7 Ways to Choose the Perfect Engagement Ring
Many of us have an idea in our head of exactly how proposing, choosing and selecting the perfect engagement ring is supposed to go down. Maybe right now you’re stressed about how you’ll fall short of this ideal scenario. Relax. There are many ways to pick the perfect engagement ring, and how you do it will depend on your style as a couple.
Do Your Recon
Determined to surprise her with a ring? Better do your recon. Maybe you’ve never paid much attention to her jewelry. Now it’s time to start. Does she prefer rose gold or platinum? What shape of stone? Does she like solitaires and simple settings or big displays of bling? You can peek in her jewelry box. But give special weight to the jewelry she wears most, as those pieces are probably her favorites.
Who knows her style best? Maybe her mom, sister or oldest friend. As long as they’re in favor of your union, a friend or relative will probably be happy to help. But if you want to keep it secret, ask only those who are most discreet. Her gossipy friend is not the one to take to the jewelry store with you.
Ask Her for Hints
If the two of you frequently reference “after we’re married,” the fact that you’re eventually planning to propose isn’t a big secret. Next time you get on the general topic, encourage her to give you a few hints. Ask her to send some links to photos or cut out a few magazine pictures of favorite styles. Or if you’re walking by a jewelry store, go in and browse together. Note which rings make her light up.
An engagement ring is a big purchase, and one you really want to get right. So take a few minutes to at least learn the basics. That is, the 4 Cs: color, cut, clarity and carat. The combination of these factors will add up to make a beautiful or not-so-beautiful ring, and intimately affect the 5th C: cost.
Think Outside the Jewelry Box
Or at least outside the box that contains a traditional ring with a clear diamond center stone. How about a colored diamond? Or a sapphire? Diamonds come in blue, pink, red and yellow, not just clear. And sapphires have been the engagement ring choice of royalty. If you’re hoping to marry someone daring and different, a colored stone might be perfect.
Some people really don’t like surprises. And if your intended falls into this category, you probably know it by now. Instead of surprising her with a ring, your proposal can be surprise enough. Then go shopping together. She gets exactly what she wants, and you won’t risk disappointing her.
A step beyond choosing a ring together, you can even design one together. This can be a fun bonding activity if you’re both design and art-oriented. And the finished product will not be like anybody else’s engagement ring. Nowadays you can even design your ring together online.
Reuse a Family Heirloom
Perhaps the perfect engagement ring is already in your family. Your mother or her grandmother might have worn the ring she’ll love most. This is a good choice for a traditional kind of bride who has a strong sense of family and who favors old-fashioned things.