Deciding to get married is exciting. It can also be bewildering as you consider purchasing an engagement ring. After all, where do you even begin?
Just the thought of it is enough to give most guys anxiety. That’s why we’ve put together this master checklist for getting the perfect engagement ring. This engagement ring checklist may not take all of the work out of it, but it will certainly make it easier and more enjoyable.
1. Decoding Hints and Her Style
Most women drop hints about their engagement ring preferences at one time or another. Maybe she commented on someone else’s ring or pointed out a certain style in a shop window. If you haven’t noticed any hints like these, casually walk her by a jeweler’s window to see if this prompts some comments.
This is also the time to take a look at her overall style. Is she a modern girl all the way? If so, she probably wears sleek, sophisticated jewelry without a lot of unnecessary frills. On the other hand, she might be the more traditional, romantic type. If so, you might want to consider a ring that has a vintage or old fashioned feel.
2. Choosing the Band
The engagement ring’s band is just as important as the stone. Most women prefer either silver or gold, so pay attention to which color she wears most often. Of course, you’ll have to get more detailed than that. If she likes silver, you may be able to choose sterling, platinum or white gold. There’s also yellow gold or rose gold. Her everyday jewelry style is likely to provide some useful guidelines regarding the colors and materials she prefers.
3. Choosing the Gemstone
Not every engagement ring has to have a diamond. Modern brides might prefer a birthstone or another gem in a favorite color. Still, most women still prefer diamonds for engagement rings, and that means having to learn a bit about color, cut, clarity and carats. It won’t take a lot of time to learn a bit about gemstones, but the effort will pay off in a beautiful, high quality engagement ring.
3. Deciding on a Setting
The setting is where the band and the gemstone meet, and it can vary significantly depending upon the style of the ring. Some settings are designed to be low profile so that the ring is less likely to get caught on clothing. Others feature a more prominent, pronged setting. Take your future wife’s lifestyle into consideration when choosing a setting as the wrong setting can be impractical for certain hobbies and professions.
4. Find a Reputable Jeweler
It’s almost always advisable to visit at least two or three different jeweler’s shops. This provides you with an opportunity to get familiar with the jewelry business and develop a sense of what you like and what you’d rather avoid when you’re shopping for fine jewelry. For instance, it usually makes sense to go with a jeweler with plenty of knowledge and experience who is willing to take the time help you make a good decision. The hurried clerk who is only interested in a quick sale is unlikely to leave you feeling as if you got the best value for your money, so make certain you choose wisely.
5. Determine a Budget
Overspending on an engagement ring is not the way to start your marriage off on the right foot. Know what you can afford and let the jeweler know your price range. This way, realistic options can be efficiently presented instead of wasting your time with choices that are outside of your range.