How to Choose an Engagement Ring

Generally speaking, one party who proposes will give the other party an engagement ring when proposing. It is called an engagement ring. It is worn on the ring finger of the left hand. When the party wears it, it declares that he is engaged. After marriage, the engagement ring will be replaced by the wedding ring. In some cultures, Engagement rings are worn by both partners, and where they are worn varies by region and culture, and in some cultures, engagement rings and wedding rings are synonymous. But in view of the fact that most of the engagement rings in the real world are given by the man to the woman, and the man lacks the relevant knowledge of shopping, so today I will talk about the basics of choosing a ring and tell you what you need to consider most in the process of choosing a ring.

How to Choose an Engagement Ring

Choose the right ring material

  • Gold is between yellow and orange in its natural state. It is usually fused with other metals for added stability. Some people prefer a light yellow material with a slightly lower gold content, such as 14K or 10K gold.
  • Platinum is an off-white material formed by fusing gold and other metals. White gold needs to be plated with another metal, usually rhodium, to achieve its bright silvery sheen. This plating wears away, so some jewelry stores will re-plate it for you for a long time for free.
  • Platinum is a very hard metal with a silvery sheen, but it tends to darken over time with wear, but that's usually not a huge problem. A gold setting will always give the diamond a yellowish look, so buying a diamond with a high color grade is not necessary.

Choosing the Right Setting and Diamond

A setting is the part of a ring used to hold a diamond, and is usually attached to the ring. The ring setting can be the common four-claw or six-claw, or it can be invisible. Some rings combine the platinum ring setting and the gold ring in order to obtain a special metal color, thus reducing the "dyeing" of gold to the diamond, and platinum hardness. For an everyday diamond ring, a setting with a diamond bevel or at least six prongs is safer. Here's what to look out for when choosing a setting and diamond

  • Gemstones: Usually diamonds, also commonly referred to as stones, are the most dazzling part of a ring. Usually the bigger the stone, the better, but it's obviously more important that the stone size matches your girlfriend's personality and preferences. A gem doesn't have to be a diamond, but you better have a good reason not to buy one!
  • 4C standards: carat, color, clarity and cut
  • 5th C: Zircon. Zircons are as beautiful as diamonds and can be difficult for anyone but a professional to tell apart. Zircon is softer than real diamonds and also darkens over time. Created diamonds are another option that cost 5-10% less than traditional diamonds and look just as radiant, making them worth your time to research. Rhodium-plated silver rings are also difficult to distinguish from rhodium-plated white gold rings (although honest sellers will mark this on the inside of the ring). These are all options for when you're hard-pressed, but you can also just go for smaller real diamonds (the price of diamonds rises very quickly as carat weight goes up). A diamond slightly smaller than 0.5 carats has a surface area much larger than half that of a 1 carat diamond, but it costs very little money and is very cost-effective

choose the right size

The way to find out her ring size is to sneak the ring she always wears to a jewelry store and have it measured, just to make sure she doesn't realize it's missing! You can also go straight to the visual method, although this method is slightly less accurate. The most common size is a size 7, so you need to find out if your girlfriend has thicker or thinner than average fingers. Of course, even if you guessed the wrong size, you can go to the jewelry store to change the size. If you're really unsure, it's always a better choice to go up a size, as it's much easier to make a ring smaller than larger. Upsizing the ring will make the ring look thinner and more expensive. Also, if you propose with a ring that's too small, she won't be able to wear the diamond until you change the size, which isn't a pretty thing.

choose a good jeweler

Expensive doesn't necessarily mean better, it's better to find a jewelry store that has good service and can give you practical advice. Don't forget your budget, of course, or it's easy to get into the "if it was cheaper it would be perfect" dilemma. If you can, see if the jeweler is a member of a trade association that regulates authentic jewellery, such as the National Guild of Goldsmiths in the UK, or check other review sites to see what other customers have said about the store. When you choose a jewelry store you can also consider:

  • Ask your married friends or family members to recommend a trusted jeweler. This means they will know that you are going to propose, but you can also say that you just want to buy a piece of fine jewelry
  • Online jewelers, if you are willing to reduce contact with the salesperson in exchange for a better price (although this can also be an advantage, because you don't have to bear the pressure of the salesperson. Of course a good retailer does not put that pressure on you). Diamonds and precious metals are more likely to be scammed than other products, make sure the jeweler you choose has a good reputation
  • Another thing to discuss with your jeweler is customizing your wedding band to match your engagement ring. Prepping your wedding rings ahead of time might surprise you with your wedding engagement ring combination!
  • The ring shopping process is much easier if you're willing to propose first and then buy the ring with your fiancée - because she knows what she wants! Don't worry it's not romantic enough, you just need to prepare a mock ring in advance and explain it to her

Know Your Fiancee's Preferences

If you are going to surprise her, choosing a suitable ring will be more difficult. But nowadays, more women actually want to decide what kind of ring to buy with you. So, if you really don't know what she likes, propose with a makeshift ring and tell her you'll choose the real engagement ring with her. Here are some tips for knowing what she likes

  • Ask her for her overall opinion on the ring. If you're passing by a jewelry store, pretend you're interested in watches and casually comment on your ring to get her opinion. If you fake it well, she won't notice at all. But even if you don't pretend well, she might guess but she still doesn't know when you're going to propose! You can also test out a friend's preferences by commenting on her engagement ring. For example, you could say "I think Mary's ring is a bit too gaudy, what do you think?"
  • Ask her family for their opinion. It depends of course if you want to let her family know before proposing
  • Another tactic is to ask her friend to go with her to the jewelry store for a random visit, though you need to make sure her friend can help you keep the secret. This is certainly not a good option if you want complete secrecy before proposing
  • If you know she really wants to marry you, and you're willing to discuss marriage-related matters with her, you can just ask her what kind of ring she would like. You can also ask her months before proposing so she might think you're just kidding

calculate your budget

In any case, you'd better be able to work out a suitable budget before choosing a ring. If you're really short on money but really want to propose, make sure your fiancée understands this. If she doesn't care about an expensive ring, you can choose a proposal gift that you can afford and promise her a better gift when you can afford it.

  • Tell the jewelry store about your budget so they can recommend rings within the right price range.
  • Don't forget you can also customize your engagement ring. Tell the jeweler your budget, when to propose and what style of ring you would like, and ask them if custom is possible

Confirm the practicality of the ring

If your girlfriend is an outdoors player, your ring needs to be able to handle such a long activity. The higher up the diamond is on the ring, the more likely it is to catch on clothing, hair, or outdoor gear and cause damage. So choose a setting with lower diamonds for the outdoorsy girl, and a setting that makes the diamonds look taller for the trendy urban girl.

Check the durability of the ring

The durability of a ring is of the utmost importance, as prolonged rubbing and knocking will always wear the ring down. Office work is also a ring killer, as paper can wear down gold rings, albeit relatively mildly. If your financial strength can afford it, it is better to choose platinum instead of gold for wedding rings, because platinum is more durable. Titanium and steel are also very wear-resistant materials. You need to know that the higher the gold content, the softer the ring will be and the more likely it will be worn.

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