Congratulations on your engagement! You found that special someone that you want to propose to… and now all you have to do is find the perfect ring to make it official. But if you are like most average Americans, you know next to nothing when it comes to selecting the “right” ring. Should you choose a preset ring, or should you buy loose diamonds and work with a jeweler to design your own ring? How much should you spend? Should you choose a band that is white gold or rose gold? The options are endless, and so are the opportunities to second guess yourself. That is why we have worked with the jewelry experts at The Diamond Reserve to compile a guide to help you select your engagement ring.
- Determine your budget. The old rule that most people subscribe to is to plan to spend about 3% of your annual gross income. However, the amount you decide to spend on your engagement ring is personal and completely up to you. If 3% of your income seems like it is too much, then select an amount that you are comfortable with. Remember, if all goes as planned you will still have to plan and pay for a wedding after the ring, so choose what amount YOU are comfortable paying and go from there.
- Read about the 4 C’s. All diamond prices are determined by the cut, color, clarity, and carat. Your jeweler can explain these to you in more detail, but it will save you a lot of time if you at least have a general idea of what each of those areas mean before you walk into the jeweler.
- Work with an experienced jeweler. Select a jeweler that can work with custom designs as well as preset rings so that you will have a selection available to you. Do not play hard to get with them, let them know up front what your budget is and what you are envisioning for your engagement ring. If they can’t do it for that budget, they can let you know up front and make alternative suggestions that can fit into your budget range.
- Consider selecting loose diamonds for you ring. You can get better deals on loose diamonds, plus it gives you the opportunity to create a custom engagement ring, which makes it even more special. A lot of jewelers can also create a digital image of what a setting will look like once the ring is complete, so if you are having a hard time imagining what the ring will look like, they can accommodate you
- Once you have chosen your setting, select the kind of band that you want. Remember that the band of the engagement ring should match the band of the wedding band, so keep that in mind when choosing the type of metal you want for your band. If you perhaps prefer platinum metals for yourself, then do not choose a rose gold metal band or you will not have matching wedding bands.