When you are making an important decision, like choosing the person with who you are going to spend the rest of your life, you already know that it’s not just a decision made in the head, but in the heart!
And while choosing the right engagement ring may not be quite as intense, you are still selecting something that is incredibly meaningful, that will last forever, so let this little guide lead your head AND your heart to help you find the one that’s right for you, and help you decide what to invest as well!
Why Do Engagement Rings Matter?
Engagement rings are a symbol, but the symbolism goes beyond a trinket or a token—it’s a cherished reminder, an announcement, a dedication, and a sign of your commitment, devotion, and intent.
Consider the shape itself: it’s a circle because it has no end and no beginning. It is infinite, and it is everlasting. In most countries (including the United States) it is worn on the ring finger of the left hand due to the belief dating back to Roman times that there was a vein that lead straight to your heart, known as the “vena amoris.”
The perceptions and meanings behind engagement rings have changed over time to reflect the changes in our society and how we view love and relationships. In the past, an engagement ring may have simply meant that you were “off the market,” or to show how well your future partner could provide for you financially. They have been made out of bone, wood, copper, gold, and many other materials, and were then as they are now typically worn from the day of the engagement to the wedding day.
But this raises another question: what’s the difference between an engagement ring and a wedding ring?
What is the Difference Between a Wedding Ring and an Engagement Ring?
Technically, the only difference between a wedding ring and an engagement ring is the time frame in which it is worn. From the moment your loved one accepts your proposal, to the wedding day they may wear your engagement ring to show your intentions, and highlight the commitment that has been made. Sometimes, engagement rings can be more flashy or ornate, as they are not necessarily intended to be worn daily for 30, 60+ years, but this varies from couple to couple.
Wedding rings are often of a more simple, sturdy design, as they are intended to last through the rigors of daily life, and love.
How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?
The old rule suggested that you should spend 2-3 months of your salary on an engagement ring. If this arbitrary rule feels a bit off-putting, you are not alone!
The truth is, the right amount to spend on an engagement ring depends on a host of things, the most important of which is understanding what is most important to you!
But no matter what your budget is or how much you would like to spend, we want to make sure that you are getting great value for your money and so here are some things to keep in mind!
The Four Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat.
The better the cut, the better the color, the better the clarity and the bigger the carat weight is, the more expensive your ring will be in general, but that doesn’t mean that the most “expensive” or perfect diamond is the one for you - or the one you want!
- The cut refers to how the diamond (or other precious or semi-precious stone) was cut, and this is the most important of the 4 C’s.
- The color refers to how much yellow, pink, brown, etc can be perceived, or the complete lack thereof.
- The clarity refers to how “clean” or clear the diamond or stone is.
- The carat is a measurement of weight and can refer to one stone or the collection stones in the setting.
The setting of your engagement ring can have a big impact on the price as well. Simpler, classic, or less ornate settings will be less pricey, and the band material you select can have a big impact as well. You can select between gold, white gold, platinum, and many others to complement your personal style and budget.
Also, keep in mind that custom engagement rings can be more expensive than pre-designed engagement rings, so make sure you work with a reputable jeweler if you are interested in exploring this option.
Does an Engagement Ring Have to be a Diamond?
Here’s another great opportunity to personalize your engagement ring selection, and your budget too! In the past, the materials and stones used for engagement rings were fairly uniform, but we want you to know that this is YOUR love story, so you can make it your own!
The stone or stones that adorn your engagement ring can be precious or semi-precious; you can have one, many, or even mix and match! But different stones have different characteristics in terms of their durability or suitability for different settings, etc) so make sure you do your research, and ask your jeweler before making your selection.
Relationships are an investment, and there is an awful lot to balance and consider when you are considering your engagement ring options. Old traditions and expectations are being blended or modified by modern norms, including who pays for what, taboos, and other idiosyncrasies.
Generally, it is still acceptable and even expected for the person doing the asking to pay for and obtain the engagement ring. But keep in mind that many couples forgo this tradition, so feel free to do what works best for you!
Some couples may find it practical to re-use another engagement ring or even select one that has been worn by a previous owner, a vintage piece, or a family heirloom. This is a very personal decision, and the answer to this situation is as same as before: this is your love story, and only you know what is the perfect solution and symbol for you!
Where Can I Find the Perfect Engagement Ring?
The perfect engagement ring is the one that is perfect for you and yours; there is no exception! But when you work with a reputable, experienced, and passionate jeweler, your odds of finding that perfect classic/vintage/modern/ornate/simple/extravagant engagement ring is going to be much better!
So whether you are looking for the perfect custom engagement ring, you are just beginning to look around, or are ready to make a purchase, Grogan Jewelers is pleased to be a part of this most precious part of your life’s journey!