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Wedding planning often begins moments after couples get engaged. Once a ring is presented, a new chapter in a relationship is born.
While couples remember the sentiments and the style of their engagements forever, the engagement ring serves as the lasting symbol of that momentous occasion. Choosing the right engagement ring is complicated. Such a decision involves knowing what a future spouse desires in a ring and balancing those desires with budget.
Shopping for an engagement ring can be both nerve-wracking and exciting. But there are ways to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
• Listen carefully anytime jewelry is discussed. Getting an idea of which style of jewelry the love of your life prefers requires keeping your eyes and ears open anytime jewelry is mentioned. Subtle hints may be dropped and pages to magazines may be folded back to provide a nudge in the right direction. It's also perfectly fine to ask for your future spouse's input, particularly if you've already spoken about marriage and know that an engagement is on the horizon.
• Have a good idea on the shape of the stone. All gemstones need to be cut in particular ways so that they reflect light and sparkle. Stones are also cut in specific shapes that provide the overall form of the stone. These include round, princess, emerald, oval, marquise, and pear, among others. Many people have distinct preferences when it comes to the shape of the ring. Keep in mind that some shapes are more common than others and some may be more expensive as well. According to Long's Fine Jewelers, round cut diamonds are the most popular today and also some of the most expensive. Marquise and oval also tend to be pricey. Princess and emerald cut diamonds may be more affordable, offers Genesis Diamonds.
• Know all the specs. Buying an engagement ring means being armed with a lot of knowledge. In addition to shape, there are the four Cs to consider. These refer to the stone's cut, carat, clarity, and color, and will determine the financial value of the gemstone. Take some time to learn about each of the four Cs so you can make a more informed decision when visiting the jeweler.
• Shop around. Not all jewelers are the same, and you want to find one with whom you feel comfortable and believe you will get the best value for your money. Believe it or not, you can purchase the ring in two parts — opting to shop for a setting from one place and a stone from another. Jewelers will often do whatever is necessary to make their customers happy, so don't be afraid to ask for customization.
Engagement ring buyers may also want to consider gemstones other than diamonds. Buyers also must know their beloved's ring size before buying the ring. Brilliant Earth jewelry says 6 to 6.5 are the most common ring sizes.
When shoppers are prepared, the engagement ring-buying process is that much easier.