A man’s got two shots for jewelry: a wedding ring and a watch. The watch is a lot easier to get on and off than a wedding ring. –John Mayer
When it comes to buying a wedding ring, most men can become more than lost. The stress, confusion, and uncertainty can be overwhelming for most. After all, you only have one chance at this and no doubt you are going to want to make it as perfect as possible. As you’re lover, no doubt, deserves exactly that. That said, let’s go over the basics to be concerned with before making your next, or first, trip to the jeweler. Before spending as much money as you are about to spend, you should be as well versed as possible.
The Four C’s
You wouldn’t buy a car without looking under the hood first right? Well, if rings were cars, you should first figure out where the hood is let alone what is under it. The four C’s is a quick way to figure out the quality, and as a result, the potential cost of a diamond or stone. The four C’s are: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat.
In general there are around 8 types of cuts to watch for. Those being: Emerald, Heart, Marquise, Oval, Pear, Princess, Radiant, and Round. When speaking of the Cut, you should be more interested in the proportions of the diamond than what the actual shape is. The idea is that regardless of the shape, the dimensions are such that the brilliancy and scintillation arrive from the cut and polishing which allow the most amount of light to enter through the top (table) of the stone and disperse throughout the inside reflecting back through the top for the eye to catch.
Colors of stones can come in any imaginable color of the rainbow, but for engagement rings, you will mostly be concerned with diamonds. For diamonds, you will be looking at those in the white range, which is scaled D-Z. D-F is colorless, G-J is Near Colorless, K-M is Faint Yellow, N-R is Very Light Yellow, while S-Z is Light Yellow. Ideally, the closer to D you are, the clearer and better the diamond for an engagement ring.
The clarity of a diamond depends upon the number and location of flaws or blemishes. The fewer there are the more brilliant the diamond is believed to be. A diamond that has few to no flaws or blemishes is very rare, and as such, very expensive. Most diamonds have what are called ‘inclusions” in them and are in essence the Diamonds birthmarks. Inclusions obstruct the light that travels through the diamond and reduce its overall brilliancy, the fewer inclusions the higher quality the diamond, and again the higher the price.
The carat of a stone explains its overall weight. As the carat of a stone increases, so will its rarity, and again its price. On a 100 point scale, 100 points equals 1 carat. So a stone that weighs 50 points is .5 carats. The Carat of a ring often does not determine the individual weight of a stone, but the total weight of all stones on the ring. The most important thing to note is that two, three, four, or any number of stones can equal 1 carat, but will not be as expensive as a single stone weighing one carat. The same holds true for multiple carat inlayed rings.
Choose A Proper Jeweler
It is important to remember that cost does not always equate into quality. Many big name brand stores mark their jewelry up because of the name associated with it. They also have many cookie cut designs which in the end does not exactly translate into being that “special” gift which your loved one deserves. It is often worthwhile to shop around for a JA Certified Master Jeweler to help design a custom wedding ring. You may think it to be more expensive, but compared to big name brands it is often comparable while the quality is usually tremendously better. The thought that would go into creating it also allows for something to be made which is more personal. You can choose the designs, metal, and stones to be used. With a little proper planning, you will make a one of a kind ring which she will be certain to adore.
Know Her Tastes and Activity Level
It should go without saying that you will obviously want to find a ring she will enjoy, which means finding a ring “she” will like, not one that “you” like. This might mean getting involved in a little subterfuge and investigating her tastes to get an eye for her preferable design. You can strike up a conversation about your grandmothers or mothers wedding ring, her families, and eventually leading into what she thinks she might like to wear one day. Chances are, like most women, she will have pondered that thought at least for a moment and have something to say. Any information is better than no information, especially when you intend to spend as much money as you are.
That said, it’s even more important to keep the ring practical for her expected activity level. Does she work a lot in the garden, is she active outdoors, does she tend to essentially knock her hands on things a lot? If she does, there are certain shapes and designs which hold up better over time. The stones can be inlayed better so as not to get knocked off, or at least have a lesser chance of falling off. While some rings are just simply easier to clean, or don’t show dirt as much, which if she’s one to often have dirty hands would be something worth considering.
Don’t Go Shopping Alone
Men may think they know what a woman wants, but chances are they have no idea. Which is why before jumping in head first alone, you should bring a companion, preferably a mother or your loved ones best friend. When shopping for a ring there are so many choices, it’s quite easy to get sidetracked and lost in it all. Bringing another person with you helps to stay focused and to not lose sight of what it is you are shopping for. You have to remember, salespeople are persuasive, and you can easily be sold something more expensive that looks pretty, but absolutely does not suit your soon to be brides tastes.
In The End
Finally, with all those warnings and tid-bits of advice told, don’t be nervous. A study was done which surveyed 10,000 brides, brides-to-be about the wedding rings they received. Now what was found was the 48% of women received a ring which was exactly what they wanted. 47% admitted they loved their ring and that their husband made a great choice. 4% said they wouldn’t have picked the ring but they love it anyway. While the remaining 1% didn’t care for it, or in the least, grew to love it.
Now with less than half of the women receiving “exactly what they want, you would think this to be a really poor number. But nearly the other half loved the ring anyhow and admit it’s a beautiful ring and their man made a great choice. So what this shows is, so long as you put some thought into it, a little care, and whatever money you can, chances are in your favor they are going to love it regardless… mainly, probably, because they just love you. Now that’s a little bit of some good news!