How to choose an engagement ring

By Matt Williamson
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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engagement ring on womans hand
You can pick the perfect ring if you consider these factors.
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Shopping for the perfect ring can be enjoyable when you know what to look for

Choosing an engagement ring may seem overwhelming and near impossible; there are innumerable designs, shapes, colors, styles and prices to sort through. But picking out the perfect engagement ring does not have to be a stressful event. Consider these factors as you begin your search. They will help you narrow down your choices and ultimately pick out the perfect ring.

Choose the Stone While diamonds are often considered the standard choice for the ring stone, there are other options available. Sapphires, emeralds, rubies, or other gems are also acceptable for an engagement ring. It is important to use your judgment and make sure the stone fits your personality. Family heirlooms, such as a grandmother's engagement ring, may be another choice to consider.

Set a Price Range Before you begin looking, think about how much you plan to spend on a ring. Choose a price range that fits your lifestyle as well as your budget. This will help you look through rings that are within your means right from the start. You may find that you adjust the budgeted amount as you begin to shop around, but having a starting figure will help you focus when shopping.

Understand the 4-Cs The 4-Cs of diamonds stand for the following: cut, color, clarity and carat. Each one of these affects a diamond's overall quality. Following is a brief explanation of how to choose a diamond.

Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to the angles and proportions of a diamond. Many consider the cut to be the most important factor in a diamond. It affects how much a diamond shines. If the diamond has been cut well, it will reflect light and sparkle brilliantly. Color: Diamonds range from yellow in color to colorless. The most common color in diamonds is yellow. Thus, the diamonds with less color are rare and more expensive. The color of the diamond will affect its price. It is a good idea to choose a ring according to your own color preference; what you like and feel comfortable with is a personal decision.

Clarity: As a result of pressure, heat and sedimentation, diamonds have natural impurities in them. In some rocks, these impurities are very visible; in others, they cannot be seen with the naked eye. The price range of a diamond can vary greatly depending on its clarity. Be sure to choose a diamond that is appealing to your eye.

Carat: The actual weight of a diamond is measured in carats. One carat equals 1/20th of a gram. Some people assume that a larger carat size is equivalent to a larger diamond. This is not always the case: a diamond may seem larger or smaller depending on how it is cut.

It is important to ask about the 4-Cs when learning how to choose an engagement ring. Jewelers can provide you with the needed information about each ring you look at. While the salesclerks may be helpful, it is important to use your own judgment when making the final decision.

Choosing a Metal Another factor that plays into the engagement ring is the metal in which the rock sits. There are plenty of metals available, ranging from gold to white gold to platinum. Gold can come in a variety of forms. The preferred choice for gold in wedding rings is usually 18kt, followed by 14kt. Platinum is a popular choice for metals; however, it is more expensive than others. When deciding on the metal for the ring, consider your jewelry tastes and preferences. You will want a ring that reflects your general appearance, whether casual or formal.

Have it Appraised For insurance purposes, you may decide to have an appraisal performed on your ring. The appraisal covers the details and value of the ring. Often an appraisal and picture are included in the purchase of an engagement ring.

These are a few of the factors to consider when shopping for the perfect ring. When considering how to choose an engagement ring, be sure to discuss any questions you have with a knowledgeable friend, family member, or jeweler. Choosing a ring is a big decision, but it does not have to be a stressful one. By taking time to consider what is important to you in a ring and setting a price range, you can find the perfect ring for the occasion.

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