engagement ring
Photo: Engagement ring

An engagement ring may be one of the largest purchases you'll make in your life (right up there with your first house and car!). Understandably, you want to make sure that such an important gift is the perfect one for your soon-to-be fiancee. You don't have to stress over the process of buying an exquisite ring with these tips.

Do Your Research

Just like you wouldn't buy a house without looking into the neighborhood and having a home inspection, you don't want to buy an engagement ring without some extensive research first. Learn about the 4 C's if you're looking into purchasing a diamond, and educate yourself on types of metals and the general price range for what you want. The more prepared you are walking into the jewelry showroom, the better you can convey to the salesperson the type of ring you're hoping to find.

Enlist Help

If you want the ring to be a surprise, you'll want to talk to her siblings and closest friends. These people will be able to help narrow down the cut and type of stone that she'd love, as well as the particular metal that will go with the rest of her jewelry. They might even be able to tell you if she's been hinting about a particular style of ring, which will make your job so much easier.

Price Out Your Pick

Once you settle on a budget, head to a jewelry store to see what they have in that range. From there, you can narrow down the choices to the perfect ring. Before you buy, take the specifications of the ring and go to several different jewelry stores in town. Doing so will allow you to see if you've gotten the best deal.

Don't Be Hasty

This is a big purchase monetarily and a big decision since she'll wear this ring every day for the rest of her life. Even when you think you've found the ring she's going to fall in love with, give yourself some time to think it over. Go home with a photo of the ring, show it to your confidants, and wait a day or two before making the final purchase. You'll be able to go into the decision with a clear head, a sure heart, and a happy bank account.

Compare Perks

Some jewelry stores will throw in free jewelry cleanings for life, while others provide complimentary jewelry insurance. Ask your jewelry salesperson if the company offers any extras to sweeten the deal.

Don't Forget to Shop Local

The larger stores at the mall are a great place to start--and are often the ones with the best deal. However, you shouldn't overlook the smaller, locally owned places. They will often offer personalized service and an attention to detail that big jewelry stores can't match.

Ask Questions

With so much riding on this one purchase, you will want to be assertive at every step. If you're unclear about any aspect, speak up. The sales staff is there to help!

Looking for extra engagement ring inspiration? It's all right here.