Getting Engaged 101: How to Choose An Engagement Ring

So you’ve found the one and you’re ready to pop the question, “Will you marry me?” That means it is time to pick out a ring that your significant other will love and cherish for the rest of their life. This can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to the jewelry buying business. Here’s a guide to help you when shopping for that perfect engagement ring.

Give Yourself Enough Time
Once you have made the decision to propose, keep in mind that it will take at least six weeks to make your ring. If you have an elaborate proposal in mind on a specific date, make sure to shop early.

We have all heard the old saying that an engagement ring should be equivalent to three months of earnings. This is not a hard and fast rule. You should decide how much you can reasonably afford or are willing to spend on an engagement ring.

Ring Style
Some would prefer to pick out an engagement ring on their own to make the proposal a complete surprise; however, some couples frequently shop for engagement rings together. By going together, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of determining your significant other’s ring size and style.

If you would prefer that they didn’t know you were even looking, it is still possible to pick out an engagement ring they will love on your own. Ask the people they are closest with, which chances are they have previously discussed what they like with at least one of them. Just make sure to ask someone you trust who will not give away the big surprise.

Ring Size
Like the style, ring size can be very difficult to guess. The safest route is to have their ring finger measured at a reputable jewelry store. You can also bring in another ring that they have to be measured. (Just make sure it is a ring they wear and that fits properly.) Other aspects of choosing a ring size include if their fingers change size. Do their fingers swell in the heat or shrink in the cold? Again, this is difficult to determine without their direct input. Not to worry, minor adjustments can be made after the proposal, should the ring not fit properly.

The Stone

New or Heirloom
First, you will have to decide what kind of stone to use. Are you buying all new stones or has a family member gifted you with heirloom stones to use? If you already have stones to use, you may now skip to the next step: the setting.

An engagement ring traditionally features a clear diamond, but that isn’t always the case. Is your significant other traditional or more unique? If they are more traditional then go with a diamond, but maybe they want something more unique such as a pearl, emerald, sapphire, or ruby. Even if they do want a diamond, they come in a variety of colors ranging from clear to canary or chocolate. Pick a stone that matches their style and personality.

The 4 Cs
If you are buying a new stone outright, there are four words you need to familiarize yourself with: cut, color, clarity, and carat.

  • Cut: The cut is not the same as the shape. (i.e. princess, round, teardrop, etc.) The cut determines how the facet reflects the light and makes the diamond sparkle.
  • Color: Diamonds range in color from colorless to light yellow or brown. The less color a diamond has, the higher the value.
  • Clarity: The clarity of a diamond refers to how many blemishes or imperfections the diamond has. These blemishes are usually not seen with the naked eye and require a jeweler to evaluate with magnification lenses.
  • Carat: A diamond’s physical weight is measured in carats. Many people fixate on getting a larger carat diamond, but carat alone does not guarantee a higher quality diamond.

The Setting

Metal type
There are several different metals you can choose from, including: white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, platinum, and titanium. Each metal has its own style and characteristics such as strength and resistance to scratching.

Simple and classic, a solitaire setting features a single stone set on a metal band with no additional embellishments.

A pavé setting has smaller diamonds, held in place by small prongs, on both sides of the center stone. The smaller diamonds can go all the way around the band or stop halfway down both sides. In this setting, very little of the metal band can be seen.

A channel setting is very similar to the pavé except that the smaller diamonds along the band are held in place by metal running along both sides of the diamonds instead of using prongs.

A halo setting can be an excellent option to increase the appearance in size of a smaller diamond. A halo is simply accent diamonds that surround the center stone. Many people pair a halo with a pavé band.

What happens next?

Get it insured
You just made a big investment on a very precious piece of jewelry. You want to make sure that investment is protected. Your jeweler should provide you with an appraisal of the ring. From there, take it straight to your insurance provider and make sure the ring is covered, should a prong break or a diamond fall out.

Congratulations, you just got engaged! Now it is time to sit back, enjoy your engagement, and start planning your wedding.

The best way to get answers to specific questions, or to see all of your options, is to visit a jewelry store. Armentor Jewelers is a family-owned-and-operated jewelry store in Acadiana since 1939 and continues to strive for 100% customer satisfaction. Our team will work with you to customize a ring that fits any style and budget perfectly. Contact us today for more information.