How To Buy An Engagement Ring: The Ultimate Guide for Men

The original article was written by Jessica Blanc and published in Fashion Magazine

Are you looking for a flawless engagement ring and feel anxious about it? It sounds like solving a complex equation with multiple unknown variables. Perhaps you have never purchased an engagement ring before, and you wish to be absolutely confident that your fiancée will love the ring, and she will not be displeased. Don't worry, as you have got it covered here. In this article, you can find the necessary information required to buy the right ring and evade any mistakes made by most men while selecting this life-transforming piece of jewelry. Here goes:

1. BUDGET

First of all, the most crucial step is to decide your affordable budget to buy the ring. In this regard, the largest diamond trader, DeBeers, proclaimed that a perfect ring should not cost you more than 2—3 monthly salaries. Perhaps, this is an obsolete way of assigning your budget, and you should not spend an amount you cannot afford. Therefore, it is better to keep it simple: you should pay for the engagement ring any amount you can afford without making extraordinary sacrifices: i.e. if your monthly income is under 2000 euros, it will not stretch you to allot 500 euros for the ring. However, if you have decided to purchase an exclusive diamond ring worth 10,000 euros or more, you should have at least some savings or a decent income situation.

Nonetheless, your choice of ring undoubtedly depends on your budget in the first place. If you cannot afford an expensive ring, you shouldn't feel mortified, and you don't need to borrow money to afford it. Your fiancée won't feel comfortable with a $5K ring on her finger with her fiancé indulging in unwanted debts.

2. RING DESIGN/STYLE

If you cannot work out the ring style cherished by your girlfriend, there are a few tricks to assess it. First, you can evaluate the jewelry she is already holding. This is the easiest method to get an idea about her penchants. You can judge if her jewelry is more of a classic style, or maybe she is into vintage stuff. The second way to explore is to follow popular & contemporary trends and statistics. During the last few years, engagement ring stores have reported the trends of classic, elegant, and minimalistic styles of rings.

Popular Ring Styles


Pave Style

Prong Style

Halo Style
  

3. SETTING/METAL

For the last 100 years or more, people have opted for gold and platinum rings for their engagements. Actually, you cannot go wrong with these two precious & stylish metals. In recent years, yellow & rose gold options have been gaining popularity; however, every girl might not relish them. Hence, if you are not confident about metal, it is better to keep the customary style and opt for a platinum ring.

4. GEMSTONE

The choice of gemstone is a complex yet significant part of a ring design. It is imperative to learn which gemstone will embellish your engagement ring. The traditional way is to choose the natural diamond. However, you must realize that it is not the only stone with lovely sparkles. Yet, it is the most expensive stone. Primarily, diamond is still the topmost desirable option for many people. According to experts and traders, it is a rare gemstone. Moreover, they also claim it to be the most expensive – even if experts believe that diamond cartels control the supply to keep it expensive artificially. Here are some important thoughts regarding diamond types:

  • Natural Diamond

First of all, you should ask yourself if you can afford a natural diamond. If your budget is less than 1000 euros, you may afford only a small diamond stone. Frankly, I won't suggest spending a large sum of money on a tiny 0.3-carat diamond. In such a scenario, my suggestion is to look for an alternative. Some better options have been elaborated on below. Nonetheless, if your budget is big enough to afford a rare stone, you must contemplate the following four parameters:


The 4Cs of Diamond Quality

Usually, the experts associate the quality of a diamond based on the following four Cs:

  • Color
  • A simple rule of thumb is that the more colorless the diamond is, the better and more expensive it is. Therefore, you must always look at the color to get a general idea regarding the price of a diamond. 

  • Carat (Weight)
  • I suggest opting for diamonds of 1.0 carat or more. If you cannot afford such a gemstone, you must go for an alternative. I recommend this option because it is not worth buying a tiny micro 0.2 carat stone for the sake of having a diamond. 

  • Clarity
  • Natural diamonds always contain some impurities, and it is a pretty typical observation. However, if you can find a cleaner gemstone, it is much better. 

  • Cut 
  • The sparkles of a diamond depend on the perfection of its cutting process. This process is exceedingly complicated, as a diamond is the hardest stone on the planet, and it is extremely difficult to cut it in an exemplary fashion. Still, the experts will regard the perfect cut as 'Excellent' and the worst cut as 'Poor.'

