Approximately 2.3 million couples say “I Do” each year in the United States. If you’re ready to pop the question, chances are choosing the perfect diamond engagement ring is giving you some serious anxiety. Your future spouse will wear your engagement ring for the rest of their life, so making an informed decision is critical.
Don’t worry if you’re not an expert and instead, follow these simple dos and don’ts to help you find an engagement ring your partner will adore.
Do Learn the Basics
Before you set foot in a jewelry store, or start asking your female relatives and friends for help, it is important to learn a few diamond basics. A little bit of knowledge can help you find the best diamond and setting possible for your budget.
Diamonds are rated based upon the classic Four C’s: cut, carat, clarity and color. These four aspects of diamonds will determine how much the stone will cost. Here is some information about the famous Four C’s:
- Cut. Raw diamonds are cut to bring out their natural brilliance. The more skilled the diamond cutter, the more beautiful the stone. Diamonds are typically cut into several classic shapes, including round, radiant, pear, princess and emerald. The type of cut you choose will greatly impact the ring’s cost.
- Carat. In the jewelry world, “carat” refers to the weight of the stone. Although the weight and size will impact the price, you might be surprised to learn that the cut will affect the diamond’s cost even more.
- Clarity. Clarity refers to the size and number of the diamond’s inclusions. Inclusions are flaws, and although often subtle, inclusions will impact the diamond’s brilliance. The fewer inclusions, the more expensive the diamond will be.
- Color. Diamonds are also graded based on their color. The scale ranges from D, E and F, which are diamonds that are nearly colorless, to S though Z, which are a light-yellow color.
These four aspects of a diamond will all impact the price. Learning more about the Four C’s will help you make a more informed choice, which is ultimately one of the best ways to save money.
Don’t Break Your Budget
In an attempt to make their future wife happy, many men break the bank and purchase a diamond ring they simply cannot afford. Popular media has glamorized the engagement ring buying process by insisting men spend two month’s salary on a ring. However, for many men, this cost is unrealistic.
Instead of going into debt, consider several simple ways you can beef up your engagement ring budget. For example, even though you might want to pop the question as soon as possible, forgo several luxuries for a few months, including that morning latte and tickets to professional football games, and put this money aside to purchase the ring.
Do Consider Her Personal Style
If you are the type of man who doesn’t know the difference between a choker and a bangle, you might feel completely overwhelmed at the idea of purchasing a diamond engagement ring. Conversely, you might consider yourself a jewelry expert, and plan on using your skills to purchase the perfect ring.
Instead of utilizing your impressive jewelry acumen, or remaining clueless about the process of shopping for jewelry, sneak a peek at your girlfriend’s jewelry collection. While you search, keep an eye out for the type of metal she prefers, and the overall style of her jewelry.
For example, if your girlfriend has a collection of vintage jewelry, choose a one-of-a-kind antique engagement ring. For the girl who loves funky modern pieces, ask the sales associate to show you some contemporary styles.
In the end, if your girlfriend doesn’t wear jewelry often, or you simply cannot decide, you can’t go wrong with a classic solitaire featuring a gold or silver band.
Don’t Buy from the First Store
Finally, one of the most common mistakes men making while shopping for an engagement ring is to purchase the first ring they find at the first store they visit. Unfortunately, if you don’t comparison shop, chances are you will wind up spending too much money or deprive yourself of the opportunity of finding the perfect ring.
Additionally, another common mistake engagement ring and jewelry shoppers make is limiting your search to strip mall jewelry stores and online sellers. If you truly want to get the most bang for your buck, look no further than your local pawn shop.
In addition to saving you money, most pawn brokers have a far better selection of unique and one-of-a-kind rings. If your bride-to-be wants a unique or vintage ring, or you simply want to purchase her a beautiful ring that her friends will envy, working with a pawn broker is your best option.
Shopping for an engagement ring can be a very overwhelming experience. If you want to save money on the ring, and purchase the piece from a knowledgeable dealer, look no further than the professionals at Sol’s Jewelry and Loan.