Buying an Engagement Ring Soon?
Need a Little Help?
How about some Smart Tips that will Point you in the Right Direction?
I just happened to be the Perfect Person for that Job. Why, you Say? Because I’ve been in the Jewelry Industry and Selling Diamonds and Engagement Rings for over 23 Years.
I’m Richard, and you can use my Experience and Knowledge to help you get a Great Looking Engagement Ring for Less!
You do want to Save Some Money Buying “The Ring“, don’t you?
I’ve put together a List of Ten Great Buying Guide Tips about What to Look for and How to Decide.
Here we go:
Engagement Ring Buying Tips
- See What She Likes
- Set A Budget
- Take a Quick Course in the 4C’s
- Shop Around, Compare Quality & Prices
- Break Up The Diamonds
- Buy White Gold vs Platinum
- Stick To An Affordable Clarity Range
- View With The Eye, Then With The Scope
- Don’t Get It Sized Or Engraved
- What’s The Return Policy?
Now let’s dive deeper and see what these all mean.
1) See What She Likes
There are Thousands of Engagement Ring Styles out there. Rings like the Classic Solitaire Ring (Tiffany Style), Wide Cathedral Mountings, Rings with Side Diamonds set in Pave, Wedding Sets, Trio Sets, Bezel Sets… The list goes on and on…
The Mounting could be Tension Set, Channel Set, Bead Set, Bar Set, Prong Set…
Take a Peek at some of The Most Popular Styles of Ring Settings…
The Metal could also be 10k, 14k, 18k, White Gold, Yellow Gold, Platinum or even Sterling Silver! (I Don’t Recommend Buying an Engagement Ring in Silver! – It’s too Soft and it Tarnishes!)
Where do you Begin?
How do you know what she’ll Like? You Test the Waters!
Find out what she likes SECRETLY! Take her to the Mall to do some Clothes Shopping and make it a Point to Stop in one of the Jewelry Stores (just one), to get yourself a New Watch, or a Watch Battery, or even just to get your Jewelry Cleaned!
While you’re there, Wander Around. Do this Casually. Pause at the Engagement Ring Case. Point out the Biggest Rock, or the Craziest Style, or a Blue Diamond, and say “Can I see that?”
This is just to get her Looking and Peeking in that Case. Have her look at a Few Rings and try them on (Just for Laughs and Fun).
But above all else, PAY ATTENTION!
This Trip is only to Observe
Keep an Eye on What she Picks out and What she Tries on.
Is it White Gold? Yellow Gold? Rose Gold?
Is it One Single Stone? Multi-Stones?
What Shape is the Center Diamond? (Brilliant Cut, Princess Cut, Oval, Heart, Pear…) See all the Different Shapes of Diamond Here!
Does she like Fancy Colored Diamonds? (Blue, Brown, Black, Yellow, Green…)
You want to take a Mental Snapshot of what she tries on and What Makes her Eyes Wide.
It could be Styles like these Brand New Rings on the Market…
Don’t Ask Her Any Pointed Questions
Questions like “What Size of Diamond do you like?“, or “What Ring Would you Want?“… Just observe. You don’t want to look like you’re Fishing for Info. You’re here for a Watch, Remember?
Notice what she points to and tries on. See what puts a Smile on her Face.
Save that in your Memory so you can Dig it out later, when you’re Alone and really ready to begin Ring Shopping.
For now, get your Watch, Battery, or Clean Jewelry and LEAVE!
Don’t say another Word about it. Don’t Bring up Price, Quality, Diamonds, Metals… This is a Fun Trip and nothing more. A Casual Swing into the Jewelry Store, she’ll never be the Wiser.
What Ever You Do:
DON’T RUIN THE SURPRISE!
2) Set A Budget
Now that you have an Idea of her Tastes, what she Likes and Doesn’t… Set yourself a Budget.
Why Set a Budget?
So you don’t get yourself in Trouble!
Figure out what Monetary Range Feels Comfortable to you. Jewelry Stores usually Suggest around 2 Months Salary, but it all Depends on what you can really Afford to Spend after all your other Bills are Paid.
You Still Need to Eat!
So what ever you do, don’t over do it. You can always get something a Tad Smaller now, and Upgrade Later in Life.
Set yourself a Range (like $2,000 – $3,000), and Stick with it!
That way the Salesperson Doesn’t Sweet Talk you into Spending $6,000 on a Ring that you don’t have.
Setting Limits Work!
