A Quick Ring Buying Guide for Guys

Most guys out there don’t have the faintest clue when it comes to buying a ring. Whether you are buying an engagement ring, a wedding band, or upgrading her ring for a milestone anniversary, you should be familiar with the main concepts of how to buy a ring and what to look for. Consider this article a nice starter guide for buying a ring and be sure to make the ring buying experience something that is shared between future husband and wife!

Tip 1: Know Her Style

There are many different styles of rings out there, so be sure to either take her along when you go shopping (something I personally recommend guys!) or get a detailed breakdown on the style of ring she likes. Maybe she wants a multi-banded style ring, or maybe she wants something very slim with a huge diamond. Be sure to know her style first and that can be accomplished by visiting jewelers together. Some ladies will want perfect clarity, while others will want excellent color. Some will just want size, and others will go for style and a mix of the rest. Know what she wants!

Tip 2: Know Where to Shop

You might want to avoid the “big stores” like department stores at the mall as you are sure to get better deals in jewelry districts where dozens of vendors set up shop under one roof and compete against each other. In Southern California there are a few great places to go, with the “Jewelry District” in downtown Los Angeles being the premium spot to get an amazing ring at a great price. There’s also a Jewelry Mart in Fullerton (Orange County, CA) that I can personally recommend. You should shop around and try to get the best deal possible. Stretch those expectations for what you can buy through savvy shopping at reputable jewelers.

Tip 3: Clarity

Understanding clarity is extremely important. This refers to the imperfections, such as mineral deposits and fractures, that the stone will have.  The scale ranges as such:

F = Flawless
VVS1 / VVS 2 = Very, Very slight inclusions
VS1 / VS2 = Very slight inclusions
SI1 / SI2 = Slight Inclusions
I1 / I2 / I3 = Inclusions

Again, look at what she wants. Maybe it doesn’t have to be flawless, but it should perhaps be no worse than a VS1. Any reputable jeweler can explain more and even show you a chart.

Tip 4: Color

Try not think of the diamond from the movie Titanic when it comes to color. What you want to think about is “How ‘white’ is this diamond’ and you’ll see that the range starts from totally colorless and goes to yellow. The best diamonds will be scored D, E, or F in terms of color. The next tier is G, H, I, J which ranks as near-colorless to faint color, and then N through Z is obvious yellow color. The best tip here is to stay in the D through F range. Color is one of those things you do not want to skimp on because it’ll be obvious when the diamond has color and when it does, it will cheapen the look completely.

Tip 5: Cut

This element of the diamond is most affected by personal taste. Be absolutely 100% sure you know which cut of diamond your lady wants. Some want a round diamond, some want a Princess cut, others want an oval shape. Find out what she wants, and stick with that one as it will greatly alter the shape and size of the band.

Tip 6: Carat

Most people are familiar with this term as it refers to the weight of the diamond. Depending on your lady’s taste, how big her hand and fingers are, and how much else might be going on with the right will depend on the size of carat you will want to get. Some brides-to-be will want a flawless, colorless diamond, but will not want a huge rock, so a .50 to .75 rating will work just fine and look fantastic. Some simply want a huge rock, so going with an average color and clarity (or slightly below average) will work for her so long as the carat rating is 1.5 to 2. It depends, and understand that you will pay for each one of the “Four Cs” when shopping, not just for the weight of the diamond.

Tip 7: Haggle and Have Fun

If you go to a department store, you might not be able to haggle. But if you shop around between many jewelry stores or even go to a reputable jewelry district, it is certain you will get more bang for your buck. Maybe your budget stays the same, but what might happen is that you get a much better ring than you would have elsewhere. Make it fun and don’t try to find the perfect diamond in one visit.

William Sanai
William Sanai works at Perfectly Made Weddings as an Assistant Wedding Coordinator.
William Sanai

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