6 Tips to Picking and Buying the Perfect Engagement Ring

When it comes to getting down on one knee and asking that special question, you may think your soul mate saying yes is the hard part, but it’s how to buy the right engagement ring that’s going to keep you up at night.

Below are six tips to help make engagement ring shopping a little easier.

Popular Engagement Rings

1. Find Her Size
Don’t be the guy that can’t get the ring on her finger because he had it sized too small. Strategically “borrow” one of the rings she wears often so you have a current idea of her size. It takes seconds for the jeweler to match the size and you can have it back in her jewelry box before she even notices it’s gone.

2. Use Her Friends
At some point throughout this process you’re going to need their help. It’s very likely her girlfriends know the type of diamond she wants, a cut she’s keen on, or a designer she would have chosen herself. One caveat—if you know they can’t keep a secret from her this big, it’s better to confide in a family member instead like Mom, sis, or a favorite aunt.

3. Matching Wedding Bands
A lot of couples like to have matching wedding bands. If you’re going with white gold for her engagement ring, you’ll want to keep the same look for her wedding band so they don’t clash against each other. Since you’ll likely be wearing a matching wedding band, you need to pick something you can stand wearing yourself—every day for the rest of your life!

4. Follow the Guidelines
After you learn how gemologists’ grade stones (you can find this out online!) follow the guidelines on picking a stone sparkler. Any cut below ‘Very Good’ is out, and any color grade below ‘H’ will produce a yellow-looking diamond. Only you know your girlfriend’s taste—if she prefers a clearer color and better cut over size, go with less carats. Which brings us to…

5. Price Per Paycheck
If you’d like to have some money left over for the wedding or honeymoon, set aside a budget of 4-6 weeks of paychecks. Unless of course, you’re Jay-Z, then feel free to spend like there’s no tomorrow!

6. Diamonds Not Forever
These days, a white diamond isn’t the end all and be all. If your future fiancée is a huge fan of emeralds or sapphires (or another birth stone) she may love that more. Black and yellow diamonds are also becoming all the rage in Hollywood. You can even use a white diamond as a center stone and other side stones to surround it.

If nothing is striking your fancy in the display case, but you know your fiancée-to-be would love a ring by the chosen designer, tell them everything you can about her: what she does for a living; what she’s passionate about; the types of clothes she likes to wear; something she collects.

Brooklyn jewelry designer Nora Kogan says one of the best rings she ever created came from a man telling her his girlfriend loved spring.

You may not think of yourself as creative, but it’s time to play ring Picasso!

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