The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this post and buy a product or service.
Buying an engagement ring isn’t just probably the most expensive purchases you’ll probably make in your life – it’s also probably the most exciting. But along with that excitement comes some confusion, a bit of panic, and a whole lot of little questions before you ask the biggest one of all: Will you marry me?”
You’ve probably seen movies or TV shows where the guy goes into a jewelry store and leaves with a big rock ten minutes later, but that’s not the case in real life. (Thanks, Hollywood!) Instead, stepping into those doors and standing in front of cases upon cases of blindingly sparkly diamonds could be incredibly intimidating. With all the current factors – from just how much you should spend from what style of diamond you need to get – you may go from feeling pretty confident to attempting to run out of these doors as fast as you came in. But it’s way too early for cold feet: You merely require a little guidance.
Shopping for an gemstone is like looking for a residence or car actually, except the finished product will be a lot smaller and shinier far. You can’t really just look at one and say, Ok, I’ll continue it!” You intend to know what materials it’s made of, any imperfections it has, be it affordable – the list continues on. Additionally you don’t would want to say yes to something and never have to be sure your partner will probably think it’s great, too. This can be a big deal and an big investment equally, so you’ll find nothing wrong with taking your effort and time to locate a thing which will check off each of the qualities all on your own list.
You won’t know the difference between gold and rose gold possibly, what the 4Cs are, or the difference between a princess and cushion cut as of this right time, but you’ll soon: Before long, you’ll be this gemstone pro your friends will be coming to you for answers if it’s their turn to acquire hitched. Here’s everything – and we mean everything! – you should know about how to have a ring.
How Do You KNOW WHAT She Wants?
Pay attention, guys, because this could be a crucial part of buying an gemstone: You will have to find out what your spouse wants, because she is going to be wearing that ring for the others of her life (so she better like it). Luckily, there are numerous ways to go about finding the one.”
Since it’s 2017, technology will be your best friend in figuring out the perfect engagement ring. If you would like some hints from the recipient herself, she might just send you a link to her private Pinterest board full of ideas she’s been collecting through the years, screenshots of rings she liked on Instagram, or some inspiration from her favorite celebrities. But if you’d rather decide for yourself without her knowing, talk to her friends and family because there’s a good chance she’s let them in on some of her favorite looks through the years.
When you’re looking at pictures of rings or getting tips on what she likes from those close to her, there are a few things to remember: the various settings, bands, and specific styles.
THE MOST USED Settings:
All the different forms of engagement ring settings could be making your mind spin, but these are the people you’ll see probably the most:
Solitaire: A solitaire ring is strictly what it appears like: an individual stone. With that stone, it is possible to choose just how many prongs – aka the claws that contain the diamond set up on the band – you need, that is 4 or 6 typically.
Vintage: Vintage rings can be found in a variety of styles from certain eras – such as for example Victorian and Art Deco – plus they each employ a distinct look.
Gemstone: Rather than a diamond, it’s common to choose a gemstone because the center stone, like aquamarine or sapphire.
Sidestone: Perfect for someone who wants a little extra bling without being too in-your-face, sidestone engagement rings have a line of pavé or a halo that makes the center stone stand out more.
Halo: Instead of having just a solitaire diamond, it’s common to choose to put a halo of smaller diamonds around the main stone.
Three-Stone: Instead of having a solitaire stone, some couples go for three-stone engagement rings for what they represent: the past, present, and future.
The band of the engagement ring might not seem like a huge deal compared to the stone, but it makes all the difference in how the ring looks and feels. First thing that plays a big role is whether the band is thick or thin. How wide the band is can totally transform the look of a ring, and it’s really a preference thing. While thicker bands used to be more common, thin and delicate bands are now becoming increasingly popular.
