5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Engagement Ring

So you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Congratulations! Now comes a tricky part — selecting an engagement ring that she’ll love. Just as there were “plenty of fish in the sea” in the dating world, there are so many options of engagement rings available to you that finding “the one” can be a daunting task. Where to begin?

The Bradford Exchange offers a stunning selection of romantic women’s rings, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for yet, it might be best to ask yourself these questions first:

1. What’s my approach?

If you’re with the kind of woman who gives you explicit instructions on what Christmas presents to buy her and plans her own surprise birthday parties, you’re in luck — she’ll most likely tell you the exact engagement ring that she wants, and will also tell you how to give it to her. If she’s not that kind of girl, and you prefer the element of surprise, it might take a bit more sleuthing on your part. Check to see if she has a wedding board on Pinterest. Ask a tight-lipped friend of hers to casually ask what kind of engagement rings she likes. Leave this blog post open on your computer with a sticky note on the screen that says “remember to listen for hints.” It might work!

2. What is her taste in jewelry?

I’m not talking about the cheap necklace that turns her neck green every time she wears it. When you go to a fancy restaurant or special event, does she wear gold or silver jewelry? Is it flashy or subtle? Edgy or elegant? If you’re in the stage of life where it seems like all of your friends are getting engaged, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram can really give you great insight. Pay attention to the reasons why she thinks her old college roommate’s engagement ring is so ugly. Or, maybe she loves it. (Just don’t get exactly the same one!)

3. How much should I spend?

Consider your financial situation and take it from there. If you’re barely scraping by, it would be unwise to get her a ring that you’ll be paying off for the next 30 years. Alternatively, if you use $100 bills as napkins on your yacht, giving her a ring from a vending machine might not exactly “wow” her. My advice to you would be to set a budget that you’re comfortable with from the beginning and stick with it. Genuine diamonds are still the most popular type of gemstone for engagement and wedding rings, but there are also more affordable options to consider. For example, Diamonesk® rings from The Bradford Exchange sparkle with our exclusive simulated diamonds that rival the cut, color and clarity of the finest diamonds at a fraction of the cost. And, we also offer installment plans that are interest-free, which is really helpful if you’re on a tighter budget.

4. What are the “Four C’s” and why do I have to pay attention to them?

Speaking of “cut, color and clarity”, those are three of the “Four C’s.” The fourth is “carat.” Not only do you sound very impressive when you tell your soon-to-be fiancé that you “really took the Four C’s into consideration” when selecting her ring, it’s also a useful way for jewelers and jewelry buyers alike to determine the value of a gemstone.

Cut: this refers to the way the facets of the jewel reflect the light. The better its cut, the more it sparkles. Many confuse the cut of a jewel with “shape.” Shapes are just as the name suggest, the shape of the stone — round, princess, radiant, pear, etc.

Color: this actually refers to the lack of color the stone has. White diamonds containing little or no color receive a higher quality grade than ones with visible color.

Clarity: since diamonds are created by the Earth, almost all diamonds have slight imperfections and blemishes, known as “inclusions.” An inclusion can interfere with the way the light passes through the diamond, so the less inclusions, the more it sparkles!

Carat: this refers to the weight of a stone. In most cases, the bigger the stone, the higher the carat. Once you’ve selected your cut, color and clarity grade, you’ll be able to easily determine the carat weight that will fit within your budget. Remember, the stone isn’t the only thing you’re buying, so factor in the ring setting as well!

5. How do I figure out her ring size?

The easiest way would be to ask her, but if you’re hoping to surprise her, see if you can acquire one of the rings she wears often for reference. Once you have that (and you know she wears it on her ring finger), download our ring sizing guide to determine the size you should buy. If she doesn’t have any rings that you could borrow without her noticing, maybe her sisters, mother or best friend can guide you in the right direction.

I hope this helped and good luck! Once you have an answer for all of these questions, make sure to visit The Bradford Exchange Online to see our dazzling selection of women’s rings. With a wide range of styles, stones and materials, it’s a great resource for engagement rings and fine jewelry designs to surprise and delight her as the years pass.

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