Finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with isn't always easy, but it's well worth the effort. Keeping with tradition, the next phase of this journey is the engagement, but first, you'll need to select a ring. No other piece of jewelry you'll ever purchase will be more admired, gazed upon or looked at with envy, so it's imperative you take the time to choose the perfect one. Read on to discover valuable advice from both industry experts and those who have gone before you to help make every element of your engagement a success.
- Ask permission. Before you propose, you may want to consider asking your partner's parents for their permission. While some think of this as a tired tradition, it can be a sign of respect and instill a sense of camaraderie that can set the tone for a lifetime.
- Be a good listener. Now's the time to be taking mental notes about jewelry any time your partner mentions liking or disliking a particular style. If you have absolutely nothing to go on, pop in to a few jewelry stores under the guise of shopping for a family birthday and do some sleuthing of your own.
- Phone a friend. Ask a friend who has been through the engagement process for recommendations on where to shop. If you need support, ask them to go with you.
- Be selfless. You may have opposing tastes in jewelry, but remember: this ring is for your partner, so put aside your personal likes and dislikes and buy them something they'll love.
- Do your research. Carat, clarity, color and cut are the four Cs of diamond shopping. Learn what each one means, how they can affect the price and quality of your diamond and make an informed decision to maximize your investment.
- Shop around. All diamonds are beautiful on the surface, but prices can vary significantly between jewelers. Unless you're looking at a custom design, don't be afraid to walk and find a better deal elsewhere.
- Stick to your guns. Don't succumb to pressure and resist the urge to go over your maximum budget. You're the one in control of your purchase, not the person behind the counter.
- Be creative. Diamonds and settings are often interchangeable, so be sure to inquire about placing the diamond you love inside another setting for a more customized approach.
- Make it memorable. Put the same thought and effort into your proposal as you did the purchase of the engagement ring to make the entire experience one you and your partner will never forget.