You could propose like Patrick Dempsey (aka Dr. McDreamy) in Sweet Home Alabama, where he led his girlfriend blindfolded into a closed Tiffany’s store. When she took off the blindfold all the lights were off and she was in the dark. When the lights turned on she saw her boyfriend on one knee in the middle of the Tiffany’s store where the sales team stood waiting next to each jewelry display case where she could pick any ring she wanted!
But if that’s a little too grand for what you were thinking, here are some tips to choosing the perfect engagement ring for the woman you love!
There is no reason to be intimidated about going engagement ring shopping as long as you educate and prepare yourself for the experience.
First things first… you need to know her style preference and ring size! The best way to figure this out without tipping her off is with a little help from a friend, family member, or even a co-worker. A few months prior to asking (a year is better if you can wait that long) secretly contact a friend or family member of hers and have her start ‘jonesing’ for her future wedding day. Over a few week period, have this friend talking about her plans for her wedding one day and then at some point have her ask your girlfriend to go ring and maybe even dress shopping, ‘just for fun.’ Girls do this sometimes so it wouldn’t be that weird. The friend can collect all the information you will need. Your girlfriend may suspect something but with your proposal being months away, she will be totally thrown off. Just don’t get caught talking to the friend and don’t ever leave your computer unattended. You are probably searching for ring stores, proposal ideas, hotel reservations, etc. and you don’t want her to accidentally see something in the history.
Do Your Research:
Learn to talk jewelry.
This will lead the salesperson to think that you know what you are doing and probably can’t be sold in to anything foolish. Learn the names of the different parts of the ring: the band (the actual ring), the stone (like a diamond), the setting (the part that holds the diamond).
Know the High C’s: Cut, carat, color, cost, and clarity.
Carat: The unit measurement (weight) of a diamond. It is a common misconception that the carat refers to its size.
Color: The grading ranges from the lettered “D” and “Z”. “D” being colorless and rare and “Z” being the darkest in color with more of a yellow tint (it goes lightest to darkest). F and H are good quality and are common in engagement rings.
Clarity: The scale used to grade clarity goes from F1 for a flawless diamond, to VVS1 and VVS2 for very tiny inclusions towards the outer edge and perimeter, to VS1 and VS2 for small cloud, small pinpoint and small feather on outer edge of a diamond. SI1 for larger cloud of pinpoint inclusions and feather on outer edge. SI2 for cloud of inclusions, feather, and small feather located in the table of stone. I1, I2 and I3 for imperfect diamonds that are visible to the eye.
Cut: A properly cut diamond is proportioned so that no matter where light enters the stone…from the top, sides or bottom… the light is directed out the top of the stone. This is difficult to achieve, but mathematically possible. The reason is that a diamond is cut to capture light entering it from a 360-degree sphere. So the better the cut the more shine and the more expensive it is. Different cuts include: Round, Oval, Marquise, Pear, Heart, Emerald, Princess, Trilliant, Radiant, and Cushion.
High or Low Setting: Is your fiancé to be very active? Depending on her activities, you should consider the setting. High princess cut settings are common and beautiful but could damage much easier than a lower setting would.
Insurance: Make sure to check that your insurance covers the ring if lost or stolen, or ask for insurance from the jeweler’s store if available.
Certificate of Authenticity and a warranty should come with your diamond. Certificates are very important to have with a diamond to prove the quality and the origin of your diamond. They are usually only available with the purchase of diamonds larger than just under 1 carat. Other than that it is an additional cost to obtain one.
Whatever you decide, the important part is what the ring symbolizes.