How to Choose the Perfect Engagement Ring

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An engagement happens when two people are so in love, they want to make a formal commitment to one another. You’re a guy, so thinking about proposing to a girl immediately triggers visions of rings. Not the Lord of the Rings–though that would be cool if we could make that work somehow–engagement rings!

The engagement ring is the symbolic sign of your impending nuptials. It’s the beautiful token of your love that her friends, family, and co-workers will spend the new few months gushing over.

Make no mistake, choosing a ring is THE most important pre-engagement step.


When it comes to the perfect ring, cost really has nothing to do with it. You hear that, dudes with low-paying jobs who are dead set on spending their life savings on a ring? Some jewelers would like you to think that you need to save three months’ salary, but that’s not entirely true. Money Under 30 founder, David E. Weliver, suggests, “your engagement ring should be meaningful more than expensive.” In fact, you may not have to spend a dime if you have a family heirloom to propose with.

When choosing an engagement ring, price should be one of your first considerations. It’s therefore essential that you know what you can afford before you walk into a jewelry store. Create a budget, allowing yourself enough time to save up for the perfect ring. Set a date for when you’d like to propose and try to have the ring at least a week prior.

Choosing a Gemstone

Most men choose diamonds when selecting an engagement ring. Modern engagement rings can really be any gemstone, but it’s important you select something she wants. Without giving yourself away, see if you can’t find out what kind of ring she would prefer. Knowing exactly what she wants takes a lot of the guesswork out of jewelry shopping.

If she’s non-traditional, you may be able to save some money by choosing a ring that’s her birthstone, or a mix of both of your stones. You could get her something truly romantic and memorable, like pink sapphire engagement rings. Though many girls dream their whole lives about the diamond ring that will someday sit on their left hands, more and more women are adoring non-traditional engagement rings.

If you do decide to go diamond, you may want to do some research first. Diamonds come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes jewelers will have the wrong price on a diamond, so you need to be able to determine if the cut and clarity match the diamonds cost. Diamonds are rated on the four C’s – cut, color, clarity, and carat. Diamonds are also graded, where pure diamonds are flawless and I-3 diamonds are far from perfect.

Metal, Setting, and Checkout

Once you’ve selected a gemstone, you’ll be ready to have it fitted in the perfect band. Keep in mind what kind of metal you’d like to wear. Her engagement ring should match her wedding ring. So, if you’re partial to white gold, then select this metal.

There are so many setting options when it comes to engagement rings. You can choose a setting that has a prong, or one that comes with a flush. Ask your jeweler to show you examples of settings and select the one that’s most appropriate for the stone you selected.

Finally, it’s time to check on out. You want to ensure that your purchase comes with a certificate of appraisal. This appraisal certificate proves the ring’s value. It’s your insurance against being taken advantage of. Once you’ve garnered this and paid, you’ll be ready to propose. Pick a nice venue, sweep her off her feet, and present her with her beautiful engagement ring. How can she say no?