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Finding the Perfect Engagement Ring I recently proposed to my girlfriend and I am happy to say she is now my fiancé. However, a lot of thought went into the proposal and even more thought and preparation went into purchasing her engagement ring (which she was very happy with). Here are some guidelines to follow when it comes to finding and buying her ring.

What Does She Want? If you are looking at rings you have probably discussed marriage with your girlfriend and there are a few things that you need to ask. The first of which is what role will she play in purchasing the ring. The classic mentality is the man going out and purchasing a ring on his own to propose with. However your girl may want to take a greater part which ranges from going with you to stores to giving you pointers on the ring. Whatever the situation may be, make sure to ask her before you begin looking. The next question to answer is what she wants in the ring. Things to ask her (she may not know the answers so have pictures prepared) include:     

the type of metal (white gold, yellow platinum, etc.) the type of stones (white diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc.) the shape of the stone (round, pear, princess, marquise, etc. ) the style of the ring (there are dozens have her identify a few that she likes) separate or welded wedding band

Lastly, you need to know her ring size. When purchasing a ring you want her exact size (jewelers will have no problems sizing the ring for you).

Determine Your Budget This one is more personal and there really is no rule here other than pleasing your girlfriend. It used to be said that two months’ salary was the right amount but ignore folklore and look at your finances. It probably is not worth going into debt just to begin a marriage but it is up to you. Knowing


your spending limit will help you when making decisions later.

Start Online Before you hit the streets jump onto your computer. The internet makes this process ten times easier than it otherwise would be. First make a list of all the diamond stores in your area along with the urls for each. I did this on an excel sheet. Visit each online store to look at the inventory that they have along with the prices. If they do not meet your needs drop them off the list. As a side note, many stores will have more inventory online than in their physical store. If they have warranty information about their rings read through these making sure they include what you want, free 6-month cleanings/inspections and yearly rhodium dips are generally standard.

Visit the Stores With your now much smaller list of stores take off work during a weekday (Saturday store hours are limited ironically) and visit each store. Tell the sales rep what you are looking for and have you show her what they have that meets your qualifications. Write down notes about the rings, their prices, and any deals that are offered. Also ask details about the warranty offered on the ring. Check if the warranty offers insurance, if it does not consider including the ring in your home insurance policy. Be aware that the prices listed for rings are usually just the setting and you will need to pay for a stone as well. Also check into financing options for the ring. If you are planning on taking out a loan this is vital to ask if you have the money consider it anyway. Luxury goods like rings can boost your credit rating. Even though I had the cash I took out a loan that I can pay back interest free over six months to help boost my credit score. Don’t make any promises but show interest in the rings. Remember not to let the sale rep waste your time since you have a lot of stores to check with. Repeat this same process with all of the stores, collecting information, and then head home.

Review the Facts Return home with your arsenal of information and lay it out before you (again mine was in excel). Continue to eliminate stores that after the visit don’t meet your standards. Identify a handful of potential rings you could use. Remember to consider the stone you will select, its quality and accompanying price. Now, you may want to check back with your girlfriend to see if your choices are acceptable but that depends on her preferences. After you have weighed the pros and cons of each


select your ring and return to the store. Locate your ring, sign the necessary papers (make sure to read these) and purchase the ring. Now on to your proposal, good luck my friend. Photo Pin: fensterbme, Nic McPhee, ilovebutter


Finding the perfect engagement ring