These days, fewer and fewer couples are settling for mass-produced store brought rings, and are instead turning to the internet to find beautiful, custom-made engagement rings. And experts say that you can actually save a lot more when buying online too.
While some online stores may allow you to pick and choose a ring from a virtual catalogue, and then have it shipped to your location, it is often more effective to choose a jeweller that allows you to customise the ring. In this way, you can be sure that the ring is truly unique and special.
How do you get started when searching for diamond engagement rings online, and what should you know before you start shopping?
Top Tips for Shopping for Engagement Rings Online
The following tips will help you get a better idea of how the online ring shopping process goes, what to expect and what to look for…
- Find a reputable jeweller. Ideally, one who specialises in this type of ring, who has plenty of expertise and experience in the design and crafting of this type of ring. Jewellers should be qualified and recognised by authorities such as the Jewellery Council of South Africa to ensure that you are getting the real deal. Testimonials or reviews from previous customers will always be useful, while galleries or portfolios help to give you an idea of their style. It will help a lot if you also have some basic knowledge about diamonds in order to know what to ask for – read our helpful checklist for buying engagement rings.
- Know what you are looking for… well in advance. Most jewellers will only be able to give you an accurate cost estimate when they know exactly what you want. This includes the size of the stone, the metal you want for the band, the type of setting, the cut of the stone and many other factors. You may not think that there will be too much difference between a few carats, but in fact, there can be a huge leap in price when it comes to carats, colour and clarity. One way to get a better idea of the type of ring your future bride will wear is to have her look at similar ring types, either at a store or in magazines or online. Once again, doing a bit of homework beforehand by reading up on the different cuts and styles will help a lot.
- Be fully aware of refund and return policies, shipping and payment terms. This information should be obtained right from the start, so that you know exactly how things will be done if and when you choose the jeweller to make the ring. Most good jewellers will have this information clearly displayed on their website menu, with specific information on their terms. A refund policy is essential – most will give you a full refund as long as the ring is returned in the same condition within a set timeframe of up to two weeks. This will give you protection just in case the ring is too large or not exactly what you had requested. Generally speaking, most good jewellers estimate a time of about three weeks for the manufacture of the ring – it is best to try and plan your proposal around this to be on the safe side.
Once you find a good jeweller who is able to bring your ring idea into creation, you can be sure that your engagement ring is spectacular enough to ensure a resounding ‘yes!’ when that all important question is asked.
Whether you’ve discussed engagement rings as a couple or you have purchased one that you know your future bride will adore, the next step is, of course, popping that all-important question.
Finding the ideal ring is one of the most challenging parts of this exciting life event. First, you need to consider the basics, such as the cut, colour, carat and clarity (see our post on the 4Cs to learn more about those basic criteria for choosing a diamond engagement ring). Then, you need to think about the general style – how the ring will look, which metal it will be set in, whether or not to go with a single larger stone or a few smaller stones. Even details such as the inscription on the band needs to be considered. And we haven’t even started talking about sizing, either. Needless to say, it is no wonder that the ring hunting process can be a bit stressful.
But once that hard work is done, the more nerve-wracking task of all lies ahead… what happens once you have finally found the most amazing ring in the history of engagement rings?
You’ve Bought the Perfect Engagement Ring… Now What?
We can’t tell you how to propose exactly. That is something that should be totally up to you, and instead of taking other ideas, coming up with your own creative, romantic proposal based on what your future fiancé loves is the way to go. But with that said, we can however offer some useful advice on what steps to take after purchasing engagement rings. Here are some things you may want to keep in mind…
- If you have chosen the ring together… be sure that you keep it after her final sizing, and ensure that your jeweller knows that you are the safe keeper of this precious item. You can then plan a surprise proposal when she least expects it, giving her the romantic moment she’s always wanted, and you the security of knowing that she will most definitely say yes. You can wait however long as you wish after getting the ring from the jeweller, but it may be a good idea to not keep her waiting too long if you can help it.
- If the ring and proposal are both a surprise… it may be a good idea to enlist the help of at least one person – her mother, sister or best friend. This will be important for many reasons. Firstly, it can make the ring shopping process a lot simpler if you have some inside information on her finger size, preferences and style. Secondly, planning a proposal will be simpler if you have someone to help with some planning and distraction to ensure that everything goes off smoothly.
- If she is a romantic at heart… a girl who loves happy ever after endings, pretty things, girly things, vintage style, romantic comedies, soppy but sweet novels and other feminine things will always be wowed by a traditional type of proposal. However you plan it is up to you, but it may be good to consider asking her parents’ hand beforehand, and think about ideas that are classic and timeless rather than edgy and off the chart.
- If she is fun, spontaneous and creative… you can afford to go with something a bit wackier and unusual if she loves surprises and creativity. Let your budget and your imagination be the judge of how big or small to make things, but as long as you make the moment special and as unique as her personality, you should be right on the money.
- If she is down to earth and easy-going… then something simple but heartfelt will be best. So often, in the excitement of things, it’s easy to forget that the most important thing is to make her happy. Huge gestures may seem great, but she may be just as thrilled (or even more thrilled) at something low-key and intimate than something over the top and overwhelming.
Some other ideas to get inspired include getting advice from her mom, sister or friends, keeping alert on any hints she may drop about perfect dates, or even finding clues from the movies she watches, books she reads or things she finds romantic. Be creative, be yourself and make sure that your choice of engagement rings is incredible enough to ensure that the only answer is a resounding “YES!”.