shopping for an engagement ring

8 Things Couples Should Know Before Shopping for an Engagement Ring

Shopping for engagement rings is an exciting time for many couples. Now that you know who you’re spending the rest of your life with, you’ll want to find something beautiful that both of you can cherish for a long time.

Engagement ring shopping can become confusing if you’ve never done it before. Fortunately, Noe’s Jewelry is here with eight tips to help you find the perfect ring for the moment you’re sure to remember for a lifetime.

1. The 4 C’s

If you’ve shopped around for diamonds before, you’ve probably heard about the four C’s. Diamonds are graded and priced based on four different quality standpoints: cut, color, clarity, and carat. It’s important to know and understand the quality of a ring before you buy it since it can give you a better idea about the price.

The cut of the diamond has to do with its shape and proportions, which affects how the stone captures light. The shape of your engagement ring is a matter of personal taste, and there are multiple different cuts to choose from, including round, oval, princess, and pear.

Color has to do with the diamond’s clearness and how colorless it is. Clarity tells if there are any imperfections with the diamond, both internally and externally. The higher the clarity rating a diamond gets, the more valuable the stone is.

Finally, a diamond’s carat weight indicates its weight measurement and how large the stone is. While many people associate carat with size, it is actually a measurement of weight. However, diamonds tend to be larger as they get heavier, especially if they are cut properly.

2. Budget

The amount of money you choose to spend on an engagement ring comes down to your budget. Some people may recommend an amount you’re supposed to spend, but it’s really a personal decision. It’s better to find an affordable engagement ring that your significant other loves rather than spending a lot of money.

When deciding on your budget, keep in mind that center stones and settings are usually sold separately. When shopping for an engagement ring, you will have to spend money on both, so you’ll want to account for the price of both when you’re figuring out what you can spend.

If you want a larger or flashier ring but don’t have money to buy it now, you can always upgrade later. Many people upgrade their engagement rings on special anniversaries or birthdays because they have more money to spend on a larger diamond or a new setting.

3. Style

There are two elements of engagement rings with the largest impact on style are the shape of the center stone and the setting. The shape refers to how the diamond is cut, which can include:

  • Round: Rounded diamonds are in the shape of a perfect circle.
  • Radiant, Cushion, and Asscher: These three shapes are all very similar because they are shaped like a square. Each offers different curved and cut edges to allow for the diamond to sparkle in the light.
  • Princess: These diamonds are perfectly square-shaped with sharp, angled edges.
  • Pear: These diamonds look like a teardrop.
  • Oval: Oval diamonds are rounded to form a circular shape with two longer sides.
  • Marquise: This diamond shape is like an oval, except the shorter sides meet in a sharp point rather than a curved edge.
  • Heart: Just as its namesake says, this diamond is shaped like a heart.
  • Emerald: Emerald diamonds are more rectangular with curved and cut edges.

Along with shape, the setting of the ring also contributes to its overall style. The setting is how the stone stays connected to the band of the ring. Settings can range from modern styles to classic, vintage-inspired, or custom.

There are many different types of settings, although it’s more important to know the design and look of each rather than their names. The right ring setting can bring more focus to the center diamond, make the diamond appear larger and more striking, or allow for a line of smaller accent stones.

shopping for an engagement ring

4. Fiancée Involvement

Many people love to surprise their partner when they decide to propose, but it’s very common nowadays for both partners to shop for the engagement ring together. If you know your partner’s style well, you might have an easier time finding something they will love, and including them in the process is a great way to do that.

Your fiancée may be wearing this ring forever, or at least for a long time. Try taking note of her general style and other jewelry she enjoys wearing. If something about her taste is distinctive and unique, it can help narrow down your ring choices and make the decision a lot easier.

You can also ask a best friend or family member what your bride-to-be might be into. If they know her well enough, they may be able to offer some advice, or they may even already know exactly what she wants. If you’re still unsure what to get but want to keep the proposal a surprise, you can always use a cheap substitute for popping the question and then ring shop together later.

5. Ring Size

Ring sizing is dependent on the shape of one’s finger, the width of the ring itself, and how the person prefers the ring to feel on their hand. It’s best to buy the right engagement ring size in the beginning so you don’t have to stress about resizing later.

As a couple, you can go to the jewelry store together to have your partner’s finger measured. If you want to keep the proposal a secret, try bringing a ring your partner often wears to a jeweler so they can measure it. You can also put the ring on your own finger and see how far it goes down so the jeweler can measure that instead.

If you don’t know your partner’s size and have no way of measuring their finger, see if the store will let you use the floor sample to propose. After you’re engaged, you can come back and order the ring with your partner’s official measurement.

Some engagement rings can be resized. If you don’t know your partner’s size and have no way of measuring, a jeweler can help you pick out styles that can be adjusted later. Resizing involves cutting out a sliver of the band and adding in more metal to close the gap. Some rings can be resized while others can’t. Antique rings, rings with engravings, or bands entirely wrapped with gems cannot be resized easily.

You should never guess what your partner’s ring size is; instead, have their finger measured by a professional jeweler, or at the very least, buy something close to their size that can be resized later. Remember that it’s always better to buy a ring that’s a little too big than a size that’s too small.

6. Metal Options

Engagement ring settings can come in many different metal types. The most popular precious metals used for engagement rings are platinum and variations of gold, including white, rose, and yellow. The choice of metal you decide on for your ring can largely affect its style, as well as how much upkeep it will need over time.

Both gold and platinum are durable materials. Platinum is a popular choice for people with sensitive skin because it’s hypoallergenic and pure. Unfortunately, platinum needs frequent cleaning and polishing to maintain its original sheen.

Gold can come in a variety of colors. Yellow gold is very traditional, while white gold feels more contemporary, popular, and versatile. White gold is also a stronger metal than yellow gold because it’s typically mixed with nickel, making it less prone to scratching.

If you’re unsure which precious metal to choose for your partner, we recommend buying something that matches their everyday jewelry. For example, if they tend to wear mostly silver jewelry, platinum is a great option.

shopping for an engagement ring

7. Custom Engagement Rings

If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for when you go engagement ring shopping, you can always create an engagement ring. Custom engagement rings guarantee that you will get what you want because you can design something unique and special to you.

Creating a custom ring is easy. Creating something more personalized that speaks to your partner’s style and personality can be worth the extra expense. You can also have an engagement ring that’s one-of-a-kind.

8. Insurance and Extra Fees

There are some extra fees to consider that could potentially affect the price of your engagement ring. When you purchase your ring, you will have to pay sales tax. This may be a large amount, considering how expensive the ring is. You may be able to avoid paying sales tax in certain states or if you buy the ring from certain online retailers.

Another expense you should consider is any extended warranties that may be offered with the ring. Extended maintenance plans are great because they can protect you from manufacturing or factory damage, as well as everyday wear and tear.

You should also consider obtaining insurance to protect your ring in case it’s lost or stolen. Many insurance companies will allow you to add the value of your ring to your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance plans. You will need to provide them with a receipt of your purchase or an appraisal. The price of your insurance plan might increase a little bit, but it’s worth the peace of mind knowing if something happens that you’re covered and won’t lose a ton of money.

Noe’s Jewelry in Kansas City is here for your engagement ring needs. We can help you find the perfect forever piece for your love. Contact us today at 816-322-7227.