5 Engagement Ring Myths Debunked
*Originally published July 2016
Let’s face it, buying an engagement ring is a big investment, financially and emotionally. There are so many tips and ideas floating around about how you should go about finding the perfect ring, that it’s hard to pick out the good advice from the just plain wrong. That’s why we’re here to help!
We put together 5 of the most popular misconceptions about engagement ring shopping and getting engaged, and exposed the truth behind each one. Remember, each engagement is unique and there is no set of rules, but hopefully this helps clear up some confusion and gets you on the path towards your “Yes” moment.
Myth #1: You have to spend 2-3 months salary.
This myth is actually a tagline from a DeBeers advertising campaign in the 1980s, which persuaded buyers into thinking that for a ring to be meaningful, it has to be expensive. The ad is still used as a rule of thumb for when it comes to finding your price point, but it’s not even remotely close to being correct! A ring doesn’t have to be expensive to be meaningful; get a feel for what you can afford with an online Ring Builder or set up an appointment in-store with a firm budget in mind and any jeweler will be able to give you many options within your price range. Now if you can afford a ritzy engagement ring and you want to drop even a year’s salary on it, go for it! But going into debt isn’t necessary to make your proposal meaningful.
Myth #2: The bigger, the better.
Celebrity engagements are usually full of tabloid spreads, entertainment news exclusives, and a picture of the ring splashed across every media outlet. Generally, that ring is always huge and sparkly, giving off the essence of wealth and luxury. However, bigger isn’t always better. A giant diamond can overwhelm a delicate hand and make the ring look almost costume-y, not to mention it’ll make the price go up. If you have been doing some research you have probably heard of the 4C’s of diamonds (and if not, check them out here). While all of those aspects are important to choosing the perfect diamond within your budget, the cut quality is the most important thing to consider. The cut of a diamond is what really makes it sparkle and a lot of times we find that couples choose a smaller diamond that looks more brilliant than a bigger diamond that might not have the same quality. Also, if you like the look of a bigger stone but don’t have the budget, try a halo effect. This uses a medium diamond surrounded by several smaller diamonds rather than having one big diamond.
Myth #3: The guy should find the ring alone.
In a movie perfect world, the guy walks right in to the store, finds the ring of her dreams and surprises her in the most perfect way possible. In reality, we find that women want to be part of the ring buying process so she can make sure her man is at least going in the right direction. After all, she does have to wear it every day for the foreseeable future. If you both agree that she shouldn’t be there while you’re shopping, ask her about style and let her print out a few pictures of what her dream ring would look like. A jeweler will be able to help you find similar styles or even help you create a custom ring. When you know the ring is everything she dreamed of, plan a romantic surprise proposal that will sweep her off her feet.
Myth #4: No colors – diamonds are a classic for a reason.
“A diamond is forever.” The concept of using diamonds for engagement rings can also be traced back to a DeBeers advertising campaign. While this was mostly for marketing purposes, the symbolism in using a diamond in engagement rings has stuck. A diamond is meant to symbolize an unbreakable bond and the depth of a couple’s love. However, the use of colorful gemstones in rings has gone up enormously in recent years as personalization has become more popular. Using a birthstone in the ring would be a meaningful touch or even using their favorite color as an accent stone.
Myth #5: The guy should propose.
The traditional idea of marriage is a man getting down on one knee, opening a little box and proposing with a giant sparkler to the woman he loves. In this day and age, that traditional option can tend to go out the window. There are no rules to proposing other than knowing you want to spend the rest of your with life with a certain someone and are not afraid to ask. Your relationship, your choice.