Asking your girlfriend to spend the rest of her life with you is a major decision that can be nerve-wracking to even the most cool-headed man. So many thoughts are racing through your head. Will she say yes? How will my life change? The most dominant thought, however, is usually of the all-important purchase that accompanies this question.
The engagement ring. Knowing how to navigate the minefield that is jewelry shopping doesn’t have to be shrouded in mystery. By engaging a little savvy and know-how, finding the perfect engagement ring for the bride-to-be will be an easy proposition.
Many men feel overwhelmed by the process of selecting an engagement ring. This doesn’t have to be the case. While it may be tempting to purchase a glamorous ring with elaborate diamond settings, sometimes the best ring is a simple engagement ring. Simple engagement rings are classy and elegant and are more affordable and practical than more elaborate options. There are many options available to the man looking to purchase a simple engagement ring for his wife to be.
Why Go Simple
With the thousands of options available for selecting the perfect engagement ring for your intended, you may be wondering why a simple engagement ring is the best choice. While elaborate and detailed rings may appear to be a better choice, they are often not practical for long-term use. Remember, your wife will wear this ring for the rest of her life. She will wear it to the grocery store, to work in the garden, to the gym, and to wash dishes.
A simple engagement ring will be a more practical option that she will feel comfortable wearing in a number of settings.
Also bear in mind that you can always update the simple ring later by adding stones or having inscriptions added to it.
A simple engagement ring is designed to stand the test of time and to be practical. By choosing a ring that is both elegant and simple, you will show your girlfriend that you are thoughtful and have the foresight to choose a ring that she can wear for years to come.
Pricing Your Ring
Engagement rings run the gamut of pricing, from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands. The price that you spend for your engagement ring will depend on a number of factors, including the type of metal, the diamond you choose, and the season in which you shop for your ring.
Yellow gold is the most traditional metal for engagement rings. However, the trend is turning toward white gold and platinum as the preferred engagement ring metal. White gold strongly resembles silver in color, and pairs brilliantly with diamonds. Platinum is a heavier metal, which is coated in rhodium and is significantly more expensive than white and yellow gold.
When setting out to purchase your engagement ring, set a budget and be prepared to only look at rings in your budget’s price range. Traditionally, the engagement ring’s cost would be equivalent to two-months of the man’s salary. Don’t feel like you need to be married to that figure, however. Many beautiful and elegant rings can be found well below that cost.
The Four C’s of Diamond Selection
When selecting the diamond for your simple engagement ring, bear in mind the four c’s of diamonds. These factors will play the biggest role in determining the overall cost of your engagement ring.
The carat is the standard measurement of the weight of a gemstone, namely a diamond. The heavier your ring, or the more carats, the more expensive it will be. A .95-carat ring will be considerably less expensive than a 1.0-carat ring, although visually they look very similar. Choosing a ring with a smaller carat stone is a good method to save money when purchasing your ring.
A colorless diamond is the most rare and expensive stone available. There is an inverse relationship between color and cost. When the level of color in your stone goes up, the cost goes down.
The least expensive stones have a yellowish tint to them. Find a stone with a slight bit of color in order to save money on your ring purchase. Bear in mind, however, that most color variations are not distinguishable to the untrained eye. So you may be able to find a stone with a little more color to save money and your intended will be none the wiser.
Clarity refers to the level of transparency of the diamond gemstone. Typically, clearer stones allow for more reflection of light, therefore giving them a greater sparkle and brilliance. Stones that have a more cloudy appearance tend to be less expensive than those that are crystal clear.
Rest assured, you can still find an elegant and beautiful stone that has a bit of a cloud or imperfection. Once again, most of these imperfections are only recognizable to trained jewelers and gemologists.
The shape of your diamond will factor into the final cost of your simple engagement ring. Princess cuts are among the least expensive options, as they are easily cut. Heart shaped, oval and pear cuts are among the most expensive cuts of diamond because of their distinctive shape.
Simple engagement rings often consist of the band and one diamond stone. This is also called a solitaire setting. The solitaire setting is very elegant and understated and can adapt to a number of uses. Choose a stone in the shape that most complements your girlfriend’s tastes and preferences. There are several cuts to choose from when purchasing a solitaire.
The round diamond shape is the most popular option sought by ring buyers. Its shape allows for the maximum saturation of light, which will give your diamond a higher level of brilliance and shimmer. When paired with a white gold band, a round diamond solitaire setting is very elegant.
The princess cut of diamond has a squared shape with pointed corners and is another popular option when selecting a simple engagement ring. The princess cut can also be found in a rectangular shape that elongates the look of the diamond.
Similar in shape to the round diamond cut, the oval is a popular choice for a simple engagement ring setting. This shape is best for women with long, slender fingers. This design works well with any color band.
As the name implies, the pear shaped diamond is narrow at the top with a flared, rounded bottom. It is also referred to as a teardrop shape. Because of its elongated appearance, it can make fingers appear slimmer.
The ultimate symbol of your love for your intended, the heart shaped diamond is perfect for a unique and contemporary look. Because of the width of the top of the stone, light is reflected beautifully through the heart-shaped diamond, making it shimmer and shine elegantly. Choosing the heart shaped diamond will show her exactly how much you love her.
Purchasing Your Ring
Where you purchase your ring has a bearing on the overall selection and price of your ring. Some men want to purchase a ring in a hurry, and look for stores that have the perfect ring in stock.
Others have a little more time to select the perfect ring, and will comparison-shop for the best deal. No one way is better than the other. How and where you purchase your simple engagement ring is a matter of personal preference.
Big Box Retailers and Discounters
These stores represent the outlet for finding the best bargain for your purchase. Big box retailers and jewelry discounters by rings in bulk and can offer you the lowest prices. You can pick out your ring and take it home with you the same day. Discounters and big box retailers are a perfect choice for the man who needs a simple engagement ring in a hurry.
On the flip side, selection may be limited to what is in stock, and many will not allow for customization of your ring. Also, you may not be able to find more unique styles and stones by buying at big box retailers and discounters. If price is an important factor in your purchase and time is at a premium, choosing a discounter or big box retailer may be a great option for your ring purchase.
If personalized service, product guarantees and a network of experts is what you’re looking for, consider shopping at a jewelry chain. These stores offer promotional deals, warranties and one-on-one service. At jewelry chains, you will be able to customize your ring, and order items that may not be in stock. Be prepared to deal with high-pressure sales tactics, however, as many of these stores’ salespersons work on commission.
Purchasing your engagement ring from an online jewelry store is an excellent option for the man who wants to build and price his ring from the comfort of home before making a decision. Purchasing your ring online gives you the option of searching multiple vendors for the best price and selection. You can build your ring online and take your selections to your jeweler to purchase or purchase the ring directly from the site. Most sites offer customer service representatives available to answer any questions you may have about your purchase.
Purchasing a simple engagement ring for your girlfriend does not have to be difficult. By educating yourself on the ins and outs of ring purchases and doing a little research, you will ding a ring that she will truly cherish.