Picking out an engagement ring for your significant other is an exciting experience, but it can feel a little overwhelming if you’re familiar with the many aspects of jewelry. Fortunately, all you have to do figure out ring shopping, and it just takes a few minutes to learn a bit about the subject. This shopping guide will make it easy and fun to pick out a ring that your partner will love.
Decide on Your Budget
One thing that you need to do is think about how much you plan to spend on the ring. Keep in mind that rules like “spend two months of your salary on a ring” are fairly outdated by this point. In fact, some people might get bitter if they discover their partner spent a lot of money on a ring that could have been used for a vacation or new home renovation.
It may be a good idea to consider whether your significant other prefers pricey gifts or more budget-friendly options before proceeding. If you’re on a budget, there are all sorts of great options like lab created engagement rings and vintage rings that let you reduce costs without sacrificing style and quality.
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Find Your Partner’s Preferred Style
The style of the ring is affected by many factors, including the design of the band, the number of stones, the colors involved, and the shape of the stone. Because ring styles are so complex, it feels like this can be the hardest part of shopping for a ring! To find something your better half will love, take the time to look carefully at their clothing and jewelry.
For example, if they like simple and elegant clothing, they may enjoy a classic round solitaire engagement ring or bold emerald cut.
There are all sorts of potential styles to choose from, including modern, classic, vintage, glam, nature-inspired, and regal. When in doubt, do not guess this by yourself. Ask a trusted friend of your partner or jewelry expert for help. You want to pick something your partner will happily wear for years.
Pick the Center Stone Color
The center stone is where the eyes will be drawn to immediately, so you need to think about what color to pick carefully. There is a growing trend for colorful engagement rings, so some people like options like sapphires, rubies, or emeralds. This can be a good choice if your partner tends to be a free spirit or is devoted to their favorite color, but it can be controversial is you subtly ask them how they feel about colored engagement rings. When in doubt, it’s best to go with white. Traditionally, this gem should be a diamond, but there are other options like moissanite and white sapphire that provide a similar look while having other advantages like extra sparkles or a better price.
Select the Right Stone Shapes
There are all sorts of stone shapes and cuts to choose from. The most classic is the round shape, also called a brilliant cut for its ability to make a ring sparkle. Other favorites include the elegant square princess cut or oval cut. Styles like pear-shaped stones, football-shaped marquise cut, and rectangular emerald cut stones are less common, so they can lend a unique look to engagement rings.
Of course, you may have more than one stone shape to think about if you’re selecting a ring with accent stones. Multi-stone rings tend to have smaller side stones in round, rectangular, and other shapes.
Choose Your Metal
Most buyers first think about color when picking the metal used to display the stones. Yellow gold was a long-time favorite while white gold has been the trendier pick for a while. However, there are many other colors, like copper and rose gold, to consider. Keep in mind that a ring’s color does not always limit its material. For example, if you like silvery whitish hues, you can get a similar look with platinum, silver, titanium, and palladium.
There are subtle differences to the shades of all these metals, so you may want to look at them in person to decide what works for you. Certain materials like platinum tend to be extra durable, while options like palladium are particularly lightweight.
Educate Yourself on Gemstone Buying
Once you have a general idea of the ring you want, it will be time to pick out the specific stone used for the ring. This is typically only an option for higher-budget rings, but it’s quite important when you want a truly high-quality ring. Typically, you need to think about the color, clarity, cut, and carat weight of gems.
The best gems will have a color that matches their gemstone guidelines, a clear interior that reflects light without flaws, and a cut carefully designed to highlight the gem with the right number of facets.
Think About the Wedding Ring
To get bonus points for planning, take the time to consider what other items will be worn with the ring in the future. Though not always traditional, many people enjoy wearing their engagement ring alongside their wedding band. If you feel your future spouse will want to do this, check with the jewelry company to see if they provide matching bands.
Even when a ring is not part of a matched set, you may want to look at the design to see if it’s suitable to wear with an eternity ring, plain band, or another style of wedding ring.
Discover Your Partner’s Size
On average, ring fingers are around a size five, but anything between four to eight is quite common. If you want to surprise your future partner for life, try borrowing a ring they already wear and measure it. Remember that each finger is different, so unless they wear the ring on their left ring finger, it may not fit perfectly.
Typically, the ring finger is two sizes smaller than an index finger. Of course, the best possible ring will be one that fits your partner perfectly, but keep in mind that it’s usually possible to have it resized unless the entire band has stones or designs that you want to keep. It’s easier and more affordable to resize a ring down instead of up, so when in doubt, pick a ring slightly larger.
With these tips, you can find the ideal ring and let your better half know just how much you appreciate them.