An engagement ring is a lot more than just a pretty stone on a bit of metal. For you and your partner, it is a symbol of the love you share and the commitment you have towards one another. It is for this reason that people choose rings made of durable and beautiful materials. They represent a long-lasting, radiant love. The bright shine and permanence will linger on your spouse’s left hand for the rest of their lives. Thus, purchasing an engagement ring is a serious matter that you should think over carefully.
Asking the right questions will help guide you to the right engagement ring. These questions serve to narrow down your options so that you can select one that will represent the love that you have for your special someone.
Whether you’re going to shop for the ring alone to surprise your special someone or together to choose one that you’ll both love, these eight questions will help relieve the stress and enhance the fun and excitement on your trip to the jewelry store:
1. What is the ring size?
One of the most important questions you should ask yourself is your partner’s ring size. Finding this can be a tricky bit if she doesn’t have other rings you can secretly borrow or trace on paper and have a jeweler measure. You can ask a friend of your special someone to go engagement ring hunting for “fun,” and ask that friend to find your partner’s ring size. If you have no other option, it doesn’t hurt to ask your partner upfront what their ring size is. Getting the correct answer right away is much better than giving them a surprise ring that’s too loose or too tight.
2. What type of center stone?
Now that you know your partner’s ring size and preferences, it’s time to zero in on the mounted stone. For most people, they choose diamonds as it’s resistant to scratching, and adamantine luster is unmatchable, which in turn symbolizes their relationship with their fiancée.
If your special someone likes diamonds and you can afford an engagement ring made of one, you must consider the gemological “4C’s”: color, clarity, cut, and carat. These four characteristics are used to evaluate the grade of flawlessness of a diamond. Expect that the more top-rated the diamond, the more expensive it would be.
3. Are there any diamond alternatives?
While diamonds have been a traditional stone of choice, others may think that diamonds are too impractical, economy-wise, even as they know that their love for their partner is just as enduring. Some may opt for diamond only when the wedding itself comes, and they may choose other stones for the engagement ring instead as a symbol of their relationship’s step-by-step evolution.
When it comes to diamond alternatives, you have a lot to choose from. Some stones almost have the same durability as that of a diamond, such as corundum (sapphire, ruby, emerald) and topaz. There’s also moissanite, which resembles the luster of diamonds and more closely matches its hardness than other stones as it is considered to be the second hardest gemstone in the world. While these stones may not have the same exact hardness as a diamond, they have the same luxurious fare. You also have various colors to choose from, while still staying within your budget; colored diamonds are rare and more pricey. The jeweler can also design the ring and set the stone in such a way to minimize the stones from long-term scratches.
Nevertheless, other materials are less preferable alternatives. Organic alternatives such as opal and pearls (whether cultured or natural) are far less durable than a gemstone.
4. Is the diamond certified?
Of course, you should get an instant positive answer to this extremely important question, especially if the diamond costs more than $1,000. The diamond certification is an officially recognized document which confirms all of the stone’s characteristics, the same that have been presented to you by the retailer. Basically, the diamond certification guarantees the genuineness of the diamond (origin, color, cut, clarity, carat weight, etc) There are only a few gemological laboratories in the world allowed to issue diamond grading appraisals. Some of the most renowned ones are:
GIA ( Gemological Institute of America )
AGS ( American Gem Society )
EGL ( European Gemological Laboratory )
Pay attention to the retailer’s reaction to this question. If they refuse to provide you with a certificate that proves the quality and value of the diamond, do not proceed with the purchase. You do not want to overpay or get ripped-off, don’t you?
5. Can the ring be engraved?
While most couples like the idea of having their names, mottos, engagement dates, or other meaningful things engraved for them on their rings, not all jewelers can do that. A ring’s surface is small and fragile. A jeweler must have the technology and sophisticated skills to pull off the feat successfully. If you consider a special text engravement a must, it’s important to ask any prospective jewelry store whether they offer such services.
6. What is the return/exchange policy?
This is an essential question you should ask your jeweler, especially if you are uncertain of the preferences of your partner. Who knows what may come up that will make you want to return or exchange the ring? It’s best to ask the jewelry store about their return and exchange policy in an earlier time. The reason is financially practical: rings are expensive, and a store with a return and exchange policy offers you a safety net in case you make the wrong choice. If the store doesn’t allow returns or exchanges, then you are compelled to make more careful assessments of your partner’s preferences or consider having them shop for the ring with you.
7. Does the ring have a warranty?
While a broken engagement ring holds sentimental value, it is still a material object prone to wear, tear, or accidental damage just as your car, appliances, and furniture are. If you wouldn’t buy an appliance without a warranty, why would you buy a ring that doesn’t have a guarantee? Rings can be pricey, so knowing that you can have one repaired or replaced for free is a bonus you can’t simply shrug off. Ask the jewelry store if they offer warranties on the rings they provide.
8. What types of payment method are available?
Being offered with various payment possibilities doesn't only refer to paying in cash or with a credit card. It also refers to whether the retailer includes the option of paying out the ring over the course of several months, in order to avoid having a knock-on effect on your bank account. There are many jewelry stores that accept this payment method, so if this is exactly what you were planning for your engagement ring shopping, you should better start your thorough quest right now.
Asking these eight basic questions can be the start of your checklist of things to ask when going to the jewelry store. Do this, and you go the extra mile for your special someone to get what they want right the first time around. After all, it’s not merely the ring itself which you value but your relationship.