What Should I Consider When Buying an Engagement Ring?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

You’ve reached that magic time in your relationship where you realize your love will last a lifetime. While the time is “magic,” buying an engagement ring requires thought. Should you surprise your intended fiancée or should she help you shop? How much can you really afford, will you know how to judge if the ring is good quality, and will it last through a lifetime of marriage? These questions can have your pulse racing almost as much as true love does.

There are a number of things to consider, such as cost and style, when purchasing an engagement ring.
There are a number of things to consider, such as cost and style, when purchasing an engagement ring.

The cautious person will take some time thinking about buying an engagement ring. All these considerations and others apply to the process. Making an informed choice is likely to please your fiancée more than making a quick decision.

It's important to take your girlfriend's tastes into account before proposing.
It's important to take your girlfriend's tastes into account before proposing.

First, consider your fiancée. She may have very specific taste in jewelry. If you want to surprise her, but are not sure which ring she would choose to wear for a lifetime, be sure to get a ring that can be exchanged. This is a little more difficult to do if you purchase a ring on the Internet. One might therefore, want to consider buying an engagement ring at a local store only.

Some women may prefer an heirloom engagement ring.
Some women may prefer an heirloom engagement ring.

Alternately, propose to your fiancée in a jewelry store, as she can then shop with you. However, since price is often an object, be sure your fiancée knows what you can afford. If she doesn’t, you can arrange with a jeweler to show rings only in your price range when buying an engagement ring.

Some women prefer to pick out their own ring so it fits their style.
Some women prefer to pick out their own ring so it fits their style.

If the engagement is not a surprise, then it makes good sense for the fiancée to be part of buying an engagement ring. Engagement rings may be sold in a set with a wedding band, and may possibly have a matching ring for the husband. If you want to stay coordinated, you can match bands at the same time one is buying an engagement ring.

Consider what you really can afford when buying an engagement ring. Though naturally your sweetheart deserves the most expensive ring that exists, one still may not be able to afford it. An engagement ring often means a wedding in the imminent future, and weddings mean a lot of expense. Further, many couples take expensive honeymoons, or need to purchase and/or furnish a home. Bear in mind these expenses, and consider staying out of debt.

Generally buying an engagement ring means buying at least one diamond. One should shop around and educate one’s self about buying diamonds. Diamonds vary in quality, and sometimes a smaller diamond with greater quality will look better than a large diamond of poor quality.

Also one needs to consider types of metal when buying an engagement ring. Generally engagement rings are either gold or platinum. Gold rings are available in white, pink or yellow. Platinum is white, with a somewhat silvery sheen. Platinum is more durable, and often preferred, but is undoubtedly more expensive. White gold can achieve a similar look, at a cheaper price than platinum.

When buying an engagement ring, take some time to look around at the numerous options in style, price and durability. Shopping on the Internet is often a good option when the engagement is not a surprise, because one can often get excellent prices. Also one may want to purchase the engagement ring setting separate from the stone. One may be able to purchase a higher quality stone for less money, when it is purchased in loose form. Simply be sure to check that the setting will accommodate the cut and size of the stone one wishes to buy.

Many engagement rings feature a diamond.
Many engagement rings feature a diamond.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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