Finding “the one” is perhaps the most important search of your entire life. The second-most important? The ring you’ll give her to show her that you want to spend the rest of your life by her side. Even if you know her better than anyone else on earth, it’s still a nerve-wracking experience to invest in an engagement ring. With so many styles — and so many big numbers on price tags — it can also be overwhelming if you don’t know what she’s looking for. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the four best tips to consider so that you can confidently buy her ring. Next up: watching her confidently say “yes.”
1. Learn About Diamonds Before Going Shopping
It’s hard to look at a diamond and say whether or not it’s of high quality… unless you know what you’re looking for. Generally, experts suggest that you keep an eye out for the four C’s:
1. Clarity, or how many or few imperfections a stone has. The greater the clarity, the more expensive the stone.
2. Carats, or the size and weight of the diamond.
3. Color. Most stones are clear and colorless, but brown, pink, yellow, etc. options might be available.
4. Cut. Jewelers typically have an array of cuts that will bring out a diamond’s most beautiful side. Explore the different cuts available to get an idea of what you like before going shopping.
When you make your way to a jewelry shop with this information in mind, you’ll be able to pick out the better stones available; you might also be able to tell if you’re getting a fair price for the quality of diamond that you’ve chosen.
2. Consider the Metals She Already Wears
Your girlfriend’s taste in jewelry is a great place to look if you need an idea of what she might want in an engagement ring. Take a peak into her collection — or just start making mental notes of what she wears most — to see what kind of metal she wears most. Typically, wedding rings come in one of three shades: silver, gold or platinum. The metal used in the band should be the one that she wears most often to ensure that she’ll be able to add her engagement ring into her accessories line-up seamlessly.
3. Consider Her Style, Too
You might have to ask her friends and family about this one if you’re not sure how to define your girlfriend’s style, but it’s another important box to tick before you buy a ring. A simpler, more conservative style will call for a matching ring: perhaps she’d want a single diamond in the center of a single metal band. A retro sense of fashion might require a vintage or antique setting. And, if she’s fashion-forward, you can have lots of fun with a more unique, one-of-a-kind setting from a pioneering designer or unlikely source.
4. Carve Out a Budget
The decision to get engaged means you’ll have to shell out a pretty penny — a ring that features such a large precious stone won’t come cheap, after all. Hopefully, you’ve started cutting spending in other areas of your budget to save up for a ring or you’re prepared to dip into a pre-existing savings account to pay for it; some buyers also use a combination of saved funds and credit in order to pay for a rock. With your savings put away or your credit line opened, you’ll know just how much you can spend when you get to the store.
It’s important to share your budget with the jeweler as soon as you start searching for a ring. He or she should be respectful of what you can spend and will only show you rings within that parameter. And, with all of the numbers crunched before you head to make the purchase, you won’t get flustered or stressed seeing price tags in the store; instead, you’ll be able to swipe your card and walk away with confidence.
Now, onto planning the proposal and just what you’ll say when you get down on one knee…