Shopping for engagement rings can be an overwhelming process. How do you know where to start? How much should you spend? How do you make sure to pick the perfect ring? Here are some tips to lessen the stress of figuring out the ins and outs of ring shopping.
Many of the questions you may have about engagement rings can be answered simply by doing some research. Before even going to a jewelry store, you should educate yourself on different kinds of rings, as well as diamond quality standards (or whatever stone you choose). Learn about the 4 Cs of diamonds: carat, color, clarity and cut. This will help you establish guidelines for what kind and quality of diamond to look for in the jewelry store.
Also, when the jeweler uses diamond terminology to describe different rings, you’ll be on the same page instead of feeling totally lost.
For guys, other research that requires a little more stealth is to find out the personal preferences of your bride-to-be. Jewelry tastes vary greatly, and finding out hers will narrow down your decision. Plus, this will help ensure that you get a ring she’ll like. You can casually window shop with her and pick up on what she likes or ask her close friends and family about her style.
Despite what your instinct may be, wait until you’ve done research to establish a budget. Once you understand the nuances of diamonds and other precious stones, and decide which characteristics you’re looking for, it will be easier to come up with a reasonable price range. As for how much you should spend, that really just depends on how much you can afford. But once you have a style and price in mind, the jeweler can help you make a selection.
Note: Don’t forget about the wedding band. Some rings are made as a set, or you can get a band later, but remember to factor it into your budget.
#3: Payment Options
You have different options when it comes to paying for your ring:
• Save up and pay upfront: This will keep you within budget, because you’ll be prepared with a certain amount of money. But it could also put a hardship on your finances to pay the full amount.
• Make payments: Most jewelers offer financing; just make sure to research and compare different companies’ policies and terms of repayment to find the best option.
#4: Shop Together?
There are pros and cons to shopping together and searching alone. If you ring-shop as a couple, you’ll lose the element of surprise of the ring and the proposal. Though it can be a positive experience to make the decision (and budget) together, and she’ll end up with a ring of her choosing.
Guys, if you shop alone there’s always a possibility that the ring might not be what she would have chosen herself. On the other hand, there are ways to pinpoint her style, and it can be rewarding to choose something that she’s proud to wear. Not to mention, you’ll see her expression when you pop the question and reveal the ring.
Photo 1 by 1791diamonds (1791 Diamonds) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo 2 by 1791Rings (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons