The engagement ring is arguably the second most important element of any proposal, directly after the couple professing their love for each other! There will be countless photos after the engagement, not to mention at the wedding, so the ring you choose needs to be chosen carefully. Some couples prefer to choose the ring together, while other couples prefer to keep the ring a surprise. Only you will know the right answer for your relationship dynamic. If you’re unsure of how to go about the process, here’s how you can pick out the perfect engagement ring.
Finalize Your Budget
While there’s a lot of stigma surrounding cheap wedding rings, it’s unwise to go into considerable debt to buy something beyond your means. If your partner is expecting a fancy ring that you know you can’t afford, you’ll need to have a frank discussion about expectations and decide if the relationship is really for you. Weddings can get expensive even without ring payments, and how happy will you be shouldering expensive monthly payments during the process, or well after you’re already married? It’s also easy to be pressured into buying a more expensive ring in the store, so having a finalized budget can save you a lot of pain later on.
Diamond inclusions are just about unavoidable since you’re dealing with natural stones. These inclusions can be various fluids or minerals but are often not very noticeable depending on the grade of stone. A diamond that is considered flawless will not have visible inclusions but will be much more expensive than other stones. However, even stones with chips, dark crystals, feathers, and graining can look phenominal in the right ring setting, and many people won’t notice the flaws unless they’re looking closely.
Be Open to Alternatives
While diamonds are the classic choice for engagement rings, they aren’t the only option. Different stones are becoming more and more popular. You can also get colored diamonds. Considering alternatives can allow you to find a larger stone with the same budget, and is a great way to make your partner happy if they tend to be unique or unconventional in their style. Many engagement rings were made with other materials beyond just diamonds in the past, so vintage rings are another option.
If you’re struggling to pick the perfect ring, a salesperson can usually help you narrow down all of your choices with your style preferences and budget in mind, but there are other ways you can get opinions. Picking out the ring with your partner can be a wonderful bonding experience you get to share together and remember forever. This helps to make sure they get a ring they absolutely love and that doesn’t need to be resized, which would take more time and money if the establishment won’t resize for free. If you want the ring to be a surprise, you can ask close family and friends to give you advice. If your partner has a Pinterest, you may find all the inspiration you need there!
Keep Personal Style in Mind
Ideally, an engagment ring will be worn forever, so you want to make sure it’s something your partner will want to wear every day. Will the unique ring you’re considering match with their typical outfit choices? Will they eventually want another ring set made of different metals to match other jewelry? If they work with their hands a lot, the materials you choose will require more thought. For example, amethyst fades in the sun. Some metals are scratched more easily than others. Opals and pearls look beautiful, but are soft and more likely to chip or break.
Picking the perfect engagement ring is a daunting task, but it’s certainly doable! At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you’re honoring the person you love most, and if you’ve discussed ring preferences before, chances are your partner will love the ring simply because you chose it for them.