The once piece of jewelry you'll wear for the rest of your life... OMG. It's definitely daunting to think about. You wouldn't want to pick something that you realize you wont want to wear long-term. Luckily for the women of today, many times the guys (or girls) who will be proposing are more than happy to get some major guidance when it comes to picking out the ring, in fact, they'll probably thank you for the direction. Before you can pick the right ring, you'll want to consider the following...
(Guys, if you're reading this and you're the one picking out the ring - study up!)
1.) What color jewelry do you usually wear?
Traditionally, engagement rings are made in either platinum or white gold because the white metal will make the stone shine and look bigger. However, you don't want to pick a white colored band you only wear yellow gold! Don't just go for the traditional platinum or white band if you are in the yellow-gold group (like me!) Check out the below for some fabulous yellow gold engagement inspo.
2.) Quality or size? Real Diamond or Fake? (OMG)
This question has two parts. 1.) quality of diamond 2.) do you want a diamond (oh yes, I said it.)
I'll have a whole separate article about how to pick a diamond and which diamond cuts hide imperfections or low color better than others but you can also google your heart out for answers on the cut, color, and clarity of diamonds but you wont know until you see the stones in person which one's really speak to you. Real diamonds are quite magical in that some of them just stand out, even if they aren't perfect on paper. With that in mind, don't pay more for a flawless stone if you haven't seen it in person. You might find you love a different one better, imperfections and all!
However, the second part of this particular question is to ask yourself if you actually want to, and can afford a real diamond in the size, weight, and look that you really want. These days more and more women are opting for lab grown diamonds or even diamond 'alternatives' such as moissanites. If you don't have tens of thousands to spend on a stone consider this, there's nothing wrong with you if you want the bold shiny big stone look without being able to pay for it right now. I've helped many people pick their perfect engagement rings and not all of them could afford the diamond of their dreams just yet.
3.) Frilly or simple?
Some people love to have the ornate look with lots of diamonds all around the center stone and different textures on the ring itself, others (most) prefer the look of a simple minimal design. More likely than not you'll know the answer to this one right away. However, it's not a question to overlook. It would be terrible to have a simple, classic ring if you wear all antique or ornate jewelry. You want your ring to really speak to you and to reflect your inner-most self so be sure to think about this question a little bit extra if you're on the fence.
4.) Is brand-name important?
While most women don't care who made their engagement ring as long as its beautiful and meaningful, some do. If you're in the group that cares about the name behind the ring whether it be Tiffany, Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels, don't worry, those places have countless rings to choose from. However, don't forget that what they're selling you has a huge marked-up pricetag and paying a lot for a designer ring won't actually mean that it has any more value down the line. Often women want to sell their rings and upgrade to bigger stone, and if you want to trade in any kind of a designer ring you'll certainly get significantly less for it than you paid for because the value of the stone and metal isn't nearly as high as what the price tag suggests!
5.) What size is your ring finger?
This one seems obvious but it's shocking how many women are given an engagement ring that doesn't fit! Know your ring size, ladies. Go into any jewelry store and have your ring finger measured - it takes a moment and they'll do it for free. Men, if you're guessing a size sight unseen it's safer to go a touch bigger than you think, especially if the band has diamonds on it, it's easier to resize a ring down than it is to go up. However, you can also sneak a ring out of her jewelry box and bring it to the store for a more exact estimate - justbe sure to bring it back!