Jaynethecat: I gave my FI a list of things I liked and things I didn’t like. I didn’t try on any engagement rings before getting mine. I knew that I didn’t want him to spend much on it- we’re frugal and not super high earners, plus I just don’t think it’s worth it to spend thousands of dollars on a piece of jewelry. My e-ring was around $500, my wedding band was around $200.
I also used to sell fine jewelry for a long time, so here are my tips.
1. Think about comfort. Would a high set ring bother you? It would drive me nuts. One of my biggest requirements was that I NOT have a high setting where stuff can get stuck in it. I cook a lot, and knit, etc. Something with a high setting would not be good for me, it would get stuck on stuff and I’d end up taking it off. Is there something that’s a comfort issue for you? That’s a good way to eliminate a lot of styles up front.
2. Color- do you like white metals or yellow metals or grey metals? Figuring this out will help you narrow things down. What color of stone if any do you want? This helps narrow down choices.
3. Style- look at rings online, but picture wearing them with your actual clothes. Some super blingy rings look great in a picture, but if you wear jeans and t-shirts every day they might be a bit much. Try to choose a style that matches well with the kind of thing you wear daily. I always loved art deco rings, which is what I got. I also dress very vintage most of the time, so it matches my style in general.
My biggest tip, especially since you’re frugal too- is to buy used. We bought my rings at vintage jewelry stores. Even if you like a modern look, go for used. You can find everything from a simple solitaire to a 1920s engagement ring.
I didn’t actually go with FI to pick it, I wanted him to choose it. I think by the time he went shopping I had given him this list:
-art deco era or art deco inspired setting. i like geometric patterns, not overly delicate tiny settings.
-no more than $500
-NO solitaire rings- I really don’t like them.
-NO really high settings.
-don’t care about diamond size, clarity, etc. as long as it looks fine to the naked eye
I think this is better because then you get to make all your requests, and then just let go. I don’t think there’s just ONE ring for me, but what he got me was perfect and hit all of my requests. I think if you start trying on a ton of rings you can be setting yourself up for disappointment. I love what he chose, it’s perfect- and totally in our budget: