Starting the Journey – The Engagement Ring Buying Guide

The Quick And Dirty - Getting engaged is exciting and rewarding. Yet the process can be challenging. You have to learn about rings, diamonds, and your girlfriend’s tastes in an effort to turn her into your fiancé. We are guys like you, and we are here to help.

We have gone through the process of evaluating rings, getting engaged, and proposing. We have been in your shoes. We learned the ropes.

The process of getting engaged is overwhelming at times – and expensive – but the end result is life changing (and in hindsight pretty amazing). Given how much we learned in the process, we thought we could save you time, energy, money, even some anxiety if we shared our learnings with you.

We are here to help you in your journey 

When we first thought about getting engaged to our girlfriends, we had never purchased jewelry before. And we certainly had never bought diamonds. 

So we had a lot to learn.

Going through the process of learning about the 4cs, different ring types, styles, sizes, prices, and insurance plans was a lot to digest. We didn’t want to become experts in every domain of rings – if we cared so much about rocks and stones we would have become gemologists.

What we wanted was a baseline of information to make a well informed decision. We wanted a ring that looked good, had unique attributes, would fit the finger of our partners, wouldn’t break the bank, and would help me move towards marriage.

That’s it.

The truth is that you do need to know a few things to get engaged, and the content that follows is our best approach to solve the problems we faced so that you can have a smoother experience as you plan out your next relationship steps.

What’s In The Guide

At a high-level, here are the topics you will want to understand – at least to a degree – and that we found helpful in our own ring buying process.

Should you keep it a secret?

You will either do the engagement with your girlfriend’s buy-in and guidance or you will do a lot of your research in secret. If you are doing research in secret, you will need to figure out the types of rings and styles your girlfriend likes, the size of her finger, and how much you can afford. 

Knowing What She Likes

If your girlfriend is proactively telling you which ring to buy (or giving you a range of rings from which to pick from) you will still need to know the basics of what types of rings these are and where to buy them.

Understanding the 4Cs

Once you have decided the path you are going down (secret research vs guidance from the misses) you can start to think about the foundational knowledge you will need to make an informed buying decision. The content that follows is educational for all guys, but is particularly useful for guys who are going down this path alone and need help navigating the fundamentals of diamonds and how to make a good and economical selection. For these reasons, we cover an overview of ring basics (styles, colors, materials) and an overview of diamonds – as most men buy diamond engagement rings. This includes how diamonds are scored and evaluated by color, clarity, cut, and carat weight (the 4cs) so that you know the type of diamond you are ultimately buying.

What Else Is There Besides Diamonds? Alternative Gemstones

If you are doing ring research in secret, you might be surprised to learn that there are alternatives to diamond engagement rings. These are less common but growing in popularity as men want to save money (or buy rings that have less of an environmental impact than diamonds). We provide education here to expand your horizons of what is possible. Given that most women expect and wear diamond rings, we keep this section short and sweet.

Pricing and Ring Economics

For many of us, a key determinant of the type of ring we buy is price. We go deeper here and help you understand the drivers of the ring’s value and how much it will cost you. We help you understand how much average rings costs and what guys spend on rings in different geographies and income brackets. Every ring is different and will have different price tags but we level set with you and provide guidance on these topics so that you know your ballpark costs. In the U.S. the average engagement ring price is $5,500.

Getting The Right Ring Size

Once you know the basics of rings and how much it will cost, you will want to understand the size of the ring relative to your girlfriend’s ring finger. The sizing of the ring gives many guys a lot of anxiety (it certainly was something I felt uncertain about). The first key takeaway here is that you should check out the other rings that your girlfriend might own and work backwards from those to identify her size. The second key takeaway is that rings can easily be resized. So you shouldn’t worry about sizing that much: if she likes what the ring looks like and says “yes” you can easily adjust the ring after the fact.

Best Places To Buy Your Engagement Ring Online

The next topic after sizing is a detailed overview of where to actually buy the ring. You will have many options – offline at a mall, online on a website, through e-commerce stores and so on. We walk you through the pros and cons of each so you can find deals, save money, and get the ring you want. In general, buying engagement rings online is becoming the new norm as online stores have lower prices, larger selections, fewer sales taxes, and more liberal return policies. We will walk you through different online sites that can help you narrow down your desired selection.

Engagement Ring Insurance

The final sections are tied to the economics of your purchase: this includes insurance, financing, and warranties. Rings are expensive and you will want to protect this asset. Rings are small, easy to lose, and can be damaged. That is why you will want to understand how to protect your investment and we have a few tips that will be of help here.

At the conclusion of this journey we believe that you will know:

  1. Essentially everything you need to know about engagement rings and the buying process.
  2. That you will be able to take the next steps and move forward with buying the right ring for the right reasons and at the right price.
  3. That your girlfriend will not only say “yes” to your proposal but that she will wear the ring you purchased with excitement, pride, and joy and that you can feel satisfied that you did a good job.

We have been in your shoes and understand that proposing can be stressful, expensive, and time consuming. 

We are here to help you solve this problem. 

Congrats again on starting the engagement journey process – your future wife thanks you!

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