Your engagement ring is one of the most important purchases youíll ever make. Your spouse will wear it on her left hand every day for the rest of their lives. Itís a beautiful and deeply meaningful symbol of the love you share.
So when it comes to ring shopping, thereís a bit of pressure that comes along with the territory. You want to buy the perfect ring, or at least as close to perfect as you can get. But how do you do that?
The key is knowing the right questions to ask when buying an engagement ring. By asking the right questions, you can help narrow your options down to the ring thatís perfect for both you and your significant other.
Thatís why weíve compiled a list of questions to ask yourself and your jeweler, both before and during the shopping process. By getting answers to these important questions, youíll have all the information you need to know when to buy the perfect engagement ring.
It doesnít matter whether youíre going by yourself to shop for a ring to surprise your future spouse or the two of you are going together. By using this list of questions as a check list or a cheat sheet, you can stop stressing and start having fun on your ring shopping adventure!
Questions to Ask Before Shopping
- What Is Your Budget?
No matter what rubric youíre using, this is the most basic fundamental question youíll need to ask yourself when it comes to ring shopping. Before you consider designers, center stone carat size, or any other aspects of an engagement ring, youíll need to have a serious discussion either with yourself or with your significant other about how much youíre willing to spend.
Keep in mind that an engagement ring is an investment your spouse will wear for decades to come. Many people pass on their engagement ring to their children and grandchildren. Itís a powerful representation of the love that endures through the generations, connecting families and helping welcome new family members — and itís worth the extra money to invest in something that will stand the test of time.
However, everyone has their own financial situation. Maybe your budget is a little tight, or maybe youíd prefer to put that money towards buying your first house or going on a romantic honeymoon in some exotic location. At the end of the day, this is a very personal decision that only you — or you and your beloved together — can make. Everyone has a different lifestyle with their own priorities.
Regardless of what you decide, this is a decision you should make before you begin shopping. Once you know what your budget is, this will help you to immediately rule certain rings out of the running as you narrow your search down to only the ones in your price range.
- What Style Does She Want?
Once youíve got a budget settled, this is the next most important question on your list. Engagement rings come in an enormous variety of styles. Some are large, some are small, some are gold, some are platinum and most have diamonds, but some use other stones. The list goes on.
If the two of you are going ring shopping together, youíll have a much easier time with this question. While this was once an unheard-of practice, itís now becoming more common. Today, itís perfectly acceptable for couples people to go ring shopping together.
However, if youíre determined to have the element of surprise in your proposal, your job is going to be a bit harder. Here are some quick tips for surprise proposals:
- Pay attention: Keep your ears open for anything she may mention in passing about rings and jewelry.
- Ask her friends: Many women frequently discuss what styles of rings they like with one another. If you feel comfortable asking, her close friends may very well have some insight.
- Browse her Pinterest: Plenty of women use Pinterest as a place to compile ideas for their future weddings. While you may not be able to find the exact ring she likes, you might be able to get a feel for the styles she prefers.
- Look at what she wears now: Does she love to dress up and wear delicate, fine jewelry? Does she frequently wear things that evoke a more vintage, old-fashioned vibe? Does she only ever wear very plain, simple jewelry? Or does she have a bold, expressive sense of style? By taking her everyday style into account, you might be able to get some clues to her ring preferences.
- Consider her occupation: If she has an outdoor, active job where fancy jewelry would be impractical, you might want to opt for a simple design. On the other hand, if she works in an office, you probably have the license to go for something a little flashier.
- Ask the expert stylists at The Wedding Ring Shop: Our staff members train with experts straight from Hearts on Fire, Tacori, A.Jaffe, Michael M., Kirk Kara, and many other designers that we carry. Tell us more about your beloved, and weíll be sure to help you find something sheíll love! If you still canít decide, a temporary mounting is a great solution; you can pick out the perfect loose diamond from our Diamond Bar and purchase a simple temporary mounting (a plain gold or platinum engagement ring). Weíll temporarily set the diamond into the mounting for your surprise proposal, and when the two of you are ready, you can come to The Wedding Ring Shop together and pick out a ring in her desired style. Plus, when you return your temporary mounting, youíll get full credit toward your engagement ring purchase!
- What Is Her Ring Size?
This isnít a top priority for planning purposes, but itís still crucial to know when you get down to the fine details of ring buying. Again, if your significant other is coming with you to go shopping, this wonít be a problem. If youíre trying to surprise her, however, youíll have to do a bit of detective work.
You could try asking her friends or family, although not many friends will know this about one another. Many women donít even know their ring size. One tried-and-true method that we recommend is secretly borrowing one of her rings, one youíve seen her wear on her ring finger. It helps if itís one she doesnít often wear, so she might not notice itís missing. Our trained staff can measure the size of the ring with our special tools. Just remember to put her ring back where you found it when youíre done!
