Getting engaged surely is an important step in life, but it can be a real headache for the fiancé when comes the moment to choose the engagement ring.
Choosing the right engagement ring you want to offer to your fiancée isn’t an easy task.
The issues to be faced by the fiancé are many :
- what style and ring design does she like?
- what’s her finger size ?
- which stone to choose ? diamond or gemstone ?
- how to choose a diamond ?
- which metal will fit for the ring ?
- will my budget be enough ?
Picking up the right engagement ring perfect for her can be even much harder than planing your proposal for the fiancé that is not aware about jewelry and has to learn a lot before understanding what his fiancée prefers.
This article will detail all you need to know to be able to pick up the perfect engagement ring for your fiancée. And our infography resume all that at the end of our publication.
- Plan ahead of time the making of your ring
- Set your budget
- Do you know her ring size?
- Do you know her jewelry taste?
- The different precious metals available
- How to choose a diamond?
- Different gems cut are available
- Overview of different stone settings
- Colored stones options
- Ring engraving
- The Halo setting is your friend
Planning to get the right ring on time
Polls show that in average, a man needs two months to choose the ring design for his future fiancée. Add to this a manufacturing time of 2/3 months and you see that you will need up to 5 months to get the right engagement ring from start to finish.
So planning your engagement proposal and your ring making is crucial to be able to manage your proposal without stress.
If you plan to buy a non customized engagement ring, then it will be easier and faster for you to get your ring.
Set your budget and stick to it
There is almost an infinity of designs of shanks and combinations of gemstones, gemscuts and metal possible with changing prices so you will quickly get lost in the middle of this if you do not stick to your budget.
In France,the average price of an engagement ring is 750 dollars while it’s more than 5000 dollars in the US.
Before choosing an expensive ring, make sure that it will be a ring that will please, corresponding to your fiancee’s tastes.
How do you know her ring size?
Having the ring to fit her finger the day of the proposal is not an option.
If you do not know already her finger size, you have different options to get the information without having to ask her (if you want it to be a surprice):
- Check your own fingers’ sizes and then try to put one of her ring on one of them, you will have an indirect ring size measure
- You can take one of her ring to a jeweler to get the measurement made by him
- If you have a doubt, aim at a bigger ring size as she will be able to put it on the day of the proposal and it is always possible to resize the ring with your local jeweler
- Make your own ring size measure using this video tutorial
Check here how to measure your ring size
What you should not do:
- Do not ask her friends if you do not want her to know what you’re planning
- DO NOT measure her ring diameter with a ruler. DONT. The english ring size chart is a mess while the french ring size chart shows you the ring size as the perimeter of the inside of the ring in millimeters. The relation between the Perimeter and the diameter is Pi (factor X3) so any error on the diameter will X3 the error on the ring size.
If you want to measure your finger size (or her finger size) use this string method in the video that divide the error by a factor 2.
Investigate her ring preferences
If you do not now already the kind of jewelry design she prefers, you have three options:
- Ask her frients, which is not the best if you want to keep your proposal secret
- Investigate the jewelry she already owns, you will notice if she prefers white stones of colored gemstones, if she wears white metals jewelry of rose or yellow or grey, big or small jewelry with sober designs or large pieces of jewelry
- She does not wear jewelry, so aim for a dainty engagement ring
The precious metals used in jewelry
Here are the few precious metals that can be used for the making of your engagement ring:
Silver is the cheapest precious metal you could find. It is also the whitiest of all precious metals, but it get darker being oxidized by sulfurs agents so you will be to rhodium plate your ring every two years.
Gold is the most comon of all precious metals, you can get 14k, 18k, 20k or even 24k gold for your ring if you wish. 14k and 18k gold can be obtained in different colors, white, rose, black (with black rhodium plating) and yellow. Gold is inalterable which is a great advantage over Silver.
Palladium, is a grey precious metal that is not so comon in jewelry, it is more expensive that gold in jewelry. Palladium is also inalterable.