Plus, it also gives you a Bargaining Chip. You can tell the Salesperson “I only have $3,000 to Spend!”
That way you both know what you’re in for.
3) Take a Quick Course in the 4C’s
You MUST Learn These!
If you Want to Buy the Best Quality of Diamond you can Afford, then you must get Familiar with the 4C’s BEFORE you Step Foot into any Jewelry Store!
I can’t say this enough. If you don’t take some Time to Read and Learn, you’ll probably end up with a Low Quality Diamond at a Cheap Price, and you’re Girlfriend will look at her Ring and say “My Diamond has a Huge Black Spot in the Center of the Stone!“
You don’t want to Hear that!
So do your Homework!
Take a Quick Course in the 4C’s to give you some Basic over all Knowledge. And wouldn’t you know it, I Wrote an Entire Post on just that! It’s a Great Post called The 4C’s in 4 Minutes! Read it, it will Help!
If you want to Learn more and take a Deeper in Depth Diamond Course, then by all means, Pick up my “Diamond Crash Course” eBook. It will Help you Immensely.
P.S. You can also Purchase my “101 Ways to Save Money On Diamonds“. That’s a Great Read that’s Worth EVERY PENNY and it could Save you THOUSANDS!
Learn the 4C’s, so when the Salesperson says “This is an GIA, I2, F, Certified Diamond with Strong Fluorescence“, you’ll know what they’re Talking about.
4) Shop Around, Compare Quality & Prices
What ever you do, Shop around Before you make any Big Buying Decisions.
Shop the Mall Jewelry Stores, and Shop the Independent Jewelry Stores in your Area. Check them all out.
I suggest you going to at least 4-5 Stores in your Area to really see all the Different Styles, Designs, Prices, Policies and Personalities out there.
This may Feel Overwhelming, and you may Hear Conflicting Views (which is why you want a Quick 4C’s Course), but it will give you a really Good Idea of what your Options are, what’s Hot, what’s on Sale, and what Guarantees and Warranties Different Companies have.
You’ll find out if you Feel Comfortable with a Store, the People, the Pressure they put on you… If you look at Enough Merchandise, you’ll see what Goods they Sell, and if their Prices are Average, or Way Over Priced!
Compare similar Styles and Take Notes!
Write it all down on a Tablet or the Back of a Business Card.
I would Spend a Good Day or Two (or Week) going all over Town to see they Offer.
Do some Rings Sparkle more than others? Are the People Friendly? Do they Pounce on you the Second you Enter the Door? Does one Store’s Prices seem Too Good to be True?
Trust your Gut!
Once you have a Better Grasp of the Situation, Check Online and Compare Styles and Quality there as well.
5) Break Up The Diamonds
Let’s Face it, a One Carat Diamond is Expensive! (But, it is the Dream Diamond Carat Weight, isn’t it?)
A One Carat Total Weight Diamond on the other hand, isn’t!
Why is this?
Because one single Diamond ALWAYS Costs more than the Same Carat Weight Broken up into much Smaller Stones.
Look at the two Diamond Rings below to see what I mean…
If you Buy a Loose Diamond (One Stone), you’ll be in for an Average Price Range of $3,000 – $7,000 (Depending on the Quality). That’s a Good Chunk of Money just for the Stone itself (and then you still have to buy the Mounting).
The Most Affordable Engagement Rings are the Rings with a Smaller Center Stone, but with many more Diamonds around it to really create a Visual Impact, and to make it “POP” and Sparkle like Crazy (Like these Halo Mountings HERE and these Pave Mountings HERE!).
One of my Favorite Engagement Ring Designers is Scott Kay (lots of Jewelry Stores Sell Scott Kay Engagement Rings). I just LOVE the Filigree! They have Rings in all Different Styles and Designs. Rings with Big Center Stones, to ones with Smaller Carat Weights and lots of Fancy Work.
Check them out…
I LOVE THEM! See how Beautiful his Designs are?
You can still get her a “One Carat“, just get it in “One Carat Total Weight” instead! :)
6) Buy White Gold vs Platinum
White Gold was made as a Substitute for Platinum. Platinum is Very Durable, Very Rare, and Very, Very Expensive.
It generally Runs from anywhere from 3-5 times the Price of Gold.
That’s why I say, if she likes “White Metals“, Buy her 14k White Gold!
White Gold is Bright, White and Adds Much Sparkle and Brilliance to any Diamonds or Gems. It’s just a Big Blur of Stunning Eye-Candy!
