The day has finally come—you've determined, beyond any doubt, that she's the girl you want to marry and you're ready to take it to the next level. Nothing about the process is going to be simple, though— from picking out a ring to the actual proposal itself, the experience will involve some stress and nerve-wracking emotions. Thankfully for you, we're here to help make at least the first part easier for you.
You want the moment to be as special as possible. You want her to be overcome with emotion when you ask her, "Will you marry me?" You want to see her face completely light up when she sees the ring you picked out for her. If you need help getting the perfect ring, follow the five steps listed below—you'll find that the whole experience doesn't have to be a wearisome slump through endless options:
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#1 Know your diamonds
The diamond is arguably the most important part of the engagement ring. It's also the most expensive part of it. Because there are so many varieties, you really should do some research before you step into a jewelry store and make a decision. What cut would you like the diamond to be? How about the clarity, the color, or the carat?
If you're completely lost, the best thing you could do is seek the advice of an expert jeweler. A jeweler can help explain each of those characteristics to you so that you can narrow down which one is more in line with your partner's preferences. Just make sure to stay within budget—you don't want to buy a ring that's so expensive you go into debt... You're going to have so many other expenses to worry about down the road, should the proposal work out.
#2 Pick the right metal
Just like diamonds, the metal for the ring comes in a lot of options. Metal bands come in different types, colors, durabilities, malleabilities, and rarities, and each of those properties can affect the overall price of the engagement ring. The most important thing to consider when thinking about the metal is: which one would best complement the diamond you chose?
Most people go for the standard gold or platinum, but there are other options you can choose from if you want to be a bit more unique. There's white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, silver, tungsten carbide, cobalt, tantalum, and so much more. Each metal will impart a different feel and look to the ring, so it's important to be knowledgeable of those metals before you make a final decision.
#3 Get her size
This part might be tricky—you need to figure out the size of her ring finger. The measurement you get needs to be fairly precise too because you want it to fit perfectly and comfortable when the time comes for her to put it on. You don't want it too small that she struggles to take it off, and you don't want it too large that it becomes too loose for her finger.
You might have to "borrow" one of her rings so that you can get a good match on the size, or ask her close friends and relatives if they know. Many jewelers provide a helpful sizing tool so that when you do shop for the ring, you can get a visual idea of how big the ring will be when it's made. Also, don't stress too much about this because you can always get the ring resized later on. Plus, most jewelers do it for free.
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#4 Understand her style
You've likely been with your partner long enough to know her tastes. You might not know things specific to her jewelry preferences but you should already know some clues that can help you make decisions. Does she wear a lot of flashy jewelry? How big are the rocks on her other rings? What's her favorite metallic color? These little things can help you figure out your partner's preferred ring style.
The ring has to match her style. Though you're the one picking out the ring, she's the one who's going to be wearing it. You need to make decisions based on what you know of your partner. In a way, picking out an engagement ring is a true test of how well you actually know your partner. Don't be afraid to dig around and ask questions—just don't be too obvious about it.
#5 Insure it, to be safe
Buying an engagement ring is both a huge emotional and financial investment. That being said, it's always good to have your ring insured. Companies like Jewelers Mutual can offer you insurance that isn't tied to your homeowners' insurance. The insurance can protect you in case the ring is lost or damaged. For around $50 a year, that's not a bad deal.