Platinum 950 is a grey precious metal that is quite comon nowadays. It is much purer (95%) that 18k gold (which is pure at 75%) and much denser. Because platinum jewelry weighs more than gold jewelry, and because working with platinum requires more work, higher temperature and specific machinery than gold, platinum jewelry is generally much more expensive thant gold jewelry. Platinum also is an inalterable metal.
Get more information about gold colors here
How to choose the right diamond for your fiancé’s ring?
Diamond cumulates the superlatives, it’s the hardest stone, the whitest, the most brilliant and the most demanded one in jewelry. It is also the most expensive one
To make your choice of diamond, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the 4Cs of diamond (Cut, Carat, Clarity, Color).
To make it quick, the diamond quality is evaluated according to the purity of the stone (the absence of inclusion), the whiteness of this one evaluated by letters from D to Z and by the cut quality of the diamond. Quality is presented through a warranty certificate drawn up by an independent laboratory.
GIA diamond certificate
The diamond price is defined by the Rapaport Diamond Report, depending on the Clarity, Color, Cut and Carat weight (hence the 4 Cs defintion of the quality of a diamond).
Most uninitiated people base their choice of diamond only on purity, color and weight totally omitting the cut quality while is the most important parameter for the shiny appearance of diamonds.
Note that there are also colored diamonds that offer durability and originality, their price depending on demand. You will find more information about black diamonds here, as an exemple.
Different Gemstones cut
You probably already know the main cut shapes of gemstones, but there are many more, as you can see in this presentation.
The most common are the top six. The princess cut shape is full of symbolism as you can check here.
Different types of settings
Stone setting is the most delicate operation when making your engagement ring. The most common setting for engagement rings is the claw setting that gives a clear view of the stone while the ring is set on the finger.
But there are different types of setting for the main stone of the ring you can see here the most popular ones:
Colored gemstones that are an alternative to diamonds
As you may know, diamond is very popular since 1947 since DeBeers started its massive worldwide marketing campaign: “A diamond is forever” .
Before that date, precious gemstones like Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald were the prefered gems set on royal and celebrities jewelry. As an example, the Talisman of Charlemagne from the IX° century is set with precious stones but without any diamond.
Sapphire is a corundum that can takes all the colors, from white to rose, the most reknown of them being the blue sapphire and while red corundum is called Ruby.
Following diamond, sapphire is currently the most requested gemstone for engagement rings. With a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, it’s a durable and precious stone since the dawn of time that was in fashion well before diamonds.
Example of blue sapphire and yellow sapphir engagement rings
This complete guide about sapphire gemstone will help you to choose the right sapphire for your ring
Ruby a deep red corundum color variation with its own name as it was known and sought after for its rarity. No other gemstone comes even close to deep red ruby called Pigeon’s blood ruby.
Emerald is the fourth well known precious gemstone, it is the most delicate of all with a hardness of 8 on the scale of Mohs and that which requires the most maintenance and care, especially with chemicals.
This massive solitaire emerald ring is a sober design
Engagement rings engraving ideas
While working on personnalizing your engagement ring design, engraving is still the best way to make it unique with a discreet emotive message hidden on the inside of the shank.
It is the easiest and cheapest way to personnalize your ring. Just make sure the shank of your ring design gives enough space for the engraving to be readible.
Modern engracing tools as CNC and Laser engraving allow to add symbols, hearts or other unique form of your choice.
Most common engracing ideas are about:
- Important dates of your life as a couple
- Latin engraving of text or numbers
- French or italian love words
- Funny sentence
- Unique signs/words only you two will understand
The righ engraving for your ring is the one that makes sense to you
Why the Halo setting is such a good option
If like many men you decide to design a custom diamond ring for your proposal to your fiancée, the diamond size matters twice.
First, the size, and so the visible size of the diamond will have a huge impact on the light and sparkles your fiancée will see on her ring.
Second, the size of the diamond will have an even bigger impact on its weight, and so on its price. This image resumes it all, for the same sparkling appearance, the halo setting savez you 60% of the diamond weight you would have with a unique diamond.
This infography resumes all the information detailed on this article. Do not hesitate to share it or leave a comment if want to share your one useful tip on how you choose your own engagement ring.
Infography on how to choose an engagement ring, click to enlarge