How to Choose the Perfect Ring in 10 Steps
So, you’re ready to pop the question. But with all the settings, diamond cuts, precious metals, and additional details to consider, how do you navigate past the not-quite-right engagement rings to the one that’s sure to take her breath away?
1. Don’t Panic.
First things first, you wouldn’t even be considering a ring if you weren’t ready to take this step. So, shake it off and take a deep breath. Remember, this is a beginning you’ve already started. There’s a lot of pressure in society on finding the perfect engagement ring and throwing the perfect wedding, but the truth is: this is about you and her. If you keep her in mind from the beginning, the details will come easily and finding the ring won’t seem like the most impossible task in the world.
2. Think of Her Style.
Remember what we mentioned about “keeping her in mind”? This is literally where you begin. You probably have a starting idea on what her style is: her clothing choices, her go-to accessories, her favorite colors, and the list goes on. Take note on her favorites:
- Does she like the elegance of smaller, delicate jewelry?
- Does she favor the wow factor of a flashy center piece?
- Does she tend toward the whimsical and eclectic?
Write down what she wears when you go to a party together; write down the precious metals she wears the most (yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, etc.); keep in mind what she considers her style. Honestly, you don’t have to write everything down. Mental notes work just fine, too.
Next, ask yourself this question: what’s her day-to-day like? Does she work with her hands a lot, or stay fairly active all day? This is a minor detail that sometimes gets forgotten. It’s not all about the fashion; this ring must fit her lifestyle as well as her style.
Most importantly, do you know what she doesn’t like? Take note of that as well (like if she “can’t stand chocolate diamonds” or “could never see herself even considering a halo” or “has no idea why pave diamonds are even a thing”).
Knowing what she likes, what she doesn’t like, what she wears most, and what her day is like should be your number one guide to finding the perfect ring for her.[/vc_column_text]
3. Figure Out Your Budget.
Now, let’s talk money: finding a budget that works for you is crucial. Knowing your limit before you begin searching for engagement rings will ensure the biggest return of investment. All you need to do is find a budget that makes you feel comfortable, and stick within those limits. By keeping your budget in mind as you shop around, you will be able to focus on options where your dollar goes farther (but the ring still has a stunning design).
4. Don’t Panic!
Checking your “financial situation” might not be the most fun thing in the world, but it will save you grief in the future. You should never force yourself into unnecessary debt, no matter how beautiful the ring is. If you want to go big, awesome! Just be sure to give yourself some extra time to make a plan (see above).
5. Do Your Research.
Speaking of plans, now that you have her style in mind and your budget in hand, the search can begin. Online searches will definitely help narrow down the initial ring styles you’re considering. Browse jeweler websites and check out their look books, their collections, and their portfolios.
Pretty soon you’ll have a good assortment of options. Or, you’ll have a list of potential jewelers who seem interesting.
If you need to hold the ring to better visualize the end product, compile a list of jewelers you want to check out. Ask your married friends or your family for recommendations. Just be sure to always check reviews online before you commit.
This is a big decision. Choosing the right jeweler could make all the difference. In our experience, the highest quality rings come from experienced, well-respected and respectful jewelers who keep your interests as the focus.
Take the time to pay a visit to the jewelers in person. Go during your lunch break, or times that you can fit in your schedule. If you’re keeping the ring a surprise, go stealth mode and spread out your visits to minimize questions. If you’re both looking to find the ring as a couple, make sure you don’t burn yourselves out by visiting too many storefronts in one day. Take it one visit at a time to weigh which option is the one.
6. Consider the Current Trends
If you need more direct inspiration, take a look at current engagement ring trends. This year’s trends are growing more modern, more detailed, and more unique than ever. Here are some of the top engagement trends to look out for in 2017:
- Twisting/Woven Silhouettes
- Surprise Details/Elaborate Side Views
- Vintage Inspired Details
- Rose Gold/Mixed Gold Settings
- Colored Diamonds/Gemstones
- Fancy Cuts
When you’re about elbow-deep in options and starting to get that frantic, overwhelmed feeling, you can always test out your top options by asking casual—but significant—questions.
First, look to her friends and family: has she talked to them about any rings that take her breath away? If you still need more thoughts, you can always ask her. But, depending on how much of a surprise you want the ring to be, you might need to get a little stealthy.
Here are some scenarios where you could sneak in a question:
- Watching a commercial, snuggled on the couch, one of your ring options pops up.
- One of your friends gets engaged and shares pictures (of a ring type you’re considering) on Facebook.
- Walking past one of the jewelers in your mall, you see a type you’re considering in the window.
The trick is to phrase your questions in a way that won’t raise a flag. Dig deep and be cool (just don’t ask too many questions around the same time, and you’ll be golden).
“No one else should have a ring like hers.” Has this thought crossed your mind?
If you’re looking for something truly unique, can’t find the right style out there, and have an idea on what the right ring should look like, custom ring design is the perfect solution.
The trick is to collect your thoughts, her preferences, and all the inspiration you’ve gathered and bring them to a jeweler who can do a custom design, preferably on-site (for timing and better accessibility). The best custom jewelers will sit down with you to talk through everything:
- Budget and Timeline
- Diamonds and Gems
- Styles and Cuts
- Additional Details
- Concerns and Questions
9. Compare Your Options
Alright, you’ve come this far and the finish line is in sight. After the research and soul-searching, you might be down to a few options. This is where you dig the deepest: what ring screams “this is her”? For some this might be a gut decision that just feels right, and for others this might be a pro-con list. But, no matter which direction you go, this is a decision that you and you alone can make. (We believe in you!)
10. Seriously, Don’t Panic
Choosing the right ring is all about the details. But at the end of the day, no matter how much a ring will cost, no matter how many bells or whistles you add, no matter the stone, cut or color…the goal is to find a ring that tells your story.
You’re about to take a big step, but there is no need to worry. As long as you take the time to learn what’s out there, keep the most important things in mind, and take your time, you will crush this. We can’t predict the ring you will end up choosing, but we can guarantee one thing:
No matter which ring you decide is right, she will love it because you took the time to make sure it was right for her. She will love it because she will see the effort you put into it. And, most importantly, she will love it because she loves you. Best of luck to you!