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[+] considerations for the prospective groom

- gut check: are you  sure you are ready to get married?

- how do i know she's the one?

[+] all the groom needs to know about engagement rings

- a groom's guide to engagement rings

- diamond-buying
guide

- do you need GIA-certified diamonds?

- buying an engagement ring online

- surprise ring or blank check?

- how much should a groom spend on an engagement ring?

- engagement ring price calculator

[+] popping the question

- should the groom ask the father-in-law for permission?

- popping the question

- marriage proposal stories

[+] "pre" marriage things

- the prenuptial agreement

- pre-marital counseling

- pre-marital financial planning

a second marriage for the groom?

engagement announcements

the engagement party

dealing with cold feet or wedding jitters

dealing with bridezilla

eloping

a las vegas wedding

the name change: sometimes touchy

backing out of your wedding: a survival manual

your fiancée called off the engagement

tax consequences of getting married

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diamond buying guide [Page 1 of 2]

Okay, so you've finally found the gal of your dreams and you're ready to take the plunge into holy matrimony. If you're like most men, then you're probably looking for an engagement ring to seal the deal. Unfortunately, us guys have become quite adept at tuning out the women in our lives at the first mention of anything sparkly or shiny. Now, you're looking to plunk down a serious amount of cash, and you haven't a clue how to get the most for your money. Well don't worry, because it takes only a minimal amount of information to become a diamond expert. Read on to learn how to choose that perfect diamond, and ultimately win over that perfect girl.

Price

The question at the top of your mind is probably, "How much is this rock gonna run me?" It's a good idea to have a ballpark figure in your head before you head to the jewelry store. So how much should you spend? Wish we could give you an algebraic formula, but the truth is you're the only one that can answer this question. Recently, etiquette guides have dictated that guys should spend between 2 and 3 months of their salary on the engagement ring. You can use this as a starting point, but by no means is it set in stone.   More importantly, you should spend within your means. Ask yourself the following 2 questions, and you should have a good idea of your final asking price:

•  How much am I willing to spend?

•  How much am I capable of spending without taking on debt?

That #2 may be tempting to ignore - after all, your bride deserves the best. However, she also deserves to come into a home that's financially secure, and you don't want to be paying off a ring instead of your mortgage.

The 4 Cs - Finding that perfect stone

Now that you've got a budget, it's time to figure out how to milk it for all it's worth. What gives a diamond its value? You may be surprised to learn it's more than just size. Experts look for four different characteristics, known as the four C's, when rating desirability (which dictates price). The Four C's are: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat weight. We'll cover each of these in turn. That said, jewelers will tell you that the most important factors are cut and clarity. The cut is critical because the precise angles of the cut of the diamond will help light enter, and refract across the diamonds surfaces. The clarity is critical because clarity determines how shiny the diamond appears depends on how clear the diamond is. The clearer the diamond, the more brilliant it is. You can learn more by reading this article but also consulting a diamond clarity chart for reference.

Cut

It takes a skilled craftsman to cut a diamond into its ideal shape. Their goal is to maximize brilliance and sparkle. All those edges on a diamond are created through scientific formulas, and the more experienced the craftsman, the better the result. A diamond that is cut too deep or too shallow will fail to shine as brightly and may appear dull.

Cut also refers to the shape of the diamond. Round is the most common shape, but you can also choose from shapes such as Princess, Emerald, Oval, Pear and Heart. The right shape for you is based entirely on your future wife's preference. If she's never mentioned which shape she finds most appealing, ask one of her close friends or relatives (who can keep a secret).

A hint for the groom: If size is a larger factor than cut for you, purchase a diamond that is a shade on the shallow side. It'll appear larger.

