So you are thinking of proposing to your girlfriend? Congratulations! But first you need an engagement ring. How do you know what the best engagement rings are?
When it comes to buying an engagement ring there are a lot of things to consider. What’s more, it’s probably the most important piece of jewellery you will buy in preparation for asking the most important question of your life. Also, you’ve probably never bought an engagement ring before, never had the need to read up about what is available, which are the best engagement rings.
To use an analogy it’s a bit like when your nan would buy you a video game for your birthday when you were little. The world of video games is completely alien to her, but it was very important to you at the time. I know I’m generalising here, but go with me! She had to rely on the sales person giving her advice on which is the best one to go for. Sometimes they would get it right, sometimes they didn’t. But you can bet the sales person would always be pushing the most expensive game.
This is similar to most men buying an engagement ring. It is an unknown world to most men, who need help deciding on the best engagement rings.
Here’s a few tips to help you find the perfect ring for your fiancée.
How much can you afford?
This is an important question to ask yourself before you start. The best engagement rings are usually pretty expensive. You don’t want to be a cheapskate here, but there’s no point in spending more than you can afford. Plus there is the whole wedding to pay for, assuming she says yes!
Normally the budget is at least 1 months wages (although here’s a report suggesting it is now down to 3 weeks). I personally don’t like this as a gauge of how much to spend. Your budget should depend on your own circumstances, which includes far more than how much you are paid. Do you live together, own/rent a house, maybe you have kids to support, other family or financial commitments that means a whole months wages just isn’t an option. Perhaps you still have your own place, or are living with your parents and you have plenty of spare cash, in which case you may be able to go a bit higher than 1 month.
The typical cost of an engagement ring is around £1,000 – £5,000. Depending on your budget there are some great ways to save some money.
What style does she like?
Another important question. There are loads of different styles, metals, gems, shapes out there. Take the time to notice what type of jewellery she normally wears. Does she prefer white or yellow jewellery? If white, does she go for white gold, platinum, or another type of metal?
Try to notice what shape of jewellery she prefers. Does she prefer square cut or round stones, are the stones clear like diamond of moissanite, or coloured like birth stones? Is the jewellery she wears typically quite fancy with lots of detail, or minimalist and modern looking?
Of course, the trick here is to try to glean this information without her knowing what you are up to. You are trying to build a picture of the type of ring she would like without being able to ask her. It may sound difficult, but if you really pay attention to the details it’s amazing how much you can learn. Not forgetting you presumably know her quite well already, so you may already know a lot of this. There are other ways to play detective here:
Does she have a look in jewellery shop windows when you are out for a walk? What does she look like?
Has any of her friends got engaged lately? What did she think of the ring? Was it too “show off”, or did she scoff at the size of the stone (Let’s hope for your sake that is not the case!)?
How to find the best engagement rings
Once you have an idea of what she might like, and a budget in mind it’s time to start looking around. As with buying a second hand car, there are several things to look out for to find the best engagement rings:
Carat – This is essentially the size of the stone, and is what a lot of jewellers use as an indication of quality (and price!). However, it’s probably the lest important metric when looking at engagement rings. The size of the stone is only important in the context of the ring itself, and how it will look on your fiancee’s finger. Try not to compare different rings purely on the carat rating.
Colour – When you see a clear stone, for example a diamond, it’s not always completely colourless. Natural flaws in the stone can give off a slight yellow or green tint. Generally the more colourless the stone the more expensive it is.
Clarity – The stone isn’t going to be 100% clear. Not surprisingly, the closer to 100% clear the stone, the more expensive it is.
Cut – Stones on engagement rings can come in a variety of shapes. The most common cuts are round and princess (square), but other cuts include emerald, asscher, oval and cushion.
The best engagement rings are those that get a “Yes” to your proposal. There are a huge variety of engagement rings available, but hopefully this has helped you to narrow down the field and find the perfect engagement ring for you and your fiancée.