Next comes the material. There are various directions you can go in, but these are the most common choices:
Platinum: a silvery hue
White Gold: looks much like platinum, but is manufactured out of an assortment of gold and white metals
GOLD: pure gold blended with other metals for a yellow hue
Rose Gold: gold blended with copper for a pinkish hue
While platinum alone stands, white, yellow, and rose gold all look slightly different based on which karat you select: the bigger the karat, the purer the metal is. They are the most frequent choices you will see:
14k white gold
14k yellow gold
14k rose gold
18k white gold
18k yellow gold
18k rose gold
The varieties of engagement rings are endless seemingly, but there’s something to check everyone’s personality. Even though some women prefer a less strenuous look, others love vintage rings that take inspiration from different eras with intricate details.
It may seem a diamond could be the way instantly, but remember about gemstones: Kate Middleton is rocking a blue sapphire ring, in the final end. There are many gemstones to look at, however the hottest options could be the following:
Sapphire: deep blue
You can find diamonds in a variety of colors also, from the timeless yellow canary diamond to rare red and blue diamonds incredibly. Really the only problem? They are generally much more expensive than colorless diamonds based on the size, how vibrantly colored the diamond is, along with other factors. One exception, though, may be the black diamond, that is becoming a lot more popular but remains much cheaper than other colored diamonds.
If you are still feeling just a little unsure of what things to get your spouse, you’ll be pleased to know the decision does not have to be 100% yours. Before, it had been common for a guy to go to the jewelry store and choose what he thought his bride-to-be would want, but now it’s more common to produce a scheduled appointment to go look at rings together.
You don’t need to be in times where you select out a thing that she doesn’t like at all,” says Sarah Behar, diamond and social media marketing advisor at Lauren B Jewelry in NEW YORK. It was previously where the significant other had no idea what to expect, but now we usually see couples coming in together. That way everything will be done to their liking and there’s no room for error.”
Where to find Her Ring Size
If you don’t have your significant other’s ring size and don’t want to ask her, there are several sneaky ways to go about figuring out what it is without her suspecting anything at all.
Option One: Find a ring she already wears at all times and have someone check the size based on that.
Option Two: Ask one of her friends or family if they know her size. If they don’t, find out what sizes her sister and mom wear; they might have the same finger size.
Option Three: If you’re really desperate and have ran out of all other options, you can always pull the string trick. If your spouse is really a heavy sleeper, make an effort to tie a string around her finger while she’s catching some zzzs, then go on it with you when you attend the jewelry store, says Behar.
The best thing about engagement rings is that there surely is something for every and every budget, regardless of how small or what size it is. You might have heard the old theory on needing to spend one months’ salary on a ring, but that isn’t necessarily the case nowadays. Instead, many people are simply creating a conscious decision in what they feel the preferred spending.
According to Behar, the common amount spent in the U.S. on an gemstone is really a little over $6,000. However in bigger cities like NY, she finds people are spending closer to $10,000. People aren’t specifically going by the ‘one month’s salary’ rule anymore, but it can sometimes happen coincidentally that that’s what they end up spending,” she says. Most people are sitting down and saying ‘What can I feasibly spend?” or What do I personally feel is the appropriate amount to spend on something like this?”
Really, there’s no right answer or rule: You can get a beautiful $500 engagement ring, or a beautiful $50,000 engagement ring. But when you’re deciding how much money to fork out, pay close attention to the 4Cs, which can make a huge difference in how much bang you get for your buck.
So you’re probably wondering what the 4Cs everyone keeps talking about are. To put it simply, they’re the four very important aspects of how the diamond looks and just how big and shiny it is: carat, color, clarity, and cut.
The carat refers to the diamond’s weight – not the size, like most people assume. The range differs depending on where you buy your ring, but you can typically find something as small as25 carats to something as large as 5 carats
up. It all depends upon preference (as well as your budget): some women prefer something dainty, while others want something that really stands out.
