How Do You Buy An Engagement Ring, Really?

Is it finally time to pop the question? You’ll need the perfect engagement ring! Since you’re reading this blog we’ll assume you’re new to the world of engagement rings, so here’s a step by step guide to buying your first piece of bling for your beautiful bride-to-be. Before you do anything else, make sure you read this.

Step 1: Start with research

First things first; reading material. There’s more to engagement rings than a sparkling diamond on top of a gold ring. Do a Google search on the ‘4Cs’ of diamonds – Carat, Cut, Colour and Clarity (or just read our quick guide instead). You’ll be hearing all about these as soon as you step into a jewelry store, so you’ll need to get used to the lingo. Brush up on diamond shapes and setting types too (by reading our quick guides on shapes and settings), as these are two other big design decisions you’ll need to make.

Step 2: Learn what she likes

So you now know what makes a good engagement ring in general terms. But what makes a good engagement ring for your partner specifically? Whether she tells you directly or you find out through detective work, this next step is vital. Take note of her dress sense, any preferences for ring styles and stone shapes she’s mentioned before, and the jewelry she wears on a day-to-day basis. Ask her friends or close family members for advice (in secret), or just openly discuss it with her if she’s okay with foregoing the surprise factor.  

Step 3: Figure out your budget

Now that you know at least a little bit about what you’re getting into, it’s time to talk numbers. You probably already have a ballpark cash sum in mind for your engagement ring purchase (if you don’t, d. With that figure in mind, browse some online jewellery stores to see what you can get for that sum. Beware that buying your ring from a physical jewelry store will cost at least 15% more – online retailers are cheaper due to reduced overhead business costs. Based on your findings from Step 2, you may need to adjust your budget accordingly.  

Step 4: Talk to a jeweller

Armed with some technical knowledge, a defined budget and a preferred style choice, you’re ready to hit the jewelry stores. Look up a couple of reputable jewellers in your area and see what they have to offer. Ask them any and all the questions you want – their knowledge and experience is better than anything you’ll read online. They’ll also be more than happy to guide you through shapes, metals, settings, design details and everything else. If you see a ring she’ll really love right off the bat, resist the urge to buy it there and then. DO shop around and think about it, at least overnight but preferably for a couple of days or weeks.

Step 5: Pick the ring!

By now, you should have a couple of engagement rings you’re trying to choose between. They should be within your budget, meet your quality criteria, and meet her style preferences. If they don’t, keep looking. If they do, then you should let your instinct guide you from now on (with maybe a little help from one her friends). You’ve known and loved this person for a while now, so you know best. The engagement ring is a special part of the proposal, for sure, but remember it’s still just a ring. Your love and commitment means a whole lot more to her! Don’t be nervous… just pick the ring that feels right!

Step 6: Pay the deposit

The hard part is over! It’s time for the logistics. It may take a couple of days to a few weeks for your chosen engagement ring to be ready for her to wear. This depends on any customised details you choose, whether the ring needs to be resized, etc. Jewellers will usually ask for a deposit; it varies, but 50% of the full price is pretty common. When the final product arrives and you’re happy with it, you pay the remaining cost and you’re good to go. Plenty of jewellers will also hold the ring in their safe for you until you’re ready for the big moment.

Step 7: Protect your investment

Hang on – you’re not done yet. You’ve just handed over a big sum of cash, and you need to make sure your investment is protected. You should already have read the paperwork and should be clear on your jeweller’s returns policy, warranty, and so on. You should also have the diamond’s certificate in your possession and should keep it safe. But for total security, you need to get that bling insured too. Your jeweller may be able to organise this for you, or you can do it independently. Some brokers will add the ring into your existing home insurance, or for a really valuable ring you can get specialised insurance. Again, your jeweller can advise you of all the options here.

After that, you’re all done. All that’s left to do is ask the big question!