Congratulations! You’ve found someone who you can see spending the rest of your life with, and now it’s time to find the perfect ring. Aside from the proposal itself, this can be one of the most stressful aspects of your engagement.
You want to make sure you find a ring that not only meets all their expectations but is also a suitable symbolization of your love and commitment.
We’ve got you covered. With some planning ahead of time, it’s possible to find the perfect ring for your loved one without stress – and without breaking the bank. Read on for our top tips on how to buy an engagement ring!
1. Create a Budget
According to a 2019 Jewelry and Engagement Study by The Knot, the average cost of an engagement ring is $5,900. However, 10% of ring shoppers are spending less than $1,000.
Your loved one doesn’t expect you to put yourself in debt for their engagement ring! Starting out with a budget not only narrows down your options but actually makes the process of finding a ring more enjoyable. First, consider your financial status and take into account:
- Your income
- Your monthly expenses
- Your savings
- Your potential income
By doing this, you’ll come up with a number that you’re comfortable with.
2. Partner’s Expectations
After you create a rough budget, you’ll also want to take into account your partner’s expectations for the ring. If he or she hasn’t said anything or you haven’t been jewelry shopping together, here are a few suggestions:
- Ask their friends or family
- Look at their Etsy wishlist or Pinterest board
- Take into account their style – glamorous or bohemian? Modern or traditional?
- What gifts have they loved in the past?
- What kinds of jewelry do they wear now?
- Would they prefer a family heirloom or vintage ring over a new ring?
- Would they want a gem other than a diamond, such as a Morganite Engagement Ring?
By answering all of these questions, you’ll have a greater idea of what kind of options are available to you. You’ll also get an idea of whether your current budget will meet the expectations of your loved one.
3. Smart Ways to Shop
Remember that there are other ways now to shop for engagement rings that can potentially save you money and time. For instance, if you go to an online retailer versus a physical store, you can save anywhere from 30 to 50 percent.
You’ll also be viewing the greatest selection at once along with the ability to make customizations.
If you know your loved one would prefer a traditional diamond, you can save on this, too. Choose diamonds with carat weights that are slightly below the traditional cut-off points, such as a .97 carat diamond instead of one carat. Not only will they cost slightly less, but your naked eye can’t tell the difference.
You can also purchase a ring with several smaller diamonds instead of a solitaire.
4. Determining Ring Size
If you don’t already know your loved one’s ring size, it can be a complicated matter trying to figure out just how large of a ring you need without ruining the surprise. Here are a few ideas:
Ask their friends and see if they know! If they don’t, one option is to casually enlist them to ask for you.
Borrow a Ring
Find a ring they probably won’t miss for a day that’s of similar size to the ring finger. When you take it to the jeweler, they can usually approximate how large the engagement ring needs to be.
Get a Tracing
If you don’t want to borrow one of the rings or you’re shopping for rings online, get a tracing of one of their rings. Get a tracing of both the inside and outside of the ring, and do this several times in order to ensure you’ve gotten an accurate tracing. Jewelers will be able to determine the size based on the tracing.
If there’s simply no way for you to get an accurate sizing before you propose, purchase a ring with a temporary setting. Once you propose, you can have her sized afterward and then send the ring back. Make sure you find out how many days you have to return the ring and how long it will take to get a properly sized and set one.
5. Diamond Grading
If you know your loved one is expecting a diamond, some knowledge about how diamonds are graded will help reduce the stress of your engagement ring shopping.
“Cut” refers to the ring’s sparkle rather than its shape. Cuts are graded from poor to excellent.
This measures the size or weight of a diamond. Engagement rings are typically one carat.
Flaws in diamonds are called inclusions. The fewer inclusions there are, the higher the price.
The rarest diamonds – the ones we usually think of – are completely clear. Clear diamonds are ranked D, and the rating system continues to Z, where diamonds have a more yellow hue.
There are also “fancy colored” yellow and brown diamonds that go beyond the Z range. These become more expensive because of their saturated color.
How to Buy an Engagement Ring: All About Your Loved One
Engagement shopping isn’t about buying the most impressive looking or expensive ring you find in the store. It’s more about shopping smartly through careful consideration of your budget and your loved one’s expectations.
By simply knowing the basic steps of how to buy an engagement ring, you’re saving yourself from debt and stress. More importantly, we encourage you to have fun during your search as you picture each ring on the finger of your beloved.
Ready to learn more tips on how to create a memorable and unique proposal? Keep reading our blog for more articles!