Obviously the bigger the ring, the more expensive it gets. Luckily there’s an easy way to create a diamond look bigger without increasing the carat size. The most typical size is going to be a little larger than a carat, and the best way to make it look bigger is by adding a halo around the surface,” Behar says. You’re going for a diamond that’s one carat in the centre, but you’re giving it the top section of a two carat diamond by just adding that extra perimeter around it. Once the halo seamlessly is performed, you truly can’t tell where in fact the diamond in the guts starts and ends.”
When you think about a diamond, you imagine of something really clear probably. The colour of a diamond is graded on the lack of color, with a scale that ranges from D, E, and F as the utmost colorless to Z, Y, and Z, that have a yellow tint visibly. The most famous types are colorless and near colorless, and those also cost the most.
Clarity refers to the number, size, and position of the diamond’s imperfections. The GIA Clarity Scale ranges from Flawless (FL) where no imperfections are visible to a skilled grader using 10x magnification to I1, I2, and I3 (Included) where imperfections are easy to spot under 10x magnification. The imperfections could be everything from a black dot or grey line to a cloud within the diamond,” Behar says. No diamond is really perfectly pure, but the closer and higher up it is on the scale, the more flawless it is. The goal is not having the ability to see any of those imperfections with the naked eye; that may take away from the sparkle of the diamond.”
The cut of the diamond doesn’t refer to the shape of the diamond. It’s actually talking about the diamond’s proportions, symmetry, and polish – aka what makes it sparkle. Cut can be a little tricky, though, because GIA only assigns cut grades to round diamonds, which range from poor to excellent.
With regards to a shape – like cushion cut or oval, for example – it’s something where you’ll have to sit down and look at the diamond’s proportions and evaluate for yourself,” Behar says.
Aside from the standard round diamonds, there are many other cuts that make for a beautiful engagement ring which are equally dazzling:
Round: a typical circle shape
Princess: a square or rectangular outline
Emerald: a rectangular outline that includes a step cut with rows of pavilion
Asscher: a square cut Emerald with a deeper pavilion
Cushion: a square with rounded corners
Marquise: a protracted and narrow football-shape
Radiant: a square shape with cut corners
Oval: an average oval shape
Heart: an average heart shape
Pear: an average pear shape
Preventing Dodgy Diamonds
When you’re looking for the perfect band, be sure you’re buying from the trustworthy retailer plus your diamond is certified by using a reputable source, like EGL or GIA. If you get hold of a certificate from another source, the grade of the diamond is probably not as good. For anyone who is obtaining a certificate from the certifier that’s not well-known, they might be more lenient. The diamond could possibly be certified, but it may be several 3 grades significantly less than what a stricter certifier would pass,” Behar says.
Besides making sure your diamond carries a reputable certificate, additionally, you can find points to consider your certificate won’t let you know. The certificate isn’t likely to let you know if the imperfection in the diamond is seen to the naked eye. It teaches you it’s there, nonetheless it doesn’t let you know if it takes from the sparkle of the diamond,” she continues. It’s definitely vital that you not just set off the certificate alone. Make sure to see the diamond personally when you can.”
If seeing the diamond close up isn’t an option, there are numerous companies which have high-quality videos of the diamond you can try online, together with magnified and zoomed-in shots.
How to Save well on Your Ring
There are numerous factors that get into picking the perfect gemstone, but one thing to bear in mind is it does not have to be perfect and there are several ways you can spend less but still have a diamond which will sparkle and shine for a long period to come.
Instead of diamonds, moissanite – a gemstone that looks incredibly much like diamonds – is now an increasing number of popular. The sparkle will not be the same as a diamond quite, but it’s still beautiful and can allow you to get yourself a bigger gemstone for less cost. You can consider morganite also, a pinkish gemstone that looks stunning with a rose gold band especially. It costs lower when compared to a standard diamond also.
From utilizing a different gemstone Aside, also you can knock off a number of the cost by reducing on one of many 4Cs.
