How (and Why) to Pick an Original Engagement Ring
Choosing an engagement ring is one of the biggest steps you’ll take for your relationship. Assuming you’ve already talked about marriage and the prospect of a future together, picking the right ring and choosing the right time and place to pop the question can be a romantic gesture of epic proportions. If you’re with a partner who loves you for you, the ring is mere icing on the cake; your partner’s answer likely isn’t going to change based on what type of ring you get. That said, it helps to put your best foot forward and get something that your partner will love.
Why Something Unique?
You could buy a classically designed engagement ring (i.e., one that looks like your default mental image of an “engagement ring”) but it’s usually better to find something unique. Unique engagement rings have several advantages:
- Standing out. Everyone likes to feel special. Having a unique engagement ring gives your partner something to show, and serves as a conversation piece in many settings. If it looks like every other engagement ring, what’s left to say about it?
- Suiting your partner’s preferences. The classic engagement ring is a classic for a reason, but it’s not suited to everyone’s personal style. Choosing something more distinctive allows you to closely match your partner’s preferences and sensibilities.
- Having more control. Aiming to buy a unique ring also gives you more control over the variables. Rather than being locked into a conventional style, you can experiment with different gem stones, sizes, and features.
Essentially, you’ll have two options for finding a unique engagement ring. The first is custom engagement rings. If you find a jeweler that can make a ring from scratch (as many can), you can exercise full control over how your ring is developed.
You’ll be able to choose the materials for the band, the size and shape of the ring, the gem stone(s) used, and how the style is used. You can even add extras, like custom engravings.
The second is shopping for rings that already exist. You’ll obviously have less control in this scenario, but it may be valuable if you aren’t sure what you want. Looking at options that already exist may help you decide which features you do or don’t like for your partner’s ring, and you may stumble upon something perfect in the process.
Steps to Take
So what steps should you take if you’re buying a unique engagement ring?
- Set a budget. First, you’ll want to set a budget. Unique rings range from very inexpensive to very expensive, depending on how old the ring is, the gems and materials involved, and how many custom options you choose. Don’t listen to the conventional wisdom here; there isn’t a “right” amount to spend. Instead, plan to spend what you (and your partner) will be comfortable with.
- Get a size. You can get most rings resized pretty easily, but having the ring sized appropriately from the start can help you make a stronger impression on your partner. Try to find their size as stealthily as possible, so you don’t alert them to what you’re planning. If they have a collection of rings that fit, see if you can discover their sizes. If not, consider asking a trusted friend or family member for the details.
- Get a feel for style. A person’s style is often broadly defined, and hard to describe if you don’t have a keen sense of style of your own. But try to pay attention to what kind of clothes your partner tends to wear, and what kind of jewelry they collect.Do they typically wear things that are flashy and ornate? Or do they prefer things that are low-key and minimal? Do they have strong preferences toward or away from certain colors? This will help you find the perfect color, materials, and styles.
- Choose a gem. Next, it’s a good idea to choose a gem (or a number of gem options you’d be open to). A diamond is the conventional choice, but it’s not a requirement. You could also choose a birthstone, a gem of their favorite color, or any other jewel that carries some personal significance.
- Look at existing options. Even if you’re going to create a custom engagement ring from scratch, it’s good to look through existing engagement ring options. You’ll quickly learn what you like and don’t like, so you can make a better choice when you create one from the ground up.
There isn’t a right or wrong answer here. While it’s important to do your research, think carefully about your decision, and spend time looking for the perfect ring, eventually you’re going to have to trust your instincts. Create a custom engagement ring or choose something unique that’s already out there—either way, your partner is going to love it!