Picking a Perfect Engagement Ring

Choosing the perfect engagement ring is an important part of any wedding whether you're a man buying an engagement ring for your girlfriend, a woman planning to propose to her boyfriend who has bought her own ring, or a couple buying the ring together. But there are countless ring styles and price points. How do you know which one is best for you? Follow these easy steps.

Tips for Men Buying Rings

Gentlemen, if you plan to propose to your girlfriend and it's a surprise, you need to do your homework. Pay attention to comments she makes about other women's rings. This will give you clues to her favorite styles.

Find her size. If possible, ask one of her friends. Otherwise, take a look at the jewelry that you know she wears on her ring finger. Borrow the ring to take with you to the jeweler or trace the inside of the ring onto a piece of paper.

Don't go with the cheapest ring you find unless that is all you can afford. If you budget is small, you'll have to shop around.

Things to Consider When Buying a Ring

Traditionally, men purchased engagement rings to surprise their intended. Today, many couples shop for engagement rings together. Either way, here are seven things to consider when buying a ring.

  1. Budget -- Traditionally, an engagement ring was supposed to be worth two months of salary. Today, purchase what you feel you can comfortably afford.
  2. Style - This includes such things as the cut of the diamond, the ring setting and type of metal. The ring should reflect the wearer's personal tastes.
  3. Shape -- There are 10 different diamond shapes: round, princess, emerald, asscher, radiant, cushion, marquise, pear, oval, and heart. Again, go with the wearer's personal preference.
  4. Metal - Engagement rings come in gold, white gold and platinum bands.
  5. Setting -- There are three setting types: classic solitaire, a fancy setting with side stones and a matching bridal set.
  6. Shop around before making a purchase. Find out about return policies and a store's adherence to the Kimberly Process. Learn about the three Cs. Cut. Color. Clarity.
  7. You may want to consider having the ring insured and later reappraised every few years.

Final Thoughts

If worst comes to worst and you dislike the ring your fiancé gave you, it is perfectly alright to voice your opinions. If you feel you'll hurt his feelings, wait a year before you say anything.

It is worth noting that while it is okay to voice your opinion, it is not okay to dislike a ring because it is not as large as you would have liked. Rings should only be exchanged for rings of equal or lesser values and should be exchanged because the new ring better reflects the woman's style and personal taste.

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