How to Buy Engagement and Wedding Rings
Rings are the ultimate symbol of marriage and eternity. Many an LDS ring ceremony has explained how the circular ring goes on and on without an end, just as the ordinance of temple sealing itself. With all the weight carried by engagement and wedding rings, you should expect to give a lot of time and thought to picking out your own rings.
The tradition of the engagement and wedding ring is almost as old as civilization itself. In ancient Egypt, the engagement and wedding rings were just a few of the gifts exchanged between betrothed couples. Then, just like today, rings were worn on the third finger of the left hand. Why? People believed that a vein called the “vena amoris” (Latin for ‘vein of love’) in that finger traveled straight to the heart.
Many superstitions sprang up around the wedding rings, too: Irish folklore holds that rings made of gold (as opposed to other metals) foretell good luck for a couple, while removing or taking off the ring is a sure harbinger of bad luck.
Today we still associate the engagement and wedding ring with fidelity, purity, and love (although maybe without all the attending superstitions.) The engagement ring has become such an integral part of the proposal that most women agree that it’s hard to feel engaged without one. The engagement ring is a powerful symbol, something to be shown off to all her friends and something she’ll feel proud to wear throughout her life.
When choosing your engagement ring it’s important to have a solid understanding of the 4 C’s that affect diamond appearance and value, the pros and cons of popular ring metals, and the types of settings available for the ring’s center stone. A customer who wanders into a jeweler’s without a clue is likely to pay too much, or get talked into a diamond that costs more than he wanted.
With such a major purchase as an engagement ring, it pays to be an informed consumer.
There are a number of ways to propose, as far as the ring goes. Do you surprise her with a ring? Shop together? Give her your great-grandmother’s ring that’s been in the family for ages? How you do it depends on you, and what you think would make the experience the most meaningful to you (and your fiancée.)
When you buy your engagement ring, you should also be thinking ahead to the wedding ring you’ll be purchasing later on. Many couples buy a bridal set with matching engagement and wedding ring, but even if you buy separately the bride’s rings must complement each other in some way. Whether the groom’s wedding ring matches the bride’s is a matter of personal preference.
Many couples like to surprise each other with a small inscription engraved inside the ring as a romantic gesture, sort of the ultimate wedding present to each other. Ring engraving ideas range from sentimental to funny, starting at about $1 per character.
If you are on a budget, don’t panic. Being frugal doesn’t rule out a beautiful set of rings, just as forking over a lot of money doesn’t guarantee one either. Ring price is the result of a complex interplay between the 4 C’s, the setting, and the metal. It’s all about knowing how these factors work together and choosing smart: smaller carat diamonds, for instance, look bigger with the right cut and setting while still costing less.
Even though engagement and wedding rings are an emotionally charged purchase, it’s important not to let yourself take on more expense than you can handle. LDS prophets continually warn against going into unnecessary debt. Never be embarrassed of a ring that fits your budget. Upgrading on your anniversary is a better option than starting out your life as a couple in debt because of the engagement and wedding rings.
When your wedding rolls around, be sure to give an important and honored place to the engagement and wedding rings you so lovingly chose. Consider a ring exchange ceremony at your reception if appropriate, and make sure that your wedding photographer captures the rings on film. They are one of the most beautiful symbols of all the promises you’ve made on your wedding day!
♥ Jenny Evans
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