Choosing an engagement ring is incredibly intimidating for a number of reasons. For one, engagement rings are extremely personal gifts, meant not only to be bestowed upon another person but to represent how well you know that person. It’s meant to be kept for the rest of your future spouse’s life, too. If they don’t like it, they may take it as a sign that you didn’t take their taste into account — and it’s simply not fun to wear a ring that you don’t feel excited about!
Of course, even if you know exactly what you’re looking for in terms of an engagement ring’s design, there are more technical aspects to take into consideration, as well. These include the types of diamonds you’re looking at — in respect to their hardness, clarity, and luster — as well as the type of metal you’ll be seeking for the band. With all that in mind, you may want to seek out a custom ring. No matter what, you’ll want to be extremely careful when selecting a jeweler to work with.
Engagement rings are also major investments. They often represent a significant expense and you may very well end up paying for them in installments. The last thing you want is to spend a substantial amount of money on a piece of jewelry that isn’t really worth it and could even more easily damaged than it should. While diamonds are the hardest natural substances in the world, ranked as a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, this doesn’t mean that they can’t ever become damaged. With that being said, let’s look into some of the things you should know when shopping for an engagement ring.
1. Be Aware That You Can Upgrade Later
If you’re shopping with a limited budget and are debating getting engaged in the first place, you probably be aware that you can upgrade a ring later. While this doesn’t mean sacrificing in quality now, perhaps you should consider buying a smaller diamond or a ring without additional diamonds in a halo setting. When you’re more financially stable at a later date, you can upgrade the ring by changing the setting, adding diamonds, or switching the first diamond out for a larger one. You should really prioritize that quality over size initially. For that matter, this should also make it clear to you that if your future spouse’s preferences change later, you can change the ring a bit then.
2. You’ll Probably Buy Your Diamonds And Settings Separately
Depending on the jewelry store that you work with, you may very well end up buying your diamonds or diamond separately from the setting of your ring. At the very least, you’ll probably need to pick out your center stone apart from the rest of the ring. The main case in which this will work differently is if you’re shopping for an antique engagement ring, which will come pre-set. There are a lot of benefits to buying an antique ring, but they’re definitely for a specific clientele; many feel superstitious about buying a “used” ring. This is why many choose either a custom ring entirely or a ring in which they can pick out the stone and setting themselves.
3. Focus On The Cut
Unless you’re willing to spend a lot of money on a diamond, you probably won’t want to choose one that has perfect clarity and luster. But there are ways to compensate for minor flaws or a lower level of clarity or luster in the diamond — namely, in choosing the right cut. Many jewelers recommend prioritizing the diamond’s cut above all else for this reason.
4. You’ll Need to Plan Ahead
With all the work that goes into creating an engagement ring, you can’t assume that it will be finished in a rush. A great ring takes time to make and a lot of rings are only made once your order is placed. You should order your ring well in advance, and consult with your jeweler about the timeline. But certainly, you should expect to need at least six weeks of waiting time.
No matter what, be excited! This is a happy time in your life. But as with any big purchase, be educated about what you’re doing.