Featured Image by Blane Marable
Besides the wedding dress, the engagement ring is arguably the first thing we think of when we think of marriage and proposals. The engagement ring is what many believe as the binding piece that ties two lovers together for life. It is a piece that lasts a lifetime and beyond. Receiving and giving an engagement ring is one of the most memorable moments couples experience. Due to its importance, you and your partner want to make sure you are both happy with the ring. There are millions of different styles out there, so selecting an engagement ring can seem overwhelming.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting an engagement ring:
Plan in Advance
Give time to the jeweler to size and perfect the ring. If you shop in person, some stores may not have the size readily available and you may not want the stock rings. If you plan to place custom details on the ring, make sure to allow for extra time. If you decide to engrave a date or name, be prepared to wait more.
Create a Budget
Knowing your budget is always a good starting point. Engagement rings come with a plethora of styles, and with that comes a large price range. Also make sure you decide where the ring will be purchased from, and in what form. Usually, a custom ring will have you paying extra due to it being one-of-a-kind. As for location, different jewelers price their rings differently. Besides craftsmanship, you will be paying for the brand or name behind the ring. Knowing a budget will allow you to plan and visualize the style of ring you want.
Understand the 4 C’s
Knowing the cut, clarity, color and carat weight of your dream ring will make the hunt for a ring much easier and enjoyable. These four characteristics are what make up the style and price of the ring you and your partner chose. There are various types of cuts, such as oval, cushion, pear, round, marquise, emerald, radiant, and many more. Knowing the cut, will narrow down you and your partners options. The next thing to consider is clarity. Clarity involves the amount of imperfections present in the stone. These imperfections are referred to as inclusions. According to the Gemological Institute of America, the scale starts at Flawless to Included. Inclusions are very difficult to notice, many of the times a ring in the very, very slightly included grade will appear flawless to the human eye. Color is next. The GIA scales color form D to Z. D being deemed as colorless and Z having a yellow color to it. One thing to keep in mind is that a colorless diamond is not necessarily always better quality than one that is yellow. You and your partner should decide the color based on preference. Next thing to consider is the carat size/weight of the ring. As we all know, the larger the diamond, the more expensive the ring will be. Knowing the size of the carat you and your partner want will allow you to get a better idea of the cost of the ring.
Shop Smart and Seek Certification
An engagement ring is not cheap and is a serious purchase that you and your partner need to be 100% sure about. Seek certification from the Gemological Institute of America or the American Gem Society. These laboratories have grading scales for every diamond and certify that what you are purchasing is indeed a ring of quality. When you and your partner receive the certification, make sure the diamond matches the certificate. You and your partner want to be sure that you are receiving a high quality diamond and not an inflated low quality diamond.
Diamond? Stone? Moissanite?
If you and your partner are open to different types of stones, you are in luck! If you are seeking a less conventional ring, you and your partner can look into a ruby, emerald, sapphire and many more. Engagement rings with gemstones as the central stone are not the most common, but make for a statement piece. If you and your partner are looking for a more eco-friendly option, look into moissanite. Today, most moissanite available is lab-made, therefore, mining is not required. Moissanite is more affordable, but also varies in price depending on size and if the stone is Premium. Moissanite is extremely durable and has a different brilliance than that of diamonds. Moissanite is becoming much more popular and common due to its sustainability and beauty.
Last but not least, remember that an engagement ring is important because of the sentiment and thought behind each ring. Every ring has its lifetime owner and everyone has their own preferences. A ring is meant to make you and your partner happy. These tips will make shopping for an engagement ring much easier and a better experience.
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