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Groom 101

The Man Registry Guide to Engagement Ring Shopping

Bob Horner the man registry guide to engagement ring shopping

So you’ve decided to pop the question— congratulations! It isn’t easy making such a large emotional and financial commitment. Before you go engagement ring shopping, it pays to do some research to make sure you know what to look for and what to expect.

Here’s a quick guide to help keep you on track.

Determine your budget

Remember, this isn’t the time to make a hasty decision or impulse buy. Think of this ring as Super Bowl tickets. If you had one chance to pick any seat available, you’d pick the best one you could afford. This may mean staying in one night per weekend, but it’ll be worth it.  This ring will be on her finger for the rest of her life. Do yourself a favor and make it count!

Understand the different varieties of engagement rings

One of the most traditional examples is the diamond solitaire. This ring features a band and a single (or solitaire) diamond. This can be a good way to go if you aren’t sure about her jewelry preferences. This option also offers the most diamond for your dollar, size-wise.

Know the four C’s

The four most important things to know about a diamond are its cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. You’ll hear all about them during your engagement ring shopping excursions, but it helps to go in with some knowledge. You can learn more about the 4 c’s here.

Consider whether you’ll also want to purchase a matching wedding band

A wedding band is generally a smaller band that is sometimes sold in a set with the engagement ring. Again, this is something you may want to do a little research on before you buy. Talk with your girl. Some women like to have a wedding band while others prefer the engagement ring by itself.

Get the most for your money

Diamond prices vary from store to store as no two diamonds are exactly alike. It pays to do your research and shop around. Go to several of the larger chain stores and price what you want. We then suggest checking out a few smaller mom-and-pop stores.  Pay them a visit and compare prices. You never know where you’re going to find your diamond in the rough.

Research engagement ring insurance

With such a substantial purchase, you’ll definitely want to consider protecting the ring with an insurance plan. The store that you buy from may have an in-house program or you can find a national company that specializes in insuring engagement rings.

TMR Recommendation: Engagement ring shopping is an area where you’ll most likely need some help. There are many resources you can turn to for guidance. First and foremost, it’s always a good idea to be aware of what type of ring your girl prefers. Knowing her preferences is half the battle. Other people you can seek help with are her best friend, her mother, or if all else fails, one of your groomsmen who has already gone through this process.

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