Shopping for an engagement ring is difficult for many reasons. There are seemingly limitless options and if you’ve never done it before, you may have no idea what to expect going in. If prices are higher than you anticipated, it’s easy to feel like you’re getting ripped off. It’s also difficult to know if the rings you’re looking at are of a high enough quality. If you haven’t talked about engagement rings and your partner’s expectations, you may struggle with knowing what your partner likes or values in terms of design.
While there are, of course, multiple factors to consider when it comes to engagement ring shopping, the two most important are the design and quality of the ring.
Design comes first for a reason — whether it’s high quality or not, you don’t want to buy a ring that your partner won’t love to look at. For this reason, it’s important to talk about preferences with your partner in advance. If you want the proposal to be a secret, speak with her friends or family about styles she likes, or assess other pieces of jewelry your partner owns and wears often. In addition to the stone itself, shape is a key aesthetic factor, as well as the metal and design of the setting. It’s important for your partner to love the ring you buy them, because they’ll be wearing it every day.
Once you know you’re looking at a ring your partner will love, stone quality is the next thing to consider. You’ve likely heard of the four Cs — cut, color, clarity and carat. These are useful when determining whether the stone in your ring is up to par. Cut refers to the shapes and proportions of the stone. A stone’s cut determines how bright it will shine. Color-wise, if you’re buying a diamond, you generally want the stone to be as colorless as possible. Diamond colors range from Z for a strongly-colored diamond to D for a perfectly colorless diamond, with most falling somewhere between J and G. For clarity, you’re looking for a stone with few imperfections, referred to as blemishes. Major flaws can be seen with the naked eye, while some smaller imperfections can’t. Carat refers to the weight of a diamond, but is used to represent size (albeit imperfectly) as well.
Price is the second most important consideration in picking out your partner’s engagement ring. Ring prices have a very dramatic range, and while it is important to save up and invest in a piece that your partner will love, it’s also important to stay within a realistic range for your income and budget. There is a lot of misinformation perpetuated about engagement ring budgets. For instance, there’s no magic number of salaried months you should commit to saving and spending (so ignore that “3 months salary” adage) and you do not need to let other people’s budgets dictate your own. Quality and personal budget guidelines should be the main determining factors in the amount you end up spending.
Working backward is a good way to determine how much ring you can afford and how much you’ll need to save to get there. If you’ve decided on the design and you know what kind of quality you’re looking for, you can estimate a price range. Let’s say you’ve decided to spend $3,500 on your ring, and have a date in mind around which you want to propose. Now, simple math will help you determine how much you need to set aside each week in order to meet your goal. If the amount you need to set aside each week is too high, you might consider adjusting your budget, your timeline or your weekly spending.
Another important consideration when shopping for an engagement ring in Los Angeles is your experience as a customer. You have many options, especially in the jewelry district, so make sure you are being taken care of and prioritized by the customer representatives you are dealing with. Engagement rings are a substantial investment, so they require a lot of care and consideration. A quality customer service rep should understand this and desire to help you through the process. The staff should be friendly, knowledgeable and available to help you with any questions or concerns you might have.
You should also make sure that the store you’re working with or shopping at has a very wide inventory. You know which cuts and designs your partner likes and what kind of ring you’re looking for when you go in. You definitely want to avoid shopping around at one location just to find out the store you’ve chosen doesn’t have the type of rings you’re looking for. Your customer service rep should prioritize helping you find the ring that is going to fit your budget and your partner’s tastes. The expert team at Icing On The Ring can answer questions, provide suggestions, and find or customize the ring of you and your soon to be wife’s dreams.
Ready to pick a diamond engagement ring for your future wife? Check out our step-by-step “How to Pick A Diamond Engagement Ring” guide, get educated and prepare to pop the question!