What to Expect When Shopping for an Engagement Ring

Planning for a proposal is an exciting time. One part of this process that is the most fun is shopping for an engagement ring. Not only is this item an important symbol of your eternal love, but it’s also a beautiful accessory that your partner will look forward to wearing every day. 

However, if you don’t know where to begin, the process can be a little daunting. You’ll need a lot of research to feel comfortable with this monumental purchase. Here are a few things you should expect when shopping for an engagement ring. 

Know Your Budget

There is no set rule on how much to spend on an engagement ring. It depends on personal budget and style preferences. However, a general rule of thumb is to save up three months’ salary beforehand. 

According to a 2022 study conducted by The Knot, the average cost of an engagement ring is around $6,000. Talk with your partner about what aspects they are set on and what they could live without. For example, maybe they prefer a luminous sparkle over a large stone, or vice versa.

Select a Stone

The next step to buying a wedding ring is selecting the stone. Begin by determining whether you want a lab-grown or a naturally forming stone. Lab-grown gems are anywhere from 30% to 50% less expensive than their counterparts; however, their value is also prone to depreciation. Otherwise, they look indistinguishable.

While diamonds are the traditional choice for engagement rings, don’t feel limited to this option. Opal, emerald, ruby, and sapphire are also great options that create a more unique and colorful ring. Depending on your partner’s preferences, you could even choose a stoneless band as an engagement ring.

The 4 C’s

The price of a stone is determined by the 4 C’s: cut, color, clarity, and carats. Once again, it’s important to go in knowing which features are most important and which you can save money on.

Cut refers to the shape of the diamond as it’s set in the ring. This is purely a stylistic choice. The most common cuts are round, pear, princess, oval, emerald, cushion, cushion, and asscher. You can learn more about these shapes here.

Color and clarity refer to the naturally occurring tints within the gemstone. For diamonds, clear is the best and most expensive option. The opposite is true for colored gemstones: The more vibrant and deep the color is, the better.

Finally, carat size is the measure of weight. Depending on the above factors you have decided on, you may want a larger or smaller carat size. 

Choose a Metal for the Band

The metal you choose for your engagement ring band must complement the gemstone you’ve chosen. Yellow gold is the traditional option, however, these days silver, white gold, and platinum are more in style. Rose gold is another trendy option that has a light and feminine feel to it.

Get Measured

Next, the ring finger will need to be accurately measured. Jewelry stores can do the measuring for you, or if you’re intending a surprise, there are a few sneaky ways you can get their ring size without them knowing. For example, find a ring they wear on their ring finger that fits them well. Bring that to the jeweler and they’ll let you know their size.

The fit should be snug and secure, but not tight enough to be uncomfortable. If you buy the wrong size, don’t stress out too much. The ring can most likely be resized before the big day.

Protect Your Purchase

Finally, always buy certified stones. Diamonds of at least one carat should come with a diamond grading report, issued by an independent gemological association such as the GIA or the American Gem Society. If the seller cannot provide this paperwork, don’t trust them!

Unfortunately, theft, loss, and damage can happen to your ring. Make sure your purchase is protected by a warranty or insurance policy. 

Going with the insurance option, you can either add this coverage to your home insurance policy, or you can purchase a specific jewelry policy through your insurance. They will require your receipts and an official appraisal.

Custom Engagement Rings in Frederick, MD

The engagement ring is an exciting once-in-a-lifetime purchase. For a beautiful piece that lasts as long as your upcoming marriage will, trust the experts at Gold Thumb Jewelry

Established in 1979, we have been serving Frederick, Maryland, and the surrounding areas with high-quality products and helpful customer support. Allow us to help you design a custom engagement ring they will love. Call now!

« Return to Blog