How to Buy a Diamond Engagement Ring

A female hand wearing a diamond engagement ring.

It can be surprisingly complicated to figure out how best to make your engagement ring purchase. There’s so much to learn and so many options available that it can seem overwhelming to most people. Here are some steps to take and some things to consider before buying a diamond engagement ring for your sweetheart.

Research the Style of Ring Your Fiance-to-Be Wants

Hint around with your partner to find out what kind of engagement ring style they like best. If you can, talk to their best friends or close relatives to help you get a basic idea of what style would suit them best. Also find out whether or not your sweetheart would actually like to be involved in the choice of the ring. Many would rather be surprised, but some people may want to have an active role in picking out the piece—and if that’s the case, it’s good to know before you go out searching yourself!

Establish Your Budget

Take a look at your financial situation and decide what makes sense for you to spend on this piece of jewelry. Creating a budget ahead of time will help you avoid any in-store upsales and will also give you a good idea of what is truly feasible for you as you look into this purchase. The old adage of “an engagement ring should be equivalent to three months salary” may or may not actually make any sense for your financial situation or even your partner’s preferences in the type of piece to look for, so don’t feel forced to use that guideline if it doesn’t make sense to you.

Learn the 4Cs of Diamonds

A diamond engagement ring in a jewelry box.

The next step is to do your homework regarding the four most important things about diamonds: the 4Cs, which are cut, clarity, color, and carat. It’s a good idea to look up more in-depth information about this, but here are the basics. The cut is essentially how sparkly the diamond appears. Clarity refers to how many inclusions (AKA flaws or imperfections) appear in the stone. Color is, well, exactly what it sounds like—the color of the diamond itself, often referring to the difference between an extremely clear stone and a yellowish-toned one (but this also includes more unique shades like pink or chocolate). Carat is probably the most well-known identifier, and is the size or weight of the diamond. These are just the basics, of course, and it’s certainly worthwhile to really look into the specifics of each of the 4Cs, so you know exactly what you’re looking for as you move forward with your search for a diamond engagement ring.

Consider Diamond Shapes and Settings

Not only do you need to learn about the 4Cs, but you should also consider the shape of the diamond as well. Does your fiance-to-be like a more classic, round shape or would they prefer something a little more unique like an Asscher or princess cut? Settings are also important to consider. Would your partner like a simple single setting like a solitaire or something more ornate like a halo or three-stone setting? Look up images of these different options online so you can get a better idea of the aesthetics of each one.

Do Some Size Sleuthing

You may need to get creative to find out your partner’s ring size. If you’re okay with just asking, you can of course do that, but if you’re hoping to be a little more sneaky about the whole thing, you can take a ring that your partner already wears fairly often and get a measurement based on that. When in doubt, always choose to size up a bit, as it’s much easier to get a ring adjusted to be smaller rather than the other way around.

Research Ethical Jeweler Options

An ethical, conflict-free diamond engagement ring.

If this is important to you and your partner, be sure to research where to purchase conflict-free diamonds. There are different retailers who offer this product and it’s crucial to know ahead of time what jewelers do and do not prioritize ethical diamond sourcing if this is an essential point of interest for you. Many places do not offer this option, so do your research ahead of time so you don’t waste a trip.

Decide How to Purchase the Ring

Your last step is to choose how you’d like to make your purchase. Would you rather go to a physical store to see the rings in-person or would you rather make a purchase online? No matter which method you choose, it’s extremely important to look up the jewelers and websites ahead of time to make sure they’re reputable companies, and that you understand how their terms and policies work. This purchase is too big and too important to move forward with before understanding the exact details involved.

That’s it! Now go out there, educate yourself on the options in front of you, and go choose the perfect ring for your fiance-to-be!

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