Choosing the perfect engagement ring can be difficult for any future groom. You want to find a beautiful ring that matches your spouse-to-be’s style and taste. You also want a ring that will stand the test of time and help you stay within your budget. Finding an engagement ring that checks all the boxes is exciting and challenging. 

Follow our helpful guide to help you select a stunning engagement ring that represents your love for your partner. 

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

According to the BBC, the idea that you have to spend a significant amount on an engagement ring came about in the 1930s when the De Beers Diamond Company ran a marketing campaign. Their ads told men that the responsible thing to do was to spend the equivalent of one month’s salary on a ring. 

While this widely accepted number is excellent for De Beers and other jewelry retailers, it doesn’t mean you have to follow their guidelines. The cost of a ring shouldn’t be important; instead, you should focus on finding a ring that symbolizes your love and matches your wife-to-be’s style. 

The average cost of an engagement ring in the U.S. is around $6,000. You should plan to spend a few thousands on the ring, and depending on your partner’s expectations and your budget, your ring may cost more than the national average. However, Brad Biren, a tax attorney from Iowa, says “an engagement ring should not be financed” and “the maximum amount for a ring should not exceed more than half of your emergency savings”. 

What are the Different Metals for Engagement Rings?

The first choice to make when picking out a ring is metal. Most jewelers sell traditional metals like gold and silver, but new choices are also available that may better suit your partner’s lifestyle.  

Here are some metals that are commonly used:

  • Gold

Classic, traditional, a good safe choice. One note to remember, the higher the karat, the softer the metal. A 24-karat ring will scratch easier than a 10-karat. This ring should last a lifetime, so choose gold that will go the distance. 

  • Rose Gold

Leaning more towards the vintage, this metal has a rosy hue and is composed of gold and copper. It’s a beautiful choice for those who want something unique but timeless. Because it’s a combination of metals, it will require special care to keep it from tarnishing.

  • White Gold

This metal is also popular for engagement rings, as it has a classic look but with a brighter tone. It’s perfect for those who want the traditional gold color without the yellow undertone. As with rose gold, white gold is also a mix of metals and will require careful cleaning to maintain its luster.

  • Yellow Gold

The most traditional of all the metals, yellow gold is still a very popular choice for engagement rings. It’s strong and durable, meaning it will stand up to wear and tear. Yellow gold does require some upkeep, as it can tarnish over time.

  • Sterling silver

Once more expensive than gold, this brilliant material is one of the other traditional options for ring metal and is usually the most affordable. Pure silver is far too soft to use in a ring, so it is mixed with other metals to make sterling. 

The downside is that, like gold, even sterling silver is easily damaged, and it requires more upkeep and polishing to keep it shiny. 

Here are some metals that don’t get used very often:

  • Platinum

Platinum is the most expensive and rarest metal typically used for rings. Platinum is extremely durable and scratch-resistant. A platinum ring will be as beautiful in a few generations as it is on the wedding day.

  • Titanium

Once reserved for spaceships and fighter jets, this extremely light material is great for people who don’t like the heft or weight of traditional metals. It has the bonus of being nearly indestructible. Titanium is an excellent choice for an athletic or outdoorsy partner. 

  • Palladium

Often thought of as platinum’s less expensive cousin, palladium gives you all the shine of platinum at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, palladium is hypoallergenic for partners who have sensitive skin. 

  • Tungsten

Only first used at the beginning of the 20th century, this former lightbulb filament is becoming more popular as a ring material. This metal is highly durable, hard to scratch, and easy to care for. Unfortunately, it can’t be resized, but most manufacturers include size exchanges in their warranties.    

What is a Ring Setting and What Types Exist?

A ring’s setting refers to the design of the ring and the way the prongs hold the stone in place. When designing a ring, a jeweler mounts the stones to the band with a metal setting to highlight the diamond or gemstone and its specific cut and color. 

Ring settings vary based on the brand or designer. Tiffany and Channel settings reflect a classic look, while the tension and infinity settings give a more modern look. 

The essential elements to consider are what matches your partner’s personality and how often she will wear the engagement ring. Some settings are more formal, some more fragile, and some more practical. Choose the setting that best matches your partner’s sense of style, hobbies, and line of work. 

For example, if your special person is a nurse or teacher, they may prefer a smaller, more subtle setting. However, if they work in finance or real estate, they may prefer a flashier design. An artistic woman may enjoy a custom-designed ring with a unique setting. A woman who appreciates vintage pieces may love a ring modeled after classic engagement rings from the past.

What is a Ring Setting and What Types Exist

How to Choose a Unique Engagement Ring?

Choosing a unique engagement ring requires an open mind, a realistic budget, and a conversation with your partner. While you may want to surprise your partner with a ring, many women prefer to help choose such an important piece of jewelry. 

You can co-create a Pinterest board together to get ideas of what style they prefer. You can also use a forum like Reddit to get feedback from communities about what style will fit your partner.

Talk to your partner ahead of time to determine if they prefer to be part of the selection process or leave it up to you. 

Whether you go solo or as a couple, you can visit an artisanal jeweler to order a custom, one-of-a-kind engagement ring for your life partner. Alternatively, you can shop at big-name engagement ring retailers online or at a storefront to browse the selection of available rings.

If you find a commercially produced ring, you can work with the retailer to have it altered for a unique setting or stone. 

Ultimately, choosing your ring depends on your budget and your future spouse’s preferences. When choosing a unique ring, focus on factors that make the ring meaningful to you and your partner. 

Choose an Engagement Ring They’ll Love

Buying an engagement ring for your special someone is an important milestone in the life you share together. To find the right ring, shop around at various jewelry retailers and talk to your partner about what type of ring they’ve always envisioned wearing.

Opt for a ring that represents your affection and commitment to your partner by selecting the metal, stone, and setting that speaks to both of you. 

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