It’s the Perfect Metal of Choice!
7) Stick To An Affordable Clarity Range
Here’s something that most people don’t know… If you set an SI1 Clarity Diamond side by side with a Flawless Diamond (the Best Clarity there Is), you Won’t Notice any Difference with the Naked Eye!
The Stones will Look IDENTICAL!
This is because any Diamond Clarity SI1 or Higher (FL, IF, VVS, VS) all have Microscopic Inclusions ONLY! You can only see these tiny Flaws and Imperfections under 10x Magnification (what they use to Grade Diamonds with). You’ll need a Jeweler’s Loupe or a Microscope to see the Flaws.
So to the Eye, they will Look the Same!
That’s why Buying SI1 Clarity is Smart and makes Sense!
You won’t be Spending Good Money on something you can’t see.
If you really want to Spend that Cash on something that does make a Visual Difference, put it into Color. Buy a Colorless Diamond (D-E-F) and it will give you a much Whiter and Brighter Diamond!
Clarity = SI1, Color = D, E or F.
8) View With The Eye, Then With The Scope
What are we looking for? SPARKLE!
This is what I call the Eye-Test.
Every Diamond is Different, and every Diamond looks Different and Reacts to Light Differently.
Let your Eyes be the Judge!
Look for a Diamond that Sparkles and Dances in the Light. You want the Diamond to have Lots of Life. You want it to Shine like a Thousand Stars in the Sky.
That’s the Most Awesome thing about Diamonds… The Brilliance, Fire and Life of the Stones.
And what Causes this?
A Well Cut Diamond Affects the Sparkle and Beauty of the Diamond more than any of the other 4C’s.
So Strive for a Cut Grade (as listed on a GIA Diamond Report) of Excellent or Very Good. That way, you’ll be sure to get a Diamond that Really Dazzles.
DON’T SKIMP ON CUT!
Look for Excellent or Very Good, and while you’re at it, check what the Symmetry and Polish says as well. If you truly want the most Sparkle you can get out of any Diamond, make sure they have Excellent or Very Good Grades as well.
I would also only Trust GIA or AGS Diamond Reports (known as Certificates). They are Highly Accurate and Highly Recommended.
Cut IS the most important 4C there is!
This is where they list them on a GIA Diamond Report…
9) Don’t Get It Sized Or Engraved
Fatal Mistake #1… Getting your Ring Personalized Before you give it to her.
Here’s a Fact: 99% of ALL Jewelry Stores will NOT Return an Engagement Ring if it’s been Sized, Engraved, Custom Designed, or Custom Ordered!
While it Sounds like a Great Idea to have it Sized Ahead of Time (so when you give it to her it Fits), it’s NOT!
What if she Doesn’t Like it?
What if it Doesn’t Look Right on her Finger?
What if she Wants Something Different?
What if she says “NO”?
These are all Good Points to Consider, and something as Simple as a Standard Ring Sizing can certainly Mess Things Up.
Plus, when Guys get a Ring Sized, they are usually Just Guessing at the Size. “If it Fits on my Pinky, it’ll Fit her!” Not Cool! That Rarely Works, and Judging from one of her other Rings doesn’t really Work Either. All Rings Fit Differently. Some are Top Heavy, others Wider, some are Comfort Fit…
Chances are it will be Wrong!
The Ring still won’t Fit, and then you’ll have to Pay MORE to get it Re-Sized again (The First Sizing is usually always FREE!)
So DON’T get it Sized!
And DON’T get it Engraved… Yet!
You can Deal with these things After you give her the Engagement Ring, and After she says “YES“.
Take her to the Jewelry Store to get it Fitted. And that’s also when you can Slip the Sales Rep a Message that has the Engraving that you want Inside the Band. Whether it’s something Romantic like “All My Love“, “Hugs & Kisses” “Love Richard” (Yes, you can use my Name), or “6-1-96” (the Day you Met).
You could also put something silly like “Pookie Bear“, “I Love You More Than Chocolate” or “Tickle Me Elmo“… Just for Kicks.
Read More about Engraving Ring Quotes Here!
Whatever it is, have it done when they Size her Ring. Then when you Pick it up Later, it will be a Wonderful Surprise! “Awwwwwwwwww!“
10) What’s The Return Policy?
Some Jewelry Stores have a Very Limited Return Window. Like 3 Days, or 7 Days… Some Stores give you up to 3 Months, some may give you NONE!
