How to Buy Emerald Engagement Rings
Not every woman wants to wear a diamond ring. (See What Do Women Want in a Man for more information about what women want.) Concerns about diamond sources are higher than ever, with the release of high-profile documentary movies charging that the diamond trade is responsible for suffering the world around. Other reasons exist to explain why some women don’t want diamond engagement rings — aesthetic concerns being the most common. Some women just don’t like to wear diamonds.
The second most common stone after diamonds is emerald. Gemstone engagement rings don’t have to be diamonds — in fact, it has long been a tradition among royalty to wear gemstones other than diamonds on their wedding and engagement rings. Emerald engagement rings are beautiful and are more affordable than diamond.
When it comes to picking out emerald engagement rings, you have two options to start with. Either you’re buying it yourself and surprising your fiancée, or you’re taking her with you to pick out what she wants. Some women want to pick out their own ring — they know what they like, and by picking it out they can wear it and determine if it feels good on their finger.
If you’re planning on surprising your bride to be with an emerald engagement ring, you just have to take a few proper steps in order to pick out one that she’ll love.
Do Some Investigating
You need to look at your future bride’s jewelry, ask some leading questions, and ask her friends and family questions so you can figure out what kind of ring she would pick out for herself. If you’ve paid attention to her jewelry preferences over the years, you may be a step ahead of the game.
1. What metal color does she prefer? Most women have a specific preference toward silver, gold, white gold, platinum, etc. Women who like silver or platinum or white gold tend to be against wearing yellow gold, and the same works the other way around. You can figure out what kind she prefers by looking at her jewelry collection.
2. What style of jewelry does she wear? Are her jewelry pieces bold and contemporary or vintage and mellow? Most women are either classic, contemporary, or vintage, and you may need a little help from a friend or your bride’s sister to figure out what style of engagement ring she wants.
Figure Out What Looks Best On Her Hands
Now’s the time to figure out what type of hands your girlfriend has. Are her fingers shorter or longer? Fatter or skinnier? The answer to these questions will help you pick out a ring.
A “long” shaped emerald (or elongated emerald) cut into a marquise or oval shape can turn short fingers into longer looking, sleek hands. Wide ring bands, on the other hand, tend to make fingers appear shorter, so if your girlfriend has long fingers, a wide band may be in order.
Bold styles are easier to wear for women who have long fingers or large hands, while delicate or smaller settings work best with smaller hands and fingers.
Figure Out the Shape and Setting
Emeralds in emerald engagement rings come in many different cuts. You can pick from
Each shape will look entirely different on each woman’s hand, so your best bet when picking a shape is to ask a friend or a female relative of hers to come with you and figure out what shape of emerald you want.
Round emeralds are the most common — but that doesn’t mean our future bride will want a round emerald. Other popular emerald cuts right now are the elongated marquise, the pear-shaped stone, and the oval stone. If your bride to be likes bold contemporary styles, there are shape cuts such as heart that work better in bold settings.
Now consider the setting of the emerald in her engagement ring — would your bride prefer a single cut emerald on a band, or a cluster of emeralds? Again, looking at the jewelry in her collection at home may help you decide.
You need to think about your fiancée wearing this ring in her everyday life. If she has a job as a teacher or some other profession where she uses her hands often, is around a lot of people, or stays pretty busy, you may need to find a ring that is able to withstand a lot of rough housing, taking the ring on and off, etc.
Other considerations — are you buying her a ring that will look too gaudy for her lifestyle? A bold, multi-faceted gemstone with high prongs and other features can easily get snagged in clothing or on furniture and they can be more difficult to keep clean.
Figuring Out Her Ring Size
You may get off easy here — if you can find a ring that she doesn’t wear too often, you can bring that ring to the jewelery store and get a good estimate of what size ring she wears.
If you can’t secure a ring to size, you may just have to come out and ask her, or have a relative ask her in secrecy. Be creative. If you truly want your ring to be a surprise, you’ll have to go about finding the ring without raising too much suspicion.
Though an emerald engagement ring may not cost as much as a diamond ring, emeralds are still precious gemstones and are not exactly cheap.
The budget you have is the most important consideration of all. If you plan to go shopping without a budget in mind, you’ll probably get nowhere.
There are lots of good options for cheaper engagement rings with emeralds, from small solitaire stones to rings mixed with other less expensive gemstones.
Obviously, the price of the emerald engagement ring you choose for your bride has more to do with facts about the stone (clarity, color, size, etc) than anything else, so you may find a wide variety of prices on these rings at different stores. You don’t have to become a wedding planner to make good decisions about your wedding; shopping around is a frugal technique that will help you find an emerald engagement ring in your budget that your wife will love. (Then you can start deciding on the best wedding love songs for the event.)
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