Many men are lost when it comes to selecting the perfect engagement ring for their brides-to-be. From cut, to color, to size, to price, choosing a ring is bound to get overwhelming and confusing. This week's blog will focus on tips to help you navigate the engagement ring shopping process and keep your purchase as stress-free as possible.
Tip #1: Do Your Research
Before you enter a jewelry store, it is important to understand the 4 C's of diamonds: cut, clarity, color, and carat.
- Cut: The cut is responsible for a diamond's fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the spectrum), brilliance (the total light reflected from a diamond), and scintillation (the flashes of light, or sparkle, when a diamond is moved).
- Clarity: Diamond clarity refers to the absence of blemishes or inclusions within the diamond.
- Color: Diamond color is all about colorlessness. Diamonds are valued by how closely they approach colorlessness, which means that the less color, the higher the value.
- Carat: Diamonds and other gemstones are weighed in metric carats: one carat is equal to 0.2 grams. In general, the higher the carat, the higher the value.
**In addition to knowing the 4 C's, it is also a great idea to do some research on your bride-to-be's preferences. Take notice of what types of ring styles she is drawn to, if she prefers bigger or smaller stones, etc. Having an idea of what she likes will help to guide you and make the selection process a bit easier.
Tip #2: Set a Budget
It used to be commonly advised to set aside three months salary to spend on an engagement ring. In today's tough economy however, it's better to spend what you're comfortable with. Whether that's $1,000 or $20,000, remember to be smart and realistic about your financial situation.
Tip #3: Know the Trends
If you are unsure about your significant other's ring preferences, it helps to know the current engagement ring trends. Cleaner, contemporary mountings are currently in style and round and princess cut diamonds continue to be a favorite. In terms of sizing, the most common size range is between a carat to two carats. As for metals, platinum is still number one with white gold coming in as number two.
If diamonds aren't her thing or if you're looking for a diamond alternative, non-dimaond rings are becoming a big trend (example: Kate Middleton's sapphire engagement ring). Sapphires are the most common stone used in non-diamond engagement rings.
Tip #4: Listen
Remeber to listen to what SHE wants. Many guys tend to focus on what they like rather than what their significant other likes. Be a good giver and focus on getting her, her dream ring - not yours. Plus, this will help you to avoid the awkward trip back to the store to exchange it.
Tip #5: Ring Size Doesn’t Matter
Many guys often stress over not knowing their girlfriend's ring size, but knowing her size isn't necessarily a prerequisite. If you don't know her size, most jewelers can make the ring an average size temporarily, and then adjust it later on.
Tip #6: Give Yourself Time
Remember to give yourself plenty of time. It often takes multiple shopping trips to find the perfect ring, compare prices, and have the ring made. If you give yourself enough time, you'll be able to fully explore your options and be more satisfied with your final decision.
Good luck and happy shopping from all of us at Gary Michaels Fine Jewelry!