You’ve finally found the girl you want to spend the rest of your life with. Now all you have to do is purchase the perfect ring and pop the question. Chances are, if you’ve never contemplated proposing to a woman before, you believe that all rings are the same. Contrary to popular belief, jewelers try to design rings that are unique in every way. So as you choose the best ring for your bride to be, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind so you don’t select the wrong one.
Get Some Input from Friends
Selecting an engagement ring is not about the price tag… it’s about selecting a ring that will put a smile on her face. Unless you have a good eye for jewelry, know her style, or have talked about rings with her in the past, you’re going to need some ideas to narrow down your choices. Talk with her closest friends and family members as they can give you the best advice. Does she have a metal preference? What cut does she enjoy?
Know Her Size
Unless you want to head back to the jeweler’s later to have the ring sized, it’s a good idea to know what size ring she wears before you start shopping. You can sneak into her jewelry box and borrow a ring, or trace it with a pencil and paper so that she doesn’t notice a ring missing. If all else fails, purchase a ring that’s a bit larger as it’s always easier to size down a ring than it is to increase the size.
Know the Four C’s
Unless your girlfriend came right out and told someone that she was interested in cushion cut engagement rings with side accents on a rose gold band, then you’ll need to know the basics of ring shopping – the four C’s.
1. Clarity – Clarity refers to the imperfections found inside of the stone. This can include things like mineral deposits and rock fractures. In general, the scale of clarity can range from flawless (F) to most inclusions (I3).
2. Color – This does not refer to color as in pink or blue, but is in relation to the color of the white diamond. They can range from colorless to yellow.
3. Cut – Now comes the fun part. This is where rings can get really unique. The cut of a stone essentially relates to how the diamond reflects in light. This includes shapes like pear, heart, princess, cushion or marquise.
4. Carat – Carats refer to the weight of the stone. The average engagement ring is about one carat in size. The size of the stone will ultimately depend on what you’re looking to spend. The larger the stone the more costly the ring becomes.
Don’t Break the Bank
A lot of times, men can get caught up in how much the ring is going to cost. However, at the end of the day, the right woman will accept a Cracker Jack box ring from you. It’s not about the cost, but more about the uniqueness and effort you put into finding the perfect ring for her. So if you don’t have to oblige by that old rule to spend three months’ salary on the ring – don’t. After all, you’re going to be putting out a lot of money for the wedding. Why start your marital bliss off in debt?
Choose the Right Jeweler
The last bit of advice men should take heed to is selecting the right jeweler. You’ll want to choose a store that offers an array of rings to choose from, along with other perks like affordable insurance, free cleanings, and more. Ask other guys where they’ve purchased rings from, or check out reviews to ensure that you’re purchasing from a reputable service provider.
Ring shopping can be a lot of fun if you know what you’re looking for. Set a budget, get some of her preferences, remember the four C’s and enjoy the journey of finding the perfect ring for your bride to be. At the end of the day, she’ll appreciate that you went out of your way to purchase a ring that is unique to her personality. Now all that’s left to do is find a romantic way to pop the question.