General Question

Ranimi23's avatar

How to choose a suitable wedding ring?

Asked by Ranimi23 (1881 points ) May 24th, 2011

Just got back from a search for appropriate wedding ring. I have a headache from what I saw, so many rings. To many rings look beautiful, the main difference is the price.

White gold rings or gold yellow?
14 or 18 Carte diamond?

I’m looking for a nice ring for a gentle woman. So how can you know in advance what she will love and what not? What will fit?

Please advise how to do it right. Is the price of the ring have to mean something to my wife for the future? How much I appreciate her love? Is money invested in the ring that matters?

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23 Answers

tedd's avatar

If the price of the ring truly matters to her then you’re marrying the wrong woman.

That aside I have no experience picking a wedding ring. Friends of mine who’ve been married have taken close friends of the future wife/fiance to help them. Sometimes mothers can help in this as well. Just pick something that exemplifies how you feel about her, thats what truly matters.

Seelix's avatar

I don’t feel that cost matters. Quality, yes. So don’t go with the cheapest thing you can find, because you might lose the stone or something like that, but there’s no need to spend thousands.

Take a look at the jewellery she already has. Does she have a lot of gold? Or is she a white gold/silver kind of girl? I would use that as a cue.

As for the setting and the size of the diamond, I’m a proponent of the “simple is better” idea. Are you actually considering a 14/18 carat diamond? Because that’s huge. There’s a size chart here which shows the actual size of different carat weights to give you an idea.

@tedd has a good suggestion. If you’re able, take a female friend of hers with you – she’ll probably have a good idea of what style she’ll like. Also, sometimes young women talk to each other about rings even if they’re not getting married in the foreseeable future – it’s just something that girls sometimes do. So a friend might have a mental image of your lady’s dream ring.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Does she wear dressy clothes or casual clothes most of the time? What other clues to style do you have? (Trendy hair? Conservative hair?) What size of a woman is she? Tiny/petite? Average?

I agree w/ @Seelix…the size is immense. Is she a princess? Going to be a queen? That’s a ridiculous size. How about 1&½ to 2ct with some smaller diamond details to make it a 3 to 4 carat total weight.

Lots of women like a “cushion” “square” or a “princess” cut. Her personal style will help you select the cut, too.

quiddidyquestions's avatar

I gotta believe you made a typo with the carat size, especially with your other questions about money, or that you just don’t know what a carat is.

The best way to find out what style of ring she likes is to ask her.

BhacSsylan's avatar

I think @Ranimi23 mixed up gold and diamond karats, that would explain those numbers. If that’s the case, you want 14k gold. 18 is way too soft for a ring that needs to last.

Lots of good advice here. Definitely @tedd‘s suggestion, I talked quite a bit with a mutual friend before buying and she helped a lot in terms of finding the style, and was good as far as assuring me i was doing the right thing (my parents are quite traditional and the ring I ended up getting was decidedly not).

Anyway, it really comes down to who your partner is. There are, as you said, a dizzying array. Is she very active? Does she like to dress up? Does she even care for expensive jewelry? Think about your relationship. If you’re close enough to be proposing, you should be close enough to know her style (and, again, a friend can help confirm this).

For an example, I know my girlfriend is considerably more into interesting jewelry then traditional, and we’d talked before about the outragious price of engagement rings. So what I ended up getting was a color-change spinel set in a special type of silver. Very, very non-traditional (my parents were quite upset at first, and tried to convince me otherwise), and not very expensive (no where near the ‘suggested’ amount). She absolutely loved it.

lynnwest's avatar

Some girls are quite picky about the ring…others…not so much. The fact she hasn’t obsessed over it with you (or else you would know EXACTLY what she wanted) means she probably isn’t too worried about it. So….either ask her friends and/or go with your gut. She trusts you with her heart…I’m sure she trusts you to buy a ring. A lot of good advice, though! @Seelix had some awesome advice!

wundayatta's avatar

@BhacSsylan 18 karat gold is not too soft. If it was, they wouldn’t make rings that way. I have an 18 karat gold ring and I wish it were as soft as you think, because then it might be a bit easier to stretch it so it would fit over my knuckle. It is hard enough. It does get scratched more easily and as a result it turns into a nice soft dull gold color over time.

We designed our own rings and had a jeweler make them. They are unusual in that they bend in three dimensions, not just in a plane. We did it together, so it was clear that we were both happy with our rings.

If you like the ritual of the surprise proposal, then whatever. You pays yo money and you takes yo chances. I don’t think surprise, on your knee proposals are necessary, but then, I’m not all that average when it comes to guydom.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@wundayatta True, it does depend very much on the ring. I meant from the angle of scratches, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as you say. Let me change that to ’I would want 14k gold’.

Ajulutsikael's avatar

Cost shouldn’t matter at all. I knew a person who is planning on marrying a girl who is all about money. I warned him, but he says he doesn’t mind that mentality. I say you go for a ring that symbolizes your love for her. Something that might also have a bit of her personality in it.

You can also be unique and get a ring and place both of your birthstones in it. Be creative.

