The leaves are changing, temperatures are dropping, and the holidays are rapidly approaching — which means it’s officially engagement season. Shoppers and jewelers alike are preparing, but especially the latter. It’s the busiest time of year for ring retailers, so if you’re planning on popping the question soon, it’s best to be prepared. We spoke to Diamond Tales founder Constanza Viera about everything from figuring out your S.O.’s ring style and ring size to best practices for protecting your purchase. Happy (ring) hunting!
When should you ideally start looking to buy an engagement ring?
Constanza Viera: I suggest you start looking for an engagement ring about six to twelve months before the engagement happens. Some people like to look at rings as a couple while others want it to be a complete surprise. Keep in mind private jewelers take between 4-8 weeks to make a ring, so you need to allocate time to planning your significant other’s style, saving money for this important purchase, finding your jeweler, and creating the piece according to this time frame. Six months would be a great starting point!
What’s the best to figure out what style your S.O. will like?
There are many ways to do this. The easiest one: asking her/him and/or looking at rings together. Hopefully your S.O. has sent you photos of the rings they liked in the past, so that is another way of knowing their general style. If you are completely in the dark, don’t panic. Talk to your jeweler about you S.O.’s fashion style which can be modern, classic, trendy, or edgy, among others, and as a team I’m certain you will find the perfect ring.
What about sizing?
There are also many ways to go about this one! The easiest starts with your SO telling you loud and clear, of course. Another way of figuring out the sizing is asking her/his best friend, sister, or mother. Moreover, you can borrow one of your S.O.’s rings and take it to your jeweler to size them, and if that is not possible there is yet another solution. Take one of your S.O.’s rings and draw an outline of it on a piece of paper. Your jeweler will be able to measure the diameter and figure out the exact size for her/his engagement ring.
How do you find a great retailer in the area?
The most important part of finding a great retailer or jeweler is trusting them. Look out for reputable sources, those who have certifications, education, and knowledge in the field. If you have access to friends and family, ask around! Most people get engaged at least once in their lifetime, and they would be the best sources to recommend a good retailer. If you don’t know anyone, contact me! I work with a vast network of reputable jewelers worldwide that will be thrilled to create your dream ring.
What key elements should you look for in an engagement ring?
Diamonds are studied based on the 4 C’s: Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat. Sometimes your budget will allow for the best grades in all four categories, and most times you will have to compromise on some of them to get the best for your buck. You can also look at getting other gemstones, like Sapphires and Emeralds as the protagonists in your ring. Moreover, the metal that you will use also plays an important part. It is essential to take into account your S.O.’s lifestyle, and for durability you would have to go with platinum or gold. Finally, look out for certifications and return/insurance policies. You want to have everything taken care of before you finalize the most important purchase of your life!
How much should you spend?
The rule of thumb for engagement ring budgets is 2-3 months salary. Also, you might want to know that the average engagement ring in the US is around $5,000. I would suggest going for an amount that you can financially afford but one that is not low enough so you think it is not an important purchase; after all, it really is meant to be a lifetime commitment and most times the price you pay should reflect that.
What’s the best way to protect your engagement ring once you’ve bought it and then even after you’ve proposed?
Care for it! Keep it in a safe place inside a jewelry box before you’ve proposed and once your S.O. has it, clean it weekly at home and at least twice a year at your jeweler. Moreover, make sure you insure it! Your jeweler will most probably be able to find the best policy for you, and if not, you can add it to your home insurance, for example. Typical jewelry insurances range at 1-2% of your engagement rings cost per year.
Thanks so much to Constanza Viera and Diamond Tales for the info!