Finding the right ring

Q: I am about to embark on the engagement ring selection process. What are the most important tips to remember? Any advice for the helpless proposer?

Daunting to some? Yes. Impossible? No. Can be fun? Yes!

I say head and chin up, pick a day when you are not busy with other stuff and have no other demands on your time. Some of us feel that shopping/browsing can be a chore, so it’s imperative that you do not begin this endeavor with that mindset, so allow yourself plenty of shopping time. You are embarking on an adventure of learning and understanding, and with that come great rewards.

Shop at places you’ve heard good things about, and have a good reputation. Ask family and friends who have bought jewelry and/or engagement rings for their recommendations. Where did they buy theirs, were they happy with the service and selection? When browsing/shopping, ask your salesperson as many questions as you need to about your ring selections; no questions are out of bounds, and your questions should be answered fully and to your complete satisfaction. Shop several stores, viewing many beautiful rings, and eventually you will begin to feel confident about your ability to make a wise and informed decision.

Some things to consider are the preferences of the intended receiver, for instance; what color and type of precious metal do you think they would prefer? Are their fingers large and long, or dainty and small? (A large bodied ring may look out of place on a small and dainty finger, and visa-versa.) Would the recipient prefer a tall prong set stone, or because of their work, a channel or bezel set might work best? (For example, if they work at a hospital, the ring may tear or snag latex gloves.) Knowing these preferences of your intended (as best you can) will increase their enjoyment of wearing this ring (you’ve put so much loving care and expense to procure) throughout the many years of matrimonial bliss.

Also ask if the store is able to size your ring if it doesn’t fit, and how long would that take, is there a charge, do they offer future center stone upgrades, and if so what do they give you for your existing stone in trade, and are there other costs involved in that. Knowing these things and more will prevent future surprises and disappointments later on.

Glenn Taylor and his brother Joe own and operate Taylor’s Gold-N-Stones Inc. in Fairbanks, a full-service fine jewelry store. Glenn and Joe prospect and mine their claims, as time permits. They are the proud producers of The Alaskan Gemstone Jewelry line, featuring Borealis Quartz, rutilated and smoky quartz, garnets, agate, and more beautiful gemstones mined in Alaska.