Engagement Ring Shopping Tips And Recommendations

When you are ready to buy an engagement ring, keep in mind it is one of the larger purchases you may make in your lifetime and also one of the most important. For this reason you should educate yourself and prepare for its purchase as best you can. Here are some tips to help prepare you for when you are ready to shop for an engagement ring so you can make an informed choice.

Plan For a Budget

Although an engagement ring is a small piece of jewelry, it is usually from a valuable metal, such as gold, silver, platinum, or white gold, and it may contain one or more valuable stones, such as diamonds. For these reasons, an engagement ring purchase can easily be the equivalent of several month's wages. However, just because an old saying says you have to spend several month's wages on it, that does not mean you have to go with this limit. You can spend any amount on an engagement ring as long as you are comfortable with its cost. 

Make a budget or your engagement ring purchase and stick to it when you go to the jeweler to pick out a ring. You can save up for the entire purchase or finance all of its cost based on how much you can pay each month. Look at your monthly expenses and see how much you can realistically afford. Or, you may also want to plan a budget and save up for half the cost, then finance the rest. Many jewelers can offer financing for the ring's purchase, or you can take out a loan with your personal bank or credit union.

Consider Your Choices

After you have decided on a ring-buying budget for the purchase, you can begin looking at all the different options with a ring. One of the first things an individual looks at with an engagement ring is the diamond. The shape and cut of the diamond can make a smaller stone appear larger, for example, and help you get more sparkle for your budget.

Then, you will likely look at a diamond's color next. The whiter the diamond, the more valuable and rare it is, and the more yellow color the stone contains, the less rare it is. Your jeweler can guide you through this selection process and point out each of the various qualities to a diamond to help you make an informed choice.

You can also choose the type of metal your ring is made from, such as white or yellow gold, platinum, or silver. If you like the look of silver but want the durability of gold, you may want to choose white gold. Otherwise, there is also rose gold or yellow gold, which are uniquely beautiful. 

If you prefer yellow gold, you can choose from 10k, 14k, or 18k, depending on the amount of alloys that are mixed into the gold, with 18k carat containing the least amount of alloys at 75 percent gold. An 18k gold is a softer mixture and can scratch more easily than 10k or 14k. So if you live an active lifestyle, a 10k or 14k gold is going to be more durable and longer-lasting without experiencing scratches.

Look at Long-Term Protection

Once you have selected your engagement ring and handled its payment, don't forget to see to its protection in the future. An engagement ring with prongs that hold valuable stones is at risk of wearing down over time and also becoming damaged from a bump on a hard surface.

Ask your jeweler about a protection plan to replace any missing stones. You can also arrange regular check-ups for your ring in which your jeweler will inspect the ring for damage, repair the damage, and also clean your ring to keep it sparkling.