Find out BEFORE you Buy!
Knowing how long you have to Return an Engagement Ring can Change when and where you give it to her.
If you’re buying the Engagement Ring in July, and Don’t Plan on Giving it to her until Christmas, then Chances are, you will be Way Past the Point of Returns.
So if she Doesn’t Like it, or if you Break up in November… You just Bought yourself a Very Expensive Pinky Ring!
Find out How Long you have to Return the Bridal Ring. See if there are any Restocking Fees or Penalties involved.
You don’t want to be Stuck with an $8,000 Diamond Ring that you Don’t Need (You may get $2,000 for it on Ebay).
P.S. You can always Keep the Ring in the Store’s Layaway Program. Stores usually have one. Keep it in there until it’s Closer to the Time when you’ll give it to her.
Doing that will also Keep her from Accidentally Finding the Ring in your Glove Compartment Box.
Check with the Jeweler and see what your Options are.
Just in case!
A Couple of other Suggestions, Pointers, Tips and Advise…
A) Microscope Everything!
See what the Diamond looks like Close up and what the Flaws look like Magnified 10x.
Use the Microscope and Check out all the Stones.
Look for Huge Flaws, Inclusions, Black Spots, Cracks, Chips and Fractures.
You never know. Sometimes you can Miss these things with your Naked Eye.
Use the Scope and Scope it out!
B) Pay Cash!
Don’t Charge It!
Paying Cash Saves you Interest Charges, Late Fees and Monthly Payments. Plus, if you Miss just One Payment, or are Late on a Finance Plan, it can Ruin any “Interest Free Financing Plans” they have, and Add on HUGE Interest Rates at the Maximum Amount Allowed by Law. OUCH!
Paying Cash can also get you a Better Deal!
Many Jewelers like Cash better because they Don’t Pay Credit Card Processing Fees, and they also Need Good Cash Flow to Stay in Business and Buy More Rings.
Ask the Jeweler “Can I Get this Cheaper if I Pay Cash?“
C) Go All Out For The Proposal!
Take her on a Trip. Go to the Beach. Propose at an Amusement Park at the Top of a Ferris Wheel…
Do something that Creates a Lasting Impression. Something Crazy and Fun. Something Romantic. Something Shocking. Surprise Her!
Make it Special and One-Of-A-Kind. Something she’ll Talk about Forever.
P.S. Don’t Forget to Video it!… And put it on Youtube for everyone to see! :)
D) Cleanings & Inspections
Make sure she takes her Ring in for Routine Cleanings and Inspections! Do this 2-3 times a year!
This will keep your Diamonds Sparkling like New, and Prevent any Possible Risk to your Ring, like Broken Prongs, Bent Tips, a Cracked Shank, a Loose Channel…
Have it Cleaned and Inspected at any Jewelry Store (or the one that you Bought it from). This is a FREE Service that could Save you Thousands, and Save your Diamond from Falling out of the Mounting!
Get in the Habit of having it Checked out. Some people say do it during “Daylight Savings Time“!
It’s a Good Way to Remember!
You’ll be Sorry if you Don’t!
E) Get The Ring Insured!
Don’t be Stupid! Get the Entire Ring Insured (even if it comes with a Diamond Guarantee). Have it added to your Home Owners Policy or Renter’s Insurance. Get the Ring Covered in Case Anything Happens to it…
You Lose a Stone!
Your Diamond Breaks!
Your Ring gets Stolen!
You Lose the Entire Ring!
It gets Damaged in a Fire, Tornado, Flood, or any Act of God!
Get it Covered and Insured from Top to Bottom. That way you’re Protected at whatever Life throws at you.
You never know what’s around the Corner…
A Lava Flow…
There you Go! That’s It!
I totally Hope this Engagement Ring Buying Guide has Helped you Picked the Right Piece for your Princess.
If you like it, Tweet it, Like it, Pin it…
So that one day, you’ll Finally Hear…
14k Wheat Chains
Top Diamond Vendors:
James Allen is a leader in diamonds. Their real time interactive diamond inspection is the best in the industry. View and rotate any diamond under 20x magnification. Their prices, selection, lifetime warranty, 24/7 customer support and hassle free returns are unbeatable. Visit James Allen today.
Blue Nile is the largest and most well known respected diamond dealer online. They are highly trusted, have a huge inventory, and low low prices (compare anywhere and see for yourself). If you want to save money, or build your own ring, this is the place to shop. Visit Blue Nile today.