For centuries, an engagement ring has held the symbol of love and acceptance of a marriage proposal.
There are two important things to question and consider if you are planning to buy a ring for the big question: your significant other’s expectations, and your finances.
“Do your research on where your buying it from,” said Ramzi Azar, president of Ro Ma Jewelers in Valencia. “Make sure it is a reputable jeweler.”
How to shop for the perfect engagement ring
Whether you go window shopping beforehand to know what he or she likes or pick it out all on your own, find one that speaks to you, and make sure you know the size. That also means you should have open dialogue with your partner about the ring, including your budget, the look and shape, Azar said.
Is the right look silver, gold, rose gold with a diamond or a different stone? Is there a Pinterest account you can look at, or a family member to talk to about it who might have some intel?
If you do choose a diamond, remember the 4C’s — cut, color, clarity and carat.
“Cut has the greatest effect on the diamonds beauty,” according to the American Gem Association. “The more precise the cut, the more captivating the diamond is to the eye.”
Diamond cuts include: round, princess, oval, marquise, pear, cushion, emerald, asscher, radiant and heart.
The color comes in many cues, ranging from colorless to light yellow or light brown.
Consider clarity: “Diamonds can have internal characteristics known as inclusions or external characteristics known as blemishes,” according to the American Gem Association. “Diamonds without inclusions or blemishes are rare; however, most characteristics can only be seen with magnification.”
Last is carat, the weight of the diamond. This is the most objective of the 4C’s. One carat equals one-fifth of a gram, and the weight of the diamond helps determine the price.
“Buying diamond is a big process, is a little mysterious for people,” Azar said. “It can be very clear, smooth and easy, as long as you have an open conversation.”
How much to spend on the engagement ring
There is no set price you should pay for an engagement ring, but it should be considered based on your finances.
“I don’t think there are any set rules,” Azar said. “It’s on a individual basis. We really try and cater to what they are looking for.”
You’re not just purchasing the gem, you are paying for the setting, accent stones and design of the ring.
There are online engagement ring calculators on multiple websites to help you find a ballpark budget or talk to your jeweler about what is best for your budget and lifestyle.
An engagement ring is the first step in starting your life as a couple, it’s also a time to save for the future, Azar said.
If you choose to go with an engagement ring and wedding band, buy your wedding bands closer to the wedding, Azar said.
“Diamonds are all over the map, you could have identical size stones for different prices,” Azar said. “With the changing times, a lot of people are moving towards wedding bands. It’s timeless and still makes an impact.”