You’ve nervously asked her father for permission to ask her hand in marriage, so really, the hardest part is over. But now it’s time to find the other “the one” — the ring of all rings, the little symbol of eternity that will incite an unequivocal, passionate yes!
From figuring out your finances to knowing how to swoon your soon-to-be fiancé
with a ring that fits her style, here are my top tips for buying the perfect engagement ring.
First thing’s first: the cost. This is probably the part of the equation that’s inducing more anxiety than the thought of actually getting down on one knee and popping the question. According to WeddingWire, the average cost of an engagement ring is $5,000. Most folks I know don’t want to sacrifice quality for price, but they aren’t exactly in love with the idea of using their rainy day savings, either.
My rule of thumb? If you don’t have the cash, get comfortable with going in “shallow debt.” What I mean by this is, buy the best ring you can without going into major debt, but don’t shy away from considering financing options, including a manageable, low-interest personal loan that you can pay off in less than 6 months. Earnest, for example, has attached itself to the phrase “money for life’s biggest moments,” and offers an engagement ring loan that starts at 5.25% APR. And according to David Weliver, founding editor of Money Under 30, a diamond engagement ring is one of the three largest purchases most people will make in their lifetime, the other two being a house and a car.
When it comes to how you can save money when shopping, buy just shy of the next carat, e.g. 1.8 instead of 2, which can save you nearly 20%. The same goes for clarity, keeping in mind that most defects are not visible to the naked eye.
This brings us to the 4 C’s of diamond quality: colour, cut, clarity, and carat. The more you know about what makes a quality diamond, the better informed you’ll be when it comes to making a smart, bang-for-your-buck decision.
Colour is graded on a scale from D (colourless), which is the most sought-after, to Z (light yellow). Contrary to what many believe, a diamond’s cut is not the same as its shape. The cut refers to the way the stone is cut in order to increase sparkle. Clarity is the measure of a stone’s imperfections, and carat is the weight. Generally speaking, the higher the carat, the more it will cost.
The secret here? There are ways of finding this crucial piece of info out while still keeping it, well, a secret. This is probably the only time you’ll be advised to partake in a near-criminal activity. Steal one of her rings she’s worn recently and bring it to a jeweller to be measured.
This part really feels like the ultimate test, doesn’t it? Get her a ring she doesn’t like, and it’s as if you don’t know her at all. First step: take a deep breath. The trick here isn’t always about knowing what she’ll love, it’s knowing who else will know what she’ll love and getting their help if you need it. And if you can trust them to keep a secret.
You can also take advantage of your first visit to the jeweller about her ring size and ask them about what they, the ring expert, think she might like based on the ring you borrowed from her jewellery box.
If you’re really that unsure, familiarize yourself with the company’s return policy. What’s worse than buying her a ring she doesn’t like is buying one she doesn’t like and you can’t return.
When do you want to pop the question? Remember, buying an engagement ring isn’t usually as simple as picking one out from underneath the glass and taking it home. Once you order a ring, it can take up to six months to arrive. If you have the ring custom designed, it can take even longer.
Not sure about what kind of rings she might like? Visit Wedding.com.my for some inspiration and ring ideas.