As my Facebook newsfeed continues to light up with engagement and wedding notifications, blurry and hastily shot photos of “friends” from high school and college brandishing a rock on their finger has become one of the digital rites of passage. With that comes the crowd of acquaintances who mock and judge the ring in question across the cruel and dark stretches of cyberspace.
While engagements in general can be quite stressful, purchasing the right ring from a style and budget perspective is downright terrifying. This is a huge investment, one that says, “I love you enough to put the equivalent of the down payment on a car or a really shitty house on your finger.” It also has to speak to the chick’s personality and, unfortunately, it gives the rest of the world a glimpse into your sad, sad bank account.
Because I’m considered the arbiter of good taste (JK, it’s because my dad’s a jeweler) I’ve had multiple male friends ask what one does when he has to go about making this huge life decision and purchase. While my response is usually “don’t do it,” my dad is much better versed in this exercise–not to mention, a better person in general. He has been so kind as to outline the basic points of what to look for in buying the metaphorical shackles to your beloved.
Make sure the ring is in the shape, size, and style she wants. She’s wearing it, not you. If she hasn’t given you any hints, talk to her best friend, her mom, or her sister. Get an idea of what she likes, because she’s wearing it until death do you part. Or until you start banging your respective secretaries. #LeanIn
2. Family Ties
Don’t be too proud to accept a family stone if offered (from your parents or hers) because you can reset it in a mounting she likes. Unlike affection, diamonds don’t have an expiration date.
3. Patience Is A Virtue
Don’t be cheap. If you can’t afford it, wait. Also, don’t spend a large percentage on the mounting. (Resale is usually better on the diamond.)
4. Don’t Be Stupid
Don’t put yourself in major debt over this. You can always trade up when you’re making more money and turn it into one hell of a
blowjob anniversary present.
5. Don’t Embarrass Her
Keep in mind that women who get engaged love showing off their ring to their friends. If you run in an expensive crowd, a small diamond will not be favorably looked on. The old rule of thumb was two months salary. Today, I don’t know what it is. Whatever you can get away with. (Side note: that last bit was clearly all my dad.)
6. Zales is the Devil
Beware of mall jewelers. They often have to give a portion of their profits to the mall owners in addition to rent–a small Mom and Pop operation will take a smaller profit.
Most importantly, remember that the ring is just a symbol. The decision you’re both making to permanently deal with each other is the important part. Now, go get ’em slugger.