We’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you purchase an engagement ring that your girlfriend will flip over. Let’s get started.
Establish Your Budget
First thing you’ll need to do before you step into a jewelry store is establish a budget. It will help the jeweler show you options that are in your price range. Keep in mind that like buying a car, the price of an engagement ring can often be negotiated.
You may have heard that a man is supposed to spend 2 months salary on an engagement ring. This is crap. Hoping to cash in on retuning GI’s itch to get hitched, this “rule” was invented whole cloth as part of a crafty ad campaign by the DeBeers company during the 1940’s. But there’s nothing romantic about going into major debt. Buy the nicest ring that you can afford. In the end, it’s not the amount of money you spend on an engagement ring that matters, but rather the thought that goes into purchasing it. Many women would rather start your life together debt-free or use the money for a sweet honeymoon than have you blow all your savings on some rock.
If you want to propose, don’t delay because you can’t afford a better ring. The ring is supposed to be a symbol of your love, and what does it say about your love that you’re willing to postpone your marriage to buy a better rock? A humble ring will be a memory of that hard-scrabble time when you two were young. You can always get her a nicer ring for an anniversary present somewhere down the line.
Make It a Surprise
The jeweler I talked to noted that he’s been seeing more and more men coming in with their girlfriends to pick out a ring. While letting your wife-to-be pick out the ring she wants will ensure that the ring fits and that she likes it, you’re denying yourself a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show how thoughtful and romantic you are. Imagine the look of surprise your girlfriend will have when 1) you propose to her, 2) the ring fits, and 3) the ring you picked is exactly what she wanted.
If you can successfully pull off this trifecta of surprises, you will be the subject of envious conversations among your girlfriend’s social circle, your future mother-in-law will say you’re a catch, and men around you will silently acknowledge your achievement. Making the engagement ring a surprise will take some work, but it’s well worth the investment.
This is not to say that surprising her is the only way to go. Some women will insist that they go along with you to pick out the ring. If you’re like me, your wife will already have the engagement ring she wants in her possession. It was an heirloom from her great-grandmother. I just had to pick the ring up from her mom’s house. Just do what you and your girlfriend think is best.
Find Out Her Ring Size
This where a lot of men screw up in the purchasing process. They’ll have the perfect ring picked out, but they get the wrong size ring for their girlfriend’s finger. When they get down on one knee and attempt to slide the ring on their lady’s finger, it doesn’t fit and awkwardness ensues.
If you get the wrong size ring, all isn’t lost. You’ll just have to take the ring back to the jeweler and fork over some more money to get it properly fitted. But it’s best to avoid the cost and the potential embarrassment at proposing time by making sure the ring you pick is the right size.