Tagged: engagement ring

custom engagement ring

Engagement Ring Resources: A Year in Review

 

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,

JZP

 

 

 

 

How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring?

 

Prepare yourselves for a tirade.  Most of us have heard that the man should spend 3 months salary on an engagement ring–thank you DeBeers for that huge pile of hogwash.  I totally disagree.  In the current economy, how many men of marrying age do you know with 3 months salary saved up for a rainy day fund let alone an engagement ring?  So then how to determine how much to spend on an engagement ring?  I think a gentleman should spend what he can reasonably afford to match the expectations of his girlfriend.  Reason should trump expectations.  In more concrete terms, a man should spend up to the equivalent of 40% of his savings.  That does not mean actually spend your rainy day fund mind you, it simply means a reasonable amount to pay for an engagement ring can be up to 40% of the amount of your savings.  In some cases this will be less than 3 months salary and in some cases it will be more but it’s a more rational way of thinking about it.

How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring?

Jean & Alex, emerald-cut engagement ring set in platinum.  Available by special order.

If a guy doesn’t have any savings, expecting him to spend 3 months salary on an engagement ring is preposterous and bad financial planning.  Remember that the two of you are getting married so his financial woes become yours.  Your priority should be building a healthy habits and a strong future for the two of you.  OK, enough doom and gloom.  The fact is, proper fiscal planning now means a brighter happily ever after.  So maybe you compromise on the flash now–who’s to say you can’t upgrade your ring in the future when doing so is more appropriate to your circumstances?  My father always told me that jewelry should be appropriate to your age, experience and circumstances.  If you haven’t earned it in experience or age it winds up looking terribly gauche.

So take heart in the fact that your boyfriend loves you and you’re building a wonderful future together.  He loves you enough to marry you, trust that he also will do everything in his power to make you happy.  If that means getting your dream engagement ring, he will do his best using all the means available to him at present.  You should also have him read my post about priorities when selecting and engagement ring to ensure you get the biggest and best diamond for his budget.  Here’s to happily ever after.

Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,

JZP