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Popping the Question?

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Popping the Question?

By Morgan Mattox

So, you’ve finally decided that it’s time to propose. The only problem is that you, like most guys, are a little clueless when it comes to picking out an engagement ring. There are many questions to be answered and many factors to consider when picking out something as important as an engagement ring. It is our hope that this article serves as a guide for all the men plagued with questions associated with buying one.

The first question you should ask yourself is: What does she want? Now if you have been talking about getting married, this might be an easy question. Most likely your girlfriend will have dropped numerous hints as to the type of ring in which she is interested. She may even has gone as far as sending you pictures of the ring or shown you the ring while you were shopping one day. This situation is easiest by far! You can take the picture or description to your local jewelers to pick out a ring. The reverse of the situation above is that you haven’t talked about it or she has never told you the type of ring in which she is interested. At this point, it is best to enlist the help of her friends and family. You may want to choose a friend who you don’t think is going to spoil the secret. Your girlfriend’s mother might also be able to lend some insight as to the perfect ring for her daughter. It will also give you some time to bond and score some brownie points! If all else fails, play detective. Pay attention to what kind of jewelry she wears – is it gold or silver? A woman who wears silver probably wouldn’t want a gold ring and vice versa. Pay attention to how much jewelry she wears – is it simple or more elaborate? A woman who is simple in her jewelry may only be looking for a solitaire as opposed to a woman who wears more elaborate jewelry might be looking for something more ornate.

Now you know what ring she wants, the next question you should be pondering is: How much should/can you spend? You’ve probably seen the “Diamonds are Forever” commercials where they say you should be spending two months of your salary, but in all reality, you should only purchase what you feel comfortably fits within your means. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to buy a ring that you couldn’t pay off before the wedding. No woman, who also happens to be your fiancée, will want to be paying for her own engagement ring.

You have the basics covered; you know what ring you are looking for and how much you want to spend. Let’s get down to the details: the four c’s – cut, color, clarity and carat.

  1. Cut – the quality of the cut of the diamond determines how well it sparkles. According to assistant manager, John Damman, at Shane Co. (the recent winners of the Williamson County Sizzle Award) there are three different types of cuts: well-cut, deep cut, and shallow cut. A well-cut diamond bounces the light around the stone and then disperses it through the top of the stone. This is the best cut of diamond available. The deep cut and shallow cut allow some of the light to escape from the sides of the diamond and does not appear as shiny as the well-cut diamond.
  2. Color – the less color a diamond has the more value it possesses. A grading scale determines the color of a diamond. It ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). The more coloration in a diamond the less likely it is going to be able to reflect light and give you that ideal sparking diamond.
  3. Clarity – the less visible specks the better. Like color, clarity has a grading scale that tells a buyer the quality of the diamond. The scale ranges from FL, IF (completely flawless, very rare) to I2, I3 (imperfect, specks are visible to the naked eye). Most diamonds fall right in the middle where you would need a 10x microscope to view the imperfections.
  4. Carat – this is the weight of the diamond. The thought to remember here is: more carats equals more money since it is rarer in nature.

The best thing you can do as a consumer is shop around. Check with the jeweler and see what services they offer. Consult with your friends and family to see which jeweler they prefer. By using the information above, you can now successfully shop for the perfect diamond ring for your soon-to-be fiancé. Best of luck!