We explain how to by an engagement ring from start to finish.
When it comes to engagements, if you’re the one proposing, chances are you have quite a few questions running through your mind. Where should you propose? What will you say? What will your significant other say? How are you going to remember the occasion? Is anyone else going to be involved in any way?
There’s a lot to think of, and I haven’t even mentioned the ring yet! Engagement rings are a commitment in more ways than one, and most people have several questions about the prices and process of how to buy an engagement ring. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think! Let’s walk through the logical steps of buying an engagement ring from first thinking about the ring, to asking the big question!
Figure out what type of engagement ring to buy.
When you purchase an engagement ring, obviously you’re going to want to buy a ring your significant other is going to like. With so many choices in engagement rings out there, how is that even possible? There’s a few tried and true easy ways to figure out your significant other is going to really enjoy.
First off, your significant other’s family and friends might be dialed into their sense of fashion, meaning they might be able to offer some help. Ask them for some input on what your significant other might like. At the very least, they may be able to help you figure out what she won’t like.
Additionally, pay attention and play detective! You might even find some great clues right in her jewelry box. Be observant and try to notice other types and styles of jewelry she is wearing. Take note of anytime she makes a positive (or negative) comment on a piece of jewelry as well.
When all else fails, do some snooping on the internet. Does your significant other use Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram to follow any jewelers? If so, get a feel for what they seem to enjoy the most. Even if your significant other has a million styles liked on Instagram or hundreds of pictures pinned on a board on Pinterest, their pictures may indicate certain cuts of stones or colors of metals they prefer.
Certain couples might be more amenable to discussing the ring together, meaning you and your significant other could pick a ring together.
Finally, don’t forget to add your own personal touch to the engagement ring. Many of our customers have admitted they would have been preferred to be slightly surprised by their engagement ring as opposed to knowing exactly what they’re getting.
Set a budget for buying an engagement ring.
Once you have an idea as far as style goes, you need to figure out how much money you’d like to spend on an engagement ring.
We like to encourage people to try and get at least a 1 carat diamond. This size diamond is a great size for an engagement ring because it will stand the test of time without being too big or too small. To see what diamonds would cost, I encourage you to look at our Diamond Link and learn more. There’s a wide range of diamond prices, which all depend on color, clarity & cut.
As far as buying the actual engagement ring, there are various price points for both mounting and diamonds. You can easily spend under $1,000 to well over $10,000 on an engagement ring because of the various options, meaning reagrdless of your budget, you have a lot of options. We go over engagement ring costs in some additional articles which help outline the various reasons why engagement rings cost what they do.
Your best bet is to get a feel for what you’re looking for by visiting a store and looking at diamonds in person. Consider playing around with size, color, and clarity to determine what you significant other would like, and what you can afford. Remember, if you go for a larger diamond, expect to make sacrifices in color and clarity. If quality is important, be prepared to sacrifice size.
If you’re ready to start doing some research, check out our Engagement Rings page to see what types of settings and diamonds fit your budget.
Find a jewelry store to buy an engagement ring.
You’re going to want to find a local jeweler you can trust. Ask family and friends if they have any reccomendations, word of mouth is the best way to do this. Check review sites, but always take reviews with a grain of salt, most people only review if they have a bad experiance, not when they have a good one.
Additionally, find out what sort of services are offered from the jewelry store once you purchase a ring from them. For example, if you purchase an engagement ring from either of our jewelry stores in New Jersey, we include things like:
~ A free appraisal at the time of purchasing an engagement ring
~ Free 1st time ring sizing
~ Free cleanings
~ Free check ups
Some jewelers will nickel and dime you for every service, so make sure you know what “perks” you’ll receive if you decide to give that jewelry store your business.
Pick the diamond & mounting that will make up the engagement ring.
If you visit a jewelry store and they don’t have what you want already made up and ready to go, let the jeweler know. Start off with selecting a center diamond that’s the shape you’re looking for, in additional to selecting a color, quality, and size that are up to your standards.
