Is it time to pop the question yet? If so, congratulations and best wishes on this next significant phase of your life! Of course, this also means it’s time to shop for an engagement ring that’ll most delight your loved one.
It’s not every day that you go from one store to another to find an item as delicate and essential as an engagement ring. No wonder some anxiety is associated with choosing the right one. That’s why it’s only fitting to do your research and consider this task one of the most important endeavors you’ll have to face in your lifetime.
What to avoid when ring shopping?
An engagement ring is the ultimate romantic gesture, so you must get it perfectly. Remember, you’ve got only one chance to give her the right ring she’ll cherish for the rest of her life. So whether you’re shopping together or going through the task alone, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t just go with what’s trendy.
Some trends come and go, while some stay for years. Knowing which ones to avoid will make ring shopping more straightforward and quicker for you. Below are some trends that you should avoid when choosing an engagement ring:
- The ‘setting is everything’ mentality
Engagement rings come in various settings. Although choosing the right one can make quite a difference to the final look of your ring, it doesn’t mean that the setting is all you have to consider or look into when shopping. Above all, keep note that the ring’s center is the stone itself. The setting is there to enhance the diamond’s allure and luminance.
Avoid obsessing over the ring’s setting. The diamond should take center stage, so it’s best to go for a stone that your partner will love. Of course, the setting is changeable, and you can always compromise, but having the proper knowledge about it can help you make a more informed decision.
A contemporary or trendy setting might be all the rage right now, but try to picture what the ring would look and feel like after several years. Will the setting be as timeless as the diamond itself? That said, going for a classic setting such as the claw setting is practical, primarily since it works well with different diamond cuts and styles.
- Obsessing over the 4 Cs
Even if it’s your first time shopping for an engagement ring, you surely have heard the big 4 Cs. For years, the four Cs have been used to determine a diamond’s value, referring to the stone’s color, clarity, cut, and carat size. Independent gemological societies score a diamond on a scale for each attribute, and these evaluations influence the stone’s value.
For a first-timer, you can get easily swayed by this definition, knowing these characteristics can significantly make or break how much the diamond is worth. Moreover, some retailers use these 4 Cs to convince shoppers to spend more money than they need. Understandably, you want the biggest and the brightest diamond you can find. However, learning to compromise will get you the best bang for the buck and lead you to find the best engagement ring you and your other half will love.
Don’t fall for the best color and clarity, as some designers hide diamond flaws during the design process, such as claw setting, making blemishes invisible to the naked eye. Working with a skilled ring designer or a trustworthy jewelry brand can help ensure you won’t fall victim to the 4 Cs predicament.
- The slim band trend
You may have heard that a slimmer band is better when you want to highlight the diamond’s impeccable cut, size, and clarity. Extremely narrow bands are a popular trend these days, only because people think they make the diamonds look bigger and better. However, jewelry experts say this could be a potential error you’d ultimately want to avoid.
One issue with super slim metal ring bands, particularly gold, is that they can wear away over the years. You might end up with something thinner that it might even break. You may not want a chunky ring that’s less trendy than the narrow one. Still, considering longevity and quality, you should think beyond aesthetics and glam.
Because a thick band is more robust, it’s ideal for people who are accustomed to using their hands frequently. In addition, thicker bands are strong enough to hold a larger stone, accents, and other decorative elements. Consider what goes well with your loved one’s lifestyle and personality when choosing a band style.
- The white gold craze
Another trend that seems to be taking over the engagement ring scene is the white gold metal for the band. While some may say that white gold is a cheaper alternative, you should still consider the quality and how the material would fare with the stone over time. Also, remember that you’re making an investment, and the purchase will most likely put a dent in your bank account, so you might as well make the most out of it.
If you opt for an affordable option like the white gold metal type, you’ll most likely have to re-plate it as the color fades or changes over time. White gold is produced by combining yellow gold with alloys and plating it with rhodium. This very thin metal requires reapplication over time. White gold may look like platinum from the outside, which is why ring shoppers tend to go for it, but platinum remains a better investment at the end of the day.
Since platinum isn’t coated or plated with any other metal, you can rely on it being scratch-proof and corrosion-resistant. Moreover, this metal is luxurious and heavy to the touch, making it one of the most popular ring metals you can consider for your engagement ring.
Engagement rings are more than just jewelry; they hold significant symbolic importance that can last for years. Don’t shop blindly for it; ultimately, don’t fall victim to trends that are only good for the time being. It’s best to invest in a ring that your partner can be happy with, even after so many years and trends have passed.
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Hanlon, Sarah. “How to Choose Which Ring Metal Type is Right For You.” The Knot International, December 13, 2021. https://www.theknot.com/content/engagement-ring-metal-types.
Hosie, Rachel. “The 4 Mistakes You’re Most Likely to Make When Choosing an Engagement Ring.” Insider, December 9, 2018. https://www.insider.com/biggest-mistakes-people-make-choosing-engagement-ring-2018-12.
Katz, Dara. “The 6 Most Common Mistakes You’re Making With Your Engagement Ring.” Business Insider, April 14, 2018. https://www.businessinsider.com/the-most-common-mistakes-youre-making-with-your-engagement-ring-2018-4.
Kliest, Nicole. “12 Engagement Ring Settings and Styles to Consider.” Brides, April 1, 2022. https://www.brides.com/engagement-ring-settings-4799299.