It’s time. You’ve been dating for a while, you’re probably living together at this point and now you’ve decided you want to spend the rest of your life with her. It’s time to propose. There’s just one problem. You don’t know the first thing about engagement rings. How can you make sure it’s something she’ll want to wear for the rest of her life? Do you really have to spend two months’ salary? How do you even know where to start? Diamond Lighthouse is here to help. Here’s our guide to choosing the perfect ring.
This is probably the most important thing you can do when buying any kind of jewelry. When you walk into that store, the jeweler is going to start throwing a lot of technical terms at you. If you’re like most people, you’re going to smile and nod and walk away not really knowing what you bought. Don’t be like most people. Know the difference between the band and the setting. Familiarize yourself with precious metals. What does it mean for gold to be 10K, 14K or 24K? Or if you know she wants a silvery look, is there a reason to get platinum over white gold?
Most important of all though, is to educate yourself about diamonds. That’s the most expensive part of the engagement ring and it’s where 90 to 95 percent of the ring’s value lies. Diamond Lighthouse can help. Visit our Diamond University to learn all about the four Cs: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. With over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry, Diamond Lighthouse aims to educate people about these precious stones and do our part to de-mystify the notoriously secretive world of diamond buying. Being educated about diamonds is really handy if you’re on a budget. You can save a lot of money by opting for a diamond with lower color and clarity grades. That means they will have imperfections, but as long as you stay above an “I” Color or “SI2” clarity, they won’t be visible. Cut is actually the most important of the four Cs, because it determines how much the diamond appears to sparkle—the first thing people notice about any diamond. As long as the diamond has a good cut, it will sparkle brilliantly.
Now that you’ve done your homework and have your head wrapped around all the different diamond lingo, it’s time to go to the store. Not just one store, though. If you want to get her the perfect ring, and maybe save a bit of money in the process, you need to shop around. Buying from a jeweler you’re comfortable with is almost as important as buying the perfect ring for your future bride. If you start to feel pressured into a sale at any point, leave and find another jeweler. They were probably trying to push you into a bad deal anyway.
Now let’s talk about price. This is the big question on most guys’ minds when it’s time to propose. Do you really have to spend two months’ salary on an engagement ring? No. You don’t and really, nobody ever has. The idea of two months’ salary being a tradition was injected into our culture by a clever ad for De Beers. You know, the company that mines and sells diamonds. How much should you spend? As much as you’re comfortable with and not a penny more. Sure, if you find a ring that suits her perfectly and it’s a little on the expensive side, it’s OK to splurge. After all, she’s going to be wearing it for the rest of her life. Just don’t think you have to spend an exorbitant amount of money just because an old commercial said to.
Make sure the ring matches her style.
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s one of the hardest parts of the process for a lot of guys. Even if you can describe her favorite outfits perfectly, how are you at picking out jewelry that matches them? Remember, she’s going to be wearing this ring every day. It has to be versatile, meaning something she can wear with pretty much anything. If you’re unsure of how to pick out a ring that matches her style, bring some pictures of her in multiple outfits with you to the jewelry store. You might even want to steal some of the jewelry she wears often and bring that with you. Just make sure you put it back before she realizes it’s gone.
Another thing you can do is propose without the ring and go shopping together afterwards. Sure it’s not as traditional, but it’s no less romantic. It’s a fun date for two new fiancés and it guarantees that she’ll get something she loves.
It’s also important to make sure the ring matches her lifestyle, not just her dress style. Is she an active person? What kind of job does she have? Since she’ll be wearing it every day, it doesn’t just have to be versatile, it has to be durable. It has to survive years of work, dishes, vacations, hiking, whatever she enjoys doing. If she’s especially active, you might want a ring where the gemstone is flush with the setting, not raised up. Raised gems are easily caught on clothes, hair or a leash at the dog park. The last thing you want is for her to lose that diamond she loves so much.
Get the right size.
Most of the time, you can get the ring resized after you propose, but how great would it feel to slip the ring on her finger for the first time and have it fit perfectly? (Also, if you want to give her a ring with small diamonds set in the band, it can’t be resized.) But how do you go about getting her ring size without giving away the surprise? It’s possible that her friends know what her ring size is. If you trust any of them not to tell her your plans, you could try asking them. You could also ask her directly. We know, that sounds like a dead giveaway, but if you do it far enough in advance or give her a good excuse, like wanting to buy a ring for her birthday or anniversary, she might forget you ever asked by the time you actually do propose. The easiest way to get the right size engagement ring though, is once again to steal one of her rings that you know fits her. Bring it to the jeweler and they can tell you what size to get. Again, make sure you put it back where you found it before she notices it’s missing.
Getting the right engagement ring can be an intimidating process, but we at Diamond Lighthouse want to help you out. Diamond University can help you learn everything you need to know about diamonds. It’ll tell you all about the four Cs as well as the different shapes diamonds come in. The more you know about diamonds, the better a deal you’re likely to get. Or if you need some extra money to afford that perfect ring and have some old family jewelry lying around, Diamond Lighthouse can help you sell your old diamond jewelry. With our exclusive network of expert diamond buyers, and over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry, Diamond Lighthouse can get you more money for your old jewelry than you’ll get anywhere else. Suddenly that perfect engagement ring is a lot more affordable.