Ready to pop the question to that very special someone?
If marriage is something that’s on your mind for 2017, then you’re no doubt thinking about proposal ideas and buying that all important engagement ring. Will she like the style? What kind of diamond should I get? What’s her ring size? What type of metal will she prefer?
Shopping for an engagement ring can be a daunting task, but fortunately, you’ve got plenty of help. Here are 10 rules for engagement ring shopping that should help you along nicely, and while it doesn’t tell you exactly what style of engagement ring your lovely lady will prefer – that’s all on you to figure out – it will give you an excellent idea of your options. Good luck!
1. It Doesn’t Have to Be a Solitaire
While a ring with a diamond solitaire is the classic and popular choice, expanding your search to include less common design options could lead to a more unique (and more affordable) ring. For example, you could get a ring with a small center stone but that is surrounded by tiny diamonds called a “halo” setting. Or how about a unique band that is covered with small diamonds in place of a center stone? It’s worth thinking about.
2. Know Your 4 Cs
It’s one of the first things men who shop for engagement rings learn about diamonds, the four Cs – karat, color, clarity, and cut (of the stone). Here’s your guide:
Carat: Carat refers to the weight, not the size, of a diamond. However, it’s only natural that the higher the number, the bigger the diamond will be.
Colour: While white remains the most popular choice for engagement rings, diamonds do come in a range of shades and colors. Diamonds’ colors are graded, with D being the rarest and most expensive, so you’ll probably want to look at something between D and H.
Clarity: The fewer imperfections within a diamond the greater the clarity as you don’t want to see any inclusions with the “naked-eye” or have them effect the stone’s brilliance. The less inclusions the more expensive it will be.
Cut: Cut refers to how well cut the diamond is e.g. how proportional, symmetrical & well-polished the “make” of the stone is. Cut is often confused with the shape of the diamond.
3. Get to Know the Fifth C
We’d consider the unofficial 5th C the certificate. It’s important to obtain a diamond report from a reputable diamond laboratory such as the famous Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A).
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Smaller
Supply & demand dictate that considering diamonds a little under popular weights will mean they’re proportionally less expensive. If you’re looking to save some money, opting for a diamond that is just slightly less than one karat, for example, is the smart way to do it. No one will be able to tell the difference.
5. Study the Setting
The way a diamond is set in an engagement ring actually makes a huge difference to the way it presents, so choose your setting wisely. For example, a bezel design (where a thin band of metal is wrapped around the stone) can make the diamond appear larger.
6. Learn About the Different Metals
Depending on your color preference, platinum and gold are generally the most popular choices when it comes to engagement rings. Just be aware that platinum is more expensive both to purchase & to maintain, although it is very durable, while gold carries a more traditional look and feel. White gold is a great choice for people wanting a platinum look on a gold budget.
7. Pay Attention to the Details
It’s not just about the stone and the metal and the setting and the size of the band. Depending on your style and budget, you might want an extra personal touch, such as extra side stones, engraving, etc. More and more people these days are even working with jewelry stores to design one-of-a-kind pieces!
8. Put Practicality Above All Else
What’s the point of investing a large amount of money in an absolutely stunning engagement ring if your fiancée isn’t going to wear it all the time? When choosing an engagement ring, think about your better half’s lifestyle, including her hobbies and daily activities, as well as her personal style. Does she spend a lot of time outdoors? Is she the type to wear a flashy ring?
9. Have Your Wedding in Mind (Even Though She Hasn’t Said Yes)
Don’t forget that the style of the engagement ring you choose could potentially impact on the style of wedding bands the both of you get later on down the road. Will you be able to match it with a pair of wedding bands that the both of you will love?
10. Take out an Insurance Policy
Finally, if you’ve gone all out and bought the engagement ring of your girlfriend’s dreams, don’t forget to take out an insurance policy on it to protect yourself against loss or theft. Fingers crossed you’ll never need to submit a claim, but the peace of mind is well worth it.