So you’re about to pop the question. Whether you’re planning to ask your significant other on a romantic date or she’s coming home from work and you’ve prepared a candlelit dinner, this is the moment of truth. But before we get to that point, you’ll need to make a very important decision: pick out the engagement ring you want to propose with.
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Choosing an engagement ring must be done with as much precision and care as choosing a luxury car. There are many factors to consider when choosing an engagement ring. That includes budget, style of your partner’s current jewelry collection (if any), as well as time constraints for getting your rings sized before popping the question.
Consider the budget
Before you start shopping for a ring, it’s important to know what your budget is. This can be tricky if you’re unsure how much money you want to spend on an engagement ring—but don’t worry! You don’t have to break the bank in order to find a great option. Your partner may have preferences when it comes to the metal type and stone (which may dictate the price significantly), but there are plenty of options at every price point that will make your partner happy.
Does she prefer silver or gold jewelry? Does she like dainty rings or ones with more weight? Or does she fancy unique and timeless vintage rings? The answers will help inform your decision about what kind of jewelry she prefers and how much money best fits into your budget. In order to make good use of your budget, identify a number and only allow yourself to go about 5-10% higher in price if you absolutely must in order to not break the bank. As a general rule of thumb, your engagement ring shouldn’t cost you more than three months’ salary so that is a calculation you can start with to give you an idea about a budget range.
Photo by Rachel McDermott on Unsplash
Consider your partner’s style
When it comes to style, consider the person who will wear it. What does she like? What does she wear? Is there a particular color of jewelry that she loves that you can build from? Does she have a favorite gemstone or stone shape? Whether she’s into minimalism or bling, consider all of these things as you decide on an engagement ring for your proposal.
If you’re not sure what kind of style your partner likes, ask her friends and family for suggestions. Sometimes her favorite accessory is not something that’s obvious right away—maybe it’s her classic gold band or something encrusted with colorful gems. If you don’t want to risk her disliking the ring, you can choose to pick it out together — it’s not uncommon for couples to pick it out together! Then, simply make the proposal the surprise instead of the ring. As a last resort, you can get an inexpensive ring for the proposal and agree to go pick out something that she wholeheartedly adores after saying “yes.”
Pick the right stone
While you have a handful of options for the ring band, the options for the stone are endless. That makes it arguably the most difficult part of building an engagement ring. Will you go with a classic diamond or something outside of the box with an eye-catching, colorful stone? Your partner may have hinted at their preference or stated it bluntly before to help guide you with this choice. Their birthstone is a very intimate and customized stone for a ring, while a classic diamond ring will match with everything they wear. What about one big stone or several small ones?
Your budget may help you with this. Opt for lab diamonds which besides being a more sustainable choice are also far more affordable than the mined ones and have the same visual and physical properties. As for colored stones, the price can vary greatly depending on the rarity and toughness of the stone. Take a thorough look at your available options and perhaps consider the option of getting a custom ring made if you can’t find something that exactly fits your vision.
Think of the ring size
If you can manage to get the ring according to your future fiancee’s exact ring size, that’s optimal. However, it’s not always possible to acquire knowledge of their ring size without ruining the surprise, so you may need to get something that fits approximately. If you have access to her jewelry box, then take the measurements of one of her current rings.
If not, then ensure the jeweler you purchase from offers resizing services after the proposal. Jewelers should be able to help you get a ring that is not too small or too large for the proposal, so your fiance can actually put the ring on, and then you can go get it altered to the exact fit.
- Don’t rush into a decision. You don’t have to buy the first ring you see, and there is absolutely no rush. If you have a deadline because of a long-planned vacation or important event, that’s fine! But if not, take your time choosing an engagement ring.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re not going to get it right on the first try, so don’t feel bad about asking friends and family members what they think would work best. You might even want to consult with a professional jeweler at this point just so they can give you some advice on how much money to spend on something like this (if you’re unsure).
- Purchase a ring that represents you both as a couple the most! That means not pressuring yourself to purchase an expensive ring or something trendy that may not be your partner’s style at all. Keep in mind that choosing the ring shouldn’t be a stressful experience and you should take your gut feeling into consideration.
We hope this guide helps you find the perfect ring for your special someone. Engagement rings are a big deal, so it’s important to take your time and make sure that you choose something that reflects your partner’s style and personality—and most importantly, makes her happy.
Top photo by Katelyn MacMillan on Unsplash