Engagement rings and wedding bands are significant monetary investments and symbols of your love. While the process can be exciting and fun, it also requires some research and thoughtful decision-making.

The first step is understanding your partner’s style. Take a look at her jewelry box, peek at her Pinterest boards (if you have them) and ask her close friends for insight.

1. Know Your Budget

When you go shopping, it’s a good idea to have a general idea of how much you want to spend. This will help you avoid getting swayed by salespeople who may try to push you into spending more than you can afford. Also, remember that you will probably not buy your engagement ring on the first trip to a store. Use your initial trips to get a feel for the process and look at as many styles as possible. Take notes with your phone or a notebook to remember which styles you like the best.

A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to engagement ring budgeting is not to exceed one month’s salary. This will leave you with enough money to live comfortably and still make other financial goals a priority, like saving for a wedding or buying a home.

Ultimately, you should spend what feels right for your situation and partner. Whether that means following the two- to three-months’ salary rule or spending a lot less, there are plenty of beautiful and affordable options out there.

When in doubt, you can always ask your partner or their friends what they think would be a good fit. Or, you can peek through their jewelry box for clues as to what they might prefer. It’s also a great idea to pay attention to what she wears in public, as this can give you a sense of her style.

Also, if you’re willing to save some money, consider going nontraditional with the stone in your ring. Gems like peachy pink morganite or ice blue aquamarine can really shine and offer a unique look for a fraction of the cost of a traditional diamond.

2. Know Your Partner’s Style

Whether you’re planning to surprise your partner with a proposal or want to do the shopping together, knowing your significant other’s style preferences is crucial when it comes to finding their perfect ring. You may already know their personal aesthetic from spending time together, or you can try dropping some hints to them to see what they might like. (Just be sure to keep it a secret!) You can also look at the jewelry they wear on a daily basis, and what type of rings their friends and family wear.

When you head into a store to start your engagement ring shopping, it’s helpful to go in with the mindset that you won’t find “The One” on your first trip. Take your time and try on as many styles as you can, and write down notes if necessary to remember the ones that stand out. Don’t feel pressured into buying anything right away; your partner will be impressed by the fact that you took the time to do research, and you were willing to walk out if it wasn’t the right fit.

Another thing to consider is that while it’s often recommended to spend three month’s salary on an engagement ring, this rule is really just outdated and not something that should be followed strictly anymore. The most important thing is to get a ring that suits your partner and their lifestyle, and is within your budget.

3. Know the Gemstones

Whether you’re buying a diamond or another gemstone, knowing a bit about the different options makes the process much easier. For example, knowing the difference between a natural and lab-created stone will help you make an informed decision. Also, understanding the 4 Cs (cut, clarity, color, and carat) will help you understand what to look for when selecting a gem. You can learn more about the engagement rings at Kush diamonds by simply asking the staff, they would be happy to help you pick out the ring of your dreams.

You can learn about these aspects by reading up or visiting a jewelry shop that offers educational material. However, it’s also helpful to look at what your partner already wears to get a sense of their jewelry preferences. This will help you avoid purchasing something they’ll hate or won’t like wearing every day.

In addition to observing their jewelry, you should pay attention to the metals used in their day-to-day style and what other stones they have on hand. For instance, if they have sapphire earrings and a sapphire bracelet, you can opt for an engagement ring that incorporates these stones. In the same way, if they have a tourmaline or morganite bracelet, these gemstones can also be used in their engagement ring.

Another thing to consider is if they prefer a classic, vintage, or contemporary design. If you’re not sure what their preference is, a good place to start is by asking their best friend or sibling for help. As long as they’re willing to swear to secrecy, they can give you clues on what to buy and can show you samples of their favorite designs. Alternatively, you can ask them to pick out a style from an online retailer. However, we recommend visiting a local boutique jeweler for better quality and more personal service. You can also expect to receive proper stone certification and more education on the gems you are considering.

4. Know the Metals

Whether you’re buying an engagement ring for yourself or your significant other, it is important to understand how much a ring costs. This will help you decide how much to spend on your perfect piece of jewelry and ensure that you don’t go overboard.

In addition to knowing your budget, it’s also a good idea to know the different types of metals available for an engagement ring. Gold is a popular choice, but there are other options such as silver and platinum. Each of these metals has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them before heading to the jeweler.

Another thing to consider when choosing a ring metal is how the material will fit with your partner’s day-to-day style. If she tends to wear a lot of gold jewelry, for instance, it’s best to stick with that type when shopping for an engagement ring. This will ensure that the ring will match her other accessories and look its best.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of the various diamond cuts before you start shopping for your partner’s dream ring. Each cut is priced differently and can have a significant impact on the overall cost of the ring. For example, round cuts are more expensive than pear or marquise shapes.

Additionally, it’s a good idea not to shop for your ring at big-name jewelry stores. These stores will often sell low-quality diamonds for a premium price and may not provide proper stone certification. Instead, try to find a local, boutique jeweler who will offer better quality and service. This will make the process of shopping for an engagement ring more enjoyable and less stressful.

5. Know the Jeweler

When it comes to purchasing engagement rings, many brides-to-be are surprised by the complexity of the process. There are plenty of factors to consider, including ring styles, gemstones, metals and more.

In order to make the best decision, it’s important that you have a solid understanding of what you’re looking for. By following these engagement ring shopping tips, you can ensure that you’re making the right choice for your partner and yourself.

1. Start with a budget

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to set a budget for your ring before you begin your search. This will help you narrow down your options and avoid overspending. Also, it’s always a good idea to communicate your budget with the jeweler before you purchase anything. This will prevent any surprises and save you from potentially heartbreak.

2. Consider alternative gemstones

There are a lot of gorgeous options for engagement rings beyond the traditional diamond, from sapphire to opal. It’s worth doing some research into these stones before you head to the store, however, as not all are made for everyday wear and can crack or chip under pressure. If you’re planning on wearing your ring often, opt for something harder like tourmaline or morganite.

3. Understand the 4Cs

The Four C’s are a standardized scale used to evaluate diamond quality. This includes Cut, Clarity, Carat and Color. It’s important to familiarize yourself with this scale before you start shopping, as it will help you determine what diamond or gemstone is right for you.

Shopping for an engagement ring is a huge milestone in any relationship, and it can feel overwhelming. But if you follow these tips, the process can be fun and exciting instead of stressful.