How to Choose the Perfect Engagement Ring for Your Proposal
Are you finally ready to propose to your partner but aren’t sure which ring you should buy? Here’s how to choose the perfect engagement ring for your proposal.
Do you know which lucky lady received the very first diamond engagement ring?
According to tradition, it was Mary of Burgundy, who received a diamond engagement ring from Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477. Unbeknownst to the Archduke, he was starting a trend that would continue all the way down to our day.
Chances are, you’re not a duke. Still, you no doubt want the special woman in your life to feel like royalty.
If you’re ready to pop the big question–but clueless about engagement rings–you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ll outline everything you need to know to choose an engagement ring she’s sure to love. Read on!
What’s Your Budget?
The most expensive engagement ring ever was given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton.
The impressive 33-carat diamond was valued at a cool $8.8 million.
The good news is you don’t have to spend millions on a ring for your girlfriend. While the average cost of an engagement ring is $5,855, you can find plenty of beautiful options in the $1,500-$2,500 range.
If you have plenty of savings and want to splash out more, you can too. The point is–determine how much you have to spend before you start shopping.
You want to please your future wife, of course–but you shouldn’t go into massive debt to do so. A great rule of thumb is to buy the nicest ring you can realistically afford.
Surprise or Team Effort?
Traditionally, it was the man’s role to surprise his girlfriend with an engagement ring and a proposal.
Some women still love the idea of being surprised. Others prefer to go with their boyfriend and select an engagement ring together.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. It really depends on your girlfriend’s personality and other factors, such as already having a ring (family heirloom) she plans to wear.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll assume you’re planning to surprise your girlfriend with an engagement ring you’ve chosen yourself.
Determine Her Ring Size
While it’s always possible to resize a ring, wouldn’t it be better if it fits her perfectly the first time?
Of course, if you’re planning to surprise her, asking what size ring she wears might be a bit of a giveaway.
Your best bet is to “borrow” a ring she isn’t wearing and bring it to a jeweler to get measured. Try to snag it from her jewelry box the next time you’re at her place. You might also enlist a trusted friend or family member to swipe it for you.
A word of caution though: Make sure it’s a ring she doesn’t wear often, or else she might notice it’s missing!
Learn Her Style
With an endless variety of stones, metals, shapes, and settings, how can you know what style engagement ring she’ll love?
It’s time to tap into your inner James Bond and do some serious reconnaissance work. Here are a few things to take note of:
- Does she wear mostly gold or silver jewelry?
- Is her jewelry simple and understated, or flashy and glamorous?
- Is she into the latest fashion trends, or is she more natural and down-to-earth?
- Does she love the latest and greatest, or are classic and vintage more her style?
Pay special attention to these details and you’ll get an idea of what style ring she’ll like. If you’re still unsure, you could ask her sister or a close friend–just swear them to secrecy first!
What Type of Metal?
If your girlfriend wears mostly yellow gold, you’re probably safe buying a yellow gold engagement ring.
What if she wears more silver? You have a few options here: platinum, white gold, or silver all have a similar appearance.
There are pros and cons to each type of metal. Gold will keep its luster for a long time, but because it’s a soft metal, it will wear down quicker. Platinum is durable and long-lasting, but its initial luster will fade over time.
If your girlfriend is on the untraditional side, you might also consider an alternative metal like rose gold or palladium.
Diamond Quality: The Four ‘C’s
Here’s a very basic rundown of how diamonds are classified. For simplicity purposes, we’ll call them “the four ‘C’s.”
- Cut: The angles and proportions of the stone (how much it sparkles).
- Color: Ranges from D (completely colorless) to Z (pale yellow).
- Clarity: The number of imperfections (inclusions) in the stone.
- Carat: The weight (and therefore size) of the diamond.
If this all sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry. Your local jeweler will be able to explain all of this in more detail.
Shape and Setting
The final decisions you have to make are which shape and setting to select.
The most common shapes for diamond engagement rings are:
You may elect for a simple, classic solitaire. Three-stone rings and solitaires flanked by smaller pave diamonds have also become popular in recent years.
A Tiffany setting is the most classic choice, but it’s not the only one. A Bezel setting is more secure and a good choice for a woman with an active lifestyle. Other women love the look of a twisted vine engagement ring
Of the two, the shape is more important than the setting. A skilled jeweler can match the shape of the diamond to the right setting (and make it look larger in the process). To get an idea of different styles, shapes, and settings, check out the selection of rings at Bel Viaggio Designs.
Ready to Pick the Perfect Engagement Ring?
Well, there you have it!
In the past few minutes, you’ve learned everything you need to know to select an engagement ring for your soon-to-be-fiancee.
We don’t know your girlfriend, but we’re pretty sure she’s going to be ecstatic when you pop the big question.
Speaking of which, you’ll soon have a wedding to plan! Click here for some expert tips on how to plan your own wedding.