The Guy’s Guide to Engagement Rings

If you’re intent on proposing to your girlfriend with the perfect ring, here’s a guide to shopping and picking out the ideal stone and setting.

Engagement Rings

So it’s time to buy the ring. Congratulation! But how exactly do you pick the perfect piece for your fiancé-to-be? Here’s what you need to think about before you start shopping.

Choosing the Gemstone

Even the most classic of antique engagement rings tends to feature a centre diamond. But maybe your girlfriend enjoys another sort of style. Here’s what to keep in mind: the majority of engagement rings tend to feature a diamond. The second most common gem is a sapphire. So these are pretty safe bets. Both stones are the hardest gemstones you will find so they’ll hold up well to everyday wear. Sapphires, however, cost considerably less than diamonds meaning you can get a bigger stone for your budget.

Gemstone Shape

Typically, diamonds are cut in ten standard shapes with round being the most common. Since round diamonds are the most popular, they tend to be the most expensive. You can save as much as 40% if you choose a different shape like princess cut or cushion cut.

Choosing a Precious Metal

Whether you’re considering modern or antique engagement rings, you’ll need to decide which metal your intended would prefer. The main choices are yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and platinum. White gold and platinum look very similar but platinum is a lot more hardy and about double the price. Pay attention to the type of jewellery your girlfriend wears to get an idea for which metal she prefers.

Thinking About Ring Style

Would your beloved prefer something modern or vintage? Sleek or detailed? Understated or blinging? Choosing the ring style and setting is often the most difficult decision when it comes to buying an engagement ring. To get an idea, think about your girlfriend’s style; what she wears; the type of furniture she likes. These should give you a couple of clues as to whether she’d prefer antique engagement rings, modern settings and so on.

Why Not Go For an Antique?

If your other half loves vintage décor, clothing and jewels, she’ll love an antique ring. Rings from earlier times are usually unique and come with their own sense of romance and history. Who could resist?

Should you Go Custom?

If you’re creative or you’re intent on proposing with a one of a kind ring, it’s worth considering going the custom-made route.

Setting the Budget

There’s not really any rule of thumb as to how much you ought to spend on the engagement ring. Simply spend what’s comfortable for you. The jeweller should be able to help you find an engagement ring that balances quality, size and priced to fit your budget. They’ll also tell you about lab-created gemstones which are highly budget-friendly. Another thing to consider is payment options.

What Size is the Right Size?

Determining your soon-to-be’s ring size without actually asking her can be tricky. But it’s not impossible. The most typical ring size for women is 6 – 6.5 and it’s usually a good idea to err on the larger side. Alternatively, sneak a ring from her jewellery collection and take it with you to be sized. You could even trace a ring of hers on a piece of paper to take shopping with you. Typically rings can be resized, though, just be sure to check with the jeweller.

What About A Semi-Surprise?

If you really want to surprise your other half with a ring when you pop the question, but you’re worried about getting the size and style right, you could buy the gemstone or diamond and have it set in a temporary setting. You can then have the stone re-set into a setting she loves once she’s said “yes”. Obviously this could be difficult with antique engagement rings.

Don’t forget to read up on the 4 C’s of diamonds before you head off to the shops and learn about ethically sourced diamonds, too.

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