A Guide to Picking the Perfect Engagement Ring

You've made up your mind, you've found the woman of your dreams and you want to get married. Now comes the hard part, picking out an engagement ring and proposing. Like any pricey and important purchase in one's life, it takes time and consideration to find the perfect choice. Maybe you feel lost in a jewelry store, unsure how much to spend, what you can afford, and trying to find a ring she will love; but it doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience. Use the following resources to help find the perfect engagement ring at the perfect price. Then, pop that question and join the ranks of married couples beginning a new chapter of their lives together.

The Knot- A popular wedding database that has hundreds of engagement ring suggestions to fit any style.

The Ultimate Engagement Ring Guide- A resource for hunting around to find the perfect engagement ring.

Decide how much you will spend

Deciding how much one should spend on an engagement ring can be difficult. Much too expensive for most people to afford on a whim, engagement rings are typically cost approximately two months salary. For example, if a person makes $14 an hour and works full-time, they could probably afford a ring worth $4,480. This is not a purchase that should be taken lightly. As a symbol of love and commitment, an engagement ring can also show a woman that you are able to set a goal and stick to it; by planning and saving for an engagement ring, a man shows he is able to manage hid finances effectively and on a long term setting. There is no need to go into debt when purchasing a ring, planning and saving can save you the trouble of requesting a bank loan or using credit cards. It is important that a man does not spend above his means.

How Much Should You Spend On A Diamond Ring- An simple guide to determining how much money is appropriate to spend when purchasing diamond jewelry, including an engagement ring.

American Consumer News- An article to help consumers better understand the diamond market and how much is typically spent on an engagement ring.

The Four C's of Diamonds

Picking a quality diamond can be difficult and many consumers are not sure where to find the best quality diamonds within their price range. When shopping around for a diamond, make sure to use the four C's of diamond classification. The four C's are carat weight, color, clarity, and cut. Carat weight is actual size and weight of a diamond or gemstone. Different carat sizes differ in value based on the other three of the four C's. Next, color refers to the actual lack of color in the diamond or gem; the less color, the higher the value of the stone. With diamonds, there are is a range of undesirable colors that may appear, including gray, black, and yellow. Look for a diamond that is as colorless as possible. The third C refers to clarity. It is important to have purchase that is as flawless as possible. Nicks and scratches, and embedded grit reduce the value of a diamond or gem. Make sure to consult a gem or diamond specialist before making any purchases to better understand the quality of the stone you are interested in purchasing. The final C stands for the cut of the diamond, there are a variety of different cuts. The most common cuts include, radiant, marquise, pear, oval, emerald, and heart-shaped. Cuts vary in cost and include a number of different factors, such as the table size, star length, and crown height which can be measured by a certified jeweler or gemologist.

The Gemological Institute of America- GIA explains how the diamond industry approaches the quality of diamond and the system on which a diamond is rated, including links to further information about each of the four C's of the diamond industry.

The Four C's of Diamonds- A detailed look at the four C's of the diamond world.

Diamond Quality Characteristics- Valuable information about judging the quality of a diamond and learn how diamonds are graded.

Chose an engagement ring she will love

Each engagement ring is as unique and beautiful as the women who wears it, so it is important to make sure you pick a style that she will love. Today's jeweler should offer an array of different options to fit unique customer needs. To get a feel for the style of jewelry she likes, take a peak in her jewelry box, or ask her about a piece of jewelry she always wears. Simply asking is the best way to figure out which style ring is best suited for her, but for groom looking to surprise their fiancé, indirect questions are also a solution. There are a few key words used in the jewelry industry that speak to a style of jewelry, including, elegant, modern, and traditional. There are also a few colorful options that can be considered for a girl with more unique taste, consider stepping outside the traditional diamond engagement ring and look into a precious stone, like a ruby. Vintage jewelry has also been a popular choice, passing down an heirloom engagement ring is both traditional and a perfect way to unite a new family.

Ruby Engagement Rings- For a bride-to-be that is interested in a different look, ruby engagement rings offer the pop and elegance of a traditional engagement with an individual style.

