9 Rules for Buying an Engagement Ring

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Are you ready to take that big step and buy an engagement ring? Congratulations on your pending engagement!  I have scoured the internet to find the best advice on buying that perfect diamond for you, your partner, and your budget.  I came across this article from prominent jeweler Blue Nile which provided the most practical advice.  This advice is great to follow for getting it right the first time!

1. Set a Budget that Works for You
And stick with it. It may sound like common sense, but there is a lot of ridiculous noise out there about spending three months salary on a ring. That’s all marketing. Don’t fall for it.

2. Do Your Homework
Much like buying a car, take the time to do some research. Do a bit of research on the 4Cs: Cut, Clarity, Color, and Carat and you’ll learn how to get the best quality for the best price.

3. Speaking of the 4Cs, Cut is the Most Important
Cut is the most critical of the 4Cs (raise your hand if you thought it was Carat) because it determines a diamond’s brilliance. Get the highest Cut grade your budget allows.

4. The Other Cs: Find The Sweet Spot
As a diamond’s color and clarity grade improves, its price increases, but at a certain point, the human eye cannot detect the difference in grades. For the best value choose a near colorless (graded G-H) and eye-clean (graded VS1-VS2) diamond.

5. Buy Shy to Save Big
Diamond prices jump significantly at the carat and half-carat mark. Purchasing just shy of those weights can save a significant amount of money and the slight size difference will go unnoticed.

6. Make Sure It’s Legit
The unofficial fifth C is independent Certification. Insist that your diamond comes with a grading report from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) to guarantee it’s what the seller says it is.

7. Get in Shape
Round brilliant diamonds are very popular, but don’t rule out other shapes, such as pear, oval, emerald, and princess. Fancy shapes, as they’re called, can look larger and cost less than a round diamond of similar carat size. Now, that is fancy.

8. Shop Around
Your phone is smart; use it to compare diamonds—even if you can’t see them side-by-side. Use the independent grading report to your advantage and visit several retailers, online and off, to compare the prices of two diamonds with the same Cs.

9. Be Smart About Returns
Just in case, make sure that the jeweler has a good return policy. It’s hard to believe, but some companies still only allow returns within 24 hours and some don’t accept returns at all. Blue Nile offers a 30-day return policy, no questions asked.

 

4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Your First Engaged Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day can be tough for anyone.  But it can be another stressor on top of a couple already planning a wedding.  If you are celebrating Valentine’s Day this year and it’s your first year celebrating as an engaged couple, you should make this most of it and this beautiful time in your relationship.  Don’t let Valentine’s Day stress you out by putting undue stress on yourselves.  Instead treat yourself, take a break, and enjoy each other’s company.  After all, the holiday is about love and romance and, being engaged, you both are at the pinnacle of what Valentine’s Day is all about!  So find the perfect outfit and follow these four simple ways to embrace the day in a meaningful way.

1.     For Just One Day, Don’t Talk About the Wedding

If you’re engaged, you’re most likely consumed with wedding details.  You are probably also inundating your partner too.  Most likely, there isn’t a day that goes by that you haven’t thought about some aspect of the big day.  You probably want to discuss these details with your fiancé.  However, every couple needs a break from the endless talk about wedding details and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to put a halt to those conversations and talk to each other about non-wedding topics. Talk until you remember why you each fell in love.  Don’t worry, you can resume wedding talks the very next day and everything will get done on time (I promise).

2.     Announce Your Big News

Whether you’ve been engaged for one week or one month (and only closest family and friends know), Valentine’s Day provides the perfect occasion to expand your exciting announcement to your entire social circle.  Everyone loves to hear about a love story so why not couple a photo of you both along with a story of how you met or became engaged.  You’ll make everyone is your circle very happy for you on Valentine’s Day!

3.     Schedule a Photo Shoot for Your Engagement

What better day to capture the love between a newly engaged couple than Valentine’s Day?  If your photographer is not booked, schedule an engagement photo shoot and then plan to go out afterward for dinner or drinks because you’ll be looking fabulous!

4.     Destress and Relax

Wedding planning can be stressful and there no better excuse than Valentine’s Day to enjoy some R&R.  Consider getting a couple’s massage, exploring the local hiking trails, or head to one of your favorite sunset spots for a few moments of bliss as you spend it together watching pure magic.