Planning to propose? One big question that many in your position have is how early to start shopping for rings. While this varies based on a many factors, here are a few timelines to consider depending on your particular plan and experience.
One Week Early
Not everyone is a planner, and some people want to buy the rings as a spontaneous and romantic act. You may also be in a hurry to pop the big question. Last-minute ring shopping is doable if you meet several criteria. First, you should be at least somewhat familiar with the most important elements of ring design: gem grading and selection, setting options, and metals.
Second, you can meet this deadline best if you plan to do limited customization of the ring. You may be able to select a few features, like diamond coloring or settings, but you should focus on what's most important to you rather than get caught up in the details. Talk with jewelers about specific requests — such as setting an heirloom gem or engraving — to see if these can be done on a short timeline.
One Month Early
Start several weeks early if you have little to no familiarity with engagement ring choices or jewelry in general. A monthlong timeline gives you roughly a week to educate yourself about things like gem selection and grading, the pros and cons of metals, and popular ring trends. You also have time to get in touch with your partner's friends or relatives to seek help making choices.
Spend another week or two learning about the specific options in your area, during this particular season, and through local jewelers. You can also assess your budget so you don't break the bank on a rush purchase. And finally, allow several days to a week for proper ring sizing.
Two Months Early
If you plan to buy a customized ring, you may need to begin much earlier than those who will buy a standard ring from a jeweler's display boxes. Customization can take as little as a week, but it more commonly requires several weeks to complete. Therefore, you should start earlier on the education, budgeting, and shopping stages — especially if you're new to the subject.
Where to Start
Whether you want to take your time in finding the right ring or you want to act spontaneously with your proposal, start by consulting with an experienced jeweler in your area. They will help you decide how long to spend on each stage of the process and where you can make adjustments to fit your personal plans. Together, you will craft a ring that your partner will love for the rest of their life. Visit a jeweler like one at Federal Way Custom Jeweler to learn more.