Just Engaged and Proposals

Ring Help XP

Hi guys! I have lurked on this page for so long and am finally able to start utilizing it (as I am pretty sure I am about to get engaged).
My boyfriend recently asked me to go ring shopping with him to find out the type of rings I like, so he is able to go buy one! 

Obviously this is a new thing for more, and would love to know all of your inside advice on what I should be looking for. I know everyones style and tastes are different, and I've done some research over the past few days on color quality, and carats, but I just thought I would check and see if there is something else I should be asking a jeweler about while I'm looking! Thanks in advance for all your help! I'm so excited! 

Re: Ring Help XP

  • Congrats!
    Someone here is a gem expert and I'm totally blanking on who it is, sorry. 

    If you've done your research on color quality and carats already, then in my opinion I think you can just go have fun with it. Sometimes people have it in their heads that their gem "should" be a certain size or shape. But, once you go try things on, you may discover your tastes change. 

    I got to go ring shopping too and it was really fun. I wanted a blue sapphire so the jeweler showed us some loose stones and described the merits of each stone, and let us look at them through the magnifying glass. Then he took one of them and placed them in various settings for me to try on. I said what I liked and didn't like about certain settings. Then, he and DH went to the private room "to talk" so the final design and gem would be a surprise. 

    Also, platinum tends to hold up better than gold or white gold, if you want to go that route. 

    Finally, if you are able, I'd suggest researching and visiting private jewelers instead of the chain stores. The chain jewelry places don't always have the best reviews or reputations. 

    Have fun!

  • I'm not skilled on gems but what I picked up from DH who has a degree in metallurgy and materials engineering is if you're looking for a silvery toned ring instead of gold then a bit of an understanding metals helps:

    -Yellow gold (really - gold) is VERY soft.  The more gold in jewelry the softer it gets.   Gems won't be set in 24 karat gold because the setting will not hold in 100% pure gold.    

    -White gold is an alloy.   It's not a pure metal and is made of yellow gold and another silver-toned metal like nickel or rhodium.  That gives the metal a duller  more silver tone.  There is no such thing as 24K white gold because you cannot have 100% purity in something that is an alloy.   White gold is also rarely displayed as it is currently produced and nearly all the time what you see in a display case is the piece plated in a metal from the platinum family - usually Rhodium.  The plating wears off over time with general wear and tear and as a result if you want the jewelry to look like it did the day it was purchased, it will need to be re-plated or "re-dipped" to look like new.   This can be a concern for anyone with sensitive skin allergies as plenty of people opt not to wear white gold if they are uncertain of the metal alloy.

    -Platinum is strong and hard.  As platinum wears it develops a patina which is the natural luster of the metal.   Platinum jewelry can be cleaned and does not need anything other than a clean/polish.  Often you can see platinum used in settings due to its strength.

    -10 years ago (and I'm not shopping for rings now so I can't attest to current state), Rhodium was also an up and coming metal.  It's in the platinum family (see above) and jewelers can work with it for less money than platinum for a very  very very similar look to platinum jewelry.  

    One tip I was told about diamonds is to not focus hard on the size.  To get a pure 1.0 carat diamond a jeweler may have to cut to sacrifice portions of the stone in order to get that perfect size.   And you'll see a large increase in cost once you go over the 1 carat size.   FWIW my stone is .97 carats.
  • Thank you both so much! I am pretty sure I want white gold/platinum, and I honestly don't think I have a preference. I guess it will just come down to whatever fits best into his budget. I have also heard that getting just under the exact carat can change the price drastically! I am a little nervous as we live in a small town, and don't have many options other than large retailers, so I know I need to go in cautiously 
  • Don't be afraid to drive around (if you can) to find something you like for the price. I have white gold (I don't like gold colored metals at all) and I wish H had done platinum. I was engaged for 2 years and already the color was so different between my engagement ring and wedding band I had to pay to have it redipped. Another option is the buy the stone separate and have it set in something custom. More work, and may not save you any money, but at least then you'd know you got exactly what you wanted. 
  • @artbyallie is very knowledgeable I think about gems right??
  • Oh - above I said look at rhodium - I meant palladium.   

    If you have metal allergies I wouldn't go w/ white gold.  If you want the ring to look similar to the day you get it without needing it to be replated then go w/ something in the platinum family.
  • Thank you all SO much! We looked around, and went to 8 different places. I had found one I really liked but for some reason couldn't commit to it, and when I walked into the last place we looked, I found the perfect one! My boyfriend said now that I found the band, he gets to choose the center diamond, so I have to give up some control ;)  The place we are getting it from customizes the band to fit whatever center stone we pick, so we will see how he does! I will definitely post it once I FINALLY get it! Again. thank you all so much! I am so excited to start using this page (once I'm finally engaged)! 
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