Vintage Engagement Rings- A vintage engagement ring adds a touch of individual personality and can also be a way to maintain a family tradition.

Find a band that matches the engagement ring

Finding a wedding band that matches an engagement ring also plays a part in any ring selection. Wedding bands and engagement rings are frequently offered in sets at many well-known jewelers. When looking for a matching band, consider a ring that matches the band on the engagement ring, or is otherwise complimentary to it. It is also suggested that rings be made out of the same material, whether it is white gold, gold, silver, or platinum, unity is the defining principle in the world of wedding jewelry.

Understanding A Pair of Wedding Bands- There are a number of different things that factor into picking a matching wedding band.

How to Choose- Making ring choices can be difficult for anyone, many jewelers will help customers through the process but it is important to arm yourself with information first.

Shop around for the perfect ring

Shopping around for wedding jewelry takes time. There are many different outlets to consider, including a mall jewelry store, a department store, privately owned free standing jewelers, and whole-sale jewelry outlets. The Internet has also made way for a new jewelry market, and the use of bidding sites has also become a popular forum for browsing and buying jewelry. It's a good idea to look around before committing to a purchase and get the best deal possible. Some jewelry outlets only carry a select few engagement rings are market their unique selection, others carry hundreds of varieties and are well stocked to cater to the general customer. To sweeten a deal after you have found the perfect ring, consider paying in cash instead of using a payment plan, jewelers may offer a discount to customers who pay cash and the customer won't have to worry about monthly payments with interest rates that can be very costly.

Ring Shopping Advice- Tips for guys who are shopping around for an engagement ring.

Buying Guide, Tips & Advice- Learn the pros and cons of buying an engagement ring from different vendors to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

Buyer Advice- Advice for shopping around for engagement rings and wedding bands and what to watch out for.

How To Buy An Engagement Ring- Buying tips for people looking to purchase diamond jewelry, including where to buy.

Look into an engagement ring warranty

Most large purchases, including engagement rings and wedding bands will come with a limited warranty. Popular chain jewelry stores might also offer lifetime warranties on their products. Each warranty is vary specific to the jeweler. Many warranties cover the cost of repair and replacement is a piece of jewelry is broken, chipped, or is dislocated from its setting when worn in everyday circumstances. For such a costly and valuable item, it is best to get it insured in case of an accident or manufacturer defect in the setting or mounting of the stone. It is important to read and understand any warranty so that it can be properly utilized should the need ever arise.

Kay Guarantee- An example of what a typical warranty on a piece of jewelry would typically cover.

Mack Warranty- Diamond warranties cover a range of situations, this resource outlines what an average diamond warranty covers; although each warranty is specific to the company the diamond is order through.

Insuring an engagement ring

Insuring a valuable piece of jewelry is just as important as getting it warranted. By insuring an item, the customer can be reassured that in the event of a tragedy or unfortunate event, including a robbery, death, or accident, their investment will be safe and compensated for if a ring is lost, stolen, or damaged. Similar to an insurance policy when buying a car, jewelry insurance does not cover everything, so it is important to review all paperwork and understand the extent of your purchased policy. Jewelry insurance may also protect customers from counterfeit or fake diamonds or gems if proof of purchase an gem certification is required.

Jewelry Insurance Standards Organization- JISO is an informational resource about jewelry insurance.

Diamond Ring Insurance- Understand the importance and coverage that diamond ring insurance includes.

When and where to pop the big question

How a woman is proposed to is a memory she will never forget. Whether the proposal is planned or spontaneous, it should be a special moment that represents the commitment and love that two people share. If a man is planning to propose, etiquette dictates that the bride's father is asked for permission and his blessing. This may seem like an antiquated concept, and may or may not be appropriate for any specific situation, but it is an important step to consider. Choosing a memorable setting that is significant to a couple is a beautiful way to propose to a woman. Whether done in public or private, a proposal is one of the happiest moments in a couples relationship and should be cherished.

Marriage Proposal Ideas- Presentation is everything! Check out these wedding proposals to inspire ideas for when you pop the question.

The Groom Guide- Marriage proposal ideas and a sample to leave her speechless.
Tungsten Rings and Popular Wedding Bands