You're ready. She's ready. It's time to pick out the all-important engagement ring. Whether you've been discussing it for a while or you're planning to give her the surprise of her life, shopping for an engagement ring can be one of the most exciting times of your relationship. Imagine the look on her face when she opens the small velvet box enveloping an elegant and timeless ring that you've chosen especially for her. Through joy, love, laughter and tears, she'll say yes and be yours forever.
The ring is the most important piece of wedding jewelry, and it's up to you to make sure it's perfect. If you already know what type of ring that she wants, from the setting and the shape to the metal and gemstone, then you'll be able to narrow your search significantly on the hunt for the perfect engagement ring. Unless she's given you a specific ring that she wants, you'll still likely have a few decisions to make, when it comes to where you purchase the ring, and other tiny details. If you only have a few specifics that she's given you, you'll have more freedom to choose the ring that you think best fits her. Purchasing the right engagement ring is a testament of how well you know your future bride, and she's sure to know that you spent a lot of time and effort to find exactly what she wants.
Even when you don't have a clue what type of engagement ring to get her, she's probably left you hundreds of tiny hints throughout your relationship that you didn't even know to look for. Look at the jewelry that she currently wears. What items does she wear regularly? Does she prefer brightly-colored, bold costume jewelry to simple, but elegant fine jewelry? Does she regularly wear gold chains and pendants instead of chunky beaded necklaces? What types, if any, of rings does she wear on a daily basis? It's likely that those are the styles you should look for. You can also look for help from her family and friends. Most women confide in their mothers, sisters and best friends in regards to their dream ring.
Choosing the right stone can be one of the most important decisions that you make. For the conventional, classic diamond ring, you need to know the basics of diamond quality: the four C's. The cut of a diamond is the determining factor of the quality and accuracy of diamond cutting represented in the stone. The cut is directly proportionate to the diamond's brilliance and sparkle. The closer to an ideal cut, the more likely the diamond will sparkle and capture the light. The clarity of a diamond measures the number of imperfections in the gemstone. Unless imperfections are visible to the naked eye, this has very little effect on the look of the diamond. The color of a diamond refers to how clear or white the diamond is. A colorless white diamond, which is valued higher, starts the scale at D, while a yellow-tinted diamond closes the scale at Z. The carat weight refers to the weight of the gemstone. When you shop for her ring, keep in mind the larger the carat, the rarer the gem and the pricier the ring.
In addition to the cut, you need to also consider the shape of the gem. Because the shape is often referred to as a 'cut,' it is often confused with the cut of diamond. Popular shapes include the square princess and round cuts, which offer many facets designed to make the ring sparkle. A marquis cut offers a diamond shape to make a smaller diamond look larger, while an emerald cut is rectangle shaped to draw attention to the clarity of a ring. Some women may even prefer the look of a three stone ring, instead of a solitaire diamond. While traditional diamonds adorn most wedding rings, your lady may have other ideas. If she prefers brilliant colors and designs, she may love a non-traditional gemstone ring, like an emerald or a sapphire.
Look at the style of her regular jewelry to determine whether she prefers modern, trendy styles or classic, vintage looks. Bands come in a variety of thicknesses with varying designs and accents. You can choose a simple thin band to draw attention to a stunning diamond or a wider, sturdier band with diamond or gem accents. Choosing pave stones along the band offers gemstones that are so close together that you can barely see the connecting metal. For a personalized touch, you can engrave the band with a special message for your loved one.
When you're choosing her ring, you can also look to see if she wears more white gold, yellow gold or platinum jewelry. Yellow and white gold can easily be mixed and matched, while platinum should not be paired next to gold, especially with rings that sit on the same hand. With gold, the purity is measured in karats, not to be confused with carats. The higher the karat is, with 24K being the highest, the purer the gold is. 14K and 18K are the most common gold wedding ring styles, though you can find higher and lower karat gold.
Buying an engagement ring for the love of your life can be an adventure. Whether you know exactly what she wants or you're playing an educated guessing game, you can find the perfect engagement ring to ask her to be your bride. Regardless of the choices that you make, she's bound to fall in love all over again when you get down on one knee and pop that all important question.