Once upon a time, when a man wanted to propose to his girlfriend, he would buy a diamond ring of his own choosing. Alternatively, he would pop the question with a diamond ring he inherited from his mother, grandmother or other female family member. Those days are essentially long gone by now thanks to the popularity of having a diamond engagement ring specially designed or buying one based on a woman’s preferences. If you are a true sentimentalist and your girl is as well, you might want to do things the old-fashioned way. Otherwise, you will want to know how to go about picking an engagement ring she’ll absolutely love. Here are nine tips on how to do just that.

Look to the Past

For the most sentimental types, you can simply use a gorgeous diamond engagement ring you inherited from a family member when you want to propose. People still do that in this day and age. Another option is to use a diamond or diamonds from an old ring that was passed down to you to have a brand new one made for your significant other. It not only shows your love but uniqueness.

Pick a Jeweler

Research a few jewelers and visit their shops. The best way to find a reputable jeweler is to check their credentials. If they have earned them from an accredited school like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), you know you can trust them to design a ring that will be exceptional.

Choose and Stick to a Budget

Although you might think that spending more money on a diamond engagement ring is best, that is not always the case. You don’t want to overspend and end up having your credit adversely affected. Instead, you should choose a budget for buying a ring and stick to it. Don’t bother spending three months’ worth of your annual salary on a ring, either. Generally, there is no rule on how much to spend on an engagement ring. You can also choose from a variety of payment options that are appropriate for you.

Consider Going Non-Traditional

If your girlfriend has a preference for a certain type of gemstone other than diamonds, you should consider going non-traditional with an engagement ring. Sapphires and amethysts are particularly eye-pleasing choices due to their brilliant colors.

Choose the Color

If your beloved adores diamonds and wouldn’t settle for anything less, you might want to consider the color of the stone. Does she prefer the standard colorless diamond? Maybe she loves the color pink or has expressed liking the yellow canary diamond. There are also blue, green and even brown diamonds, which are even rarer.

Choose the Shape

Diamond shape is important when selecting an engagement ring. If your future fiancee already wears jewelry with gemstones on it, you may have a good idea of what shape she prefers. If she has expressed liking one particular shape a lot, you should opt for that same shape in the diamond you choose. At the same time, keep in mind that shape also determines the price.

Choose Metal for the Band

One of the most important details of an engagement ring is the metal you choose for the band. Platinum is often the most popular, but it’s also the most expensive. Gold is a popular choice as well, and you can choose from yellow, white or rose gold. If you’re on a really tight budget, you can even go with silver. You may also want to consider whether the ring will have other, smaller stones embedded in the band.

Choose the Setting

An aspect that often goes overlooked in choosing an engagement ring is its setting. This is the way the diamond is displayed on the band. The most common include prong, bezel and halo. Prong is the most popular and traditional, bezel is more modern-looking and the halo style features multiple smaller stones that showcase the center one.

The Four Cs

The four Cs are extremely important when choosing a diamond engagement ring. They stand for cut, clarity, color and carats. The cut involves the way the diamond is cut and relates to the angles and proportions that allow its brilliance to show in the light. Color is determined by the amount of nitrogen that was present when the diamond formed in the earth. Clarity relates to any imperfections in the stone and involves a final grade in terms of the diamond’s quality. Carat refers to the weight of the stone instead of its size.

These nine tips will help you to pick an engagement ring she’ll love. Consider all these things and it will pay off when you get down on one knee.

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