Choosing an engagement ring can easily become an ordeal. Just thinking about the pressure and social expectations can be enough to completely ruin the experience. The truth is that if you're well-prepared, buying an engagement ring can be pretty exciting – after all, this is a kind of gift you give your loved one just once in their lifetime. Here are 5 key tips to help you choose a perfect engagement ring.
1. Choose the band
The band is basically that circular part of the ring that sits around the finger. Most of the time it's made of silver, gold, platinum or a combination of metals. Know what type of metal to choose – you don't want a jeweller take an advantage of you just because you can't tell the difference between gold and white gold. If you're considering a golden band, you should know that it's pointless to buy a diamond with a high colour grade for it – it will look slightly yellowish anyway.
2. Pick the setting and gemstone
What is the setting? It's basically that piece of metal that holds the gemstone in place. You can either choose a pronged or invisible setting – this is largely a matter of taste. In some rings, you might find the setting and band made from different metals, for instance gold band and platinum setting.
What about the gemstone? Most of the time, it's a classic diamond. It doesn't matter whether you're picking Monroe Yorke diamonds or other types, what you need to know are the four C's: the carat, colour, clarity and cut.
3. How to figure out the ring size
One way to learn about the size of the band is simply sneaking out one of her rings and giving it to a jeweller to measure. Just make sure it's not one of her favourites. Or you can trust your eye and assess whether your girl has slightly smaller or larger fingers than the average 7.
If you're not sure, you can always have your ring resized – just remember that it's easier and less expensive to size a ring down than make it larger. Also, if you end up proposing with a ring which is too small, she won't be even able to wear it for a second!
4. Choose the right jeweller
Sometimes the price doesn't guarantee quality. Choose a store which makes you feel at ease and where staff is pleasant and genuinely helpful. Pick a place which fits your budget range as well – you don't want to find a perfect ring only to find out that it's way beyond your limit.
One way to ensure that you're picking a reliable professional is by checking that the jeweller is registered with an association, organisation or society which certifies jewellers in your country. Also, check out Yelp reviews and see what other people are saying about the provider. You can ask your married friends for recommendation too. Have a look at this article for some essential basics.
5. Know your diamonds
Let's get one thing clear – all diamonds will look the same to your at first. That's just how the world works. Still, it's in your interest to learn more about diamonds because they're easily the best pick – they're enduring and they match everything.
Diamonds don’t lose their polish and never get scratched. The only time when it's alright to deviate from a diamond is when you know your girl loves another stone or she has explicitly mentioned how diamonds aren’t really her thing.
If you feel the pressure getting into you, you can always resort to a mock-ring for the actual engagement and suggest that you go to buy a ring for her together. If done right this could be a perfectly romantic gesture that she'll remember for the years to come.