A Primer On Buying Engagement Rings
The complexity of diamond shopping and the considerable expense of the endeavor may have contributed to the social practice of couples living together without marrying, or so say men unmoved by the tradition. These individuals may have less disposable income than some of their peers and be choosier when considering “optional” expenses. Is an engagement ring really necessary? Maybe not – but if it’s at all important to you for people to understand that your future wife is “spoken for,” putting a ring on her finger sends a pretty clear message.
Instructions not necessarily included
Nearly every mall contains a jewelry store where any sap can walk in with two or more months’ pay – an amount traditionally expected and noted in Jon Wilde’s GQ article, “How to Buy the Right Engagement Ring” – and walk out with a ring that would have been better purchased for a quarter in the children’s arcade section. Don’t be that guy.
Unlike removing a Band-Aid, the rapid purchase of an engagement ring with one’s eyes closed and teeth gritted will not result in less discomfort. Put some thought into it, budget for the purchase, find a reputable jeweler and double-check your beloved’s style and preferences.
The 4C’s are really the 6C’s
In most states, an engagement ring is considered a “conditional gift” and thus legally yours in the event that your engagement plans are broken. So even though you’re probably confident that your girlfriend will say “yes” when you propose, be clear that the ring isn’t a birthday or Christmas gift. That way, if she later changes her mind about marrying you, you can recover the ring.
Balancing diamond attributes for your specific needs
Unless you are a prince, a movie star or a billionaire’s son, you’ll need to make some compromises in some of the characteristics you’d like to see in the ring you place on your fiancee’s finger. Some diamond characteristics that heavily influence their cost are relatively invisible to the untrained eye. Will you – and your beloved – be satisfied with a ring with barely noticeable imperfections in exchange for a more lavish honeymoon or the ability to put a down payment on a house? Some couples prefer smaller diamonds of better quality while others want a larger stone and are willing to sacrifice some clarity to get it.
Don’t feel pigeon-holed into spending two months’ salary on a ring, just because someone else tells you to. It’s up to you to decide what you can afford and what ring best suits your girlfriend’s style.