Buying an Engagement Ring: Tips on How to Make Sure You Get Your Money's Worth

The Jewelry Store

Get ready for a battle. Jewelers are after your money, just like any other salespeople. It is common for jewelry stores to sell rings for twice the price they’re actually worth, so be prepared. Keep in mind that you’re shopping for her, ignore any “special deals” on other ruby rings for sale.

The 4 C’s

Experts say that there are 4 C’s to keep in mind when buying a diamond. They are:

Color – Exactly what it says. Scale starts at D and goes to Z where D is completely clear. Stay between G and J with the best values found between I and J.

Cut – The cut is important because it determine how well the diamond reflects light, which gives it it’s trademark sparkle. Choose the cut that you determined she liked best while you were researching. When in doubt, go with a round cut diamond. It reflects the most light.

Clarity – Clarity refers to tiny imperfections inside the diamond, most of which you can’t see without those magnifiers jewelers keep handy. Your best bet is to go with a clarity score of VVSI2 or VSI1. That would guarantee that your girl’s rock will shine beautifully.

Carat – the final of the 4 C’s stands for carat, or the weight of the diamond. Money Saving Tip: Diamonds get substantially more expensive for every full carat they weigh. The trick is to buy a diamond just under the next full carat size, for example, buying a .99 carat stone instead of a one carat stone. The savings is huge but when they’re set in a ring it’s almost impossible to tell the difference.

Ask to see the official certificate for each gem and look for a stamp of authenticity on it from one of the following appraisal agencies: GIA, IGI, EGL, or AGS. That assures you’re getting what you’re being told.

Skip the Gift Wrap

Congratulations! You now have the centerpiece to the perfect proposal! Tradition says that a man should spend the equivalent of two month’s salary on the ring, but if you’re smart you can get a great deal on a beautiful ring and put the extra money towards a romantic weekend following the proposal. In the end, shopping for a ring is all about making your girl happy, and nothing will make her happier than knowing she’s marrying a smart man with good taste. Happy hunting!