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Julie Brewer - LOVE this session. Her skin is flsaelws. Gorgeous light on the first few and I love the one of them against the metal wall with the flowers all around!
Ronalee
Mon, Sep.26th 2011
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TYVM you've solved all my prbolmes
4 C's
Tue, May.31st 2011
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The best way to know the 4 C's of your stone is to make sure the diamond is certified by an independent grading lab, like GIA. They not only developed the 4 C's grading system in the first place, but they are the most respected in the industry. I wouldn't buy a diamond that was not GIA certified--it's a total rookie move!
Karen
Mon, Jan.31st 2011
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I just read your article, I am in the industry and I am happily married. And NO i didnt get a huge rock, I didnt get a rock at all. I got a gorgeous band because craftsmanship is more important to me than bling will EVER be. I will say that I do have an easier formula for figuring out how much to budget on a ring that seems to work for most people. Take the amount of money you spent on your car/transport, now subtract from that amount the money you expect to get when you sell your car (provided you keep it for a year). The amount you have left is a fair way to guage how much you can afford to spend on a ring. (ie you bought it for 17,000 and sold it for 13,000 that would = 4000 or you bought it for 2000 and sold it for 1100 = 900. or you take the bus at 70 bucks a month for a year and get no money back, your budget should be approx 700) A great girl won't care how much you spend. thats not what this formula is about, its just a way of helping some guys determine how much they should budget for. If you can afford to lose the money on a car then how can you not afford to spend it on a ring? its a rough guidline, but it seems to be way more accurate than 2 - 3 months salary. which is completely rediculous.
Sara
Sun, Dec.5th 2010
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Why does it HAVE to be a diamond? I always loved gemstones that were actually interesting, not just clear...I fell in love with colored diamonds but after looking at the price tag I changed my mind! I want an aquamarine or a sapphire--they're so pretty! The only thing limiting there though is the judgment factor...I don't want people to make comments or judge me for having a "cheap" ring. It's just sad that society is so focused on diamonds when they're not even that pretty or interesting. I might get a diamond wedding band or somethign to placate the masses I guess.....
Lol
Mon, Oct.4th 2010
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Its so funny, u can totally tell who the real people are versus the companies that are posting with an agenda. Thank you for those real people that are putting things in prespective, and I encourage other readers to write what they think!
Mon, Dec.7th 2009
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I'm not sure how much is two-month-salary? it's a unclear#. Please give me a range! Thanks
Linda
Fri, Sep.18th 2009
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My boyfriend recently asked if I wanted to get married...we are broke, and he was upset that he simply could not afford a diamond at this time. We are getting married anyhow...I want the man, not the ring. If anyone says anything about it to me (why did you get married if he wouldn't even buy a ring!)..then they obviously don't care about either one of us. Screw diamonds, I'ld rather have a life with someone I love.
DONT WORRY
Tue, Aug.18th 2009
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I just want all you douches out there to realize that the bigger the ring you buy the more of a let down youre going to recieve... especially when you realize your wife is a gold digging skank. buy something that looks good and more importantly makes her feel good and lets her know shes the most important thing in your life.
Be realistic
Sat, Jun.13th 2009
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Buy what you can reasonably afford. The only opinion that counts is the bride-to-be's. Your peers/friends perception is irrelevant especially if they're not helping you pay your bills. Just take your time and really do some looking. I suggest small or family-owned outfits. Happy hunting fellas!
Erin
Sun, Apr.19th 2009
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I think this article is a load of rubbish! Any woman who EXPECTS a guy to spend 3 months of their salary on a ring is nothing more than a gold digger. My fiance bought me a ring worth a couple of hundred dollars (a beautiful brand new bridal set, so that included the wedding ring as well!) because I told him there were more important things in life, and I would rather us save the money for our new life together. I think that people are forgetting the meaning of the engagement / wedding ring. It isn't something you show off to other people and brag about how much your man spent - it is a sign of the love between two people who care enough about one another to marry each other. If your relationship is based on money, then I don't know why you are even considering getting married, because you would be more concerned about how much you could get from the other person in a divorce settlement - an almost inevitable situation if that's your way of thinking! If guys want to spend that much, that's their prerogative, but women should be grateful they had the balls to propose in the first place!
Gabe
Thu, Feb.19th 2009
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Interesting article. I recently purchased a diamond for an engagement ring. I did my research and I also asked my friends who were already married. I read up on the 4Cs, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) were the ones who created them as a way for people to understand the characteristics that make up a great diamond. My buddies also insisted that I get a GIA Diamond Grading Report, it's the only way to know exactly what you are paying for especially when it's such an important (and pricey) purchase. They are an independent organization that was created for the interest of the consumer. Their website helped me find some more facts about the 4Cs, http://www.gia4cs.gia.edu
Dennis
Tue, Jan.13th 2009
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I know the last comment was about a year ago, but I am just reading this now and I think that it is funny. Ring Etiquette states "2 months salary is not much to ask", funny, that is like 6 mortgage payments for me :) Also, "he should be willing to pay it so his peers don't think his income is less", whatever, instead of looking at her ring they should come to our house ;)
Hot chicky
Sun, Nov.16th 2008
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make this post after you have been married 15, 20, 30 years and tell me if the ring makes the difference at that point. When we were first married we could only afford a small diamond...now we can afford more. But I can tell you after 15 years it is not the diamond that has kept me with the man. It is they way he treats me and our children.
Brian
Sun, Oct.12th 2008
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Don't forget to ensure they're not "blood diamonds." Ask about Kimberley Process certification when you go to purchase the ring. I was very happy to discover that my fiancée was more thrilled than I expected about me having taken care to get conflict-free diamonds in her engagement ring.
BE SMART!
Thu, Sep.4th 2008
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First of all, don't spend 2-3 months salary on a ring just to impress your peers and avoid looking cheap. Your girl deserves a nice ring, but I'm sure she'll appreciate you being sensible too. This article is great. I also got a lot of REALLY useful info on how to SAVE MONEY and GET AN AWESOME DIAMOND. This article gives you info that most diamond dealers don't tell you, so check it out too! www.BrooklynEngagementRing.com/SAVE
Lame
Thu, Jun.19th 2008
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Ring Etiquette: do you work for DeBeers ? This 2-month, 3-month, salary rule was INVENTED by diamond sellers, and suckers who followed it now need to convince everyone that it is the "etiquette". A nice, shiny white .4 carat on a girls finger looks wayyy better than a huge yellowish 2 carat that cost you an arm and a leg. If she's lame enough to ask for a huge ring, she's not the one.
Ring Etiquette
Tue, Mar.11th 2008
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If the groom loves his bride and is devoted to her, then he WILL spend 2 months salary on his bride's ring (minimum). This ring symbolizes is a life-time commitment and 2 months salary isn't much to ask for. He should be willing to pay it, so his peers don't think his income is less NOR that he is cheap.

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