Ultimate Guide to Shopping for an Engagement Ring

Listen up gentlemen because this post is all for you. And ladies, if you’re reading, feel free to forward this to your boyfriend for a little *nudge nudge*. Today we’re talking all about engagement ring shopping, from the budget to the bling itself. Keep reading for the answers to all of your important engagement ring questions!

Decide on your budget

First things first, you need to know what kind of budget you’re working with. Most people have heard that a good rule of thumb is to spend two month’s salary, but that rule has become pretty dated. Instead, consider your savings account, your current bills and what you’re willing to pay each month if you’re financing the ring with a personal loan. Having a solid budget in mind will help when making decisions about the size of the stone and type of setting for the ring. Ultimately you want to find the right balance with a ring that will wow your fianceé without being a financial burden. 

Determine her style

Picking out an engagement ring can be nerve wracking for guys who aren’t style pros, but it doesn’t have to be! There are plenty of ways to figure out what ring style your future fianceé would love without straight up asking her. First, think about how she dresses on a daily basis. Would you describe her style as classic, boho, vintage, or trendy? Come up with a few words to describe her style and a knowledgeable jeweler should be able to help point you in the right direction. 

You can also do a little sneaky research to figure out what style of ring she would like. Check if she has a dream wedding board on Pinterest (come on ladies, we all do) and screenshot some photos to bring shopping with you. You can also chat with her mom and besties to see if she’s hinted at any ring styles in the past. She’ll appreciate that you went the extra mile to ensure you pick out a ring she’ll love!

Pick out the gemstone

Of course, we can’t forget to talk about the rock! If your sweetheart is more non-traditional you might pick a unique gem like morganite or sapphire, but most likely you’re looking to buy a diamond. When shopping for a diamond you’ll want to keep in mind the four C’s: cut, color, clarity and carat. These are the four universal standards for judging a diamond. While you’re shopping it’s important to balance these four standards with your budget. For example, you may decide a lower carat with greater cut and clarity is the best use of your budget. Or, if you’re going for a larger carat you may have to sacrifice a little on the color. Educating yourself before you shop will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed when the jeweler starts describing each diamond’s characteristics.

Pick out the precious metal

These days there are many more options for the ring setting than standard yellow gold. If you’re looking for a more durable or hypoallergenic ring, platinum is a great choice. This stunning, naturally white metal won’t fade over time so it will never need to be replated. For a gold setting you have a choice of white, yellow and rose gold in various karats. Since gold is a softer metal, karats are a measure of the percentage of gold compared to the other metal alloys that make up the ring. A higher karat will have a more saturated color, while lower karats result in a softer, paler shade. Again, the level of karat will be another way you can customize the ring to fit your budget.

Don’t forget the band

Although you’re probably not purchasing a wedding band at the same time, it’s important to think about how the ring will eventually look when paired with a band. Ask the jeweler to show you some band options or you may even pick a ring that has a matching band designed to fit with it. Ultimately you just want to avoid picking an engagement ring that will be difficult to pair with a band if you know your fianceé will want to wear both. Some women may prefer to wear only an engagement ring, which means you’ll want to really pick a stunning one!

Make it a surprise

Depending on your partner’s personality, you may want to have them join you for part of the engagement ring shopping. Some women may have a stronger opinion on the type of ring they want and it can be a fun and romantic experience shopping together. If you end up enlisting your partner’s help engagement ring shopping, try and still make the final decision a surprise. Seeing the look on her face when you reveal the ring you’ve chosen will be worth it! 


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