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Picking the Perfect Engagement Ring: 4 Diamond DON'TS!

August 28, 2015

Alright guys...this one is for YOU! You've met the girl of your dreams and you're ready to pop the question. Congratulations! You're about to start a very exciting chapter of your life.

As you embark on this adventure, I'd love to share with you a few tips I've learned about picking the perfect engagement ring. Between my grandfather, my father, and myself, we've sold thousands of rings over the years.  It's given us a unique perspective of the ring buying process and we've seen, shall we say, a few hiccups along the way we'd like to help you avoid.

First of all, let's talk about the word, "perfect!" I defined it in our last blog post, but it bears repeating. Perfect means different things to different people; it's not about a flawless diamond. Let your eyes be the judge of the perfect diamond. Yes, it's important to know and understand the 4 C's, but pick what you believe is the most beautiful! Don't be afraid of the process and get bogged down with trying to find the most technically "perfect" diamond... trust yourself and your eyes!  Get comfortable with using a loupe (It's not difficult), and learn what an I, SI, VS, or VVS actually look like before making a decision.

With that being said, here are a few things to avoid as you head out for that special ring!

Not Having a Clue...

Guys, do yourself a favor and try to find out what she likes before starting your ring hunt! In my experience, women are very good at giving you enough information to get it right. Maybe your special someone has been very clear in her expectations... good for you! That will make this process go much more smoothly. If she has a specific design that she wants, 99% of the time she'll let you know.

If she hasn't spelled out exactly what she wants, chances are she's dropped some hints along the way.  Has she shared a Pinterest board with you? Maybe conveniently left some tabs open on your web browser? I frequently help guys that only know, "she wants white gold, with a princess cut diamond, and she loves vintage rings". Even that little bit of knowledge is more than enough to nail your selection.

However, if you are looking to do a surprise proposal with a surprise ring, try to at least get an idea of what she wants! Maybe comment on one of her friends engagement rings, or pay attention to the type of jewelry she wears regularly.Having no clue about her desires and getting her a traditional round solitaire when she's was hoping for a vintage-inspired cushion cut diamond is not the best way to start off your engagement!

Listen when she talks about jewelry (a good habit to get into anyway!), and zero in completely when she mentions what type of engagement ring she likes and doesn't like. This will pay off immensely! Talk to her friends and listen to her hints, but find out something so you're not shooting in the dark!  (BTW, even if you have no clue, I can help you select a ring you can return or exchange for full credit, email me if you're interested

Not Knowing Her Ring Size...

Another good idea is to to find out your lady's ring size. A sure way to kill your special proposal moment is having a ring that doesn't slip past the first knuckle! If you're going for the surprise proposal, enlist the help of a family member or a friend to secretly swipe one of her rings so you can get a general ring size.

Just don't forget to get the ring back to where you found it!

If you can't swipe a ring, at least get a general sense of her hand size. Are her fingers super skinny?  Does she have larger hands? If you don't know the exact size, I'm always going to recommend we go a little larger rather than smaller. That way the ring will slip on her hand for your big moment. We don't want her to have to wear the ring on her pinky until you can get back in for sizing!   

Avoiding Custom-Made...

Perhaps your girlfriend has dropped hints of a one-of-a-kind custom engagement ring or maybe she has left design sketches on the table—don't let that put you into a panic! "Custom" does not automatically equate with "expensive and complicated."

Having a custom-made ring for your fiancee could be the PERFECT solution to getting the "perfect" ring. Check out your options: talk with myself or our jeweler Sue, get a thorough understanding of what we can do, and go from there! Going custom doesn't have to be hard if you're working with the right jeweler! Click the link to learn more about our custom jewelry design process.

Blowing Your Budget...

So you might've heard that the rule of thumb when it comes to a budget for an engagement ring is three months' salary. We say there is NO RULE!  It's your money and you decide what you want to spend.

There's no need to blow your budget and regret this decision for years to come or put yourself in financial stress before you're even married. Decide ahead of time what range you're comfortable spending and see what that will buy.  We have engagement rings starting a $799 and have a whole section dedicated to engagement rings under $3000, so we can work with every budget.  If 3 months salary is 10K and her perfect ring is 5K, that's ok.

Just to completely blow the 3 months salary rule out of the water...the average working adult in america makes less than $40,000 a year. 3 months salary to the "average" person is under $9,000.  The average engagement ring sale is approximately $4,500. About half of the 3 months salary "rule". The point is, don't let anyone pressure you into buying a ring you can't afford.  If you want to spend 3 months salary, go for it. But do it because you love the ring, not because "they" say you should.  

So there you have it, gentlemen... hopefully these diamond "don'ts" will turn your shopping experience into a pleasant one... we wish you the best of luck!

We're honored that Mullen Bros. Jewelers ranks #1 in overall customer ratings among all jewelry stores in Southeastern Massachusetts and we will continue to take care of our neighbors and friends, one jewel at a time! 


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