A key part of the proposal process is finding the right ring. There is much pressure on this decision, particularly if shopping traditionally without the future fiancée to give approval or lack thereof. The following information will help in selecting the right ring, at the right quality, for the right price.
Know Your Budget
Just as with any sizeable investment like car purchases, buying an engagement ring starts with knowing how much you can afford to spend. Remember that, as with car buying, the price is often somewhat negotiable, and approach the counter with that in mind. Consider also that the old adage about an engagement ring needing to be worth two months’ salary is a farce invented by the diamond industry to drive up sales.
Decide on a Band Material
When choosing among precious metals for the engagement ring’s band, the first consideration is the fiancée’s style preference. If her jewelry box is filled with cooler hues and jewelry that is silver in tone, then aim for platinum or white gold. Warm tone preferences are best served by rose gold or yellow gold bands. Mixing metals such as yellow gold and white gold can be a smart move as it complements any existing piece in the jewelry supply.
Determine your Diamond with the Four Cs
- Cut – The most significant of the four Cs, cut is graded from poor to ideal. A poorly cut diamond loses light out of the bottom or sides of the shape, whereas a finer example has plenty of sparkle and fire. Even a diamond of perfect color grade and clarity can appear dull if it is a poor cut.
- Color – The second most significant of the four Cs, color is important because the eye notices it right after taking in the sparkle of the cut. It is actually graded according to lack of color; the less color in the stone, the higher the grade. This aspect ranges from noticeable color to absolutely colorless in the color grade.
- Clarity – Generally considered the least important aspect of a diamond’s Cs because the imperfections tend to be too minute for the naked and untrained eye to catch, clarity refers to the result of assessing small surface features called blemishes and internal features known as inclusions. Most diamonds are prone to tiny inclusions.
- Carat – While many shoppers make the mistake of thinking carat refers to size, it actually pertains to the diamond’s weight. Cut and carat should be considered together; a heavier diamond with a poor cut can actually appear smaller than a lighter diamond with a better cut grade. To save money, select a carat weight slightly below half and whole carat marks, which are the most popular. A visual representation of the weights and their relative sizes can help.
Choosing the Diamond Shape
The shape is a vital part of the ring’s personality, quality of the diamond aside. It needs to suit the fiancée’s style and character. The options include oval, round, marquise, princess, heart-shaped, and pear. Another consideration is having an arrangement of stones, such as a central large diamond flanked by smaller stones.
With these considerations in mind, the perfect proposal is just a shopping trip away. These tips and others are indispensable to finding the ideal ring at a reasonable price.