Did you know that the winter holidays are the most popular time to get engaged? Engagements ring sales increase 40% during this time of year. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to some really great guys of the last couple months and let me just say, if you ever need to regain your faith in men, you should try out my job for a day. All these guys call me because they want to make their girlfriends happy by commissioning the perfect ring, or they want to upgrade their wives’ existing rings that they bought for them when they were “young and poor.” Can you blame me if I have unwavering faith in the goodness of men?
If you are just starting the process, I find guys get confused with all the stats and four-Cs right off-the-bat. Your first step should be to outline a budget; if you need help, read my posts on determining a budget for an engagement ring and look here for a budget case study . Once you have your budget set, all you have to do is find the sizes (measured in carats) that fit into your price range and then choose the best quality stone in that carat category. If you are not happy with the quality, then perhaps scale the size down a touch in order to upgrade to a better quality. On the other hand, if you prioritize diamond size, then you can scale up in size and down in color and clarity. If you haven’t done research into color and clarity yet, read my pointers on diamond color scale and clarity to get up to speed.
The next step is to figure out what type of ring will set your sweetheart swooning. For women, I suggest you think about a few key aspects about yourselves before choosing a ring such as what your aesthetics are, whether you prioritize size over clarity, etc. Men, you should have a sense of what kind of ring your darling wants. At the very least, you should know what shape diamond they would prefer. There are things to look out for when choosing diamond shapes and knowing the intricacies may help you get a better deal for your ring or get even bigger ring. For example, did you know that oval engagement rings are currently priced lower than round brilliants of the same carat weight? Here are other concerns about diamond shape that will help you get the most for your money. The next thing you should know is your girl’s ring size, if you have no idea just sneak one of her rings away when she isn’t looking and trace a circle using the inside of the ring on a piece of paper. You can then take that into your jeweler or a store and have it translated into a ring size.
For those who want an ethical diamond, you have the option of getting an antique ring, having your jeweler source conflict-free diamonds, or buying a synthetic diamond. Antique diamonds come with their own set of issues, the round brilliant cut wasn’t developed until the early 20th century so any round diamond ring before 1919 will likely contain a miners cut diamond–read my post here to figure out what to watch out for with respect to antique engagement rings. You don’t necessarily have to buy a diamond that is advertised as “conflict-free” in order to get the ethical benefits, I explain the different types of ethical diamonds here. Finally, if you can’t decide whether you are the synthetic diamond type, here is how to find out.
Now the only thing between you making it successfully down the aisle is the wedding. For all those sweet men out there who put so much thought into an engagement ring for their girlfriends, it is now our turn to think about their wedding bands. Boys are not used to wearing rings like we are, so the safest best is to get them a comfort fit wedding band. The wedding bands can match if you choose but they don’t have to, here is what I think about matching bands.
Ladies, we likely consider what jewelry to wear every day but we rarely think about how to accessorize on our wedding day. Of course we want to steal the show but how do we know when we’ve overdone it? Read my guidelines on wedding jewelry to ensure that you will be the perfect balance of radiance and taste. And as always, if you have a question that I haven’t touched upon, you can always contact me. I wish you a happily ever after.
Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,