Engagement Ring Shopping Tips

Engagement RingAbout two weeks ago, I said in my Round Table post that I had some news to share. I ended up getting engaged! Yup, I decided to take the plunge. I never shopped for a diamond before, so when I first stepped into a jewelry store it was a little overwhelming. I ended up doing a lot of research online and ended up getting a great deal. Here are some tips I am passing on to anyone looking to get engaged.

Engagement Ring Buying Tips

Know What She Wants

I’m not saying to go shopping together and pick out the engagement ring then and there. But at least know what she wants. In my case, my girlfriend went out with her sister and took some pictures of rings she liked. This was great for me because the style she likes (and ended up getting) is nowhere near what I would have bought. In fact, I would have never even considered it! Remember guys, she is the one wearing it, so buy something she likes.

Have a Budget

I didn’t follow any of the old standbys of “x months’ worth of salary” for an engagement ring. I just decided on what I could afford and went from there. You will find that some jewelers will try to talk your price point up while others will work with you and tell you in order to get an engagement ring at that price point, you are going to have to sacrifice this or that.

Be Smart When Choosing a Stone

When it comes to a diamond, you always hear about the “4 C’s”, cut, color, clarity, and carat. By being smart about these, you can save a good deal on money. First off is clarity. You go from flawless (big price tag) all the way down to flawed diamonds where the imperfections are visible to the naked eye. To save money, don’t buy a flawless diamond. In fact, you can move pretty far down the line, to S1 diamonds and still have the diamond be flawless looking to the naked eye. The price you pay for a flawless or near flawless diamond is pointless, unless you plan to walk around with a jeweler’s loupe all day.

From there, we move on to color. Again, you pay more for colorless diamonds, but that colorless isn’t really detectable to the naked eye. By purchasing a diamond on the “H-J” color scale you will save money and won’t notice the hint of color.

Next, we move on to carat. The biggest tip is this: Don’t buy a carat that is a common number. This means if you want a 1 carat diamond, buy a 0.91 carat. You will not notice the difference in size and will save a ton of money. Also, if you are choosing a setting with smaller diamonds around the main stone, you can go even smaller with the diamond. The smaller stones will accentuate the diamond, making it look bigger than it actually is. Even if you aren’t going this route, pick a stone with an odd size, like mentioned above. If you are worried about the size, ask to see a 1 carat next to the stone you are looking at. When I did this, I couldn’t tell the difference in size.

Final Thoughts

There is no reason to go into debt before you even get married when buying the engagement ring, so make sure you have a budget in mind and stick to it. Be sure to shop around as well. After a few trips to various jewelers, you will get a feeling when the jeweler is being real with you and when they are just trying to get you to buy something. Lastly, use the tricks I laid out above so that you get the most bang for your buck as they say. For me, there was no point in paying more for things that no one would notice.

Readers, anyone want to come to a wedding? Hurry spots are filling up fast!!

Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

13 thoughts on “Engagement Ring Shopping Tips”

  1. Congrats, that’s awesome! I like the approach you took in buying the ring. I actually gave my wife my grandmother’s ring as it had been given to me. So, not only was it free but it looks really neat and has a great story behind it. It’s probably a good thing too, because I needed all the money I could get for the honeymoon. 😉

    1. That’s cool that you could use a family heirloom. We have been accumulating points and miles with our credit cards and are hoping to take as close to a free honeymoon as possible.

  2. Congratulations on your engagement!!!

    I’m really glad my husband bought my diamond without me i.e. without the huge analytical decision-making process we go through now for big purchases. It’s so difficult to compare diamonds against one another with different Cs and prices. You ultimately just have to jump into a decision!

    1. I agree. I was looking at two very similar stones and really could not tell the difference between them. The jeweler even gave me his loupe to see if I could find the imperfections…and I couldn’t. I could have spent hours analyzing more, but figured that they were both virtually the same, except for price.

  3. Congrats man! When I bought my wife’s engagement ring I was able strike a deal with the Jeweler and pay cash spread out over several week which allowed me to pay the ring off and not pay the big chunk of cash up front.

  4. Congrats on your engagement! I’m engaged too!!! Great points here, especially quality, I actually was lucky enough to have an honest salesman that told me that after discussing what I was looking for and at what price. I was able to get the ring of her dreams for so much less than I thought and, no debt! Loved it. Thanks for the great read!

  5. Whoaw! That’s good to her man. I saved before I bought her an engagement ring and did my research as well. And yeah, just like you, I believe that you don’t have to go broke just for the engagement ring.

  6. Of course, as a broke college kid, I purchased my wife’s ring on credit and paid it off over the course of a year. Congrats on the engagement and good luck on the wedding plans!

  7. Alexis Marlons

    Congratulations with your engagement! I like the tricks you shared like not getting a common number of carat and that a big stone is more emphasized if surrounded by smaller ones. I didn’t actually realize that. Thanks for sharing these tips and tricks.

  8. I agree, you must first and foremost “Know what she wants” before buying an engagement ring. Investigation is key in finding the perfect ring for your sweetheart. Since I wanted it to be a complete surprise, I actually snooped around my wife’s jewelry box to see what type of styles she wore and also looked at her social media pages. I found out that she wore many vintage styles; which influenced my decision to purchase a Used Engagement Ring. I ended up making the right decision judging from her tears of joy when she received it.

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