How to Buy an Engagement Ring

Tips for Finding the Perfect Engagement for Her

By John Focht

Fellas, when it comes to picking out an engagement ring, do yourself a favor: find out about the type of ring she wants and get to work from there. She’s been dreaming of this moment since she was 10 – don’t mess it up. Follow these steps when picking out an engagement ring.

Find out the type of ring she wants

For any of you who have actually gone ring shopping, there really is no subtle way to do it. If you ask her to go “window shopping” for rings, you are pretty much letting the cat out of the bag.

However, when you are out shopping or browsing the mall, stop into a jewelry shop and pretend to look at new watches. Her eyes will inevitably wonder toward the real bling that catches her eyes. Now that you have her where you want her, subtly look at the rings. Get a feel for what she likes and what makes her melt. You’ve got the process started.

How Much to Spend

It really comes down to you and what you can afford. Traditionally, we were supposed to spend the equivalent of two month salary on an engagement ring. Recently, with men and women getting married later in life, I have heard the number increase to three months’ salary.

Crunch the numbers and see what works. One piece of advice though: don’t skimp on the ring. Your fiancé will be showing that thing off to everyone she encounters. The ring will say a lot about you too. If it looks like you skimped or cut some corners, it will definitely reflect poorly on you.

Shop Around a Bit

Once you have zeroed in on the ring, shop around a bit. Unless you are getting a price you that can’t walk away from, go to a few jewelers. Let them know you are working with a few other jewelers in the area. Let them negotiate with you a bit.

Go back and forth between the jewelers and let them know what you might be getting the ring at the other shop. Once you’ve worked that price down, it’s time to buck up.

Shop Online

Before you finalize the purchase with the jeweler though, check out what’s available online. Ten to fifteen years ago, buying jewelry online was probably about as reliable as going up to the guy on the corner who starts every sentence with “PSST, buddy”.

There are many reputable jewelers online today though. I may be a little old-school in my thinking that I would actually like to look and feel the actual ring I am buying, particularly with the money you will spend on engagement rings. None-the-less, buying online may save you significantly in the end. Do your research though to find a reputable online jeweler before clicking “buy”.

Originally published on the Yahoo! Voices Network.