If someone is wanting to save a bit and work their budget tighter, clarity is essential but it’s also the initial place you can quit a bit. I find that it is the least obvious to the attention,” Behar says. In the event that you get yourself a larger diamond slightly, don’t spend the excess money on clarity; the bigger diamond will prominently arrive more. The same thing applies to color. If you quit just a little on clarity, you may get a diamond that looks whiter visibly. If you are looking straight at the ring, you may note that the diamond includes a tint of yellow to it quicker than you’d see if the diamond includes a tiny imperfection somewhere.”
Some other methods for you to spend less on an gemstone are by choosing a non-traditional design it doesn’t add a center stone, looking at lab-grown diamonds from retailers like Brilliant Earth, or getting a unique vintage ring that suits your significant other’s personality. Also you can inexpensive settings that look great choose, such as a solitaire diamond with a platinum band just. It’s simple, romantic, and inexpensive with regards to the size of the diamond.
Where to Shop
Ready for the fun part? As you prepare to start out searching for an ideal gemstone, there are various places you’ll be able to go, both online and in-store. Trustworthy trusted trusted online retailers like Blue Nile , Brilliant Earth , and James Allen make sure it is easy to select the perfect ring from miles away incredibly. And retailers like Zales , Kay Jewelers , Jared , and Tiffany & Co. have specialists which could personally demonstrate the styles, helping you learn the very best options affordable.
In relation to brands of engagement rings, a lot of people are dead-set on a specific one, amongst others could care less. One of the popular ones to keep a wrist watch out for are Neil Lane , Tiffany & Co. , David Yurman , Tacori , and Harry Winston As a designer is roofed by the ring behind it, it’s likely to are more expensive. (Nevertheless it will surely be stunning.)
If you want to be your individual designer, that’s possible, too: Many places allow you to create your individual ring, from the band to the type of diamond. If you are shopping online and have a specific setting in mind you do not see available to purchase, it is a smart solution to generate your significant other’s dream ring without paying someone big money to put it together to suit your needs. Many trusted trusted online retailers offer free shipping and returns also, rendering it an easy task to get your money back if you are unhappy with the finished product.
Insurance is something that’s often overlooked, but it’s essentially the most important thing it is possible to possibly get when buying an gemstone. Sadly, happen more regularly than you imagine mishaps.
You don’t know what can happen, be it a crash, or your ring gets stolen or lost. You will end up thankful to not have to shell out thousands all at one time to replace something your insurance could have covered to suit your needs,” Behar says.
Any ring you have comes with some form of appraisal, and you also shall use that document to generate your insurance. It takes only a few minutes to obtain covered, and yes it doesn’t cost much each year to keep the ring insured. The complete yearly cost is dependent upon just how much the gemstone is going to be worth, but it’s usually between $50-$300/year.
Our Top Picks
What are the hottest designs and styles this season? It really depends upon the look you’re choosing. Because something is trending for 2017 doesn’t mean it must be the option going for. Actually, we suggest choosing something timeless. This little bit of jewelry will probably be with her for, ideally, the rest of her life. The last thing you want to do is choose a cut that will look dated once the trend passes.
Here, we’ve laid out a few rings to base your decision on. Simply put: keep timeless, classic looks at the forefront. That said, if your leading lady would appreciate something with a little edge, consider organic shapes such as a round cut with a swirled band or a simple stone on a multi-band ring.
The solitaire engagement ring style is timeless. It features a beautiful 1/2 ct. Diamond and is set in a 14k white gold band. It is perfect for the woman who appreciates simplicity and elegance and doesn’t want to compromise on sparkle.
An instant classic, the princess cut will walk out style. The easy band allows the diamond to function as well-deserved star of the show.
In order to venture off the beaten path, we recommend seeking to organic shape. This original design is defined in 14K white gold and includes a round diamond center stone.
Once you learn your leading lady shall want something more, look at a multi-band ring. Although it doesn’t eliminate from the brilliant diamond set, it lends a specific contemporary style to the complete aesthetic.
The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this post and buy a product or service.