Choosing a special engagement ring takes more than just love. It takes research and knowledge so you get your money's worth!

Tell her how much you love her by the ring you chose.


Engagement Ring(41115)Credit:


You have finally found the woman you want to marry and spend the rest of your life with.  In this day and age, the marriage proposal is almost as important as the planning the wedding itself!  The most important element of a good marriage proposal is presenting her with a beautiful token of your love and affection; an engagement ring. 

Proposing on Valentine's Day is the perfect, romantic opportunity for a asking her to marry you.  It is the day that every girl dreams about!  Set the scene in a romantic place, kneel down, and offer her your heart but you need one more thing, that special engagement ring.

Once you have made the decision to ask your special sweetheart to marry you, you need to seriously start looking at engagement rings.   This can take time and effort. 

To begin your search for the perfect ring you need to do a little research about diamonds.  All diamonds are definitely not created equal! 

Here are the Four C's to look for in an engagement diamond:

  • Clarity:  Clarity refers to the flaws or inclusions in the diamond.  The diamond clarity scale begins with "included" flaws starting worst to best ;  I3, I2, I1.  "Slightly included" flaws are SI2 and SI1.  "Very slightly included" flaws are VS2, VS1.  "Very, very slightly included" flaws are VVS2, VVS1.  Finally we reach "internally flawless" and "flawless."  The naked eye cannot pick up any flaws until you drop to SI2 on the scale.
  • Color:  The color of a diamond is labeled from a D to Z scale with D being colorless and the most desirable.  Diamonds appear more "yellow" as you move down the scale.   On the color scale D - F is considered "colorless," G - K is "near colorless," L - O is "faint", P - U is "very light," and V - Z is "light" in color.  At G, H, and I, it is still difficult to notice any color when a diamond is mounted.
  • Cut:  Cut refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond.  Some of the most common and popular shapes are brilliant or round, emerald or rectangular, princess or square, and pear shaped.
  • Carat:  The weight of a diamond is called a carat (pronounced "carrot").  For a brilliant cut, a .5 carat diamond is roughly 5.3mm across.  The more the carat the bigger the diamond!

If you are looking for a good value in a diamond, consider a diamond with SI clarity and I color, since the flaws and color are not notieable to they naked eye and the bigger the better.  If your girlfriend shops with a microscope, you might want to reconsider...

Always get a certificate when buying your diamond.  This prevents you from getting ripped off by unscrupulous jewelers and provides you with all of the vital data about your diamond.  GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is the leader is certifying diamonds so ask if they have their business has this certification.  Supply a copy of this certificate to your insurance for proper coverage.

Another major consideration in choosing an engagement ring is the setting.  Trends come and go in the popular jewelry metals and designs of engagement ring settings.  It is wise to consult the soon-to-be bride, mother of the bride, or close friend to chose the style that she desires.   Sneak in a trip to jewelers the next time you are in the mall and see what styles your sweetheart ooh's and aah's over!

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Popular engagement ring metals:

  • Gold:  This traditional metal for jewelry and engagement rings won't tarnish, rust or corrode but it is soft and must be alloyed with other metals to give it strength.  The alloys also determine the color of gold.  The three colors used for engagement rings are yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold.
  • Silver:  Because pure or fine silver is so soft and easily damaged you will find that sterling silver (which is silver alloyed with copper) is traditionally used for engagement rings.
  • Platinum:  Platinum is the strongest of jewelry metal and is known for its durability.  The problem with platinum is it can be scratched easily and needs to be polished and buffed on a regular basis.  This is the most expensive of these jewelry metals.
  • Palladium:  One of the rarest metals in the world is in the platinum family of metals.  It can withstand corrosion and oxidation and does not need alloy or plating for protection.  It will remain white forever.  

Shop carefully when choosing an engagement ring and demand a certificate to authenticate the claims made by the jeweler.  There are online sites that are reputable but for best results go to a local jeweler that has an outstanding reputation in your community.  Ask friends and relatives for recommendations.  Check with the Better Business Bureau if you have doubts about sales and great deals being offered.  Bargain with the jeweler to get the best deal.  They will almost always come down from the marked or quoted price.

Consider alternatives if you have a budgeting problem. 

You can choose a beautiful setting and have a beautiful cubic zirconia or synthetic diamond until you can afford something better.  This alternative can save you thousands of dollars and no one will know the difference.   It would be best to discuss this decision with the bride-to-be. 

Find a reputable pawn shop in your area to see if they have a ring you might consider purchasing.  Expensive wedding rings are often sold at more than half of their insurable value.

Do the research before making any large purchase.  Investing in an engagement ring is a serious commitment and needs careful consideration. After making a purchase, add it to your homeowners insurance policy.

Surprise her with a beautiful engagement ring to tell her how much you love and value her on Valentine's Day.