Of course, even if you buy the ring and it turns out to be completely the wrong size, it isnít the end of the world. Our in-house jeweler and our designer partners are able to resize rings; however, note that resizing can be tricky when dealing with diamonds along the band, so be sure to speak to a Wedding Ring Shop consultant when making your purchase.
- When Are You Going to Propose?
This might seem unrelated, but itís an important thing to decide. The reason for this is that some rings are available to be bought right on the spot. Some need to be ordered and will take time to arrive. Others might need to be custom-made, especially if the ring size is exceptionally small or large.
If you know youíre going to propose in two weeks, it might be best to avoid selecting a ring that will take eight weeks to make.
- What Are the Four Cís?
This is some basic engagement ring terminology that will help you be more knowledgeable before you begin shopping. The 4 Cís stand for Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat, and are four different scales on which all diamonds are ranked and classified.
By doing a little brushing up on these basic terms, you can be better prepared to understand what the jeweler is talking about when they begin to use these terms.
Questions to Ask When Shopping
- Will the Ring Need to be Special Ordered?
Generally speaking, every ring is different. Even at one single jeweler, some rings might be available for immediate purchase, while others need to be ordered or custom made. If youíve done your homework and made your plans ahead of time, youíll have a pretty good idea of when you want to propose.
When you find a ring you like, youíll want to ask how soon youíll be able to take the ring home with you. If the ring you love wonít be ready for another two months, you might have to either rearrange your plans or choose a different ring. Either way, this is an important question to ask.
Remember, at The Wedding Ring Shop, you can purchase a temporary mounting to house your chosen diamond for the proposal and then come back together to pick out her dream ring!
- What Sizes Do You Carry?
This is on a related note. Many jewelers only carry a standard range of sizes. If the ring size youíre shopping for is smaller or larger than any of these standard sizes, itís very likely that the ring will either have to be custom made or custom ordered.
Because of this, itís a good idea to ask about the sizing options for any ring you like right up front, just to be sure.
- Can the Ring Be Modified?
This might not be something you think of right away, but itís an important question to ask for future reference. No matter how happy you are with the ring today, itís impossible to speak for the future. Itís possible that someday, you and your spouse may decide you want to upgrade to something a little bigger and brighter. Maybe youíll want to add more stones, or maybe you want to add more sparkle to your band.
Even if you think this is something you wonít be interested in, itís worth taking note of. That way, when and if that day ever comes, youíll at least be aware of your options.
- Is Engraving an Option?
If youíre interested in getting something engraved on the inside or outside of your ring band, youíll want to ask about that. Some jewelers do it, others donít. If engraving is a must-have for you, it might be best to include this in the research you do about jewelers before you go shopping.
- What Are the Payment Options?
Because an engagement ring is often such a large purchase, many jewelers offer payment plans so that you arenít paying the entire sum up front. However, every jeweler will have a different policy and different rules about this.
If a plan of this nature is something youíd be interested in looking into, be sure to include this question on your list.
When visiting the Wedding Ring Shop, be sure to ask your diamond consultant about our special interest and no interest financing options!
- What is the Exchange Policy?
This is a question that you might rather not think about, but itís still an important one. Whatever your reason might be for needing to return or exchange the ring, itís important to know upfront what the jewelerís policy on this is. Thereís nothing worse than realizing youíll need to return the ring but discovering your jeweler has a no-return policy.
Even if you think youíll never need it, this is an important thing to be informed about. Better to have the knowledge and never need it than vice versa.
- Will They Do an Appraisal for Insurance?
Whether you choose to be conservative or extravagant with your diamond ring, it still represents a significant investment. Aside from the money invested in it, it also represents a hugely important emotional value.
Because of this, itís important to insure your engagement ring right away. To do this, youíll require an appraisal to estimate how much the ring is worth. Some jewelers may do this, others may not. Itís best to ask to be sure.
- How Do I Clean It?
Engagement rings are built to withstand a lot of wear and tear, but theyíre not invincible. They need to be cleaned regularly to stay as beautiful and pristine as they are on the day you buy them.
Most rings can safely be cleaned with a soft baby toothbrush. But itís worth asking your jeweler if there are any specific instructions for the particular ring youíve chosen. Itís also a good idea to ask them if they provide any ring cleaning services since most rings should be cleaned professionally once or twice a year.
Note that when you purchase an engagement ring from The Wedding Ring Shop, you can take advantage of a free professional ring cleaning and inspection every six months!
Time to Start Shopping
By asking these questions, you can be sure to get the most out of your engagement ring shopping process. Donít be afraid to write these items down and use them as a checklist as you are out shopping. This is an important process, and itís worth a little extra time and effort to get it right.
As you take these steps forward, we hope youíll consider us at The Wedding Ring Shop. We offer a large variety of cuts and styles as well as plenty of custom options. Not only that, but weíre committed to treating you like a member of our family. Contact us at any time on our website to set up an appointment or give us a call at (808) 945-7766.