Think About The Big Picture First
In a professional, persuasive, friendly, fun tone: It may seem counterintuitive at first, but if you're planning to propose with a diamond engagement ring it's better to think about the big picture first. The idea is this: don't get caught up in the details of the stone itself. That is, don't obsess over knowing how many carats the diamond is or trying to figure out what kind of cut will make it look best. Instead, start by thinking about what setting you might prefer (for example, solitaire or pave), and then choose your diamond based on that setting.
To explain why you should do this in more detail: there are many different kinds of settings for an engagement ring, and each setting lends itself best to certain kinds of stones. For example, a solitaire setting has a single diamond set in gold or platinum without other stones around it; this kind of setting works best with a round-cut diamond. A pave setting has small diamonds around the band that makes up the ring; this looks good with any kind of diamond shape (round, square, pear-shaped). A halo setting has one larger stone surrounded by smaller stones or beads; this works well with a round or square stone.
Figure Out Your Budget
Before you even start looking at rings, it’s important to first figure out your budget. This will help you narrow down which styles are most appropriate for you and your partner. One way to do this is by viewing our blog post on the average cost of an engagement ring in the US.
Another tip? Pick a price range based on your lifestyle. For example, if your partner loves traveling (and you do too) it may be best to choose a less expensive option that will allow you more money in the future to travel together. No matter what, you don’t want to look back on your engagement and feel regret when it comes to how much you spent on the ring.
When you’re shopping for an engagement ring, keep in mind that there are many types of stones available and not all diamonds are created equal! The most popular cut for diamonds is round, but buying a non-round stone can actually be less expensive, so keep that in mind.
We recommend taking a visit to a local jeweler or scheduling an appointment with one of our experts before making any purchases to learn about the four Cs—color, carat, clarity and cut—of the diamond you’re considering.
Set Aside A Day To Go Engagement ring Shopping
Don't feel like you have to get it done all in one day, though. If you find something that's perfect but it needs some extra touches or it might take a little more time than expected, don't feel pressured into making an immediate decision! Take the time you need and come back later when things aren't feeling so overwhelming.
Research Rings Online—And Then Put Down Your Laptop!
If you're not sure where to begin when it comes to picking out the perfect engagement ring, start by taking a look at our step-by-step guide. It'll help direct you through what can seem like an intimidating process and ensure that you get exactly what you want (and, more importantly, what she wants). As for the actual shopping: we recommend doing your research online—here and elsewhere—to get a feel for what kind of style, setting, price range, etc., is right for you. Then, once you've done your homework and have a better idea of what you're looking for, put down the laptop and head over to a jeweler! We know it can be tempting to spend hours browsing rings online—in fact, we do it all day long—but there's no substitute for the real deal. You'll be able to see how the stones "catch" the light in real life (for example, diamonds are most beautiful in natural daylight), which will give you a better sense of how they'll look once they're on your hand. Plus, after looking at pictures for so long, everything starts to blend together! Seeing them in person will make all the difference as far as narrowing down your options.
Find A Jeweler You Trust
One of the most important parts of choosing an engagement ring is finding a jeweler you trust. I prefer to deal with family-owned businesses that have been in operation for decades, but there are many terrific jewelers out there that are newer and/or larger chains. The key thing is to find one that you can trust, so take your time. Call around and meet the salespeople before you make any decisions. If the salesperson is pushy or tries to pressure you into buying something that day, or if he or she doesn't seem to know what they're talking about, move on. You want someone who will take their time with you and explain all of the options without making it seem like a hassle.
When you visit a jeweler's store for the first time, make sure that you look at every aspect of how they do business before making any decisions.
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