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The First Step to Getting Married: the Wedding Engagement Ring

For all of the men who have decided to 'pop the question' the most confusing part of this could be choosing the engagement ring. There are a lot of choices today to be sure and the traditional diamond solitaire is now facing a considerable amount of competition from cubic zirconia along with semi-precious gemstones.

Where to begin? Well it's a good idea to know whether or not your partner wants a diamond or would prefer their birthstone. Be aware that some of the birthstones such as emeralds, sapphires and rubies can be just a costly as a diamond depending on their quality. With that said, it's also important to know that many jewelers are promoting cubic zirconia rings. Although cubic zirconia is much less expensive than diamonds, be sure that your partner will not be offended by a 'fake' diamond ring before you make your purchase.

In the case where your partner's heart is set on a diamond ring, the next question is which cut should you choose? Although the round and princess cut are very popular, you can also choose the emerald, marquise or radiant cut. Unless you are keeping your plans a secret, the best way to be sure that your partner will be happy with the ring is to let them choose the cut they like.

Buying a diamond can be quite an enlightening experience. As the most highly touted precious stone in the world, they are rarely clear in color or without imperfections. The grading system for diamonds relates to its clarity; this is important to understand because it plays a big role in the price of the diamond. For instance, a flawless diamond graded as 'F' will require deep pockets more than a diamond graded VVs1 which means slightly imperfect.

Choosing the metal for the setting is next up for your decision: is your partner in love with the look of yellow gold or is most of their jewelry silver? If yellow gold is their favorite then 18K or 14K is where the price will differ. On the other hand, if silver is the color they adore, your options include titanium, white gold, palladium and of course, .925 sterling silver.

The other factor you need to keep in mind when choosing the metal is the sizing of the ring; be sure to discuss this issue with your jeweler before you make your selection. Even if you think you know your partner’s ring size it’s a good idea to bring your partner into the jewelry store have their ring measurements taken.

Whether you want to purchase a matching set of rings or buy them separately be sure to arrange for a service plan for yearly cleanings and maintenance. Most jewelers will provide this service free of charge and many include jewelry insurance plans as well. An insurance plan covers damage and loss and is fairly inexpensive.