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Four Ways to Find the Perfect Engagement Ring

Updated on October 27, 2016

Finding the perfect engagement ring can be difficult for a lot of bachelors. There can be challenges in knowing where to look, what to look for, and how to get the right ring. Guys have a lot of pressure on them when looking to get a ring. Money is a factor, picking the right style is a factor, and impressing their girl is a factor. Your soon-to-be fiancé will have this piece of jewelry on her finger every day for the rest of her life. Next to finding the right girl, finding the right ring can be the most important, and difficult marriage choice you will make. Just kidding, things just get harder from here. Just wait till the kids come. Because of all this stress I have compiled a list of the four most common ways that men generally look for their engagement ring, and the pros and cons of each method.

Comparing Shopping Methods

Method
Find the Perfect Ring
Price
In-store
Difficult
High
Custom-Made Local
Easy
Very High
Online
Moderate
Moderate
Custom-Made Online
Easy - Moderate
Low - Moderate
Source

In-store Purchase Method

Let’s admit it. As a guy, jewelry isn’t something that we typically know a lot about. Walking into a jewelry store can be a little overwhelming, and with so many pretty rings that stand out you can very easily find the ring you’re looking for right away. Finding and buying a ring from a retail store is what I term as the “In-store purchase” method. If you have the money, and find the ring you want pretty quickly this could be your way of doing things. It sure beats the hassle of having to look all that hard. There’s no research that needs to be done, no long hours of shopping, no need to get creative, just a purchase and you’re done. On top of this, if you buy from the right store, you can get pretty nice bonuses, such as free ring cleanings, free warranty or cheaper insurance. You do however sacrifice a lot more money doing this. If you’ve noticed the price tags on woman’s engagement rings, it’s not small money you’re throwing around. I’ve seen engagement rings the same price as a new car. Sure you can pull out a loan to pay off the ring, but who wants to start their marriage off with extra debt. Another fear is that by buying a ring you find on display at a store, it might not really be what she wants. Sure it might look really pretty, but that doesn’t mean that fits her taste. Some girls really do just want a simple ring. Many girls even have their ring dreamed up long before they meet the guy they want to marry.

PROS

  • Convenient
  • Simple
  • Bonuses from ring store

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Might not meet her expectations


Remember: Sales associates at jewelry stores are friendly and will offer as much help you want.
Remember: Sales associates at jewelry stores are friendly and will offer as much help you want. | Source

Custom In-store Method

If you’re smart, you’ve probably got a little bit of an idea of what you’re looking for in a ring. If you’re even smarter, you know exactly what she wants. Whether you asked her friends or asked her yourself, knowing exactly what she wants will give you a slight tactical advantage in your quest for her engagement ring. Now that you know what she wants, how do you get it? Especially if it is extremely specific, it can be terribly hard to come across a store that has the exact ring you (and her) are dreaming of. Lucky for you many jewelry stores actually offer to make your ring for you. This is perfect for the creative mind that wants to make something special for that special someone. This will let you put more personality into your ring. You also will be able to bargain a little bit on the price of your ring since it’s not a ring with a preset price. Because you’re getting it from a store you also might be able to get bonuses such as a warranty on the ring. There are some downsides to doing this though. Much like the in-store purchase method, it won’t be cheap, and you’ll also have to dish out additional money for labor costs. On top of this, there’s always the worry that the ring they make, might not match your vision exactly. You will want to find a place that you can trust, which will take a little bit more searching. Jewelry stores that specialize in ring crafting and have been doing it for years such as Dukes Jewelers, are the stores you’re going to want to look for.

Pros

  • You can be more flexible with the ring design
  • Able to negotiate prices easier
  • Can get a warranty

Cons

  • Can be Expensive
  • Need to put in extra effort to find a jewelry store you can trust


Online Purchase Method

The internet has really grown a lot in the last few decades. What once used to be a service for just email and instant messaging, is now the most revolutionary tool on the planet. Shopping has also been altered a great deal because of the world-wide web and jewelry shopping is no exception to this rule. Looking online for engagement rings you will not only find a larger variety of rings, but you’ll also find that they’re more affordable too. It’s much more accessible too. It’s much easier to make a few clicks of your mouse than to drive all the way to a store, and honestly with all the different kinds of rings you’ll find online you won’t have any problem with not having enough rings to choose from. Shopping online does have inherit risks though. In a store you can physically handle a ring before buying it, or even let your girl try on a ring, and make sure that it looks good; online you don’t have the that opportunity. On top of this there’s also a risk in any kind of online purchase. You don’t have anyone to consult to ensure that you can trust the company. Especially if you are buying overseas, you never know if you'll get what was advertised. There’s also the extra costs and risks that come with shipping, that could amount to something if you’re buying from a different country. You'll be sure to want to pay for insurance if it's an option.

Pros

  • Cheaper options
  • More variety
  • Convenience of shopping from home

Cons

  • Can’t physically see the ring until you’ve bought it
  • Less secure
  • Shipping costs and risks


What Method do You Prefer?

See results

Custom Online Method

There's a little known fact about buying rings online. You can actually custom make a ring online too. Not quite the same way you would in a store, it will take a lot more research and time, but if you use your resources well, you can save hundreds, and even thousands of dollars. The basics of this is to find a ring setting, and a diamond (or other gemstone if you so choose) and then put them together. Ring settings alone without a diamond is much, much cheaper than you might think. For as little as only a few hundred dollars, you can get a setting. Then you have to find a center stone to match it that fits the setting; then have the stone set in the ring by a local jeweler. That will cost about $100. This is by far the cheapest way to get a ring because your price is basically determined by how hard you look. eBay for example will have deals that will blow your socks off. You also are able to get a little creative with your ring as you make your search a labor of love. Because there are so many different ring settings and so many center stones out there, you will have nearly infinite options to choose from. Deciding to build your own ring from the internet can be difficult though, and to make it worth it you will really have to do a lot of research. You will need to learn about the different types of stones out there, the ways that stones are compatible with different ring settings, and so much more. There is also all of the other risks of buying a ring online as in the online purchase option.

Pros

  • Able to get creative
  • Possibility of huge savings
  • Largest selection of rings to choose from

Cons

  • Lots of research needed
  • Can’t physically look at rings
  • Less security
  • Shipping costs and risks

Hopefully this guide will give you a better idea of how to find the ring you’re looking for. There are so many rings out there and only you will be able to decide how to find the one-of-a-kind ring for your one-of-a-kind girl.

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