The First Steps

Congratulations on starting a journey that many have traveled before you.  Searching for an engagement ring can be tedious but rewarding process.  By the end of your searching and shopping one hopes to have a ring that will symbolically express love and commitment to another.

A popular way guys tend to go about the hunt for a diamond ring is by searching, shrouded in secrecy.  I believe the whole idea is to shock the lady with a bright shiny stone in order to lure her during the brief second of ensuing insanity.  But, whatever the reason, please keep in mind a few things before you get to the counter or web page of a jeweler.

Ring Size

What is her ring size?  If you are not going the surprise route or if you fiancé was like mine and has already slipped you the “by the way my ring size is this” conversation, then this is a non-issue, but if you would like to keep everything a secret and your fiancé is not as forward, then you might have to do some spy work.  There are three ways of gaining the information you need.

The first, and most bold way, is to borrow a ring she does not wear to often.  Of course, the problem with this approach is that if she realizes that the ring is missing, your secrecy is lost.

A better way to go about getting her ring size is to take a small tapered candle and slide one of her rings over it while she is out.  Make sure that the ring leaves an imprint in the wax.  Next, measure the circumference of the candle at the imprint with a piece of string.  Extend the string and measure it with a ruler that has a millimeter scale.  The chart below will give you the ring size.

The third way is simply to ask a relative, friend, or roommate you can trust.

Ring Size Measurement (millimeters)
3 44.1
3.5 45.4
4 46.7
4.5 48
5 49.2
5.5 50.5
6 51.8
6.5 53.1
7 54.3
7.5 55.6
8 56.9
8.5 58.2
9 59.4
9.5 60.7
10 62
10.5 63.3
11 64.5
11.5 65.8
12 67.1
12.5 68.3
13 69.6

Jewelry Taste

Next, consider her tastes.  What type of jewelry does she normally wear?  What color is the jewelry? Does she tend to like jewelry that is oversized or barely noticeable?  Is it usually traditional or more edgy and modern?  Notice what she likes for a few days and what she likes to wear.  You will get a sense of the type of jewelry you are looking for.  Also, notice what she says about other people’s jewelry and rings.

Diamond Size

Last, how should the diamond look on her finger?  Will the diamond dwarf her finger or will her finger make the diamond seem like a spec?  These questions go right along with the question of her taste.  How large a stone are you willing to pay for and how much are you willing to pay.  After being informed about the other characteristics of a diamond, make that decision and stick with it.  The more money you save, the bigger diamond you will want to get, but you have to draw the line somewhere.