Shopping for an engagement ring is likely one of the most daunting (and expensive) purchase choices you’ll make in a lifetime. The good part? You’ve chosen who you want to marry, so the rest should be a breeze in comparison.
Read on for our quick guide on how to choose the perfect engagement ring so you can finally buy it and start planning the ultimate wedding:
Figure out your budget
Tradition dictates that you should spend two months’ salary on a ring--but we want to set the record straight and flat out disagree with this very successful marketing campaign. Our customers are more than just our customers. We want to promote how important it is to take your current finances into account and how much you’re willing to invest in the piece.
Overstretching your budget might lead to a rocky path to marriage because other significant expenses, such as the wedding itself and the honeymoon, are on the horizon.
Once you’ve set a budget, stick to it. This will significantly help you arrive at a ring choice. Starting with a firm number will make the search easier, and your trusted partners at Washington Diamond are always happy to help you find the perfect ring.
Determine the kind of ring your partner will like
This may be the trickiest step yet -- after all, your partner will be wearing this ring every day for the rest of their lives.
It’s best to consider your partner’s daily style choices. Do they prefer classic fashion? Maybe edgy or non-traditional wear? Think about their current lifestyle as well, like whether they are currently active and would prefer a low profile ring that has a gem sitting close to the hand.
Feeling stuck? Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. This is where you call in the experts, such as your partner’s close friends and family members. If you think your partner would prefer it, don’t hesitate to involve them in the process as well.
Find out your partner's ring size
Figuring out your partner’s ring size involves more than just the circumference of the finger. It also relies on the shape of their finger and how they like to wear their jewelry.
If you’re unfamiliar with your partner’s ring size, one insider tip that you can follow is to try on one of their rings and mark where it hits on your finger. This is a good starting point, but it’s often best to stay safe and choose a slightly bigger ring. Many designs are easy to resize, but consult your jeweler first before making a decision.
Learn about the four Cs: cut, clarity, color and carat
Are you considering a diamond engagement ring? It’s time for you to familiarize yourself with the four Cs that determine the worth of a diamond: cut, clarity, color and carat.
Cut is all about how a diamond was shaped and sliced to increase brilliance. Clarity refers to the imperfections in the stone, with ratings that range from I3 (significantly visible imperfections) to FL (flawless, but very rare). Color is graded from the most desired, D (colorless), to Z (light yellow). Carat, as we’re sure you’re familiar with, refers to a stone’s weight. Larger carats mean larger stones and higher costs.
When you have a style in mind, it’s time to shop around. While browsing and ordering online can be a convenient option, it’s worth it to choose a brick and mortar establishment so you can get a feel for what it looks and feels like in person.
If you go with a reputable jeweler such as Washington Diamond, you also benefit from an expert jeweler’s decades of experience and knowledge to help you choose the perfect engagement band. Shopping local also significantly contributes to your community!
We can’t wait to help you choose the right engagement ring for you and your partner. Set an appointment online or call us at (703) 536-3600 and we'll help you make the right choice.