Buying an engagement ring is a big step, it means you have found the person you want to be with forever and you want them to know that too. Whilst falling in love is the stuff of fairytales, the practicalities of buying an engagement ring are all too real. That is why My Love Wedding Ring has put together this guide to help navigate the minefield of engagement ring buying.
The Practicalities of Engagement Ring Buying
Often an engagement ring is the first piece of fine jewelry that a man ever buys. Being such symbolic jewelry, it is important to choose wisely. The first thing many men consider is the look of the ring, typically seeing something that they like. But bear in mind, it is your partner who will be wearing the ring, so it is important that she loves it. It is also important that it is comfortable to wear. The ring must also be robust enough to withstand daily wear, particularly during your engagement and be affordable whilst being an investment reflecting your commitment to her. So what practical factors should be considered first? Well, let us take a look at them:
There is little that is romantic about finances. However, it is important to establish what your budget is for your engagement ring. A good engagement ring budget rule of thumb is for the groom-to-be to set aside between two or three months salary. If you are fortunate enough to have a greater budget, it is likely you still have a limit on what your spend will be. Once your budget is established, it is much easier to focus on engagement rings which fall within budget range.
If budget is an issue and money is tight, our advice would be to focus instead on buying a good quality wedding band. Wedding Rings are worn for the rest of your life and so a very beautiful wedding ring, for example an eternity band set with diamonds or a mixture of diamonds and sapphires, would be far and away a better option for those with a limited budget. In addition, in the future, when you are more comfortable, you can then buy her a beautiful engagement ring to complement her wedding ring.
As your bride-to-be will be wearing her engagement ring every day, during her engagement at least, it is important that it actually fits her finger well so ring sizing is important. Too small and the ring will be uncomfortable and may even get stuck on her finger. Too large and it can fall off and be lost. To help determine the correct size, try reading our My Love Wedding Ring Sizing Guide. Whilst it is best to choose a ring that fits well in the first place, we do know that finger size does change, for example during pregnancy, so we also offer a Ring Sizing Service
Matching Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands
This area moves slightly towards the area of style preference, but it does have a very practical basis, so bear with us! Some brides (and some bridegrooms!) like to have order in their life and so would prefer matching bridal sets. If your bride-to-be prefers her jewelry to coordinate, then this is something to bear in mind at the outset. Fortunately, there are a plenty of engagement rings available, such as those at My Love Wedding Ring, which also have matching wedding rings too. In addition, complete bridal sets of wedding jewelry are also available which means that earrings and necklaces to complement the rings are also available.
Choosing the Right Jeweler
Once you have determined your budget, established the ring size needed and worked out if the engagement ring will need to be part of a matching set of jewelry, the next aspect is to think about the jeweler that you buy from. For such a precious piece of jewelry, you want to work with a jeweler that is honest, reliable, helpful and very importantly makes beautiful jewelry. At My Love Wedding Ring, you will find all of these attributes and more. As jewelers, we take pride in creating beautiful, well crafted jewelry using solid precious metals, natural gemstones and conflict free diamonds. A 45-day money back guarantee is available along with a lifetime warranty on the fine jewelry. We can provide free ring sizing and free ring engraving, shipping is free and timely and we have excellent customer services as can be seen by our reputation as a top jewelry seller on Amazon. Jewelry is packaged in a beautiful presentation box and a jewelry care kit is supplied along with a gift card, making it ready for you to present to your beloved.
Engagement Ring Styles
You have decided to make a commitment to her and ask for her hand in marriage. You have worked out what your budget is, calculated what her ring size is, have a good idea if she will want a matching engagement and wedding ring set and found jewelers that you trust (and which we trust will be My Love Wedding Ring!). Now that the practicalities of engagement ring buying have been taken care of, it is time for the tricky bit: choosing the style of engagement ring for your bride-to-be. To help you with this task My Love Wedding Ring have put together a guide to engagement ring style.
Doing your homework
It is a good idea to try and get an idea of what the jewelry style of your bride to be is. Look at the jewelry she wears, is it simple, traditional, modern, chic, ornate, colorful, subtle or statement. Ask her friends, her mom, her sister for what they think her style is. Have a sneak peek in her jewelry box, particularly at the pieces that never see the light of day, as those are good pointers for what to avoid. Once you have gathered all this background knowledge, you are then in a much better place to choose a style of ring that will be just right for your bride-to-be.
Ring Styles and Designs
An engagement ring is typically made of a precious metal upon which is set at least one gemstone. There are millions of different styles of gemstone engagement rings but in the main, engagement rings tend to fall into three main categories, so we will focus on these:
These are one of the most classic style of engagement rings, a single gemstone, often a diamond, held in a beautiful setting on a band of precious metal. The symbolism is clear: there is only one. Whilst a very established type of engagement ring, the style of the solitaire engagement ring can be either be very traditional, for example a four prong setting holding the ring in a basket of precious metal set upon a delicate band, or bang up to date modern, such as a chic bezel set diamond on a simple band. Examples of both styles of ring can be seen at My Love Wedding Ring. A solitaire engagement ring can be a very safe choice of ring, as it is easy to wear, can suit almost any lifestyle and, if the style of setting is chosen to suit your bride-to-be, can complement her existing style easily.
