The adrenaline rush of popping the question can sometimes overshadow all of the work you put into the big moment. There are only a few times in our lives when this experience happens. Accepting a diploma after years of hard schooling or getting the keys to a well-earned home might feel similar.
The rush of adrenaline at the culmination of your proposal won’t overshadow the planning phase you’re stuck in now! You’re probably pouring over catalogs and trying to sneak a look into your partner-to-be’s jewelry chest.
Those are both great things to do ahead of time, and we encourage them immensely. But there is so much more to the engagement ring buying process that you might not consider.
At Mark Henry Jewelry, we’ve seen it all. In the business of engagement rings and fine jewelry, we understand how important this decision is for your future. That is why we have boiled down the ring shopping steps into a few easy checkpoints. If you follow our tips carefully, you’ll be all set up for an enthusiastic “yes.”
You’ve done all of the heavy lifting, falling in love and building a life with someone. Now it is our turn to take some weight off of your shoulders. Follow along for the best tips and tricks to purchasing a one-in-a-lifetime engagement ring.
How Do You Know When To Propose?
We’ve all heard of the tradition to ask your partner’s parents for their blessing before you propose. Most people view this as the biggest confirmation you can receive that your plans are solid. We beg to differ.
The most crucial component of this guide is making sure that your partner is on the same page. Have you discussed marriage with this person? Have you envisioned a future together and plan on it soon?
It is also helpful to consider that engagements don’t signal immediate marriage. You can stay engaged to your partner for months or even years. As long as you have explicitly agreed on this next step, you should feel confident purchasing a ring.
If you have not approached your partner with this conversation, it may be time to do so. Not only will this help for your own peace of mind, but it can also help your wallet, too. There is no shame in saving up your money for an even better ring down the line. When you both are ready for such a big commitment, you’ll know.
Tailor it to Them
This moment, and this ring, are shared between you and your partner. Yet, they will be the one sporting the ring every day. That is why you should always take their style into consideration when shopping for an engagement ring.
If they have a favorite metal (gold, silver, platinum etc.), search for that. Make sure to be specific (white gold vs. rose gold vs. yellow gold).
If they have a special connection to a colorful gemstone that is a bit rare, ask a jeweler for help. Talk with them about their preferences regarding cuts as well, so you can guarantee they'll get what their heart desires.
Embrace the Budget
If there was ever a time to splurge, we admit that it would be now. An engagement ring isn’t just one of the biggest tokens of love you can give to someone; it’s an heirloom. You’re investing in a piece of jewelry that may be passed down to a family of your own creation.
With that being said, it is always a good idea to outline a set budget for any big purchase. Your engagement ring is just the beginning of a costly event — your wedding. There needs to be a balance between pouring all of your funds into a ring and regretfully cutting corners.
Traditional advice ranges from spending one to three months’ salary on the wedding ring, but that is by no means a rule. We suggest that you approach your partner honestly about a budget and price range for the ring.
This is an especially important factor if you share your incomes together or have a shared rent or mortgage. Having your partner in agreement with you on how much you can spend might save you an argument later on.
To Diamond or Not to Diamond
We understand how much traditions mean to couples. Diamonds are classically used in engagement rings. We’re no stranger to their beauty. We boast an extensive offering of exquisitely styled diamond rings.
Why Choose a Diamond?
There are many excellent benefits to diamond rings. Diamonds rank a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making them versatile in wearability and strength. It is rare to find a gemstone that works so perfectly in rings. Others often break or chip when vulnerable to wear and tear.
Also, diamonds are known for their sparkle. As much as we love other gems, there is no denying how brilliant diamonds look under the light. If you want a bold, showy ring, you’re in the right place.
If you are intent on buying a diamond engagement ring, we suggest that you stick to one that fares well with the four Cs. This is a diamond grading system set up by the Gemological Institute of America.
It is based on the color (preferably colorless), clarity (preferably without inclusions), cut, and carat weight of a stone. You can always request a GIA certification from a GIA Graduate Gemologist with our gemstones to gauge their quality.
Expand Your Horizons when Engagement Ring Shopping
We would like to turn your attention to exotic gems for more unique engagement rings. There is no reason to hold yourself to a diamond ring unless that is what your partner prefers. Exploring the world of exotic gems can be thrilling and also overwhelming.
Some of our favorite options include alexandrite. The color-changing Russian gemstone was discovered in the 1800s and quickly became royally loved. It transitions from emerald green in daylight to a ruby red under incandescent light.
It is a wonderful option for those who want a ring they can match to numerous outfits, moods, and events. You can also match the setting style and gemstone to your gemstone wedding band and accessories.
More Diamond Alternatives
The party doesn’t stop at alexandrite! You’d be surprised how many exotic gems can easily replace diamonds. In the instance of alexandrite, it is even 8.5 on the Mohs scale. Perhaps it is no 10, but it is close enough for excellent durability when set in the right ring.
Paraíba Tourmaline is another stunning option. Popularized by its electric blue coloring, it is native to the Paraíba region of Brazil. It was discovered in the 1980s and has since been mined internationally from Mozambique to Nigeria. Truly modern and truly beautiful.
This gem ranges from a 7 to a 7.5 on the Mohs scale, making it slightly less hard. It is still worth the investment because it is incredibly rare. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another friend proposing with such a luxurious gem. Your partner’s hand will always stand out.
Style and Shape: Shape and Engagement Ring Settings
As we’ve determined earlier on, there are so many cuts to choose from when looking for your best friend for life. This has more to do with bringing out the brightness and fire of the stone. Feel free to have a bit of fun when looking into the overall arrangement of the stones.
You’re probably most familiar with solitaire engagement rings. They feature one stone, usually a diamond, as the center stone. You can choose between a four-prong or six-prong setting, but the former is best for 360 shine.
Three-stone engagement rings allow you to incorporate birthstones or multiple favorite gems. If you share a child, consider adding all three of your birthstones for an extra special gift.
Other popular engagement ring styles include pave and sidestone. Pave features one stone with small diamonds around it, while sidestone incorporates additional stones going along either side of a core gem.
How To Pick a Ring Size
The last thing you want is to try to squeeze a too-tight ring onto your partner’s hand. Not only would it ruin the moment, but it could force you to send it away for resizing. After a whirlwind proposal, you definitely don’t want to take the gift away.
Avoid all of the confusion by asking your partner their ring size beforehand. If you’re keeping the engagement a surprise, steal one of their rings and outline the inside onto paper. If you take this paper to a professional, they’ll be able to fix the band down to fit inside this circle.
Wedding Band Ideas
Along with the size of the ring’s band, its detail also matters. You have a plethora of designs to choose from, including rope and milgrain. If your partner likes something plain, opt for a solid metal band. If they’re into personalization, consider engraving your anniversary or initials on the inside.
When it comes to engagement rings, we’ve got you covered. At Mark Henry Jewelry, we want to make every moment feel just as special as the last. That is why our pieces are so versatile. Most of our rings can be used as lifelong engagement ring pieces, regardless of categorization.
One of the most stunning options we have is our Half Moon Clover Ring. It is a prime example of all of the tips we’ve outlined so far; it touches upon nearly everything. This unforgettable ring incorporates the luxury of alexandrite with the class of numerous diamonds.
Look with Care
Above anything else, take this shopping period to reflect on the love you have for your partner. Your engagement is something to be celebrated, and they deserve nothing but the best. Pay close attention to detail and their wants during the entire process.
You both deserve a fairytale happily ever after, and the perfect engagement ring all but guarantees that!