Setting a budget

It’s wise to set a budget before you head into a jewelry store. To avoid surprises, you can get an idea of what engagement rings cost by doing a little research on the Internet first. What might surprise you is how pictures on a website don’t do a diamond engagement ring — or color gemstone engagement ring — justice.

In setting your budget, take into account what you and your future wife value. If you know she wants a big ring more than anything, do everything you can to make it happen. If you know you’d both rather afford to serve fine wine at your wedding reception, take off on an exotic honeymoon or move up to a larger home or apartment, then scale back. A bit.

Remember, the engagement ring is the first step toward your wedding and then your shared life together afterward. Talk about your priorities now.

The splurge

If you’ve got the means to go big without concern, congratulations. Your job is easier — you’ll be able to buy a diamond as big as you and your fiancée would like. You can choose whatever style you want without worry, at least about cost. Go shopping and have fun.

The save

You can get an absolutely stunning ring, one that will have lasting emotional and financial value, by making some easy trade-offs — in diamond size, color, the style of the ring and the type of metal it’s made of. With the right mix, you’ll blow her mind.
Here are a few tips:

All in the Faimily
all in the family

Check around — there might be a family heirloom on your side or hers. You might have a diamond that you can put into a new, more updated setting. Or you might have a beautiful antique ring with a poorly cut diamond. Either way, you can spend a little bit less than buying a brand-new ring, making it special and hers alone while linking you both back to the past and connecting to your future together.

The Halo Effect
the halo effect

When the smaller diamonds circle around a larger diamond or colored gem it’s called a halo. It’s a way to get big, beautiful sparkle around a smaller diamond. It can also lend a vintage feel to the ring.

Color Splash
color splash

Natural color diamonds are expensive and a favorite of celebrities and the uber-rich. But you can get that same look with a color gemstone or enhanced color diamond — a diamond treated in a lab to bring out its beautiful color. It’s a choice that some women make just because it’s out of the ordinary and makes a statement.