If you have trouble answering this question, you’re not alone. Many women struggle when it comes to figuring out what kind of engagement ring best symbolizes their lasting love, which is why their answers tend to fall into two camps. Some women will eschew the “gold digger” label by claiming that they would be happy to receive a ring from a Cracker Jack box just as long as their spouses-to-be love them, while others believe that a ring with lots of bling represents how much they are appreciated.
Hard Times Paint a Realistic Picture
Most women, however, fall somewhere in the middle when given some time to really think about the question. For one thing, the economy is not exactly in great shape these days, which is why many young couples are having trouble finding a place of their own to live, let alone figuring out how much to spend on their weddings. While not everyone is currently experiencing a financial crisis, the “standard” budget for a diamond engagement ring is three months’ salary, which is a pretty significant debt to incur before entering into a lifelong commitment.
Still, You’ve Got To Do Better Than That…
Still, the diamond remains king when it comes to the most talked about jewelry, particularly in America where celebrities are always showing off their fabulous bling in public. Thankfully, the vast majority of women don’t expect someone to shell out a million dollars for an engagement, ring, but many do love to own one of value, especially since their family and friends are going to talk about it. A Cracker Jack prize, then, is probably not going to cut it either.
Her Taste Matters
Fortunately, much of what makes an engagement ring valuable is the time and effort spent to acquire it. Many women greatly appreciate men who thoughtfully consider their tastes before making a purchase, which is why wedding advice columnists urge husbands-to-be to first examine what kinds of jewelry their women wear. Friends and relatives can also provide assistance, though sometimes the best option is for the couple to pick out rings together.
If You Can Afford It…
Many women also value men who are financially savvy, which is why finding a great deal on a diamond ring is not necessarily a “cheap” thing to do if careful research is involved. Appraisers measure diamond value by the four C’s: carat, clarity, color, and cut. A diamond worth millions like the Hope Diamond, for example, will be enormous (large carat), flawless (clarity), clear or with a rare color (dark blue in this case), and cut perfectly to reflect the most light.
Pick Your Battles
A diamond with all these characteristics will likely cost a fortune, but some characteristics are more important than others. A large carat diamond, for instance, can look pretty ostentatious, especially if the woman wearing it has slender fingers, whereas a smaller diamond of high clarity and color can look amazing, especially when properly cut and placed within a beautiful setting. When it comes to choosing a diamond, then, bigger is not always better.
Even Now, Diamond Rings More Accessible Than Ever
Buying the best bling for the buck has never been easier, as the Internet has enabled many diamond companies to sell their wares at a lower cost when compared to brick and mortar establishments. Finding a reputable broker, however, remains important. Whether obtained from a diamond resale or purchased through a manufacturer, quality brokers will ensure that the diamonds they carry are GIA certified and personally inspected before selling them to their customers. You no longer have to feel guilty about desiring a ring with bling, then, now that the love of your life can find beautiful diamonds at an affordable price.
Brandi Tolleson is a prolific freelance writer living in Whittier, CA.