Buying an engagement ring is a very old tradition that still remains popular today.
What’s more, with the invention of social media, people can quickly share photos of their engagement rings with their social circles. This means you may feel under more pressure than ever before to make the right purchasing decision. You need to balance the romantic symbolism of the ring, with the practicalities of jewelry shopping for a special individual. With that in mind, here are five practical things to consider when buying an engagement ring:
Any engagement ring you buy will most likely be worn by your future wife every single day for years, if not decades. The majority of women prefer not to have to remove wedding rings for hobbies, sporting activities or daily work. So, you need to think about your bride-to-be’s everyday lifestyle and how any ring you buy will fit into her life. For example:
Is she very athletic and into playing physical team sports? Does she enjoy activities like swimming, skiing, snowboarding, and surfing? Consider how she will be using her hands to handle sports equipment and sports gears when looking at rings. That said, if the sports are particularly physical, or if she competes in official competitions, she may have no choice but to remove all jewelry.
Does she regularly enjoy activities that require getting her hands dirty, such as gardening, cooking or painting? In such cases, a ring with a single prong setting will be easier to clean. Meanwhile, a ring with lots of grooves on the band and multiple gem settings may prove annoying to keep clean.
What type of job does she have? Does she work with her hands in the landscaping, welding, beauty or catering industry? If so, you might want to opt for a ring that has flat gems as opposed to elevated diamonds. Sharp, pointed gemstones are more likely to catch on equipment. If she works in the care industry looking after vulnerable adults or young children, you might want to choose a more practical ring.
- Personal Style
How does your girlfriend like to dress in social settings, at work and when she is just hanging out in the house? Take note of the colors, patterns and fabric choices she makes for her clothes. Does she like to match her clothes to her shoes and current jewelry? While many women like to alter their style on daily basis, your partner-to-be most likely has a common style theme running through all her looks. Just looking at her jewelry collection will help you to see the types of rings she likes. Ideally, you want to choose a ring that goes with everything.
- Ring Size
Getting the size right is very important. While it can be possible to get a ring resized, the cost and difficulty will depend on the design you choose. What’s more, you don’t want to ruin the perfect proposal buy presenting your fiancée-to-be with a ring that is too big or too small. Having to return the ring to the jewelry store for resizing can make the best proposals somewhat anticlimactic.
You can find out what her ring size is without her knowing buy placing one of her existing rings onto a ring-sizing tool. Just make sure you pick one that you know she wears on her ring finger. You could also ask her friends if they know what her ring size is, but make sure you can trust them not to tell your bride-to-be and ruin the surprise.
If she doesn’t really wear any rings, you might have to find more creative ways to find out her ring size. Some people have managed to do this by measuring their fiancée-to-be’s ring finger with a piece of string while they are asleep. You could also go to a jokes fair where you know there will be lots of cheap plastic gaudy cocktail ring stands where everyone tries on rings for fun.
If you have never bought an engagement ring before or done any research into the marketplace before, prepare to be shocked: the price of items you like are almost certainly going to be more than you think. Fortunately, however, there are options for every budget and most every jewelry store offers affordable financing options. You may need to start prioritizing different factors in order to find the right ring in your price range.
It’s important to calculate the maximum amount you can afford to spend before you start shopping. This is especially true if you plan to use credit options to purchase the ring, as you will need to keep making payments long after your engagement or even marriage depending on the length of the payment plan. Don’t put your married life finances at risk by getting into more debt than you can realistically afford to fund an engagement ring purchase. Remember, your future spouse will not want you to remember the beginning of your marriage as being a miserable time when your were stressed about money.
For most people, an engagement ring is a sizable investment. You wouldn’t buy a new car without insurance and a dealership warranty and you shouldn’t buy expensive jewelry without protection either. You need to consider the possibility of theft, loss, accidental damage and more when you are buying a small, valuable ring. Only buy from jewelers that offer a lengthy warranty and make sure you take into account the cost of insurance when calculating your maximum budget. Keep in mind that you can often save money by purchasing engagement ring insurance from an independent provider.
If you don’t wear jewelry yourself, you might not appreciate why you need to invest so much time and money into a small piece of jewelry. The truth is, however, that you are buying an item that symbolizes your commitment to the women you hope to spend the rest of your life with. If you take note of the five practical considerations outlined above, you will have more time to focus on the fun and emotional side of engagement ring shopping.