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Picking the perfect engagement ring

Things to know before you start engagement ring shopping and a few ideas on how to pop the question.

February is arriving, bringing love and romance on everyone’s mind. Asking “Will You Marry Me?” can feel overwhelming, especially when you still need to pick out the engagement ring!

The challenge for men (or ladies) is not just in the asking, but the difficulty lies in finding the perfect ring for your soulmate.

The engagement ring is symbolic. It’s a promise, and formal agreement to marriage. A future for two individuals to embark on, and a message to show the bond of your love.

Before going to the jeweler educate yourself on the types, styles and differences in engagement rings. As a purchase that is intended to last a lifetime and often be passed down through generations, there are important specifics that need to be taken into consideration.

For the best value, chose a budget that is right for you. The 2 months salary rule is a myth. Also keep in mind that studies have shown that higher engagement ring cost is linked to higher divorce rates! Average costs have notoriously been between $1500-$4000.

Once you have your budget in mind, you will then start with the 4 C’s of diamond shopping: Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. Devote your efforts and time seeking a beautiful certified diamond. And remember that a diamond is not just a diamond. Diamonds come in different cuts and clarity. The lack of color is a better quality diamond (the clearer the better), unless of course you’re looking for an obviously colored diamond such as chocolate, pink, yellow or blue.

The 10 best cuts for your engagement are:

  1. Round
  2. Princess
  3. Oval
  4. Marquise
  5. Pear
  6. Cushion
  7. Emerald
  8. Asscher
  9. Radiant
  10. Heart

Next you’ll need to decide on a metal that holds the stone. Several metals to chose from are:

  • Yellow Gold
  • White Gold
  • Rose Gold
  • Platinum
  • Silver
  • Tungsten
  • Palladium
  • Titanium
  • Steel
  • Zirconium

If you don’t know her ring size, always buy larger so the jeweler can later size it to her finger. The most common sizes for woman are 5 to 7.

Allow yourself time to look, explore and plan before making a major purchase. Once you purchase the ring, the final step is the proposal. You can be creative or traditional.

Traditional proposal ideas are safe, tried and true.

  • Over a nice dinner at a restaurant, light drinks, a perfect entree and for dessert — an engagement!
    BONUS: most restaurants will help you pull off the surprise if you call in advance.
  • Romantic strolls in the park, a carriage ride, or candlelit dinner at home.

However, many couples are now choosing non-traditional ways to propose.

  • Sky diving, parasailing, hiking, a hot air balloon ride.
  • A treasure hunt in your home town, or while on a weekend getaway.

Whatever your theme or style, chose a moment that works the best for who you are as a couple.

And when she (or he) says YES! Remember the place. The exact location and time…the moment. Take note of it and present them with an engagement gift they will never forget of the GPS coordinates of where it happened.