Are you looking to pop the big question soon? Asking your beau to get married is one of the most stressful parts of the pathway to married life, but it can be magical if done right. The centerpiece of your proposal isn’t just the location where you ask the question, it’s actually the engagement ring that your future fiancé will be wearing for months to come.
Pulling off a surprise proposal is tougher than you think. The key to making it successful is to ensure that no one around your future fiancé knows about the upcoming proposal as they could slip up and give your special someone some hints.
Now the problem comes in the fact that it’s tough to pick an engagement ring that your wife will treasure fondly. It’s even tougher if you are to do it without the help of others. You aren’t used to checking out engagement rings as you’re a guy after all.
If you’re hoping to look for an engagement ring, then we’ve got the ultimate guide to help you do so.
Know Your Limits
The first thing you need to do when picking an engagement ring is to set a budget for yourself. You need to keep in mind that you have a ton of expenses coming. These include a wedding ring, the wedding itself, the honeymoon, and many more.
We get that you want to impress your future fiancé with a stunning engagement ring. However, you should spend all of your budget on an engagement ring as that’s going to make it harder for you to budget later on.
The average price of an engagement ring last year was $3,756. It might seem high for now, but it’s worth noting that in 2018, the average price was $7,829 more. You are looking at spending more or less around the average price for your future fiancé’s ring, but it’s all entirely up to you and the budget you set for yourself.
You may have heard of this myth about you having to save three months’ worth of your salary to buy an engagement ring, but that’s all that it is – a myth. So long as you set the right budget for yourself, and you know where to look, you’ll be able to buy a ring without starving and tiring yourself.
There’s no such thing as too much or too little when it comes to the engagement ring. It all really depends on your budget. However, do keep in mind that it will be tough to find an engagement ring that’s below $1,500.
The price of the ring will vary depending on many factors.
Finding The Right Ring Size
Now, this part of your search for an engagement ring is the toughest especially if you are trying to keep things a secret. The last thing you’d want to do is having your future fiancé’s close friend talk about her ring size. This can easily break the surprise but luckily, there are other options you can try.
The best way to find your future fiancé’s ring size is to simply find one of the rings that she already uses. Take it covertly and through it, you’ll be able to get her ring size. Make sure to take a ring that she rarely wears so that she doesn’t notice that it’s missing.
It’s important that you get the ring size right. If you do fail to get it right, you’ll spend more on getting a new one.
Picking The Band’s Metal
The band is basically the ring itself. It’s also important that you pick the metal of the band properly. Each type of metal has its own advantages and disadvantages which is why picking the right material matters. Typically, the most common metals used are yellow gold, white gold, platinum, silver, and rose gold.
Some people mix and match metals to make the band more unique. However, this can become more costly depending on what metals you mix together.
A good option is platinum because it is very durable. This means it can last your future fiancé long enough up until she gets her wedding ring. The problem with platinum though is that it can dull much quicker than gold.
Another popular option is gold. It is shinier than platinum and although it dulls, it’s easy to polish as compared to platinum. The problem with gold is that since it is a soft metal, it can wear out faster.
Picking The Diamond
If you decide that you’re going to get a diamond, then it’s a must that you get your money’s worth. Diamonds are expensive and finding one that’s of good quality may be tough. With that, you need to guide yourself using the 4 Cs.
- Cut – Don’t confuse the cut with the shape or the size of the diamond. It refers to the angles and proportions of the stone. The other Cs are all-natural, and they are something that comes with the stone as is. However, the cut is something that is determined by the manufacturer – more specifically, the cutter.
The cut of the diamond matters because the better it is, the shinier a diamond becomes. This is made possible through light reflections that pass through the angles on the stone. The cut is the most important of all the Cs and the more complex and perfect it is, the better the outcome.
- Color – Diamond comes in a variety of colors which are graded on a scale from D to Z. D refers to near colorless diamonds and Z refers to diamonds with a slight hint of yellow. D grade diamonds are the most expensive while the Z grade diamonds are the cheapest. While colorless diamonds are more beautiful, it all really depends on preference.