    • Lab-grown Diamonds

    A lab-grown diamond is primarily the same gemstone as the natural diamond: both have the same visual, physical, and chemical characteristics. The only difference is their origins. A natural diamond is produced by millions of years of natural processes on Earth. On the other hand, a lab-grown diamond is developed by man in a laboratory. It undergoes an enormously complex and high-tech process in the lab, but the result is worth it. 

    The significant advantage of a lab-grown diamond is its 100% sustainability. Moreover, it is conflict-free, and its price is typically 30 to 50% less than a natural diamond. 

    Lab-grown diamonds have been gaining popularity in recent years. Experts predict that they will outgrow the natural diamonds to become the number 1 choice in the next few years.

    • Moissanite

    Henry Moissan first discovered a Moissanite in a crater created by a meteorite that had fallen to Earth long ago. Research studies conclude that Moissanites were born from the stars, and they are considered the best alternate options for diamonds. Visually, both these gemstones have similar optical features, and it is hard to distinguish between them. Besides, the brilliance of a Moissanite is higher than a diamond (i.e., 2.65 vs. 2.42).

    Moissanite is more affordable, so I recommend you opt for it if you cannot afford a diamond. It is a popular gemstone in the jewelry industry, and it is usually appreciated by people aware of it. Experts predict a boom in Moissanite jewelry in the forthcoming decade, as it will be opted by more people over the diamond – owing to its similar characteristics but lower cost.

    • Cubic Zirconium & Sapphire

    If your budget is below 300 euros, you can also opt for these two stones. However, you shouldn't expect extraordinary features in them. In fact, Zirconium appears like a fancy glass and can be promptly distinguished from a gemstone – even by non-experts with naked eyes.

    5. GEM SIZE

    As I have already mentioned, if you wish to impress your fiancée, you can go for a 1-carat engagement ring. But if you can afford 1.5 or 2-carat gemstones, they are much more sophisticated. Nonetheless, the most vital parameter to remember is the cost: the bigger the gemstone, the more expensive it is due to its rare occurrence on Earth.

    6. THE RING SIZE

    Here we go with the most challenging part when it comes to buying a ring for your fiancée or anyone. What can you do if you already don't know your girlfriend's ring size? Here are a few tips: 

    • Buy the ring from only those stores which offer complimentary resizing and carry a free return policy. 
    • If your girlfriend already wears rings, you can find a perfect moment to trace the ring on paper by drawing its circumference. Later on, a professional jeweler can find the correct size.
    • You can purchase an adjustable ring, and that's where you cannot go wrong. In this case, you don't need the exact ring size. During the last few years, such modifiable rings have become more popular. They have a user-friendly mechanism to adjust the ring on the finger directly. I believe that's the most plausible solution for you, as you'll not embarrass yourself in the most emotional moment if the ring doesn't fit properly. You don't need to return a ring for resizing with a flexible ring. 
    In summary, a perfect engagement ring should look like this: It is made from white gold or platinum, has a large 1-carat gemstone, and is size-adjustable.

    Where is the best place to buy an engagement ring?

  • Online Stores 
  • It is by far the most feasible solution. Due to modern technology, online stores have greater variety and much affordable price ranges. Most online stores offer the same quality as a physical store, and they provide expert assistance, accept returns, and you can find user evaluation & feedback regarding products. My recommendation is to visit a jewelry store in your vicinity, select a few rings and then visit online shops to explore something similar at a better price range. Usually, an online store dispatches the ring within 2 to 3 weeks, as most of them are crafting each order individually. However, you can also find stores that can deliver your required ring within only 1 to 2 weeks.

  • Professional Jewelry
  • If you have a personal and trustworthy jeweler who offers you fair prices, you can try this option too, and schedule a consultation. Normally, the manufacturing of a ring can take up to four weeks, which should be kept in mind.

  • Jewelry Store
  • Visiting a physical jewelry store is a viable option only if you have already compared prices with online stores or found a perfect ring at a discounted price in a physical store of your choice.

    After reading this article, you know how to select an engagement ring and where to find it. But, it would be best if you did not forget to evaluate various online & physical stores and compare options. Finally, it would help if you took full advantage of discounts and routine sales to find a perfect ring for your engagement. 

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