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Everything to Know Before You Purchase a Wedding Ring

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One of the most significant purchases in a relationship is an engagement ring. When it comes to picking out an engagement ring, it's important to keep in mind that attitudes toward marriage have evolved over time. 63 percent of couples now choose engagement rings together, and more couples have at least some discussion about preferences and sizing before making a final decision on a piece of jewelry. Finding the "perfect" engagement ring is less risky after these discussions.

As a result, you may be wondering, "What is an ideal engagement ring?" A perfect engagement ring is as individual as the couple who wears it. "How do you get the engagement ring you want?" might be a better question.

You'll learn everything you need to know about shopping for an engagement ring in plain English in this comprehensive guide. Without stressing over the details, you and your significant other can select the perfect engagement ring.

What Does An Engagement Ring Symbolize?

It was the Romans who were the first to use engagement rings. It was customary for couples to wear engagement rings as a symbol of their commitment to one another. Bridal rings served the purpose of showing that the future bride had been "taken" and was no longer available to other suitors.

Gold rings have been found in Roman artifacts dating from the early Common Era, but they were not worn by Roman women at the time (CE). It was thought that a vein in the ring finger connected directly to the heart by the Romans, so they wore it there.

Later, an expensive engagement ring was seen as a sign of the husband's wealth and social standing. A wife could not own property or earn money on her own, so the engagement ring represented the extent to which she could depend on her husband financially.

There has been a shift in the meaning of engagement rings in recent years to one that emphasizes love and commitment. Rings are a symbol of eternal love and devotion because they are a circle, which means there is no beginning or end.

Your engagement ring should be worn by either you or your spouse in a way that is most comfortable for both of you. The ring is still worn on the left ring finger in many Western cultures. The left hand is considered unlucky in some cultures, so engagement rings are worn on the right-hand ring finger.

How Is An Engagement Ring Different From A Wedding Ring?

The endless love symbolism of an engagement ring could also be applied to a wedding ring. Is there any difference between an engagement and a wedding band?

An engagement ring and a wedding ring are distinguished by the stage of the marriage in which they are worn. In most cultures, an engagement ring is given as part of a marriage proposal or when a couple decides to tie the knot. It's worn both prior to and following the wedding day.

The exchange of wedding rings is a sign that the couple has entered into a legally binding union. For the rest of the marriage, they're traditionally worn.

Engagement rings tend to be more lavish and ornate than wedding bands. Diamonds, gemstones, and other adornments are rarely seen on the wedding ring, which is typically a plain band.

Couples may decide to purchase their engagement ring and wedding band together. This ensures that they are uniform and fit together perfectly, but it isn't required. Priority should be given to purchasing each ring only when you are ready to do so. Some couples opt for matching wedding bands or multiple stacking rings instead of a single wedding ring to complement their engagement ring.

Another option is to forego the engagement ring altogether, or wear the engagement ring as the wedding ring as well.. Engagement rings are often worn by both members of a couple. It's up to you and your partner to decide how you want to show your commitment to one another.

How Much Should I Spend On An Engagement Ring?

An engagement ring budget can be difficult to figure out. The old adage that you should spend three months' salary on your engagement ring no longer holds up in today's world, which is why the old adage is outdated.

Instead, think about how much money you're willing to spend and any preferences your partner may have when setting a budget. Engaged couples should look forward to their wedding day with anticipation. Buying a ring isn't the time to stress about how you're going to pay your bills next month because you felt pressured to go over budget.

To learn more about how to set an engagement ring budget that works for you, check out our guide. Once you've established a spending limit, it's time to start looking into what you can get for that amount.

What Are The Four Cs?

You may want to learn more about the four Cs because diamonds are the most popular choice for engagement ring decoration. The official diamond grading system uses the four Cs, which stand for cut, color, clarity, and carat. Diamond rings come in all shapes and sizes, and these metrics will help you determine which one is best for you.

There's no need to panic if you don't understand all the diamond lingo. In the process of purchasing an engagement ring, you have the option of making it as simple or as complicated as you desire.

CUT

The shape of an engagement ring is not described by its cut style. The cut grade, on the other hand, describes how a stone's proportions and angles reflect light. The radiance of a diamond is determined by its clarity grade, which ranges from excellent to poor.

In order to maximize the brilliance of a diamond, it is imperative that a precise set of guidelines be followed when cutting it into a specific shape, such as a pear or round. An excellently-cut diamond will shine as brightly as possible through the top of the stone by reflecting light from one facet to another.

COLOR

Diamonds are graded from D to Z according to their various hues. While a D-grade diamond is completely colorless, it has a noticeable yellow tint, whereas a Z-grade diamond is completely yellow. Rare and expensive colorless diamonds can only be found in extremely small quantities. Pink and chocolate, two new additions to the grading system, were just implemented. A diamond's value rises as its color gets darker and darker.

There is little difference between the different color grades. Lighting conditions have to be carefully controlled in order for stones to be graded accurately due to their subtlety. A diamond in the G-I range will appear as colorless as a D-grade to the naked eye, but it will save the buyer a significant sum of money.

CLARITY

Diamonds are naturally imperfect because of the millions of years they take to form in the Earth's crust. The size and number of these "flaws" are what determine the clarity of a diamond. You can rate how clear something is. The number of imperfections, the size of them, how visible they are, where they are, and how they affect the overall appearance of the diamond are all determined by the scale.

The more clarity a diamond has, the more perfect it is. In order to get a diamond with a high degree of clarity, the price goes up. Because of this, many flaws are minute. A diamond with a clarity grade of VS1 or VS2 is the most affordable, as it has more inclusions but none that can be seen with the naked eye.

CARAT

When it comes to weighing a diamond, the carat is the most precise unit. "ct." is a common abbreviation for it. Carats are used to measure the weight of larger diamonds. As a rarer and larger stone, a larger-carat diamond will command a higher price than a smaller one. The average diamond in an engagement ring weighs about one-and-a-half carats, or 200 milligrams.

Carat size gets a lot of attention, but few diamond buyers think it's more important than the other three Cs. Regardless of its size, a well-cut diamond will shine brightly and make an engagement ring look beautiful. You should first figure out your ideal grades for the other three metrics—cut, color and clarity—before looking at the carat weight. Once you've determined the other three Cs, all you have to do is buy the largest carat you can afford.

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