Picking Engagement Rings For Your Significant Other
Date Posted:8 February 2018
So you’re shopping for an engagement ring! Taking that next big step is always exhilarating in the best way. Of course, there’s a lot to consider here. Maybe it’s your first time ring shopping and you want to get it JUST right, or perhaps this isn’t your first rodeo. But either way, the most important question to ask yourself when engagement ring shopping is: What will your partner think of the ring?
To answer this, you should know them very well (and hopefully at this point you do), so that when a time like this comes, you can put yourself into his or her shoes and get a better glimpse of what they might choose. However…that’s hard to do. So this article will give you pointers of what to look for so you can get the best ring available.
The right mindset is the absolute most important thing to have in this situation, because you’ll want to get this right. Look for inspiration anywhere you can get it – get her talking about jewelry (particularly rings), and LISTEN to her when she talks about it. However, don’t ask too many questions – she’ll get the hint before too long. You’ll also want to find out her ring size, and pay attention to her personal style so you can figure out what shape and setting to look for.
What, you don’t know what shape and setting are? Don’t worry – we’re getting there.
However, her friends might be more than happy to help plan the engagement out. And since you want to knock the right ring out of the park, it’s great idea to find one or two of her closest friends, tell them your plan, and try to get their opinions on the best type of ring. (We’ll get into what makes a good ring later.)
You might also open the subject up to guys in your own inner circle who’ve been through the process before, and get some advice for them. They might be able to recommend some good jewelers, and could even go with you to a jeweler to offer a good second opinion.
But before you even start to look at rings, you should establish a price range. You may have heard the rule of thumb that you should spend roughly two months’ salary on a ring – don’t go by this. The DeBeers company invented this myth during WWII, to cash in on American soldiers wanting to come home and get married. What it really comes down to the thought you put into the ring, not how much money. Most people simply recommend you spend as much on the ring as you’re comfortable with, without breaking your wallet.
A good starting place is the gemstone, and it’s important to look at the four C’s: cut, color, clarity, carat. The cut refers to the process that refines the rough stone into an exquisite gem, the color is…well, the color of the gemstone, the clarity refers to the opacity of the gemstone (this mostly applies to clear diamonds, a lot of non-diamond gems fits into one category), and the carat is a unit of weight for the gemstone, usually equal to around 200mg.
A lot of experts (and probably wives) agree that the shape is the first and most important thing to consider when picking an engagement ring. When you initially go shopping and you pick out a ring, what they’ll show you is most likely a “loose stone” – it’s not set in a metal band, so there’s more freedom to move it around and reshape it if necessary. However, the stone accounts for most of the ring’s price, so you’ll want to be as careful and sure as possible. If you’re looking to get the stone reshaped or resized, take it to a jeweler, who will be able to inspect the stone and tell you more about what you’re getting into.
Now, shape is different from cut, and it refers to the stone’s actual shape (square, oval, etc). Once you figure this out, you can move on to the four C’s. An important thing to consider here is your partner’s birthstone (a gem that corresponds to the month your partner was born in), which – depending on how much your partner values his or her birthstone – could be the deciding factor is choosing the perfect gemstone.
After this comes the setting, which refers to the metal band and frame around the gemstone. This corresponds closely to the shape of the gem, so it’s important to get the best combination of shape and setting you can. As far as metal goes, platinum is easily the most popular these days. And for good reason, too: it’s durable, it seems to go well with most color and shapes of gemstones, and it’s a relatively pure metal, meaning it works well for people with sensitive skin. However, it dulls quickly, and it can be hard and expensive to regain its original luster.
Gold is a popular choice as well, and it comes in a variety of colors, such as rose, white, and others. Because it’s a soft metal, it’s easier to buff out scratches and polish the ring. However, this also means it wears down faster, and you might have to buy a new one before too long. Palladium is also a major player on the scene, as are recycled bands – a mixture of platinum and gold. Of course, all this being said, whether it’s a good mix with the stone’s shape and color is the important factor here.
Got it? Even if you do, it’s one thing to say something, and another to put it into practice. But don’t worry – you’ve made it this far! An engagement is a very important symbol of you and your fiancé’s love, and that’s it – a symbol. So don’t stress out too much about the kind of ring to get, do your research, and get the ring you sincerely think is best for your partner.