- Clarity – The clearer a diamond is, the more expensive the diamond is. Like color, clarity is dependent on a scale. SL1 and SL2 have minimal imperfections with the naked eye. This is the most perfect form of the diamond, and it’s something you should look for.
- Carat – This is probably the term that you are familiar with as most jewelers categorize diamonds by it. Carat refers to the weight of the diamond. The heavier it is, the more expensive the diamond is. It’s not something you should worry too much about as master craftsmen are able to make even small stones look great with the right band and accessories.
Picking The Shape
Beyond the 4 Cs, another thing you should think about is the shape of the diamond. To reiterate, this is different from the cut that we referred to earlier. The shape is literally the shape in which the diamond comes in. There are various shapes and what you want to choose really depends on what you think your future fiancé prefers.
The most popular shapes currently are the round and princess shapes. Round is the most basic form of diamond, and it’s basically timeless. It goes well with many types of bands, so you can’t really go wrong with it. The princess shape is square, and it is currently one of the most popular shapes out there.
The other three shapes are pear, oval, and heart. They are the least popular because it’s often hard to find a band that goes well with them.
Choosing The Setting
This is one part of the ring picking process that most people aren’t familiar with. ESPECIALLY the guys. The setting is basically the way in which the diamond is set on the ring. Like the shape, the setting you choose really depends on the preference of your fiancé to be. This time, we’ll go over some of the common ring settings.
The Tiffany setting as you would’ve guessed was popularized by Tiffany and co. It’s a timeless look to an engagement ring as it highlights the diamond above anything else. Women love this because of its simplicity, so it’s really something that you can’t go wrong with.
Another type of setting that’s growing in popularity is the eternity band. Instead of one diamond, the eternity band features several stones which are placed all around the band. As compared to other bands, the eternity band is the thickest which goes well for ladies with slender fingers.
The eternity band is also distinct as it could make the ring pricier. As there are several pieces of diamonds in it, the price will vary greatly.
The bezel setting might not be as popular as the other types, but it still holds a special place in the hearts of some women. It’s basically like the Tiffany setting, but the difference is that there’s a metal rim that encases the stone. The problem with the bezel setting is that it often takes the attention away from the stone.
These are the three most common types of setting. Again, the options you pick here will depend on what your future fiancé prefers. It would be best to refer to her previous ring choices when you are picking the setting.
Cutting The Costs
Let’s say you’ve finally set a budget for yourself. However, you’re finding it hard to find an engagement ring within that price range. How are you going to cut the price of the engagement ring without having to compromise design and quality? Here are a few tips.
- Do away with the diamond – One of the reasons why a ring can get expensive is because of the diamond that serves as the centerpiece. The best way to cut the cost is by ditching the diamond and going for another white stone instead. A good alternative is a white sapphire which is durable and as pretty as a diamond.
- Buy online – Believe it or not, you can save hundreds of dollars by opting to buy from an online store instead of a brick-and-mortar store. You also get the convenience of having the ring delivered to you. The downside though is that it will be tougher to assess the rings since you won’t see it personally. It also pays to be careful when you are buying online as you could get scammed.
- Take your time – The last thing you’d want to do when buying an engagement ring is pushing yourself. By rushing, you are potentially depriving yourself of great deals and major discounts when buying. Take your time and weigh all of the options in front of you. As much as possible, try to compare all of the prices between all sellers.
- Buy when the time is right – The best time to buy an engagement ring is between September to October as these are the months when the jewelry industry is most quiet. This means you could get big discounts as the stores are going to do their best to get more customers. Even if your proposal date is far from these months, it’s best to buy ahead as you can save as much as 30%.
- Consider other brands -It’s tempting to buy from established brands like Tiffany and co., Harry Winston, Cartier, and De Beers. However, you need to remember that you’ll be paying for the brand as well. While it’s true that their rings are beautiful, you can still find great rings at a cheaper price tag with lesser-known brands.
These are important tips on how you can cut the costs of your wedding ring. It’s very important that you don’t go out of your budget. It’s obviously better if you buy a ring below your budget.
Picking an engagement ring can be very taxing. It is a must that you think this through as you are only going to propose at least once in your life. It’s best that you consider your budget first and foremost because you wouldn’t want to lose all of your budget on a ring alone.