February 25, 2012 | N. Fox Jewelers

How to Buy an Engagement Ring

This is a question that has been around for years without a clear cut answer. There are as many opinions on the topic as there are couples that get engaged each year. My education has come from not only the experiences of the many men that I have encountered shopping for rings over 20 years, but my own personal triumph when I took the plunge almost 9 years ago  What I have to offer are guidelines, not an opinion. Hopefully they will aide you and give you guidance during your quest.


Trust: The single most important advice I can give to you is to find someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Where do we like to spend our time? A favorite coffee shop? The sporting goods store? A home improvement warehouse? One grocery store over another? Why do we like to visit that place time after time? It’s because we feel comfortable there and feel at ease. We trust what the place offers and may even have an employee that we have struck up a friendship with. This same familiarity is what you need to seek out when you are looking to make such an important purchase such as an engagement ring. Trust is key!


Style: A question that has plagued many men is what style ring to purchase? Do I keep it as simple as a solitaire? Do I get her a very intricate ring with many accent diamonds? What shape diamond does she like? Does she like yellow gold, white gold or platinum?

There is a lot to consider, so you now have another choice to make; do I shop with or without her. Both have benefits. If you shop alone you have a greater chance of surprising her. If you shop with her you will gain greater insight as to what she likes. One route is not better than the other; you have to decide how you want to proceed.


Diamonds, Dollars and Beauty: The time will come when you have to get into choosing the center diamond for the ring. Where do you start? I suggest setting a soft budget, one that can fluctuate, especially if you find a ring you think she’ll love. I know what you what you want to accomplish; getting the largest most beautiful diamond you can and fit it into your budget. My personal tip is to focus your search for a well cut diamond. No, not the shape; you are looking for a diamond that is very well cut right down to the faceting and polish. One which has unprecedented brilliance and fire. The factors you may be more familiar with, clarity and color then take center stage. Since both effect how the diamond appears, you have to decide how rare you want to go, and what you can afford. It’s not necessary to get a flawless, D color diamond to make it beautiful. Just ensure that balance all three factors hand in hand when making your decision. How big? That’s up to you. Some say bigger is better but there is no right answer to size. You have to do what’s right for you.


Keep It Simple: I have seen almost everything during my career and the most recurring theme is that the guy drives himself nuts with details and second guessing. I get it. I did the same when buying my wife’s diamond. When you are choosing the ring remember one fact; She’s Going to Say Yes! Something told you she would or you wouldn’t have even thought of coming into a jewelry store. In some cases you and her have sat down and discussed marriage. So don’t beat yourself up. Be confident! With the help of someone you trust you can do it!


Matt Howard

N Fox Jewelers