Shopping for an engagement ring? Congratulations! This is one of the most exciting purchases in your life, at one of the happiest times in your life. That being said, we know all too well how overwhelming and even stressful engagement ring shopping can be too. Which is why, here at Keezing Kreations, we do everything in our power to make this experience more of the former, less of the latter. This includes filling you in on a few engagement ring shopping trade secrets… Read on for our top five things to know when buying an engagement ring, designed to give you all the practical tools you need when shopping, which will, in turn, allow you to focus on the more emotional, joyful and romantic aspects of this adventure.
1. Your budget matters
We know you’ve heard this rule: “Shopping and budgeting for an engagement ring? Plan to spend the equivalent of at least three months’ salary if you want it to be ‘right’.”
We call absolute nonsense on this old chestnut.
There is no ‘right’ amount you “must” spend on an engagement ring. The right amount is the amount you can afford without causing unnecessary stress as you start out your married life together. This means spending only what you’re comfortable with; only what works for your financial situation.
“But diamond rings are expensive,” we hear you saying. Yes, there is no denying that diamonds are not cheap. But there are ways to ensure that you can still buy the ring of their dreams without falling prey to the resentment that going over budget can cause. For example:
- Choose a jeweler who will not only respect your budget but work with you within that budget to still find the ring that puts a sparkle both on that ring finger and in their eye. A good jeweler knows how to achieve your engagement ring dreams without pushing you into a ring you can’t afford.
- There are ways to compromise on your diamond dreams without sacrificing total quality – check out our step-by-step guide on how to buy a diamond within your budget.
- You don’t have to buy a diamond engagement ring at all – you might consider designing a ring around a more budget-friendly gemstone, for example. All the beauty with half the budget.
- Flawless doesn’t necessarily mean perfection. By focusing on your partner, their likes and dislikes, their lifestyle, and more, you can achieve perfection in a ring design without forcing a flawless diamond into the equation.
2. The 4Cs matter
If you do decide to stick to the tried and tested diamond engagement ring (according to a Ringspo survey done in 2022 the diamond is still by far the most beloved of all engagement rings, with 82.3% of all engagement rings sold in the US being diamonds), then you’re going to want a little knowledge of diamonds before beginning your search. This is where the 4Cs come in.
The 4Cs are how a diamond’s quality is determined, using the following indicators:
- Cut: This is a grading of how well a diamond is cut from the original stone, which affects how it captures light, which in turn affects the diamond’s sparkle factor.
- Color: This is a measurement of how colorless a white diamond is.
- Clarity: Clarity is measured as a grading of how flawless a diamond is, both internally and externally.
- Carat: A weight measurement that can give you an idea of how large a diamond is.
Top tip: While all the 4Cs are important and each plays their own role in how the diamond looks, sparkles, and how much it costs, expert jewelers agree that there are ways you can compromise or prioritize the 4Cs to cut down on costs if necessary. Their secret? Prioritize CUT when you are looking at diamonds for your engagement ring purchase. Why cut specifically? Because a diamond which is poorly cut won’t reflect light well, resulting in a dull or dim stone… and truly, what is a diamond that doesn’t sparkle but dust?
Learn more about diamonds in general, and the 4Cs specifically, on our ‘Diamonds’ educational page.
3. Size matters
Yes, it’s true: size does matter! No, we’re not talking about the size of the diamond. The size that matters in matters of the heart? Your partner’s ring size.
Even if you’re hoping to surprise your life partner with the proposal, ring in hand, you MUST find a way to measure their ring size accurately. Here’s why: aside from the guaranteed disappointment – for both of you – if the ring doesn’t fit at the big proposal, depending on the design of the ring you end up choosing, it might be very difficult to have the ring resized after the fact. Solitaire rings are easy to resize, for example, but eternity rings, or rings with bead-set diamonds, pavé or some other details on the band are much trickier to resize, if at all possible.
The very best way to measure ring size is to use a proper jeweler’s ring sizer: a set of plastic or metal rings in different sizes that the wearer tries on to determine the perfect fit.
Of course, If you want the ring-making process to be a surprise, a ring sizer is a dead giveaway. So, what to do, what to do?
- Sneakily borrow a ring your partner already wears on their ring finger:
- now trace the inner circle on a piece of paper,
- or slide it down one of your own fingers and draw a line where it stops.
- Using these markers, a jeweler can help you to estimate the approximate ring size.
- You could also try measuring their ring finger with a piece of string while they sleep.
In other words, whatever it takes, get that ring size!
4. Style matters
When it comes to choosing an engagement ring, your partner’s personal style should definitely play a key role in your decision making. Before you choose the ring that will be a symbol of your everlasting love, make sure it’s in a style that will have their everlasting delight. How do you go about this?
- Take some time to really notice your partner’s style preferences – look at jewelry they wear often, their go-to clothing style, even their home decor choices.
- Is their style vintage? Romantic? Sleek and modern? Classic and elegant? Fun and funky?
- Knowing this can really help you, and your jeweler, decide on the right look and design for your engagement ring.
Another good idea is to rope their family and friends in. Their best friend, sister, mother… these are the people most likely to be privy to their style sense, and their heart’s secret desires for their engagement ring! Lean on these people for their input, or even take one of them shopping with you for the ultimate style guide!
Finally, unless the surprise factor is crucial in your proposal, the very best way to get the engagement ring just right is to involve your partner in the choosing thereof.
5. Protection matters
An engagement ring – even one bought on a tight budget – is an investment. It is an item of jewelry that has considerable value – both monetary and sentimental. With this in mind, it is definitely worth including the cost of jewelry insurance in your budget when engagement ring shopping.
Your insurance should consider things like:
- Strange disappearances (bathroom sinks and shower drains have devoured more engagement rings than you could ever imagine, and yes, it could happen to you too).
How to go about purchasing insurance? Ask your jeweler for a reputable broker and be sure to get the proper professional written appraisal documenting the value of your engagement ring from your jeweler to take with you to that broker. (Note: All Keezing Kreations custom handmade jewelry items come with a free written appraisal; we are also more than happy to offer appraisals for other jewelry pieces for a small fee.)
And there you have it: five practical trade secrets to making your engagement ring shopping experience a little less overwhelming, a lot more exciting!
At Keezing Kreations we can help you choose just the right engagement ring, designed with your budget, your love’s personal style, and both your hopes and dreams in mind! Whether you’re wanting a classic solitaire diamond engagement ring, an on-trend colorful sparkler, a vintage-styled stunner, or are eager to celebrate your love with a completely unique engagement ring, at Keezing Kreations we can create an engagement ring that will last the test of time and trend, and shine as bright as your love.