Buying an engagement ring is one of the more challenging purchases for almost every man. There are a lot of things you need to check before deciding which one to buy, but sometimes it might be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we are bringing you the ultimate checklist for buying a diamond engagement ring.
If you want to get it right, keep reading!
Shopping for an engagement ring step by step
1. Analyze and set a budget
When looking for an engagement ring it is crucial to know how much you are willing to spend. You might have heard of the two or three months salary rule, but don’t worry, we assure you that is just a marketing strategy.
An engagement ring is one of those pieces of jewellery that she is going to wear for the rest of her life. So, take your time to deeply analyze the price you feel comfortable with. Even though the average engagement ring price is somewhere in between the $2000 and $4000 range, there are a lot of great options way under $1000 as well.
What you need to do is try to get the best value for each dollar you spend, no matter what your budget is.
2. Know your bride to be and her style
This might be one of the most challenging points on the list for those who don’t know what kind of jewellery she likes and the ideas she might have already portrayed for her engagement ring. But don’t worry, we have some valuable advice for you:
- What’s already in her jewellery box? Use the jewellery she is comfortable wearing on a daily basis as a reference point. Does she like simple and classic designs or does she prefer filigree, intricate and exotic designs?
- Listen and keep your eyes wide open. She might have already dropped some hints without you even noticing. Has she ever stopped in front of a jewellery store to look at a specific ring? Or talked about other women’s engagement rings? You need to pay attention to all these details.
- Be active on social media. Social media can be a real lifesaver when it comes to choosing the right engagement ring. Even if she hasn’t tagged you on any engagement ring pictures, which she might have done, you can always check the kind of engagement ring pictures she likes or even the jewellery stores she follows.
- Ask friends and family. Asking for advice is one of the best options you have. If there are close friends or family that really know what she looks for in an engagement ring do not hesitate. Go ahead and ask them!
3. Ring size
If you don’t want her to know you are looking for a ring, directly asking is not on the table. The easiest way to find out her ring size is to check one of the rings she already has in her jewellery box and uses frequently. You can do so by using our ring size template. Another option is to ask a close friend of hers or a relative.
Even though diamonds are the most popular stones for engagement rings, there are women who prefer a coloured stone. Some of the most common coloured stones for engagement rings are rubies and sapphires, because of their hardness and resistance, so they can be worn every day. Other not so resistant gemstones are also popular for engagement rings, for example emeralds. In these cases, the setting plays a crucial role in making sure that it can be worn every day without suffering any kind of damage.
5. Stone Shape or Cut
There are a lot of stone shapes to be considered and you should always pick the one that will best suit her finger. If she has long and thin fingers, we recommend going for more elongated shapes like an emerald cut, marquise cut or even a halo style ring. Alternatively, if she has a shorter finger, you might consider a round, brilliant or princess cut solitaire or even a trilogy ring.
6. Metal, karats & setting
If you are looking for a silver coloured ring, our favourite metal for engagement rings is platinum. Due to its resistance and characteristics, it is an ideal metal for a daily use ring. Platinum is a silver coloured metal that never fades in colour. But its price is considerably higher than white gold. White gold is coated in rhodium and looks the same as platinum when you buy it. However, unlike platinum, it ends up turning yellow and requires added alloys in order to regain its original tone. Also, platinum is denser and heavier, so it wears away slower than 18 karat gold. But white gold can be a great option if you prefer a lighter ring and the price will be cheaper than platinum. It is also the perfect option if she combines the engagement ring with other pieces in white gold, since they will age looking the same. We don’t recommend silver, since it is an extremely soft metal that won’t last.
If you are looking for a yellow coloured ring, the choice is really simple: go for 18k yellow gold.
18k gold is the most common purity used in engagement ring settings. This is because of its hardness. Anything higher in karat purity will be too soft for a ring that is worn every day. And anything lower might be seen as too cheap, since it would have less than 50% gold in it. 18k gold is 75% pure gold and 25% other alloys. The metal used for the alloys varies if it is yellow gold or white gold.
The most commonly used settings for engagement rings are claw and bezel settings. The first one, the claw setting, is one of our favourites because it allows a lot of light into the stone. On the other hand, the bezel setting doesn’t allow as much light, but it really secures the stone and can make it look bigger in some cases. There are other lovely settings that might not be as suitable for an engagement ring, such as the tension set: usually two pieces of metal that hold the stone with the pressure they exert.
You don’t have to be obsessed with the 4Cs, but remember that you will be paying for them. We always recommend going for a lab certified gemstone. That way, you prevent yourself from being scammed and will know exactly what the cut, clarity, colour and carat weight is of your diamond.
At MJjewels you can check each jewellery piece’s certificate before purchasing it. That way you can easily know what you are getting.
8. Engraving the engagement ring
Engraving your engagement ring will really give it that final and emotional touch. There is no rule book for engraving, but we would suggest you pick something meaningful and personal. Keep in mind that space is really limited here so you might just be able to fit a few words or a date.
When buying any kind of jewellery, it’s always important to have a good guarantee policy. But it’s even more important when that piece is an engagement ring. Because it is a piece that she will always wear and that is supposed to last forever.
That is why you should try to look for a vendor that offers you a lifetime guarantee policy.
10. Find a reputable vendor
The best way to ensure you are getting a high-quality piece of jewellery is to find a reputable vendor, especially when you are buying online. Take your time, check other buyers’ comments, compare prices and even ask for professional advice.
After having checked all the previous steps, you are now ready to buy it and get on one knee. Good luck and congrats!
Need anymore help choosing an engagement ring? Book a virtual appointment with one of our jewellery professionals.