How To Pick A Perfect Engagement Ring

We've all heard the saying that an engagement ring should cost about three month's salary, but that does nothing to tell us how to go about picking the perfect ring. It only tells us how much should be spent, and even then, it truly isn't accurate in today's world any longer. Honestly, how much a ring costs should not be the primary concern when choosing an engagement ring.

If you and your partner have talked about marriage before an official proposal, one option is to actually go ring shopping for an engagement ring together. This way, she gets to pick the ring she truly wants, and you can take some of the stress off of you to pick the perfect ring. Some women may not like this option, though, and you might want to surprise your lady with your proposal, which means you have to pick a ring without her knowledge or input.

This is where picking the perfect diamond engagement ring becomes a bit tricky.

One man in a forum for men who are about to propose to get support, hints and tips from veteran husbands gave this helpful hint. He told another forum member that he could always buy a small solitaire diamond ring for the proposal, one that doesn't cost too much, and then let his fiancé know that this ring is only for the proposal, and he and his fiancé could pick out a true engagement ring together.

Once you and your fiancé have picked out your 'official' engagement ring together, you could then take the solitaire ring you used for the proposal and make a diamond pendant drop necklace from it, and then give this necklace to your fiancé on your next anniversary or on her birthday or for Christmas, and she will ohh and ahh over how romantic you are to remember your proposal and the ring you first gave her.

This is a perfect solution to the problem, because you will have a ring to give her for the proposal, but she also is able to pick out the perfect ring for her, and you don't have to stress over making the choice.

If this doesn't suit you and your partner's style, or if you really want to be a bit more traditional and want to surprise your future wife with a ring you have chosen, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Let's look at a few of those things.

Remember that you may have a lot more money and security when you are 45 years old and have been married for 20 years than when you are 25 years old and just starting your life together. As you and your wife live your life together, you may end up being able to afford more expensive pieces of jewelry, and you do not want your wife's engagement ring to pale in comparison to the jewelry you are able to afford later in life.

Generally, this is why the rule of spending three month's salary has been the standard. The point is to make an investment, both in a nice piece of jewelry but also in your relationship, as well as ensuring that the ring you buy for your fiancé will be a life long symbol of your love, but also be compatible with the other jewelry you and she may be able to afford in the future. Plus, you do want the ring you buy your future wife to be the nicest piece of jewelry she's ever owned, don't you?

White gold, gold, platinum, titanium, silver... metal, metal, metal. What precious metal should you choose for the perfect engagement ring? There is no hard or fast rule for this, and mostly it will come down to personal preference and the amount of money you are able to spend. White gold is generally less expensive than yellow gold, but not always, and platinum is more expensive than both.

Gold has different weights, and you want a strong, sturdy gold that is not too soft, but you don't want the gold to be blended with too much harder metal that causes it to lose its value. Platinum is a relatively hard metal and titanium is even harder, but titanium is generally reserved for class rings or men's rings and is a lot less expensive. Silver for a wedding band is not generally recommended, because it may tarnish and can often leave streaks on clothing and other things, and must be cleaned more frequently than other metals.

The first choice in the type of metal is whether or not your future wife likes the silver color or the gold color. You can usually tell this by looking at other jewelry she wears. Personally, I have always liked yellow gold, but my daughter is really into the silver colored jewelry. Every woman will differ in their likes and dislikes.

If your fiancé is very athletic or active or she works with her hands, you might want to consider going with a harder metal band than if she works at a desk or is not as active wit her hands.

Choosing a diamond can be quite intimidating. Do you get a solitaire or a cluster ring? What should the total carat weight be? Do you want a diamond channel set band or a solid metal band? What cut should the diamond be: emerald cut, oval cut, sunburst cut, marquis cut, or classic round?

There are so many choices that it may be a bit intimidating. The best way to choose the cut of the main diamond for the ring is to try to find a cut that matches the personality of your wife to be while also taking into consideration the size and shape of her hand.

Which brings us to the a suggestion - if you have a picture of your future fiancé's hands, along with a picture of your fiancé, take that picture in to a reputable jeweler and have the experts there help you pick the perfect cut and style for perfect lady.

If you have met her family and you have a good relationship with them and you feel comfortable they can keep your secret, ask her mother or her sister for advice on what to buy. This can really help you pick the perfect ring that you know your future wife will love. If this is a second marriage and your partner has older children, involve her children in helping you, and this will win you points with them by helping them feel involved in a major life decision you are making that can affect them too.

The quality of the diamond you choose will probably depend on two major factors: what it looks like to you and whether or not you can afford it. A jeweler might try to convince you that and Ideal Cut diamond, which can be significantly more expensive than an Excellent Cut diamond, is a better choice, but if you cannot tell with your naked eye that there is a difference, unless your future fiancé is a jeweler herself, she probably won't care that much either. If you are trying to decide between a larger carat weight or a better cut, chances are most people will notice a larger stone more than they will notice a better cut of stone. The choice is ultimately yours.

How big should the diamond be? Tough question to answer. There are many women who don't like large rings or large diamonds, or who would feel uncomfortable wearing a very large engagement ring every day. Other women like to flaunt that big rock to all their friends and show off it's size and sparkle. Again, this really comes down to personal choice and finances. At one time, the advice might have been to buy the biggest stone and ring you can afford, but style has become much more important than size.

Again, take your partner's personality and activity level into consideration, and buy something that is for her, since she is the one who has to wear it, after all.

Ultimately, the perfect engagement ring will be the one you put the most thought and love into purchasing. It won't matter when you've been married for 40 years exactly why you chose the ring you chose, as long as the ring remains the symbol of your love for one another. Don't allow yourself to get caught up in 'tradition' and feel that the choice has to be yours alone. It's okay to ask for your future wife's help in selecting the ring.

On a personal note, I can tell you that I would be pleased with any ring my future husband picks out for me, as long as he put his love and commitment behind that ring. The ring is just a symbol and it is the love and faith and trust of the relationship that means the most. I would not be offended by being asked to help select my own engagement ring nor would I be offended if my fiancé gave me a ring he had selected.

Don't forget the most important part of purchasing the perfect engagement ring though - ring size! It could be quite embarrassing after she says yes to your proposal to try to slip a ring on a finger that is too big for the ring!

Good luck in hunting for the perfect engagement ring for your future wife.