Even the idea of shopping for an engagement ring can be incredibly daunting. If you’re like most people, you know an engagement ring will be expensive. You know it’s something you’ve never shopped for before. You know you don’t know enough about diamonds, and you worry that a salesperson may not have your best interest at heart.
But finding a jeweler you can trust is incredibly important, so just what personal information should you know before you walk into a jewelry store, and how much of that information should you share?
1. Let’s start with the seeming elephant in the room: budget.
We have been in the engagement ring business for over forty years, and if there is one thing we sincerely can’t convey hard enough it’s this: there is a perfect ring for any budget.
Truly. Any budget.
The question over whether or not you are ready to ask someone to marry you is a question of love, not a question of budget. So, don’t overspend because
a) you don’t need to, and
b) this ring should be something you feel 100% great about.
Negative feelings such as buyer’s remorse, or stress related to cost, don’t belong anywhere near her engagement ring. You are asking another person to spend the rest of their life with you. It’s huge. It’s joyful. And you deserve to proceed with confidence at every step of this process.
With that reasoning in mind, know your budget before you go.
It’s very common to finance an engagement ring, so when we say “know your budget” we don’t mean “empty your bank account.” We mean think about your values, and decide what, to you, feels like a reasonable expenditure for this sort of purchase.
For some people, spending ten thousand dollars feels exciting. For others, that number is nauseating and they’d feel better about spending one thousand dollars total. Neither number is wrong. It’s personal. It’s yours. And because it’s yours, you need to be in the driver’s seat. That’s why we recommend thinking about your own values, and having a number in mind before you go shopping.
Let’s talk for a minute, though, about that driver’s seat… many people think that withholding information from their jeweler will help them stay in control of the purchasing process. We get it. It’s a defense mechanism. If you show a jeweler what you don’t know, you could be taken advantage of, right?
Not in the hands of a good jeweler. A good jeweler knows that when you buy an engagement ring, you are buying something that will last the rest of her life, and that therefore, you are also beginning a lifelong relationship with that jeweler. For this reason, a good jeweler will want to treat you right. Withholding information will only impair the good jeweler's ability to help you.
So how can you tell if you’re in the hands of a good jeweler?
Uncomfortable though it may seem, tell them your budget and see how they proceed. They are there to help you find exactly the right ring for you, so if they respect your budget and start talking about styles and showing you options within your price range, that’s a really good sign. If, however, you’ve told someone your budget and all they do is continually push pricier items at you, leave.
That behavior is a great indication of how they’ll treat you at all other points during the life of your ring. You want someone who is on your side, not someone who won’t respect your comfort zone.
So, know your budget, and use that knowledge to your advantage as a means of screening jewelers to find the one who cares, not the one who pushes…
2. Your Timeline
Maybe you are certain tomorrow is the perfect day to propose. The stars have aligned unexpectedly, and you know that if you miss this exact moment, you’ll never be able to recreate it. That’s okay. There are rings you can purchase today and be proposing with by tonight.
Maybe you a are planner, and you are starting to look, but realistically, you don’t think you’ll actually propose until 2021. Whatever your timeline, let your jeweler know it.
Again, people withhold this information because they don’t want to be sold to. We get that, but the truth is, timeline affects options.
For the most part, we recommend beginning shopping six weeks to three months out from your intended proposal date. That gives you plenty of time to shop around, to see a lot of diamonds and a lot of mountings, and even to have a ring custom made if that’s the route that fits you best. If you are shopping a long way out, a jeweler will be able to save your information for when the time is right. If you need that ring stat, they’ll know which ones can be ready in time.
Sharing your timeline, like sharing your budget, is another chance for you to screen what kind of jeweler you’re buying from. If you say two months and the jeweler is pressuring you to buy today, that’s a sign that they care about the sale, instead of about you. A good jeweler understands that timelines, like budgets, are there to be respected, and knowing your timeline will only help them to help you.
3. Her Style
Knowing that there are amazing rings of every style at every price point, you can stop obsessing over budget and start concentrating on her tastes. These are some of the considerations we’d recommend thinking about before you go ring shopping:
Does she prefer gold or silver-toned jewelry?
Is her style pretty classic or is she very trendy?
Does she tend to go more understated and natural, or wild and opulent?
Does she work with her hands? Believe it or not, this one is really important… a nurse or surgeon who is constantly putting on and taking off latex gloves probably won’t want a solitaire that is mounted very high on the ring. Figuring out what kinds of activities her hands are most frequently involved in will help you find a ring that suits not only her taste, but her lifestyle.
Does she have a Pinterest page with ring ideas? Has she remarked on what she does or doesn’t like about friends’ rings?
You don’t have to have an exact picture of what she wants in mind. In all likelihood, she doesn’t even have an exact picture of what she wants in mind. But having an understanding of her likes and dislikes, her habits, and the pieces she currently wears most often, coupled with a firm consideration of your own budget, is more than enough information to begin your ring shopping.
Good luck, and if you have any questions along the way, we’re always here at https://www.weddingdaydiamonds.com/contact-us
And last of all, congratulations. Her ring is out there. All you have to do now is go find it.