Do you know how many weddings are expected for 2022? The answer is around 2.5 million, which would be the most nuptial celebrations since 1984. That was a year blessed with great wedding songs like Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen, Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper, and I Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder.
One reason for the expected uptick in marriages is that weddings put on the backburner over the last couple of years due to COVID-19 restrictions are now scheduled for 2022. While we’re not out of the woods as far as the coronavirus is concerned, we are inching towards normalcy.
If love is in the air and you plan to pop the question ahead of a possible wedding sometime this year, you will want to buy an engagement ring. Couples forked over an average of $3,756 per engagement ring in 2020, according to a Brides’ American Wedding Study.
How much you spend on an engagement ring for your significant other is entirely up to you. But what you’ll want to do before a buying decision is think things out thoroughly.
Keep reading to learn about 10 things to consider before buying an engagement ring. From coming up with a realistic budget to selecting the right jeweler to work with, you’ll want to equip yourself with the right information to make an informed decision.
1. Set a Budget
Before you do anything, determine how much you can afford to pay for an engagement ring. A general rule of thumb is that you should spend two months’ worth of salary on an engagement ring. So if you earn $30,000 annually, you’ll want to budget around $5,000 for an engagement ring. But, again, how much you spend is entirely up to you.
2. The Four C’s
What are the four c’s, you ask? Here’s a look at the four c’s to consider before buying an engagement ring:
- Color: Diamonds come in different colors, from yellow to white, and they are graded based on how much color they have.
- Cut: Cut refers to the finish, polish, and size of a diamond. The most desirable cut is a round diamond or a princess cut diamond.
- Carat: When you’re looking at the carat, you’re focusing on the weight of the diamond. The more carats, the higher the cost of the diamond. A carat is equal to 0.20 grams.
- Clarity: This refers to the clearness of a diamond. Diamonds get clarity grades.
3. Metal Band
It’s also important to consider the metal band you want to pair with the diamond. There are more options than you might think, so ensure you spend time looking at what’s available. Do you want a band made from silver, platinum, or gold? If the latter, do you want white gold or yellow gold?
4. Bigger Can be Better (and Less Costly)!
Are you looking for a larger diamond but don’t think you have the budget for it? One option is to go with an emerald cut diamond from a company like Frank Darling. It’s less expensive than a round diamond, which means you can get more for your hard-earned dollar by choosing a bigger emerald cut diamond over a smaller round cut diamond.
5. Consider Custom Made
While you might find an off-the-shelf engagement ring to your liking, you might prefer a custom-made engagement ring. A one-of-a-kind ring for a one-of-a-kind life partner will cost you more. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be affordable. Speak to a jeweler to learn about options.
6. Get Ring Finger Measurement
You’ll also want to get the ring finger measurement of your significant other. How do you do this if you want the proposal to be a surprise? One way is to ask your significant other’s family and friends for help getting this information. You obviously want the ring to fit properly.
7. Buy Now–Upgrade Later
Do you want to buy a nicer engagement ring than your budget will allow? It’s not uncommon for people to buy something simpler now and then upgrade it later. For instance, some couples upgrade their rings to commemorate landmark anniversaries or other special occasions. So, the ring you buy now can always be replaced down the road when your budget allows.
8. Ask for Advice
Are you feeling anxious about buying an engagement ring? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You undoubtedly know married couples. Why not pick their brains to find out what they bought, which jewelers they patronized, what their buying experiences were like, and if they’d recommend the jewelers they bought the engagement rings from? You can also reach out to different jewelers if you have any questions. Look at their websites or visit some brick-and-mortar stores.
9. Go With Timeless Over Trend
It can be easy to get caught up in trends. But when it comes to buying an engagement ring, going with something timeless is better than going with something trendy. If you go with the latter, the ring might not age well. But a classic statement piece will always be in style.
10. Choose the Right Retailer
You’ll want to choose the right retailer. It’s not enough that a jeweler has a great selection of rings and bands. You’ll want to work with a company with a customer-centric corporate culture. Buying an engagement ring is a big undertaking–one that you’ll want to do thoughtfully.
So, finding a jeweler that values its customers is essential. You’ll have questions, so you’ll want answers. Don’t think you have to buy from the first one you come across. You might have to visit several before finding the right one. If you’re having trouble finding one, read online reviews, ask for referrals from people you trust, and make some calls to speak with jewelers.
With these 10 tips, you’ll be ready to get the engagement ring ahead of proposing to your significant other. You only get one chance to make a good first impression–and that’s something you’ll want to do when you propose with an engagement ring in your hand.
Keep in mind that if your significant other says, “yes,” you’ll soon be on the hunt for the right wedding ring.