Choosing to buy an engagement ring is a major decision! It's not a purchase that should be taken lightly, especially if you want to ensure that you're able to choose a ring that meets all your needs, works within your budget, and that you won't have to return. However, that's a big ask!
With the plethora of options on the market, buying an engagement ring can be a challenging task. That's why it's essential to prepare for your purchase, so you can get the most out of it. Here's everything you should do *before* you buy your engagement ring.
Choose Your Budget
Think of your budget as a lifeline. A good budget not only keeps you from overspending, but it also enables you to allocate funds for other major expenses—like a memorable wedding and an awesome honeymoon. That said, your budgeting should start early on, especially if you need to save up for the perfect ring.
To get an idea of what your budget and saving goal should be, research rings that you think would be a great fit. Take a deep dive into your finances and determine just how much you can set aside on a monthly basis to reach your goal.
When shopping for your ring, don't make the mistake of going over the budget. It's easy to convince yourself to spring for the giant sparkler, but you should aim to get a great deal on a gorgeous ring.
Research Diamonds & Diamond Alternatives
Speaking of great deals, the stone you choose for your ring can make or break your budget. That's why it's essential to do your due diligence prior to committing to a specific ring. You might just dig up the diamond industry's best-kept secret: lab-grown diamonds.
Though mined diamonds reign supreme when it comes to popularity (at least for now), lab-grown diamonds are slowly gaining traction, too. Lab-grown diamonds seem too good to be true, but they might just be the perfect stone for your engagement ring.
Lab-grown diamonds are identical to mined diamonds both visually and chemically. In fact, the only dependable way to differentiate between lab-grown and mined diamonds is through the microscopic laser inscription on the bottom of the stone (mined diamonds have these as well). However, jewelry experts can't tell them apart without it.
They're identical because they're created in a lab setting that uses advanced technology to mimic the natural processes that cause diamonds to form. The best part? Lab-grown diamonds are significantly less expensive (up to 40% in some cases) than their mined counterparts, so you can easily get a larger stone for less. Lab-grown diamonds are the ethically sourced, budget-friendly diamond option.
Discover Your Partner's Ring Size
Do yourself a favor and avoid guessing your partner's ring size. Not only are you unlikely to guess correctly, but you'll also doom yourself to the process of getting the ring resized once you realize it doesn't fit.
To determine your partner's ring size you might have to do a little sleuthing and be a little sneaky. One of the most common ways to learn your partner's ring size is to discretely measure their ring finger with a piece of string. However, if you aren't able to do that, simply check out your partner's current ring collection. Pick out a ring that they've comfortably worn on their ring finger and take it into a jeweler to have it measured. If you’re unable to get it out of the house without suspicion, mark where it falls on one of your fingers and show that to the experts.
Shopping for an engagement ring can be hard, but you can make it a lot easier if you take the time to prepare. From reading up on lab-grown diamond options to sifting through your partner's ring collection, there's a lot you can do to ensure that you have a great engagement ring shopping experience.
All photos courtesy of Clean Origin