Before boarding that plane en route to the honeymoon destination, the happy couple needs to first make it through the wedding ceremony. And there can be no wedding ceremony without the bride-to-be agreeing to the union in the first place. This is what makes the proposal one of the most important – and harrowing – parts of the matrimonial process. Yes, everything hinges on a single word – and it is often the quality of the ring presented by the suitor that can tip the scales in favor of a future wedding, or send him home with his tail between his legs.
Unfortunately, many men are woefully under prepared when it comes to purchasing that perfect engagement ring. Sure, most have heard the “three months salary” rule, but there is quite a bit more to the whole thing than merely cost. Because while any man with means can spend bucket loads of cash on a flashy ring, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s selected the right one for that special someone.
Know the Size
Before even getting to the diamond, guys need to understand ring sizing. After all, the biggest rock in the world isn’t going to mean much if the ring it’s attached to won’t fit around the finger in question. And while any gal can get a ring refitted, it’s hardly romantic to have to postpone her being able to actually slide the ring on her finger until she can make time to visit a jeweler.
One of the best ways to address this issue is for guys to make a game out of it. That means snatching one of her regular rings – or soliciting help with this from her friends – in a clandestine manner and taking it to be sized without her knowledge.
Know the Bands
The band is not merely a support system for the diamond. In fact, a healthy portion of the “shininess” associated with engagement rings has to do with the band as well as the rock. That’s because jewelers tend to choose bands with a high shimmer factor, the most popular of which include: platinum, silver, gold, white gold and rose gold.
And not all bands are created equal. Platinum, for instance, is a highly durable metal that will last for ages, but it is also one that is on the lower end of the shimmer scale. Conversely, gold is bright as can be but won’t last nearly as long as platinum. It’s important for potential suitors to keep these things in mind when selecting the band.
Know the Rock
Diamond selection is obviously a crucial part of the process, and most men are underprepared for the task of selecting the right rock. But although most jewelers spend their lives learning the ins and outs of precious stones, one doesn’t have to be a pro in order to know what to look for in a diamond.
All guys need to do is keep the “4 Cs” in mind. These are:
- Carat – the defining characteristic of the stone. It represents the actual weight of the diamond and, simply put, the larger the carat, the more money the poor schlub is going to have to fork over for the rock.
- Cut – how a stone shimmers has more to do with how it is cut and shaped than how big it is. Indeed, a jeweler worth his or her salt can often shape smaller stones to sparkle to the point they appear larger than they actually are.
- Color – diamonds do indeed have color, and they range a full spectrum from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Colorless diamonds are the more expensive sort, but a majority of women tend to prefer whites.
- Clarity – this refers to how many imperfections there are in the diamond. Jewelers will often use dizzying terms like “inclusions” when speaking about diamonds, but the potential groom needn’t be confused: this only refers to the small fractures in the stone.
By keeping the above guidelines in mind, any guy should be able to find that perfect engagement ring. And by ensuring that it is not just of the highest quality – but that it actually fits as well – then he improves his chances of success tenfold.