The world of engagement rings is vast. With so many incredible options, it can be hard to hone in on one design before being completely drawn into the next. Should you choose platinum or yellow gold? A modern setting or an organic design? Before launching my own jewelry collection, I spent my years working for goldsmiths and selling jewelry in galleries. I was romanced by one perfect ring after another. It seemed unfair to have to choose just one!
With the plethora of options in mind, let’s think of how difficult the challenge of choosing an engagement ring is from your partner’s perspective. There’s a lot of pressure on him to pick a ring that’s perfectly ‘you!’ and he wants nothing more than to get it right. His goals are to find a ring which is timeless, personal and beautiful, but unlike you he’s probably spent far less time daydreaming about what that ring could be. If you could give him a little guidance for his quest, would you do it?
If you’re in a relationship you can probably sense when you’re on the marriage track, even if you don’t know a proposal is drawing near. Some couples decide to shop for the ring together, but it is still very common for most couples to want the act, and the ring, to have an element of surprise. If this is you, I’d suggest starting a little research of your own. My to-do list below helps you consider your options and tells you how to pass along key information without ruining a surprise.
1. Get Your Ring Finger Measured
Listen up! What I’m about to share with you is the most important piece of info you can leave for your significant other:
Go to a professional and get your ring finger sized.
Quite often, this is a detail your fiancee is clueless about. Nothing puts a damper on a proposal like a ring you have to jam down over your knuckle. Even worse is having to part with your forever ring for the following week because it needs to be resized. It's also worth noting that some rings - such as eternity bands or rings with intricate engraving - cannot be resized at all!
Make the time to do this before he has to drop awkward hints, and before your mother is tasked with bringing it up in conversation and possibly blowing his cover. March yourself down to your local jeweler and write that measurement down. (Tip: If you'd prefer he visit that specific jeweler, make sure it's on their business card!)
Stash the measurement in your jewelry box; He’s likely to start snooping for ideas there first. Entrust the measurement to your bestie who'd love to be part of your dream proposal. Email it to your mother or sister so they can forward it when the time is right.
2. Know your Preferred Diamond Shape
Most women have a preference for the shape of their primary diamond or gemstone. Do a little research and make note of the shape you think is best suited for you.
3. Pin with a Purpose
It can be tempting to scour Pinterest and save every sparkly ring to a board titled, "Put a Ring On It." But if your goal is to drop hints about your style, make sure you are pinning with purpose. If you want a round diamond, don't fill your board with princess cut diamonds. If it's a rose gold ring you dream of, the majority of your pins should be rose gold.
Be sure to replace the old caption and write your own describing what you like about each ring. Is it the engraving? The unique color of the sapphire? Are you head over heels for vintage rings? Are you obsessed with a specific designer and ONLY want a ring made by them? Tell us what makes your heart skip a beat.
A well groomed board in the hands of your loved one is a road map to finding a ring that's uniquely you.
4. Create a Wish List
The sales staff at your local jewelry store can be your own personal stylist. When you arrive, share your intention to make a wish list for your future fiancee. Jewelry professionals get so excited about the designers and styles they carry, so allow them to walk you through and share their wealth of knowledge.
Use this opportunity to really get a feel for the rings by trying them on! You'd be surprised what appeals to your style in person that you might scroll right past online. Your jewelry professional will store the appropriate notes on your favorite styles (and your ring size!) for future reference. They can even reach out to your beau when your favorite designer has an upcoming event at their shop.
5. Consider Your Future Wedding Band
Do you plan to wear a wedding band next to this ring someday? For many, I'm sure the answer is "yes!" But there is a bit to consider when you're choosing the first ring and planning to wear it with a second. How do you want these two rings to fit together?
Do You Want Your Rings to Stack Perfectly Flush?
Your engagement ring will need to have flat sides and space for the wedding band to tuck beneath.
Do you Mind if There is a Gap?
Sculptural rings (and many antique rings) have an irregular profile. Stacking a flat band next to them can cause a gap.
Would you wear a Contoured Style?
Contoured rings can be a great compliment to your sculptural ring. However, they might look like a puzzle piece missing it's mate if you wear it alone.
Once you know the answer to these questions, entrust the answers to a close friend or jewelry professional. You'll be well on your way to receiving that dream ring when the time is right.