“Clasp my love around your neck. Wear my heart on your finger. My soul will be your pendant. I live to adorn you – you are the precious one.” Grey Livingston
As a symbol of your love and the beginning of your new journey together, an engagement ring is a big deal. You want your future spouse to love it – and proudly wear it for many years to come.
So, how do you choose an engagement ring?
The traditional choice, of course, is a diamond ring. Timeless beauty and toughest thing in the world. A great metaphor for a marriage – and a balanced counterweight to a lifetime of commitment.
Some people nowadays are reluctant to spend on a full-blown diamond engagement ring. Thinking about the big picture, they understand that the wedding itself costs money; establishing a life together costs money; and it’s all money they won’t have if they spend their life savings on… one ring.
Luckily, there are affordable engagement ring options out there. From less-expensive real diamonds to moissanite to cubic zirconia, there are ways to shine your love while making financially responsible choices.
In the world where everybody wants one-of-a-kind things, of course, many people are considering non-traditional, non-diamond engagement rings. They may have precious stones, such as sapphires or rubies, or a custom design that is meaningful to the couple.
What does your future spouse want for an engagement ring? Maybe you know the answer, maybe you don’t. If you don’t want to guess, you don’t have to. Maybe your future spouse doesn’t have a clear idea of what she (or he) wants, either. True, in most cases, you can’t go wrong with a diamond – unless, of course, the cost of a diamond makes it an irresponsible choice in your situation. If you want your future spouse to choose their ring themselves, or have a custom engagement ring made, get a traditional-looking non-diamond placeholder ring and propose with it.
Ultimately, how you solve the cost element of the equation is really up to you – only you know how important this is to your future spouse, how much money you have to spend, and what other big expenses you have coming up. Here’s three big pieces of advice:
Do not pay more than you have in your bank account. Even the most attractive financing offer is still adding to your debt, and limiting your options in the near future.
Before you do anything else, look into the costs of a wedding.
Talk to her about the cost of the ring and the wedding. This is a beginning of your life together, which will require a lot of compromise and difficult financial decisions on the part of both of you. This is your qualifying round. As a side benefit, you may learn what she really wants…
Is it customary for women to give their fiances engagement presents as a token of their appreciation for the engagement ring?
In our age of emancipation, more and more couples prefer a more equitable engagement arrangement, where both future spouses wear a piece of jewelry as a symbol of their engagement. Women wear rings – and men can wear rings, watches, cufflinks, or anything else that suits them. In the world of two-income households and 50/50 bank accounts, it’s only fair – but, of course, not at all required.