buying an engagement ring

engagement ring

Traditionally, when you pop the question, you surprise her with an engagement ring.

In today's world, you also have to decide whether to choose the ring yourself or let her be part of the process. A surprise is exciting, but consider letting the "will you marry me" be the surprise and take her along to select the rings.

Buying quality engagement and wedding rings can be overwhelming because of the cost involved. It's a major purchase, so choose a reputable jeweler. You should spend approximately 3 months salary on the ring. If you're on a tight budget, you can choose something modest and upgrade later on.

the setting

The setting is the mounting that will hold the stones. The hot trend is platinum, which is considered the highest quality because of it's denseness and durability. Other choices include white gold, yellow gold, and silver.

Select a practical setting that will stand the test of time. The rings will need to be comfortable as well as strong. It's worth the cost to order some engraving to the wedding bands to add some sentimentality.

the diamond

If you prefer classic, you might want a simple solitaire diamond. Modern stones don't have to be all diamonds. They can be other precious stones such as emeralds or rubies. If your bride loves color, there are many wedding sets available with a main diamond stone offset with smaller, side stones.

Baguettes are popular and can be the stone of your choice to compliment the diamond. It's easy to order custom rings but this will increase the cost and add some time until they're available for pick-up.

The Four "Cs" to Diamonds

  • Cut - The cut of the stone, such as round, heart, marquise, and pear.
  • Color - The color of the diamond. A clear, white diamond with no yellow undertones is desirable, and will cost more.
  • Clarity - Refers to blemishes in the stone.
  • Carat - The weight of the stone.

Your jeweler can explain in-depth what exactly to look for when choosing your wedding set. Most of them have a chart for you to refer to when it comes to cut, color, clarity and carat.

paying for the rings

Since engagement rings and wedding bands are anything but cheap, you'll have a few options to pick from when it comes to paying. You can put them on a credit card but there may be some benefits to avoiding this. Most stores have a layaway plan, unfortunately you won't receive your ring until it's paid.

Often, they have their own payments plans. Ask about them and you'll probably receive a few months interest-free upon approval, and you'll get the ring. Jewelers know that it takes effort to get the rings paid for, so they're willing to work with you. Negotiate. You can probably get some freebies too, such as free inspections and cleanings whenever you're in the area.


This is an easy one. If you don't know the size of your fiancé's finger, you can buy the basic size 6 or 7 and the jeweler will resize the ring for free. This is standard practice, so if they're not willing to do this, hesitate to do business with them.

Better yet, take her with you and that will eliminate the guesswork. Take into account that fingers have a tendency to swell up in warm weather, so make sure it's snug enough not to fall off but not too tight to be uncomfortable.

wearing your rings

Traditionally, wedding rings are worn stacked on the third finger of your left hand. First is the band (closest to your heart) and the engagement ring next. Some choose to wear the engagement ring first, band second because that is the order they received them. Wear the rings how you see fit, they mean the same thing together. After you're married, you can take your engagement ring and wedding band into the jeweler to have them soldered together.

related pages

today's tip

Not sure what she'd like and you want it to be a surprise? Observe her style and other jewelry that she wears. Get one of her friends to help if possible but choose someone that can keep a secret.