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Buying an Engagement Ring? 9 Must-Ask Questions

Last updated on October 04, 2022

So You're Ready to Propose. 

For hundreds of years, diamond rings have been the universal symbol of promise––traditionally exchanged during the proposition of marriage. But where, oh, where does one begin? 


The Quintessential Question


Aside from the big one––will you marry me?

There are plenty more to come. Arm yourself with these nine must-ask questions when heading out to buy an engagement ring, and she'll soon be singing yes from the rooftops.


1. How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?


Over the years, the rule of thumb has become a suggested two-months salary. But just who was this wise old owl that initiated the myth?  


The De Beers Group. Expert in the world of exploration, mining and marketing rough diamonds since 1888. 


To give you a stretch of history, the Depression saw a downturn for De Beers, who then controlled approximately 60% of rough diamond output. To counteract, De Beers embarked on a marketing campaign that saw the linking of diamonds to engagement. 


Before the 1930s, diamond rings were not the benchmark, so when the campaign hit in the thirties, DeBeers initiated the drive with the suggestion of a one-month salary. 


By the 1980s, it had become two months. BBC News Magazine showed one advert that "featured a pouting woman, a scarf, a finger, a diamond ring and the words: "Two months' salary showed the future Mrs Smith what the future would be like."


Today the premise is moving toward buying what you can afford. We live in a world where the cost of living is increasing, and when owning your home is on the majority of newlywed bucket lists, it aims to be wise when setting your budget.


2. What is Her Style?


Slip on those sunnies and get ready to do some detective work. After all, wasn't it Don Quixote that said preparation is half the battle? Putting together a list of hints and peering into her jewellery box to get an insight into what type of ring she might like will ease your search for the perfect engagement ring. Even if it simply starts with whether she prefers a yellow or white gold setting or perhaps platinum. You could also consider the 'just browsing' notion or rack the brains of those closest to her.


3. Help! What Are the Four C's?


Almost every girl awaiting a proposal has learnt how diamonds get graded on cut, colour, clarity and carat (weight) to arrive at her perfect stone. So let's get you up to speed.


Similar to a fingerprint, diamonds have characteristics that distinguish them from one another. When assessing the quality of a diamond, a global standard, otherwise known as the 4Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight, determine its overall quality and, as such, value. They also work together to produce the sparkle that draws in their potential wearers. 


JewelCover's Quick Guide to GIA Diamond Grading is worth reading before you head out into the wide world of diamond hunting.


4. When Will You Pop Those Four Words: Will You Marry Me?


While this question may seem unrelated, it will avoid any potential disappointment if you know your time frame. While some rings are readily available in-store, others might be custom-made, generally taking weeks, if not months.


5. What Sizes Are Available? And Can the Ring Be Modified?


Engagement ring sizing is not a case of one size fits all. And while jewellers may carry a standard range of sizes, if the ring you are after is smaller or larger than what is on offer, it may have to be custom ordered or made. Make sure to factor this in when considering your time frame.


It might also be a good idea to place a ring she already owns on a true-to-size ring chart, making sure you choose one of her rings often worn on her fourth finger. Brilliant Earth offers a printable ring sizing guide that is perfect for this.


If the future sees the need to resize your ring, for instance, post-pregnancy, check with your jeweller if modification at a later date is an option. It is generally okay with bands that are plain on the underside, but if it is encrusted with diamonds as in the popular pavé setting, this may not be an option.


6. Cha-Ching. This is More Than I Bargained For. What Are the Payment Options?


Engagement rings are a significant investment, with prices running into the tens of thousands. So this question is often worth asking as many jewellers offer payment plans. Always be aware that each comes with its own set of rules.


7. Is There an Exchange Policy?


Don't be offended if your fiancée politely asks if she can choose a ring better suited to her style, be happy that she said yes, and go with the flow. 


Before you get to this situation, be sure to know upfront what the jeweller's policy is on this. You don't want to be in this situation only to realise that the jeweller has a no-refund policy.


8. How Do I Clean My Shiny New Investment?


You want that diamond ring to shine brighter than the top of New York's Chrysler Building from the day of your proposal to its many years upon her finger. Don't fret. It's much easier to keep clean than your bachelor pad. Head over to JewelCover's The Complete Guide to Cleaning Your Jewellery - Gold, Silver and More to pick up techniques you can get started with and then pass on to your fiancée after your proposal.


9. Can I Insure My Investment?


Regardless if you consider making a conservative purchase, spending one thousand dollars, or a somewhat extravagant one at thirty thousand dollars. Your purchase represents a significant investment in your loved one and your finances. Above all, it represents an emotional investment that is invaluable. 

Because of this, engagement ring insurance is the way to go. JewelCover covers you for loss, theft, damage and more. In the unfortunate event that something should happen, you can rest assured that your precious engagement ring will be repaired or replaced by someone you trust. Leaving you to wear it more, and worry less.

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