.
- Stone Shape
Do you know what stone shape she’d prefer? When considering shape, it’s important to remember that she will be wearing this ring 24/7, for the rest of your lives. It’s best to go with a classic shape to ensure it works with everything from jeans to formal attire. You’ll find diamonds in a wide array of shapes including:
- Learn the 4Cs
Let’s face it: Engagement ring shopping is stressful! But it’s also one of the most memorable moments you’ll have in your life. Before even stepping into a jewelry, it’s a good idea to study up on the 4Cs of diamonds – cut, carat, clarity, and color. Diamond color and diamond clarity is discussed more in-depth below…
When it comes to diamond color, grades D through F are going to cost you the most, as they are colorless. Colors G through J are near colorless. Colors N through R are very light. Colors S through Z are the lightest colored diamonds there are. While anything under a J is going to be less expensive; they shouldn’t really be considered if you’re looking for quality.
Diamond clarity should also be considered. A grade of FL means flawless. A flawless diamond comes with a hefty price tag. The scale continues down IF (internally flawless), VVS1 and VVS2 (very, very slightly included), VS1 and VS2 (very slightly included), SI1 and SI2 (slightly included), and I1, I2 and I3 (included). These diamonds are quite different in terms of quality.
- Ring Size
To avoid any awkwardness when you’re down on one knee, it’s a good idea to find out her ring size, preferably without ruining the surprise factor. The best way to accomplish this is take a ring – one that she isn’t wearing – down to the jeweler to have it sized. Try to avoid taking one that she wears frequently.
- Consider Going Custom
Going custom is less expensive than you’d think so don’t let the thought scare you away. Many jewelers offer custom jewelry design, which allows your significant other to have a one-of-a-kind engagement ring. With customization, you can take the setting from one ring, and stone from another and combine them together to make the perfect ring.