When it comes to buying an engagement ring, there are plenty of helpful guides for how to buy a diamond. We’ve written extensively about the right way to go about things. But what about the wrong way? Here are our Top 10 Don’ts for buying an engagement ring.
1. Don’t expect to pay pennies on the dollar.
Boom! Right off the bat, we’re here to crush your dreams. Just kidding. We firmly plant our flag in the camp of “Only buy a ring you can afford.” We do offer financing for those who can’t pay in full, but we never ever advocate that you buy a ring that’s exceedingly expensive for you. So we’re all about great deals on engagement rings, and we always work to find the perfect ring for every budget. That being said, we have had to dash hopes in the past. You are not going to buy a 2-carat diamond for under $2,000. It’s just not going to happen unless a diamond planet is discovered with enough rocks to have us all stirring diamond dust into our morning coffee. Oh, wait, that already happened. Diamonds are still expensive. Please shop with both realistic expectations and an idea of what you’re comfortable with spending. For many, many reasons beyond our control a diamond engagement ring is still a significant investment – but remember, you don’t have to buy a diamond engagement ring!
2. Don’t neglect to think outside the box!
Gemstone engagement rings, and even gem-less engagement rings are one of the hottest trends in the bridal jewelry world. No longer does every bride expect a diamond as part of the engagement deal. Think outside the box – what is her birthstone? Favorite color? The month you met, or first said “I love you.” Does she prefer clean, modern metallics? Or organic, nature-inspired laurels and vines intricately carve into a band? The options for personalizing engagement rings are endless.
3. Remember you’re shopping for her – not you.
So maybe those aforementioned geometric styled engagement rings aren’t your style. While the ring is a token of your love, it’s a piece of jewelry she’ll wear every day for the rest of her life. Now is the time to indulge her tastes, regardless of your personal feelings towards rose gold or micropavé. And remember – it’s the 21st century! Your band doesn’t need to match hers, you can get as creative as you’d like. Just check out the amazing options from our new Benchmark line.
4. Don’t get hung up on carat size.
If you do decide to buy a traditional diamond engagement ring, remember that there are 4 C’s. And they all work together to make a diamond beautiful – in fact, some play a larger role than others. Namely, clarity and cut. Carat weight is only one factor that determines a diamond’s physical appearance and its price. Carat weight/ size is not the be all end all. If it is one of your priorities to get the biggest rock possible, be sure you also get the best deal possible.
5. Don’t get hung up on the certificate.
Ok, so we fibbed. There are technically 5 C’s in the world of modern engagement ring shopping: Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat, and Certificate (6 C’s if you throw “Cost” in there.) Certification guarantees that a diamond is what the jeweler says it is. The holy grail of certificates is GIA, but EGL is another well-known diamond grading lab. There are pro’s and con’s to certified diamonds and even GIA certified diamonds. A certificate is nice to have but isn’t always necessary. It’s a matter of preference and consumer confidence, and you can read about it more in-depth here.
6. Don’t expect to walk out the door that day with your ring if you’re buying designer.
Are you here because you want to buy one of our awesome Uneek or Verragio engagement rings? Welcome! We can’t wait to help you choose and design the perfect ring. And then have it wrapped up and ready to go for you in…2 – 6 weeks. Designer engagement rings take time. Our Uneek engagement rings have that faster 2 week turnaround time, but our Verragio rings – while well worth the wait – take some time to customize when the diamond you choose doesn’t fit into the standard mounting. We work with you to choose the perfect diamond for your bride’s taste and your budget, then work our magic to complete the ring. Good things take time, so make sure you have enough time for this process by planning to shop early!
Related: Verragio Bespoke Engagement Rings
7. Don’t head to a mall store and call it a day.
If you’ve seen the store in a commercial during a football game, we forbid you from not shopping around. You’ll thank us later.
8. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
Why’s that? Because mass retailers tend to –ahem- mass markup. And even if the prices are seemingly low, odds are very, very good that you can get a better deal and a better diamond at an independent jeweler. Even if you don’t end up buying from us, we’d rather you stop by, compare prices, and go to another independent jeweler before we’d send you back to the mall. Of course, then you wouldn’t get all the perks that come along with being an RLJ couple, but hey, if it saves you from hearing cheesy jingles every time someone asks you where you got the ring (and saves you a few thousand bucks.)
9. Don’t forget to look online.
Shopping for an engagement ring online is the easiest way to buy an engagement ring. Click there for more on this, or just take our word for it.
10. Don’t forget insurance!
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, congratulations! You’re well on your way to getting a great deal on a gorgeous ring that she’ll love. Now, protect your investment. As soon as you’ve got your ring, get in touch with your insurance agent, fax/email/snail mail a copy of your appraisal, and get that beauty insured. It will cost you less than a cable payment each month (usually considerably less) and give you unthinkable peace of mind.