As wedding and engagement season approaches I’d like to throw out some food for thought before you begin the selection process with your jeweler. By the time you are ready to pop the question, you will probably already know your girlfriend’s style. A few questions to ask yourself before getting started:
- Does my girlfriend want this to be a complete surprise?
- Does my girlfriend need to be in control and has the need to be involved in the whole selection process?
- Is my girlfriend willing to do some fact gathering, make her preferences known and leave the rest of the buying process to you?
In either case, details you must know before you begin your search:
- What is your budget – most important
- What is the desired shape of center stone
- Do you want diamonds around the center stone (ie Halo)
- Do you want diamonds in the shank (the part of the ring that goes around the finger)
- What is the desired style overall – i.e. Modern, Vintage, Classic, etc.
A Few Tips
- You should not be afraid to reveal your budget. If you feel uncomfortable revealing this information for fear you are going to get ripped off by the dealer or store your working with, then you should not be working with them. This is probably the first major purchase you are making in your adult life, unless, of course, you have already bought real estate. You best be buying from someone who you know to be trustworthy. Revealing your budget saves everyone involved a lot of time and avoids disappointment
- Know which of the 4 C’s are most important to you and your girlfriend. As most people know, 4 C’s are – Cut (shape of stone), Carat (size), Clarity (quality) and Color
- Know which of the 4 C’s you are willing to compromise and how much. Unless you have an unlimited budget you are not shopping for the perfect stone. This is why budget is so important. If your budget is $5000, it would not be realistic for you to expect to buy a 3 carat diamond. If you are insisting on a 3 carat diamond and your budget is $15,000, you will have to decide which of the other 3 C’s are most important and so on.
- Know your girlfriend’s ring size
A Few More Noteworthy Comments:
- Buying a diamond for your engagement ring as an investment is a misnomer. This is not your parents or grandparents era. Once the diamond is set in a ring leaves the store, if for whatever, reason it needs to come back, for example a breakup of the engagement or divorce, do not expect to get a full refund.
- Don’t rush but don’t ponder too long. This is a big purchase and a big decision. Hopefully, you and your future fiance will be looking at and wearing this ring for many years to come. Make sure it’s right for your budget and lifestyle.
- If your girlfriend works with her hands for a living and plans to continue to do so, don’t buy a setting where the center diamond sits very high. It will get caught on things and/ get knocked around which will ultimately compromise the strength of the prongs and risk losing the stone.
- Don’t wait to get the ring insured. Either buy a policy just for the ring or add it to an existing policy. If you are not sure how to go about this, reach out ot Jeff Bernard of Rampart Insurance Jeff is an expert in the field.
- There are so many options available today. Make sure you are working with a jeweler who is willing to educate and has the patience to explore options and possibly even meet with you several times before making the final decision.