10 Questions Every Bride Should Ask Before Buying An Engagement Ring

10 Questions Every Bride Should Ask Before Buying An Engagement Ring

With a staff fully trained by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and over 50 years of experience selling fine jewelry from our historic Downtown Franklin showroom just outside of Nashville, we understand the significance of finding the perfect engagement ring to symbolize your love and commitment. 

From identifying the era and design elements you love to considering practical factors like budget and lifestyle, we're here to guide you through this process with trained expertise and a passion for preserving the timeless beauty of antique and estate jewelry.

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As you embark on this journey to find the ring of your dreams, we've compiled a list of ten essential questions every bride should ask herself before making this important decision. Whether you’re looking for a custom engagement ring, an authentic antique or vintage engagement ring, a reimagined family heirloom, or are still exploring, this guide has you covered. 

How can I find the right style engagement ring or decide what era to explore for an antique or vintage-inspired ring?

The journey to finding the right style engagement ring involves a combination of self-reflection and research – especially if you’re looking for authentic antique jewelry or a vintage-inspired custom engagement ring.

Start by exploring what draws you to such timeless styles and hone in on elements that ignite your vision as you browse. From the precise geometric design of Art Deco to the soft elegance of Victorian filigree, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found in the past. 

Once you have an idea of what you love in an engagement ring, working with a reputable dealer who has decades of experience in antique and estate jewelry is a must-have to ensure the quality and authenticity of your ring. Alternatively, a jeweler who offers custom can help you create a stunning engagement ring based on your own ideas or redesign a family heirloom.  

At Walton’s Jewelry, all our diamond bridal pieces include an appraisal completed by our GIA Graduate Gemologists. We also offer complimentary sizing and custom design consultations

Can I get a custom remake of an antique or vintage engagement ring I found online?

We have over five decades of experience with jewelry from the Victorian, Edwardian, and Georgian periods as well as the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements, making our expertise in creating and restoring authentic antique and vintage-inspired jewelry unmatched.

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While many of our custom pieces are influenced by these bygone eras, no vintage or antique piece can be reproduced exactly – which actually opens up beautiful new opportunities for customization. During your consultation, our design experts will work closely with you to understand your vision and offer detailed suggestions on how to best bring it to life. 

Should I select a diamond or another gemstone for my engagement ring?

Choosing between a diamond and another gemstone for your engagement ring ultimately depends on personal aesthetic preference and symbolism that reflects your unique love story.

Diamond engagement rings have been the top choice for centuries due to their exceptional hardness, brilliance, and enduring symbolism of love and commitment. However, many brides are opting for alternative gemstones for their engagement rings, drawn to their unique colors and deeper symbolic meanings. 

Popular colored gemstone engagement rings include sapphires, rubies, morganite, and more each offering its own distinctive beauty and rich symbolism with suitable hardiness. Choosing a birthstone or other sentimental gems can be a great way to incorporate color into your engagement ring.

Which metal should I choose for my engagement ring?

When choosing between platinum and gold for your engagement ring, consider factors like durability, color preference, and budget. 

Platinum is renowned for its exceptional durability, dazzling white color, and hypoallergenic properties. While platinum is generally more expensive than gold, its esteem as a more precious metal and timeless elegance make it a worthwhile investment for many. 

On the other hand, gold offers a greater versatility in color that many can’t resist. While some may experience metal sensitivity to lower karat gold, this can be avoided by selecting 18K or higher in all but extreme cases. Yellow gold exudes warmth and classic elegance; while white gold offers a modern and sophisticated look; and rose gold, with its romantic pink hue, adds a touch of femininity and charm to any design. Trying on jewelry in person is often the best way to find the hue that best compliments your skin tone and personal style. 

How can I make sure my engagement ring fits comfortably and looks good on my hand?

The single greatest factor in engagement ring comfort is often the band. Band width plays a significant role in comfort; thinner bands offer a lighter and more delicate feel, while thicker bands provide a sense of security and substance. 

Personal aesthetic preferences and daily lifestyle are also worth taking into account when thinking about engagement ring band width. Working with a professional jeweler ensures that not only will your ring be sized correctly but they can also help make any adjustments or customizations you’d like so that the ring flatters your finger more precisely. 

Is it possible to get a matching set or matching bands with an antique engagement ring?

While matching bridal sets from bygone eras are exceptionally rare, your chances of finding the perfect antique wedding bands to go with your engagement ring are exponentially greater when working with a reputable jeweler who has full showcases and connections to trusted dealers who can source more selections based on your choice of engagement ring.

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At Walton’s Jewelry, our 50 years of experience have brought along many stable relationships with some of the best antique jewelry and gemstone dealers in the world. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in our showroom, our GIA Graduate Jewelers can create a custom wedding band to perfectly complement your engagement ring.

How can I include important personal or cultural details in my engagement ring?

There are many ways to incorporate important personal or cultural details into your engagement ring that can add significant meaning to this already cherished piece of jewelry. 

One of the most common ways to achieve this is through custom engravings, where you can inscribe initials, important dates, or sentimental messages on the inside or outside of the band. Other popular methods include accent stones such as birthstones that have personal meaning, design elements that hold cultural significance, or motifs that represent your shared interests or experiences as a couple. 

What should I avoid in an engagement ring if I work with my hands?

If you work with your hands, it's essential to choose an engagement ring that can withstand daily wear and minimize the risk of damage. 

Avoid settings with high-profile or intricate designs that protrude significantly from the band, as they are more likely to catch on objects and become damaged. Instead, opt for low-profile settings that securely hold the center stone in place and reduce the risk of snagging.

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Look for gemstones with high hardness ratings, such as diamonds and sapphires, which are more resistant to scratches and abrasions. Soft gemstones like pearls are more prone to damage with daily wear and should be approached with caution for engagement rings – though they can make for excellent choices in bridal jewelry such as earrings and pendants.

How can I choose the right engagement ring for my budget?

Choosing the right engagement ring for your budget involves careful consideration of your own desires and the design elements that tend to drive up the cost of an engagement ring. 

The primary factors influencing the cost of a ring include the choice of metal, the quality and size of the center stone, and any additional accent stones or intricate design elements. Consulting with a reputable jeweler can help you, for example, navigate ways to maximize the sparkle within your budget by recommending a halo setting

At Walton’s Jewelry, we offer a no-pressure showroom environment where you can explore engagement rings and get advice from our GIA-educated team whether you’re ready to buy or just browsing.

How can I get a family heirloom restored or redesigned for an engagement ring?

From resizing a great-great-grandmother's engagement ring for an extra personal proposal to redesigning beautiful custom pieces from that collection of not-quite-your-style jewelry you inherited from an aunt…

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With over 50 years of experience specializing in antique and estate jewelry, our team of GIA-trained jewelry professionals is ready to examine your heirlooms and collaborate with you to determine the best plan of action for crafting the perfect custom engagement ring

We can help walk you through our collection for inspiration, source diamonds and other colored gemstones, or repurpose your existing heirloom piece – whatever your needs, we look forward to working with you to create a piece of jewelry that you treasure and look forward to wearing!

Whether you're drawn to the romanticism of vintage designs or seeking a modern twist on a classic style, let us be your trusted jeweler in this exciting journey toward finding the engagement ring of your dreams. Visit us today in our historic Downtown Franklin showroom or browse virtually to discover the timeless beauty and elegance of our hand-selected engagement rings, each with its own rich history and unparalleled craftsmanship.