The day of your proposal is one you’ll remember forever, and the engagement ring you present your partner with is something they’ll (hopefully) be wearing for the rest of her life. So, it’s important to pick a ring that your fiancé-to-be will fall in love with.
If you want to find the perfect ring to surprise your partner with, but you’re not sure where to start or what you can get for your budget, then we’ve got you covered. Just read on to learn the 5 easy steps to buying a ring:
How To Buy The Perfect Engagement Ring
1. Learn More About Your Bride-To-Be’s Tastes
You might have already had a conversation with your soon-to-be-fiancé about what sort of engagement rings she likes, but if you’d prefer to surprise her when you pop the question, then there are other ways to find out what style she’d like.
Ask one of her friends or a family member to take her shopping, and ask them to find out what sort of jewellery she prefers. Just make sure whoever you ask isn’t going to give the game away!
Once you’ve cracked the style, you’ll need to work out what her ring size is. A simple way to do this is to take a ring she currently wears on her ring finger to a jeweller, who will be able to tell you her size.
If you can’t make it to jewellers, you could also try printing out this sizing tool, from RingSizes, and using it as a guide. When in doubt, it’s better to go up a size, as it’s easier to make a ring smaller than to enlarge it.
2. Establish Your Budget
You might have heard the old saying that a man should spend the equivalent of two months pay on an engagement ring. But, this is by no means a hard and fast rule: the two-month figure originally began as a marketing campaign used by the De Beers diamond company in the 1980s, according to this article in Good Housekeeping.
In reality, how much you will spend is entirely dependent on your budget, her tastes, and whether you would prefer to splash out on a ring or put the money towards the wedding. Once you know how much you can afford to spend, it’s time to start scoping out what sort of ring you can afford.
Your budget will dictate what grade of materials you can buy, as well the quality of the stone, and whether you’d be better off buying a new ring or a preowned piece. Shop around until you get an idea of what your budget will get you at different shops.
3. Know Your Diamonds
When shopping, it pays to know a little bit about how diamonds are classified and priced.
There are four important factors which are used to grade the quality of a diamond: colour, clarity, cut, and carat weight:
- Colour: While the stereotypical image of a diamond is a transparent gem, diamonds actually range from colourless to yellow or light brown, with the colourless variety being the rarest and most valuable. This is graded on an alphabetical scale, with D being colourless, and Z being the most colour saturated. When shopping, you’ll find that rings graded towards the lower end of this scale will be more affordable.
- Clarity: This describes the finish of the stone, and how many internal blemishes or nicks it has — these imperfections are called ‘inclusions’. Diamonds are graded from Flawless to Included.
- Carat weight: This figure describes the total weight of the diamond and is extremely precise: a difference of just a fraction of a carat in weight can mean a dramatic difference in price.
- Cut: The cut refers to the way the diamond has been angled and polished. This affects the way light enters the stone, meaning that well cut diamonds are essentially more brilliant, with much more sparkle. Chances are, the cut of the diamond will be the most important thing to consider when shopping, as this will have the greatest impact on how the diamond will look on your bride-to-be’s finger.
4. Shop Around For The Best Ring For Your Budget
Now that you know what sort of style you’re after, and what your budget is, it’s time to get shopping for a ring that will really wow your partner.
If you have an extremely specific design in mind, it might be worth getting a quote for a custom ring, although you should bear in mind that this can be pricey.
If you’re working with a smaller budget, then preowned jewellery can offer the same styles and quality as new pieces, but at a lower price point.
If you do decide to opt for preowned jewellery, and you decide to buy a diamond, then consider buying a ring that comes with certification of authenticity from an independent report centre. This will verify the quality of the diamond and contains all the information on the cut, colour, clarity and weight. This selection of preowned engagement rings by Est.1897 features some stunning contemporary styles and cuts that are sold with a certificate of authenticity.
5. Don’t Forget The Finishing Touches
You’ll only get to propose to her once, so be sure to pull out the stops.
Presenting a ring in an engraved box will add a personal touch, and it can be kept as a keepsake afterwards. This wooden ring box from FiraStudio on Etsy can be engraved with your names and the date of your engagement.
Once you’ve surprised your fiancé with your choice, there’s still a chance that the ring you bought won’t be a perfect fit. But, as long as you don’t need to make too dramatic an adjustment, you should be able to have the ring resized. It’s a fairly affordable and straightforward service, so don’t let it spoil your special moment. Just take your ring to a jeweller and ask for a resizing quotation.
While choosing a ring can seem like a lot of pressure, it doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Take these tips onboard, and you’ll soon find the perfect engagement ring to sweep your bride-to-be off her feet.