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Choosing an Engagement Ring      
  dating guides · engagement ·ring

   You're ready to pop the question are you? Well, you better make sure you have picked out the right ring first! Remember, this is a ring she will wear everyday for the rest of her life and you want to make sure she loves it. Plus, she's gonna show it to everyone she knows, so do yourself a favor and make sure you get a good one!

   Choosing an engagement ring isn't like it used to be. In fact, 60% of women are directly involved in choosing their ring and 3% actually select it themselves. "Women know exactly what they want. They're shopping for the ring with their fiance to find something wearable that fits their lifestyles," Lori Seto, proposals editor at said.

   The first step in choosing an engagement ring is to find out what your girlfriend likes. Look at the type of jewelry she already wears. Does she own predominately silver or gold jewelry? This will help you figure out which metal to go for. The trend these days is to go for platinum, but if she's gold only then you better know it. If you need some extra help, ask her girlfriends or even her mom for some help. They know what she likes best and chances are your woman has already discussed her ideal ring with her mates.

   The next step is to find a good jeweler. The best way to do this is simply by asking around- married friends are a great resource for this one. One thing however, no matter how good the reputation of the jeweler, make sure that they are a member of the American Gem Corporation, otherwise you might as well buy the ring from the guy with a trench coat on the corner. Trust your gut when dealing with the jeweler and ask yourself these questions, "What kind of vibe does the store have?" and "Is the staff knowledgable and patient?" And make sure to check out the return, repair, and replacement policies.

   So now you are ready to buy are you? Budget is a big thing when it comes to engagement rings. That's an obvious statement. Here's one that isn't... According to Money magazine, the average expenditure on an engagement ring is $2100. You've heard you should spend two months salary on the ring right? Well if you did, the average 18-35 year old guy would spend $6250. Just food for thought... Once you have decided on the ring, negotiate. Prices aren't set in stone (no pun intended), but jewelers sure want you to think they are. Keep in mind that that average jewelry store charges double what they should. And always remember that it is better to have a smaller, better-quality ring than a big, dull rock.

   In choosing a setting and a band, go with what you like. Check out our list of Top 6 Engagement Rings to see some of the most popular settings. Bands are usually gold, white gold or platinum. As we mentioned earlier look at what she already wears to decide on this one. As far as settings are concerned, you can choose a cluster, prong-solitare, bar, gypsy, or channel settings, and these are just a few. The type of diamond you choose will narrow down your setting choices, so go with what looks and feels good to you. One note: if you go for a prong setting, platinum is stronger than gold, which can also give the diamond a yellow cast. Make sure the shank, or the "ring" part, isn't too delicate and ensure it's stamped witha quality mark and the manufacturers trademark.

   Yippee! You've found the ring. You're almost done! Now it's time to pick the stone. Here's our one piece of advice for this: Get a diamond. No matter how tempted you are to pick another jewel and no matter how fashionable it may or may not be, stick with the diamond. That's it. No further discussion needed.

   Well, just one more thing. Since you are picking a diamond for the one you love, make sure you get a good one! You should always buy a diamond, or any stone for that matter, loose, so that you can examine the entire stone with a loupe before you plunk down a chunk of cash. Make sure it has a cert, or a written document that lists the clarity, cut, color and carat of the diamond so you are sure what you are buying. Make sure you understand the importance of these qualities before you buy. Don't have a clue what the 4c's are? Go learn...

   So that's it, you now know how to choose an engagement ring. So go get engaged! But plan ahead, remember that it can take up to six weeks for a ring to arrive once it has been ordered, longer if you have it custom designed...

   Blue Nile has a really neat thing on their website that allows you to build your ring from beginning to end. They also have tons of information on diamonds and everything else you could imagine needing to know for an engagement... : Everything Dating from Pick-up to Break-up

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