If you have a certain size, cut, or criteria you’d like for your diamond and it’s not in stock, a jeweler will get stones on memo for you. For example, if you visit one of our jewelry stores and we don’t have what you’re looking for, we’ll memo them and get it in within a few days. If you’re looking for a particular cut or size, it may take slightly longer to find the diamond.
Once you settle on a diamond, you can move onto a mounting. First, figure out the type of metal you’d like the engagement ring to be made of. Typically, engagement rings are made of either white gold or platinum. White gold is used more often than yellow gold because diamonds look better in white settings. Since a diamond reflects the light around it, they tend to take on a more yellowish appearance when set on a gold mounting. However, if yellow gold is a requirement of yours, it is possible to accommodate that request in a way that will make your diamond shine beautifully. We can make the setting in yellow and modify the head or prongs around the diamond in a white gold or platinum.
There’s two main differences between golds and platinum. Gold tends to wear after time. White gold can yellow, and if the prongs get hit they tend to snap off. Conversely, platinum will dull after time, but the prongs don’t snap off. They will shift, but usually don’t sheer off, making platinum a safer choice to hold the diamond. If you can afford platinum, go for it. It’ll cost around $1,000 more when comparing similar ring styles, but it’s a safer choice when choosing a metal for an engagement ring.
The good news is both metals can be repaired and restored back to normal easily. Platinum needs a simple polishing, and gold gets an inexpensive (around $65) dip in rhodium.
Once you settle on a metal type, it’s time to think about the mounting itself. There are thousands and thousands of possibilities when it comes to mountings. Right now, three specific types of mountings are popular:
~ Halo – Your main stone is surrounded with a “halo” of diamonds.
~ Solitaire – A plain band with a large, single diamond on top.
~ Three Stone Ring – As you can guess, this is a ring where your main stone has two side stones next to it.
But like I said, there are thousands of different choices for a mounting. Check out the Build a Ring page on our website to browse the various styles of mountings we offer to get a feel for what’s available.
Alright, so once you have the stone and mounting, it’s time to have it made. If a jeweler has a mounting in stock, it can be made in a matter of hours or a few days, depending on how busy the jeweler is. If they need to purchase a diamond, it could take a few days to get it in the store and create the ring. If they need to buy a mounting, it could take almost a month to come into the store and set the ring. If your engagement ring has a custom designed mounting, it could take well over a month to get and set the ring.
While we can’t speak for other jewelers, I can say that in our stores we try our very best to accommodate your requests in every way possible.
How to pay for an engagement ring.
In our store, payment is made by either cash, check or credit card. You can either pay in full, or if you are waiting for something to be ordered or set you can leave a deposit of 20% of the cost of the ring and pay the remainder at the time of pick-up.
Some jewelry stores may offer layaway or financing options. Here at Braunschweiger Jewelers we do not offer financing, but other jewelry stores may have financing options if that’s what you’re looking for. We do however offer layaway, but you cannot take your piece of jewelry home until it is paid in full. You have up to 3 months to pay. But, if your jewelry is custom ordered, it that must be paid in full.
What comes next with buying an engagement ring?
After you pay for it, and depending on whether your ring needed time to be put together, you receive your ring! Don’t forget to get your ring appraised once you get it! It’s great to get an appraisal on the spot so you can cross that off your checklist right away. If you purchase an ring from us, we automatically type up a written appraisal with all engagement rings so you’ll have your appraisal taken care of right away.
At this point, the ball is in your court. You have the ring, and it’s time to figure out how to propose to your significant other. Plan the proposal for a special time or place, or wing it, but the choice is yours. We hope all goes well!
Assuming your significant other says yes, don’t forget to tell your friends and family, and your new favorite sales associate! We love to hear about happy couples getting engaged, especially those customers who we’ve worked hard to create the perfect ring for!
The process can be daunting, regardless from which angle you look at it from. Visit your local jeweler, or if you’re in the area stop by and visit either of our jewelry stores in Morristown or New Providence to talk to any of our expert jewelers.
If you’d like to talk to someone directly about your piece of jewelry, you can contact us online anytime by emailing us directly at email@example.com or simply filling out our contact form and we’ll answer your questions quickly.