Chances are, if you're reading this-- you are either proposing or hoping to be proposed to in the near future. We know this is a very exciting time, but there is a lot to think about and consider despite all the love in the air. If your name isn't Donald Trump, then there might be a few things you haven't thought of with all this love in the air. We're not saying that Mr. Trump is an engagement expert, however, he has proposed a few times, and he has enough money that nothing is impossible. Read on if you are not a multi-billionaire.
First and foremost: Budget
A lot of articles will tell you that the average amount spent on a ring is the equivalent of 3 months salary. This obviously doesn't only take three months, unless you plan to starve and have no other bills. You also may be thinking that 3 months salary is a ton of money; however, this is a substantial commitment which merits substantial symbolism. As you might have thought, a bigger stone costs more, however this is dictated by a classification system you might want to familiarize yourself with. These are the 4 C's: Cut, Clarity, Carat, and Color. Briefly, cut is the proportion, surface, symmetry, and polish of the diamond; clarity is the pureness of the diamond; carat is the weight of the diamond; and color is the actual tint of the stone, ranging from colorless to hints of brown. There are also diamonds with tints of red, blue, green, and pink—these are more valuable. You can spend more or less depending on your financial situation; but your efforts and thoughtfulness will be well-received, regardless of the price tag.
If you plan to surprise her, this will require a little detective work on your part. A tip to uncovering what kind of ring she might like is to consider her everyday clothing. Is she classic, funky, unconventional or trendy? Also, think about what kind of earrings she wears. Simple, understated earrings such as pearls or diamond solitaires reflect a classic personality, and a preference for clean lines. Classic girls would most likely prefer—you guessed it—a classic engagement ring. Ideas for this girl are diamond solitaires with simple to no embellishment with an unfussy band to match. Large chandelier earrings might suggest a trendy girl, however; if she's been wearing larger earrings longer than a year or two, she is a trendsetter, and would probably prefer a unique piece that no one else has, and can't be found at any mall jewelry store. A trendy girl might prefer the over-the-top styles featured on the hands of celebrity wives. These rings are in unique cuts and colors, and all have one thing in common: size. These rings are giant rocks, and could easily push you into the budget realm of 2-3 years salary. Don't panic—there is always room for upgrade (an anniversary, Christmas, or birthday). For the time being, she will appreciate your hard work, and will undoubtedly be thrilled with whatever you choose. An unconventional girl might choose a deeply colored stone, a plain band, or an antique ring that carries plenty of sentimental value. If you're still unsure of her style, ask someone close to her. A good friend, sister, or roommate might offer more insight and would probably be more than happy to help out and be "in the loop."
This is ultimately contingent upon your decisions for the previous two categories. Your budget will constrain how big you can go, and a colorless ¼ carat diamond can easily cost as much as a yellow-er full carat stone. In the long run, quality triumphs over quantity, and a diamond IS forever. Size is important however, because it is what everyone sees. This is a decision only a diamond buyer can make—if you are having trouble, a jeweler at your dealer of choice would surely be glad to help.
We hope that we were able to aid you in this important decision, and at least take a little of the anxiety out of the labyrinth of considerations. Remember, while the ring is an important symbol in any engagement (or marriage), it is by no means the most important. The object of your affection will appreciate the fact that you even read this article, let alone heeded any of its advice. Good luck!