Even more, for most men, this would be the first time they venture out into the world of jewelry with this much urgency. When you walk into a jewelry store or start shopping ideas online, you may be inundated with new terms and concepts that you’ve never heard of, or even thought existed before! Tiffany setting? Eternity what? Halo is not just a video game?
To help with your quest of choosing that perfect engagement ring, we’ve drafted this checklist so you can impress her on that fateful day, and have her show off that ring to everyone she knows … and doesn’t know!
From war and video games, to sports, choosing an engagement ring, and outright survival, you always need to assess your resources. Before even walking into a jewelry store, make sure you establish a budget to work with. It’ll also help the jeweler to know what price range you’re able to afford.
Many have heard a saying that you’re supposed to spend at least two months salary on a ring, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case and, besides, not you nor your fiance wants you to be in debt as the first problem to face after being engaged. In addition, you don’t have to delay because you can’t afford a better engagement ring. The ring is meant to be a symbol of your love and commitment, which doesn’t say much when you keep postponing a marriage and union of love simply because you want to buy a better stone. A simpler ring now will only mean a much better anniversary ring down the line.
Ohh…how many men make the mistake of telling their girlfriends that they’re looking for an engagement ring? Making a proposal to your fiance without her knowing it, the surprise that women and all girls dream of, means you take that dream away from her and just kill it by telling her, “Hey honey guess what? I’m shopping for an engagement ring!” You’ll be lucky if she just rolls her eyes.
Now there are many other women out there that insist they go along with you when you plan to get engaged, so it’s understandable you tell her when she’s already made it clear that she wants to be there to choose. Others may even have the ring in their possession, but if you’ve gone this far into an article on how to choose an engagement ring, I doubt this applies to you!
Many men mess up during this phase of the engagement ring selection process. They may have the perfect engagement ring already chosen, but get the wrong size of her finger. Imagine getting down on one knee, pulling that gorgeous engagement ring out, and then spending 5 awkward minutes trying to get that darn thing to fit, like a bad scene of shoe-fitting from Cinderalla.
Now all isn’t lost if that does indeed happen. You can simply come back and get the ring resized.
But the best way to do it is to find out what her ring size is. How to do it? Easy. Just snatch a ring she isn’t wearing and bring it to a jeweler to get it measured. The best way to do this is by borrowing a ring that she doesn’t wear much at all, so she is less likely to notice its absence once gone.
If you want to do it right, then make sure to research her unique style and preferences. Getting a ring that already matches what she likes will definitely score you a huge amount of points so you can get ahead of the game.
Again, because you want to prevent her from knowing, you’ve gotta roll up your sleeves and do some recon. When you’re hanging out with her, make sure to take mental notes of what exactly she’s wearing, both the types of jewelry as well as other fashion accessories. Perhaps she’s a gold lover, or a platinum/silver type of woman. Maybe there’s a particular type of stone she’s wearing, like a sapphire, that she may like more than a diamond. Does she like simplicity? Or does she favor the glitz & glamour variety?
There are various types of metals you can choose from for an engagement ring band. Common ones may include:
You can even do a mix of more than one type of metal in the same band.
At this point, you’ve selected the band and have now moved to the most important part of how to choose an engagement ring: selecting the diamond. This may seem like a huge and daunting task to many men, but with just a bit of background knowledge, you can walk confidently into any jewelry store knowing what stone your fiance would be running to show off to her friends & family.
When selecting any diamond, you always want to make sure you take into consideration what’s called “The Four Cs” – These include cut, color, clarity, and carat.
Cut. To make this fully clear, the ‘cut’ of the diamond has nothing to do with its shape. Instead, the cut has to do with the proportions and angles of the rock. While the other C’s are fully determined by mother nature, this ‘C’ is determined by a professional diamond stone cutter. Well-cut diamonds always reflect light from one part to the other and through the top of the stone.
In contrast, badly cut diamonds would be cut too shallow. As a result, the internal reflections of the girdle would be seen inside the table facet. This creates an image of a grey ring that is distracting and unpleasant to look at. People in the industry refer to this phenomenon as a fish-eye because it does look very much like one. And trust me, a fish-eye diamond ain’t pretty at all.
Think of cut as the most important factor of the Four C’s. Even if you have the perfect color, weight, and clarity, if you don’t get a well-cut diamond, then the stone wouldn’t have that fiery brilliance and energy that have made diamonds so immensely popular to buy and show off.
Color. Many men are surprised by the fact that diamonds can come in many colors. Diamond color is actually graded on a scale from the letter D (no color at all) to Z (light yellow color). Pure colorless diamonds are the most expensive since they are the rarest. White color diamonds are the most popular although personal preference is really the determinant factor when you pick the color. Here, all those notes you made from your recon missions would now come in handy.
Clarity. The clearer and crisper the diamond is, the fewer its imperfections (and, consequently, the more expensive it is). When a diamond jewelry professional begins to talk about a diamond’s clarity, he or she will likely mention the term ‘inclusions’ which simply means the inclusion of other minerals or small fractures in the diamond itself. As you may have guessed, the fewer the inclusions the better.
Clarity is also measured on a scale like color. Clarity scores of SI1 and SI2 may have some slight inclusions but you won’t be able to see them with the naked eye so, ideally, try to choose your engagement ring’s diamond stone in this range.
Another thing to keep in mind is avoiding any inclusions that come on the top or in the middle of the diamond since inclusions in these areas would impact the dispersion of light, making your diamond less fiery and brilliant.
Carat Weight. Carat – sometimes written as ct. or kt. – simply refers to the weight of the diamond. The heavier the diamond, the more expensive. However, keep in mind that there’s really no need for you to worry about the carat weight of a diamond when choosing an engagement ring. Through proper mounting and shaping, a diamond professional can actual make a diamond look larger than its real carat weight.
The shape of your diamond is another important factor when choosing an engagement ring that will impress the daylights out of your woman. Your diamond’s shape really depends on what she prefers best. Here are the most common diamond shapes you’ll find on the market today:
A round diamond is a good choice for classic engagement rings and a timeless diamond shape.
Pear shaped diamonds are exactly that … shaped like a pear. It can indicate elegance and refinement, in addition to being uniquely special or graceful.
Heart shaped diamonds aren’t necessarily popular for diamond engagement rings but they are hugely popular for other events like Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day.
In addition to the shape of a diamond, two hugely popular types of diamond rings are solitaire engagement rings and halo engagement rings – two opposite types. Solitaire engagement rings are single-stone diamonds so such rings would have one single gorgeous diamond on it. On the other hand, halo diamond rings would have a single larger diamond surrounded by a halo of smaller diamonds.