GUIDE TO ENGAGEMENT RING SHOPPING
You’ve found the one, and you owe cupid a huge favor. Maybe you’ve even planned the proposal and asked her father for his blessing. No matter what your circumstances, buying an engagement ring can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Here are some pointers to get you started in the right direction - - some practical, some romantic, and some steeped in history & tradition. We should know a thing or two….we’ve been helping happy couples for over 100 years.
Five quick facts about engagement ring shopping:
1. Most men shop 1 – 3 months prior to their (planned) date of proposal.
2. It is most common to buy the engagement ring first, then the bride’s wedding band, then the groom’s ring.
3. Most couples prefer wedding bangs that match the metal of the engagement ring and complement the style and design. There are no hard and fast rules, but this is the norm.
4. Unlike other wedding day purchases, the rings are a lifelong investment and should be viewed as such. (i.e., budget, research, etc)
5. Good internet resources for unbiased and knowledgeable information are:
The Top 5 Things to know before you start this amazing adventure:
1. WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET? You don’t need the exact number, but have a range in mind, be it monthly payments on an installment program, financing the entire purchase, or any combination of either. You may be pleasantly surprised that financing offers now allow you to find the perfect ring for less than you may have imagined. In the end, try to purchase the nicest ring that you can afford and be sure you’re comfortable with the payment or expense; being uneasy about debt is not something you want on your mind right now.
2. WHAT IS HER STYLE/TASTE? What kind of jewelry does she already wear? Is she more classic or modern? Feminine or sophisticated? Do her pieces tend to be more delicate or chunky? Simple or ornate? Observe her demeanor, her body language, her dress, and any references she makes about jewelry, fashion and style. She will be wearing this ring 24/7 every day of her life. It will need to go with everything from jeans to evening wear and everything in between. Penchant in design is often reflected in other tastes a woman has. If she prefers clean, modern lines in furniture, for example, it's likely she'll react well to the same aesthetic in her engagement ring.
3. WHAT SETTING IS BEST? While there are an unending variety of patterns, details and metal choices, there are four basic types you are likely to encounter:
Solitaire - A single stone. Still the most popular choice in engagement rings. The head secures the diamond. Prongs allow the diamond to catch the most light. A four-prong-setting typically shows more of the diamond.
Sidestone- Diamonds or other gemstones, flank the main stone for additional sparkle or color. Popular sidestone settings include 'channel', which protects stones by keeping them flush, and 'bar-channel', which allows more light to enter the sidestones.
ThreeStone – Best described as ‘One diamond for the past, one for the present, and one for the future.’ Typically, the center diamond is larger than the two side stones. The gemstones are most often all diamonds, but other gemstones can be used as well, such as a diamond flanked by 2 sapphires, etc.
Vintage inspired – This includes ‘halo’ settings that feature a center diamond with pavé diamonds surrounding it. Designs that are vintage or estate inspired often have delicate engraving and filigree details to further enhance the ring.