Another very symbolic style of ring, which makes it perfect for an engagement ring, is the three stone engagement ring with gemstones representing the past, the present and the future of your life together. The stones can either be equal in size, although this is currently not so fashionable, or as is most common, the central stone is dominant and flanked by two, often contrasting, gemstones. An oval central gemstone flanked by two round gemstones, such as the oval sapphire engagement ring at My Love Wedding Ring, gives the ring a more traditional look. For those looking for a more modern take on the style, a round central gemstone flanked by round contrasting gemstones, such the pink sapphire engagement ring at My Love Wedding Ring, is ideal.
Prior to the dominance of solitaire diamond engagement rings, the cluster engagement ring was one of the most popular styles of ring. With a bold central stone surrounded by smaller contrasting stones, the cluster ring was put firmly back on the engagement ring map with Princess Diana's iconic sapphire and diamond engagement ring now being worn by Kate Middleton. Rings inspired by this, with an oval color gemstone surrounded by diamonds, can be found at My Love Wedding Ring, as can a more modern take on the design with a round central gemstone having diamonds clustered around it. These rings are very bold choices but also very beautiful and stylish.
Any of these engagement ring styles described above can be made more ornate by having the band of the ring adorned with gemstones. Engagement rings with sidestones are very modern looking, and with their extra sparkle can turn a very simple ring, such as a solitaire ring, into something very special indeed.
Establishing the style of engagement ring that would suit your bride to be can seem like a minefield, but by doing your homework and then looking at the styles available, there will be a something which seems just perfect for your loved one.
Choosing the Perfect Engagement Ring
To get to the point of choosing the perfect engagement ring for your loved one, you will already have undertaken a fair amount of background work. You will know your budget, your jeweler and the style that suits your beloved best. Armed with this knowledge, you can look at the engagement rings on offer that suit your criteria and the right ring will be obvious right? Well, nearly, but not quite. There are some final options to consider, in narrowing down your choice to find the perfect engagement ring, in particular, the precious metal and gemstones of the ring itself. So to inform you of the choice of materials available, My Love Wedding Ring have put together this guide to choosing your Perfect Engagement Ring
All that Glitters is Not Gold
For many, when they think of engagement ring, they think of gold and certainly there are a huge range of gold engagement rings available. Yellow gold and rose gold have often been a traditional choice of metal, however currently white gold is much more fashionable. At My Love Wedding Rings white gold engagement rings are typically 14k or 18k gold. 14 karat gold is less pure, and less expensive, than 18 karat gold, however it is very durable, so if your budget is tight, 14k gold engagement ring will be a good choice.
Platinum has become another popular choice for engagement rings over the last 50 years as it has become more affordable. Whilst much more expensive than gold, it is slightly lighter in color than white gold and also much harder and durable, making it less likely to be damaged. This can be important with larger gemstones as stronger settings decrease the chance of a stone being lost.
Platinum and pure gold are both naturally resistant to tarnishing and so require little to keep them shining. As the karat of gold decreases, the other materials blended with the gold may be more liable to tarnish and so the ring will likely require more cleaning to keep it shining. Also worth considering is the material the wedding ring will be made of, as a harder metal such as platinum will erode a softer metal, such as 18 karat gold, over time if they are worn together.
Learn more about precious metals, read our Metal Education.
Are diamonds a girl's best friend?
For most of the 20th century, diamonds have been synonymous with engagement rings, and classic diamond rings are still a hugely romantic and durable way of proposing. Diamonds are also very wearable as their white bright sparkle can add to any outfit.
Prior to the 20th century however, natural color gemstones were hugely popular. Now, with the engagement ring of Kate Middleton as well as other celebrities such as Jessica Simpson and Penelope Cruz being natural color gemstones, they are once again becoming fashionable.
Color natural gemstones can be very romantic choice, each gemstone has a meaning associated with it: sapphires meaning loyalty, rubies meaning love and emeralds meaning faithfulness, each of these can convey a very romantic message, particularly when combined with diamonds which mean forever.
Gemstones are also birthstones, with a different gemstone assigned to each month, so if your partner has her birthday in September a Sapphire could be the perfect choice as her birthstone.
My Love Wedding Ring has a stunning range of natural color gemstone jewelry, from sapphire engagement rings with blue sapphires of pink sapphires, to ruby eternity rings for a much more understated but equally romantic ring.
So if your partner is classical or conservative in her choices, diamonds may be the perfect gemstone for her. If instead, she is more artistic and individual, a colored gemstone engagement ring could complement her personality perfectly.
A ring to mark your commitment to a life together is romantic and special With the help of these guides, and with the fabulous range of engagement rings My Love Wedding Ring have on offer, we are confident you will find your perfect engagement ring.