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10 Things to Think About Before Buying an Engagement Ring

Proposing to your girlfriend is an exciting milestone, for both you and them.

It represents the end of one chapter of your lives—but more importantly—the beginning of the next.

For most couples, the act of getting engaged is symbolised with the giving of an engagement ring from the man to his wife-to-be.

Some men choose to surprise, whereas some couples decide on a ring together. Either way, it’s a big purchase, and an important one at that!

Here are 10 things to think about before buying an engagement ring…

Learn about the ‘4C’s’

The 4C’s are the globally-accepted standard for describing the quality of diamonds. They refer to a diamond’s colour, clarity, cut and carat weight. Being familiar with the 4C’s enables you to talk about a diamond’s quality in a ‘universal language’, and helps you understand exactly what type of diamond you’re about to purchase.

Focus on the Things You Can See

Of all of the 4C’s, the diamond’s carat weight and cut are the most observable attributes to the naked eye: the carat weight influences the diamond’s perceived size, and the cut influences how much sparkle and brilliance the diamond has. Whilst colour and clarity are still important, you can often get away with imperfections that may only be visible under a microscope.

Future-Proof Your Purchase with a Diamond Certificate

When you buy a diamond with a certificate, you’re buying the assurance of knowing exactly what diamond you’re going to get. A GIA certificate is the ‘gold-standard’ of diamond certification. With this certificate, you’ll know your diamond’s measurements, colour, clarity and cut grade; as well as its weight, finish, polish, symmetry, fluorescence and proportions. Knowing these things will help you benchmark its value, and ensure you don’t get ripped off at purchase.

Think About the Wedding Band too

Looking towards the future, many women also wear a wedding band that is given to them on the day of the wedding. This is often forgotten about entirely when purchasing the engagement ring first. Not all engagement rings and wedding bands fit neatly together like the jigsaw puzzle that they should. This can result in avoidable frustrations and additional costs. Make sure that your engagement ring is compatible with any wedding band you may be planning on giving her in the future.

Know Your Budget and Think About Her Wishes

Asking how much you should spend on an engagement ring is like asking how long is a piece of string. The best advice is to find the sweet spot between her expectations and your financial circumstances. Once you know your budget and have thought about her wishes, you’ll be in a much better place for deciding on the right ring for you, for her and for current realities.

Shop Around to Buy With Confidence

The last thing you want is to rush into one of the largest purchases of your life only to realise that you’ve overpaid… once it’s too late! Start the process early to get a feel for the bang-for-buck you can expect when buying an engagement ring. If you receive a “good quote”, make sure that you verify that it is, in fact, a good quote. Working with reputable companies that offer a price-match guarantee is a good start.

Purchase from Someone you Trust

Buying an engagement ring is a very overwhelming experience for most people. After all, think about how much more a jeweller knows about this stuff than customers learning about it for the first time! It’s important to feel comfortable with whomever you decide to purchase with. There should be a relationship of trust, and certainty that they will deliver the best ring at the best price.

Don’t Buy from Common Retailers

Many ‘street-level’ retailers often have large overheads in running their shops. Big marketing budgets and high rent charges mean that these additional costs inevitably get passed on to you as the customer. When you avoid common retailers, you eliminate paying for a big chunk of these expenses, with those savings being passed on to you in the ring that you do decide to purchase.

Improvise Smaller Budgets With Clever Tricks

There are little ‘tricks of the trade’ you’re able to use to overcome budget limitations. For example, if you need to settle for a smaller diamond than you would like, you may choose to go for a halo setting that helps give the appearance that the diamond is bigger than it actually is. Similarly, choosing certain shaped diamonds—like emeralds—can also create optical illusions that make a diamond appear larger than they actually are too.

Give Yourself Time

There are a good few weeks between deciding on a ring and that ring ending up in your hot little hands. Add a few more weeks if you’re doing extra research and shopping around too. If you’re working towards a specific date for the proposal, you’ll want to give yourself as much time as possible to have ticked all the boxes without missing your timelines and adding additional stress.

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