SpatzieLover's avatar

18 karat is too soft, IMO. I have a 14k white gold that was passed down from my mom. My grandmother’s 18k was buried with her…both her band & her engagement rings had worn down to a thin strands.

zenvelo's avatar

The bride should be along to pick out the ring. She has to wear it and be happy with it. If she does not like the one you choose, she will resent it forever.

The man’s part is to set some boundaries on what you can afford.

Wedding /Engagement rings are not an investment, unless you intend for the marriage to end and you re-sell the ring. Even then the return is not worth it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Another thing to consider if you are talking about the wedding band, is what you want as well. The engagement ring is more about her alone (aside from wanting to get one that would go well with the wedding band eventually). If you want to have wedding bands that match, you also need to consider what you want to wear. Some couples don’t wear matching wedding bands, but it’s something to think about.

With the engagement ring, like the others said, it really depends on what she likes. Have you ever been in a jewelry store with her before? If so, did you notice what types of things she was looking at? If not, maybe you could take her to look at something else (maybe a necklace or something) and then see if she happens to look at the other things as well while there. Pay attention to what she looks at. As for figuring out her size, if you don’t know, you could ask flat out. If you don’t want to ask flat out, see if you can get a hold of one of her rings, try it on your fingers. If it fits one of your fingers perfectly, you could go by that. If it doesn’t, try to remember how far down it would fit on the finger you tried to get it on. Worst case scenario, you might have to get it sized after you pop the question.

For gold, the lower the K, the stronger the metal and the less pure it is (it’s stronger because it is less pure, the other metals in it are what make it stronger). The higher the number, the more pure it is, but also the softer it is. 24K is pure gold (and the highest K).

I’d shop for the wedding bands together once you are closer to the wedding so that you can both get what you like.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Why not propose without a ring (which is quite common outside of movies and tv shows), and then take her along to find the ring she wants? I’m not really into weddings or marriage, but I am quite picky about what I like in jewelry, and I wouldn’t want to wear something someone else picked for me for the rest of my life out of obligation.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Just get something shiny that you like. Fuck that expensive shit with blood diamonds and such.

suzanna28's avatar

let her pick it..

this is the 21st century.

if it ugly she ain’t going to wear it..

no point spending good money on a ring that she doesn’t want to wear or ashamed to show her friends..

sorry but nowadays most people are superficial when it comes to these things.

set a budget and let her pick it.

I am also getting married. My fiance let me pick it. I also let him pick his wedding band.

Nowadays because of media people’s tastes are much more sophisticated and picky..

laureth's avatar

My husband and I picked our plain gold bands up at a hole-in-the-wall antique shop for cheap. We both got what we wanted, and the price was right. Of course, he could have married me with a ring out of the gumball machine and that would have been fine too. If the partner is right, the ring is right. :) And if the ring is wrong, perhaps the partner is wrong.

But – do take her with you. The proposal might be a surprise, but the wedding isn’t.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Take her shopping…go to the jewelry store to have her choose a simple necklace for your mother. While you’re there, look at rings with her, and take note of what she likes. Go back and buy the ring without her. Give it to her in August, so she’ll be surprised. And your mom will love the necklace.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

First of all, is she a jewelry loving girl? Some people aren’t comfortable in jewelry and so would prefer the most comfortable plain band you can get. White gold or Platinum is what most brides want but check it out.

I love @BarnacleBill‘s suggestion of going window shopping in order to learn her ring finger size and to note what things she oohs and ahhs over.

If she likes diamonds and you want to buy a ring with diamond/s then keep in mind that clear/white diamonds are the most wanted unless someone specifically says they want “fancy”. Find the cleanest, whitest, best cut diamonds you can afford and then compare among them for cut shape and size.

JLeslie's avatar

If you go yellow gold definitely buy 18 carat. Especially if you live outside the US, which if I remember correctly you do. Platinum if you can afford it if you want “white” gold. I love lots of little diamonds typically. I have a yellow gold ring with various different little diamonds, looks sort of Asian, I love it. I get compliments on it all of the time. I also have a platinum ring I inherited, with platinum a larger stone looks better I think than multiple little stones. So, if you want a solitaire, or a larger center stone and smaller stones to the side, I definitely think platinum.

When my husband asked me to marry him, he did not have a ring in hand. It didn’t matter at all. We actually bought a fake one at first, because I didn’t want a little chip, and I did not want him to go into debt for a ring. In retrospect, now that I am older, I realize I should have loved even a little chip, but I do not regret what we did at all. We did have matching wedding bands made, no diamonds, and I love love love it still. I did not want any diamonds in the bands for traditions sake and good luck. I worked retail for many years and a diamond ring was unrealistic for work anyway. The band I could wear every day.

JLeslie's avatar

@SpatzieLover 18 is used everywhere, it is not too soft. I have 22 k earings and ring with sapphires.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I agree with @JLeslie. 18 carat gold, or platinum because it wears better than white gold. The choice of which is dependent on your girlfriend’s preference, not yours. Some women only wear gold jewelry, others never wear it.

JLeslie's avatar

Good luck. It’s very exciting! Let us know how it all goes.

broughtlow's avatar

I had a ring. It was the most valuable piece of jewelry I ever owned. We got them for 25 cents out of a gumball machine.

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