These days, many couples are shopping for engagement rings together. You can decide on a budget and find a ring without the stress of going in blind (or alone). However, if you’re indecisive, the process can still be challenging. How can you find a ring that fits your personality and style, but also captures the spirit of your relationship? How can you stay within budget, while still getting something you can show off?
Step One: Understand Your Goals
First, you’ll want to define your goals, together and as an individual. What, exactly, are you hoping to get out of this ring? Chances are, you’re fantasizing about the “perfect” engagement ring, but what does “perfect” mean to you?
There are a few different dimensions to consider here, such as:
- Cost. The average couple spent $5,764 on an engagement ring in 2017, but this may be way over or way under your intended budget. For some people, a budget should be flexible, serving only as a high-level range; if you find the perfect ring, you should feel confident exceeding your initially planned budget. For others, it’s an absolute; if your financial health is important to you, all other considering factors become secondary.
- Style. Another priority could be the style of the ring. For example, if you like traditional looks, you’ll want to prioritize classic engagement rings. If you want something more modern or more unique, you’ll need to consider those design elements.
- Comfort. If the ring is sized appropriately, it should fit you perfectly well. But there are other comfort-related factors to consider. For example, if you plan on wearing this ring at all times, the size of the stone may get in the way of some of your responsibilities.
- Longevity. How important is it that you choose a ring with a style, formation, or build that has lasting power? In other words, is this ring going to look this good on you 50 years from now?
These aren’t the only possible priorities you can have, but they are some of the most common. Which of these is most important to you? Which of them can take a backseat? Knowing your goals in advance will make the rest of the process much easier to manage, and if you do find a “perfect” ring along the way, it’s going to seem obvious to you.
Step Two: Define Your Taste
Next, define your taste in engagement rings. You can start with something basic, like do you prefer traditional styled rings, or something more unique? For example, do you prefer a classic diamond or are you open to a different type of stone, or no stone whatsoever? Do you prefer rings with a basic and minimalistic structure, or ones that are more lavish, with busier design work?
There are also many factors to consider as they relate to the stone. Color, carats, clarity, and cut are the classic “four C’s” of diamonds, but you may also consider the overall shape, the anatomy, and the certification of the stone. There may be some objective factors here; for example, most people prefer a clearer stone. However, most of this simply boils down to personal taste. Take a look at many different rings online so you can get a feel for what you like and what you don’t like. Then, attempt to describe your taste as concisely and informatively as possible, using it as a loose guide for the remainder of your shopping experience.
Step Three: Experiment
Next, you’re onto experimentation. It’s good to have an idea of what you’re looking for in advance, but you’re only going to be certain when you’re trying on a ring and seeing how it looks on your ring finger. For this reason, it’s a good idea to go to multiple different jewelers in person, even if you don’t intend to buy anything yet. There, you can see many different ring styles and browse through them, seeing how they look on you, specifically. It’s best to keep an open mind during this process, experimenting with stones, shapes, and styles you might not have ordinarily considered; you might be surprised at what you come to like and dislike this way.
There’s probably no such thing as a “perfect” engagement ring, but you can get pretty close if you have a good understanding of what “perfect” means to you. Invest time in contemplating and researching various ideas, and keep your mind open during the discovery process. As you set priorities and goals for the endeavor, you’ll gradually get closer to a firm standard for the ring you want, and your range of options will get much clearer. It may take some time, but it’s worth the effort.
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