How to Buy an Engagement Ring

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Bucking tradition might be necessary when it comes to selecting an engagement ring that she'll wear for the rest of her life. It's always best to get input from the bride.

Things You'll Need

  • Yellow Pages
  • Diamond Engagement Set
  • Wedding Bands
  • Credit Cards And Loans
  • Discuss styles, stones and budget with your bride-to-be if you're going to be shopping together.

  • Expect to pay about $2,500 to $3,500 per half carat for a quality diamond. This is a rough estimate that will depend on several factors, including the diamond's size - larger diamonds are rarer, and therefore more valuable (see "eHow to Buy a Diamond').

  • Go shopping with your intended after your proposal, or shop alone so that you can surprise her.

  • If you shop alone and aren't sure what style she wants, buy just the stone, make an appointment with a jeweler to return later for a setting, and pop the question using a fun dime-store ring. After she's accepted, go back and pick out a setting together.

  • Have the ring made or buy one ready-made, once you've discussed styles with your sweetheart.

Tips & Warnings

  • Despite the old adage that the ring should be worth two months' salary, if you can't spend that much money, go for a simple design that can be dressed up with the wedding band.
  • Use the stone from a family heirloom to make a unique and less expensive ring she'll treasure.
  • If you buy the ring without the bride's input, don't fret if she doesn't like your choice. Get a basic setting with an understanding from the jeweler that you can come back and trade up.
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