Congratulations! If you’re here, you are probably planning a proposal, trying to understand what the letter “C” has to do with diamonds, and wondering how so many butterflies got in your stomach. Read through our guide on how to pick an engagement ring and let those butterflies go free.
Consider Your Budget
If you’ve ever watched a wedding show, you may have they always ask about a price point at the very beginning of the conversation. This should be your first consideration when choosing an engagement ring also. There’s an old rule (invented by an advertising firm in the 1940s) that states your engagement ring budget should be two months’ salary, but most jewelers and wedding experts agree every couple is different. Only you can determine your budget. Research from Emory University shows the average diamond engagement ring costs approximately $2,500, with The Knot (a wedding site) found most grooms spend around $5,800 on a ring. However, many Latter-day Saints operate on much more frugal budgets.
Here are some things to keep in mind when determining your engagement ring budget:
- Will the purchase seriously affect your ability to start your marriage with a degree of financial security?
- What price point would your partner feel comfortable with?
- What do you want to pay for the stone and what do you want to pay for the setting?
- How much do you want to invest in it?
The engagement ring is often seen as a symbol of love and is cherished for many years. No matter what ring you end up purchasing, do it with love and you’ll surely make your partner sparkle.
Ask Family & Friends
Friends and family are a great source of information on your partner’s style, preferences, and ring size. They may also have insider information on family heirlooms. There may already be a ring your partner is hoping to get from a grandparent or other family members; some families also want to give the precious stone to a couple in a new setting.
Go to Pinterest
Many brides have been dreaming of their wedding for a long time! With the advent of social media, they’ve been gathering inspiration and creating that dream on sites like Pinterest and Tumblr. Do a little sleuthing and see if your partner has been saving some of their preferences online. It’s an easy way to get some ideas on what they like and may be dreaming of.
What’s Their Style?
If you need more help picking out a style of engagement ring, pay a little attention to your partner’s style overall. Do they prefer casual or dress clothes? Is their style more eclectic or vintage? What sort of jewelry do they own already and wear often? Answering these questions can get you started on picking out an engagement ring they’ll love.
Know Your Options
There are a lot more engagement ring options than you may realize. Diamonds are definitely the most popular precious stone for engagement rings, but maybe your partner would be happy with a sapphire or moonstone. There are different cuts of gemstones, different styles of settings, and different precious metals you can use for the band to name a few. Researching and understanding your options can help determine your budget and ultimately ring you end up getting.
For example, round diamonds are the most popular; by getting a different cut, you can save a lot of money. It’s the same thing with getting a white or rose gold band instead of platinum. A professional jeweler can help you and there are many online resources.
Understand the 4 Cs of Diamonds
There’s a high probability you’ll choose a diamond! If you haven’t already, you’ll want to educate yourself on the 4 Cs of Diamonds before you purchase one. The 4 Cs of Diamonds are:
The carat is the mass weight of the diamond. In simple terms, the carat is the size of the diamond. On average, an engagement ring diamond is usually a little over 1 carat.
The cut of a diamond refers to how the rough stone has been cut to create symmetry, proportion, and shine. The cut does not refer to the shape of the diamond, such as a pear or oval shape. The way a diamond is cut affects the brilliance and shine of the diamond.
The clarity of a diamond is determined by the internal characteristics, called inclusions, and the surface characteristics, called blemishes. Inclusions and blemishes can cause a diamond to look cracked or cloudy. The higher the clarity, the more precious (and expensive), the diamond.
The highest-quality diamonds are colorless. Most natural diamonds have some tint to them or seem colorless, but have bits of color only seem by professionals. While colorless diamonds are the standard for engagement rings, some diamonds, such as pink and yellow diamonds, are more rare and much more expensive.
Ask a Professional
When it doubt, visit your local jewelry stores for help. They can help answer your questions and help you find the perfect engagement ring.