The Right Ring for Ms. Right

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So, you’ve met the one and it’s time to go ring shopping. Yikes! Now, not only do you have to go to the mall, you have to drop thousands of dollars on this little piece of metal with the tiniest little rock on it (even if it is 2.5 karats) just to prove to the world that you love your girl. It’s like — what?! But whatever, it’s tradition and you have to do it. And you should want to do it. After all, this is the ring that holds the promise of a wonderful life together.

When this time has come, knowing exactly which ring to choose can be quite difficult. You walk in the store and all these strangers start peering at you from behind the counters and you’re like — “What?! Get away from me.”. Then you think to yourself “Ok, well, this guy looks good.” so you ask him if you could see the ring that you think you want for your girl. The jeweler reaches into this pristine, glass showcase and hands you the ring. This is when you begin asking yourself “Alright, what are we looking at here?”. The jeweler, which has been doing this for 30 years immediately sees the look of confusion on your face and starts right in with “What you’re looking at there son is a 1.5 carat,  brilliant cut, D color, flawless diamond engagement ring. You’re like, “Right.” but you have absolutely no idea what the dude just said and why it costs $19,500. In this article, we show you the things you need to know.


1. Ring Size

The first thing you need to know is the size of her ring finger. If she wears a ring everyday, one thing you can do if you’re trying to be discreet is ask her if you could see her ring. Get her to take it off and put it on your finger. When it’s not even close to fitting make a joke of it by saying something like “Look at this thing, what size ring do you wear?” When she tells you, hand it back to her and pay her a compliment on either the ring itself or her hand. This will divert her attention from the question and then BOOM – you’ve got the information you need and she never suspects a thing. Or if you can get away with it, nab one of the rings she always wears when she’s away for a day or two and ask a jeweler to tell you the size of it. If you’re a couple shopping together and she’s not sure of her size, get her sized for free at any local jewelry store or click on the image below to download and print the handy guide provided by tiffany.com.


2. Silver, Gold or Platinum?

Once you know her size the next thing you might want to figure out is if she prefers silver, gold or platinum. If she doesn’t have a preference, go with what you see her wear most or what you think will suit her the best. If she doesn’t wear or own jewelry, just choose whichever you feel most confident with and what you will want to see her in every day.


3. Shape

shape


4. Cut

cut


5. Clarity

clarity


6. Color

color
 


7. Carat Weight

Aah, now for the part that’s familiar to us all and is known to cause the most anxiety. Carat weight. This is perhaps the most and least important factor in choosing the right ring. It’s the part of the ring that unfortunately some women value their worth on and that some men value themselves upon. In either case, it breaks my heart to think about.

It breaks my heart that a woman could think that little of herself and the one she says she loves to place such an emphasis on this particular characteristic of what is meant to be a unique symbol of commitment, promise and love. It breaks my heart she may truly worry about impressing her girlfriends and people she doesn’t even know by flaunting the size of her diamond. And it breaks my heart that she may truly feel the one she is about to spend the rest of her life with is less of a man than others, a failure or a cheapskate if he cannot afford an expensive ring but still wants to marry him and despite knowing she feels this way, he still wants to marry her. It also breaks my heart to know that some men judge their worth and success by what size diamond they can afford. That they’re worried about what their guy friends will think of the ring they chose and what their fiancée’s girlfriends my say. And it truly pains me to know that some men judge themselves and feel like less of man if they can’t afford a ring that compares to what her girlfriends wear or what his guy friends have bought for their wives. All of this saddens my heart and makes me question people but nonetheless, these are real issues that many deal with.

With that being said, let’s get one thing clear. The carat weight on its own, does not determine a diamond’s value. Two, one-carat stones can be wildly different prices when cut, clarity and color are taken into consideration. You can choose to get a large stone with lots of imperfections for the same price of a small stone with nearly no imperfections. If you’re the type of person mentioned above, I’d suggest going with the bigger diamond. Most likely, no one is going to see these imperfections unless they carry around a loupe in their pocket or ask a lot of questions. If you’re not worried about impressing anyone, I’d suggest not placing emphasis on this particular aspect of the ring and focus on really getting to know your girl so that you are able to pick out the right ring for her regardless of diamond size. Click on the image below to download and print the Diamond Carat Size Chart provided by bluenile.com.

carat-size-chart

 


8. Setting

After choosing a center stone it’s time to decide on a setting. This is less important if you’re choosing a ring right out of the showcase but if you’re designing a ring, it’s very important to know your settings. The setting (or ‘mounting’ in industry terms) is responsible for presenting and securing the stone. It’s the ring upon which the stone sits. With the exception of the stone itself, it determines the overall look and feel of the ring. There are too many types of settings to list but one of the most popular is unquestionably the classic prong setting. If a five year old were to draw a picture of an engagement ring the prong setting is what what the ring would be sitting on. However, other popular settings include bezel, three stone and ornate vintage style settings. If your bride-to-be is active or atheletic, the smart choice may be to go with a flat setting. The classic prong setting can easily get caught in hair, snag clothing, scratch people and can be hard to fit in gloves. Perhaps a bezel or maybe even a channel setting would be most appropriate. With a high prong setting, the active bride also runs the risk of hitting the ring against something and potentially loosing the stone.


9. Cost

Lastly, and perhaps most concerning is how much you should spend on an engagement ring. The idea is that this is something you’ll only do once so take the time to save if you have to and spend what you can. It’s one thing if you’re in love, are anxious to show her your commitment and can’t afford something too expensive but if you have the money to spend and you don’t just because you’re trying to save a few pennies, this shouldn’t be the thing to go cheap on. This is the ring that holds the promise of a wonderful life together. Make it special. The old ‘rule’ of thumb is to spend equal to two or three months pay. This isn’t something you should probably pay any particular attention to. It’s just clever marketing started by De Beers jewelry company in the 1930′s to get returning soldiers with an itch to get hitched to spend as much as possible. If you make $150k a year, you’re still not rich by any means and I wouldn’t advise or feel good myself about spending $37,500 on a ring. It’s just not necessary. Rest assured you can get a very nice ring that she will love and will both dazzle and impress for a lot less. If you don’t have the means for the ring you’d like to get for her right now but still really want to propose, I wouldn’t suggest holding off. Get what you can afford and propose. Her reaction may just surprise you. She may think what you picked out for her is just perfect. If you know or can tell there’s something left to be desired, there’s always the option of upgrading in the future. Just don’t plan on trading in or selling that first ring to put towards the upgrade. I hope for most women, the sentimental value alone will be too much to part with. No matter what you decide, be sure to get something you can afford. The last thing you want to do is start your marriage thousands of dollars in debt due to the cost of the engagement ring. This money could perhaps be better spent on your first home, a wedding, a honeymoon, a college fund for your children or put aside in an emergency fund in case something goes wrong. Remember that no matter which stone or setting you choose the main thing that’s going to differentiate the ring you give her from her girlfriends ring is that it’s from you — so just be sure it’s special and has significance.

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