Photo by Gades Photography on Unsplash
1. Do your research
Like most or all big-ticket items, research is a must. Don't just look at reviews online - some of them may be masked paid ads. Instead, search through forums, ask your friends or family members who've made similar purchases before.
More importantly, if you have the time, head down to the store to check out the ring in person. The ring may look different when photographed.
If you're considering a diamond ring, seek how it sparkles under regular light (since it's not every day that you're going to get bright, blinding light focused on the gem).
Fake gems are also a possibility. So when making your purchase, make sure the store you're purchasing from is a reputable one - in short, research is key.
2. Don't rush into buying it!
Even if you're pressed for time, don't make impulse purchases when it comes to the engagement ring.
It's not something that comes cheap, and it's a piece of jewellery your wife-to-be will be wearing for a long long time to come. So think twice if you're not sure!
3. Don't be a lone ranger
Even if it's going to be a surprise for your girlfriend, seek the help and advice of her closest friends or family members. They may know what she likes better (she may have even hinted at her preferred style to them).
4. Don't assume
There are several types of engagement rings (it doesn't necessarily have to be a diamond solitaire) that are available on the market.
When doing your research, don't just focus on the few brands which you think might have the ring you're looking for. At the same time, see if you can find out if there're any ring types your girlfriend prefers.
5. Set a budget
Set a figure you're prepared to spend on, as engagement rings don't come cheap at all!
6. Skip the three-month salary rule
Remember this: Only spend what you can afford, or are comfortable with. There are no fixed rules when it comes to the price of the ring.
7. Factor in waiting time
Rings - whether custom-made or store-bought - take time to be ready. If you're opting for a custom-made design, be prepared to wait for a couple of months, unless you don't mind paying extra for a rush job.
Even if it's store-bought, you may have to get the ring resized before you propose. So take note.
8. Look for other alternatives
Sure, there are many lovely jewellery brands to look to, but at times, it's not all about the name.
Private jewellers also offer engagement ring services, and sometimes, they can offer you a better bang for your buck than those on the market.
9. Find the right time to make your purchase
Look out for sales or peak or off-peak periods. Don't get something during seasons like Valentine's Day or Christmas, obviously, as you're less likely to get a discount.
10. Get certification
Make sure your jeweller presents a form of authorised certificate for your diamond or gem as proof that it is genuine.