Ladies, avert your eyes. This blog is for you, gentlemen. Engagement ring shopping can feel like a completely overwhelming undertaking (diamonds, side stones, and gold color, oh my!), but it doesn’t have to be. To streamline and simplify the experience, you need to do just two things: 1) prepare and 2) come to Andre’s Fine Jewelers. I will help you with the first thing today, and then all you have to do is make an appointment with our jewelers.
Preparing for the life-changing event that a marriage proposal is takes a few things. We’ll go over the four things you need to take into consideration. Bonus: two of them involve relationship espionage. We’ll start with things that you can do well in advance of coming in to speak to our jewelers.
Step 1: Establish a Time frame
First, you need to have realistic expectations of the time frame. I’ll be straight with you, guys, if you come in on a Tuesday and want to propose that Saturday with a custom-made ring, it’s not going to happen. Now, we have a selection of beautiful settings in the showroom and our jewelers will help you choose the right diamond for your lady. That can be done in a short time frame. But if what you’re after is a truly custom ring (which is our specialty), you’ll need to allow yourself a lot more time. Four to eight weeks is a realistic time frame for custom work. Because our specialty is custom work, our jewelers make sure that every ring (or other custom piece) is as close to perfect as possible. We take great pride and joy in being able to be part of your happily ever after. That kind of dedication and quality takes time. Keep that timeline in mind as you start making preparations for your proposal.
Step 2: Work out a Budget
The next thing you need to do some advance thinking about it your budget. There is no right or wrong answer to that question. Whatever your budget, our jewelers will help you craft a ring that will melt her heart. When a woman knows that her engagement ring is truly one-of-a-kind, it means something extra. Don’t let a number discourage you. Our jewelers are skilled at working within a budget and they have the knowledge to maximize your budget. Plus, since we do all our manufacturing in-house, you know that you will be getting the absolute best price possible on your custom work. The question of how much an engagement ring should cost is one of those questions that has a thousand right answers. The right answer is the amount that you can afford. The rule of “two months of your annual salary” is outdated; now, it’s important to feel good about the ring you’re getting at a price you can afford.
Now to the fun stuff: the espionage. Now, some of you gents may be in relationships with women who are very open or specific about what they want in an engagement ring (that was me). Others of you may have a lady who is less upfront about her ring wishes. Or maybe you’re just an old soul who wants to capture the magic and romance of an unsuspecting proposal. In any event, you’ll need to do some sneaky background work (some of you more than others). There are two critical topics you need to tackle: size and style.
Step 3: Figuring out her Ring Size
Getting the size of the ring is easier than you might think. Many women wear (or at least have) a ring on the right-hand ring finger. If you can steal that away for a day or two and bring it in to your appointment with our jewelers, they will be able to extrapolate a good estimate of size for her left-hand ring finger. You will also want to make a mental note of what hand she writes with (the dominant hand tends to require a slightly larger ring size than the non-dominant hand). If you need a little extra help sleuthing her ring size, don’t worry: in a couple of weeks, we will have a blog dedicated to getting a ring size on the sly.
Step 4: Discover her Style
The next question is of style. Style is probably the most critical thing you need to consider when preparing for engagement ring shopping. Her engagement ring will be worn every single day for the rest of her life (unless you upgrade at some point, but that’s another blog for another day). You need to make sure that it accurately reflects who she is to the world.
To get a more accurate read on her style, all you have to do is open your eyes and take notice of what she’s already wearing. When she’s not around, prowl through her jewelry box. See what kind of styles she has already chosen for herself. If you see a lot of Art Deco and geometric shapes, that gives our designers a really good jumping off point. On the other hand, if you don’t find much of anything at all in her jewelry box, your bauble minimalist may feel right at home with a classic solitaire. When in doubt, take some pictures of her favorite pieces of jewelry. That can be very helpful to our designers when crafting her engagement ring.
You can also take a peek at her closet. Is it full of the trendiest threads or does she take a more classic and traditional approach to her wardrobe? Our jewelers will be able to help steer you towards cutting-edge styles or tried-and-true styles depending on what would best complement your girl’s personality. If you’re still at a loss, try to think back if she has mentioned any celebrities whose styles she really likes, or friends’ or family members’ engagement rings she really likes.
We know that proposing is a big life event. And we know how much planning and preparation goes in to making it just right. To that end, in addition to this blog, we’ll be spending a little more time during this engagement season focusing on other aspects that will help you gentlemen make the most of this special moment in your lives. Coming up in a few weeks, we will dive more into the diamond grading process and how it affects price. As you know, the center stone is the biggest driver of cost in an engagement ring. Then, we’ll give you some more tips and tricks to find your lady’s ring size without her knowing what you’re up to. Check back for those blogs to help educate and refine your planning process.
Until next time,