10 things to note when choosing a wedding ring

A wedding ring is a once in a life time purchase but choosing the perfect ring need not be a hassle. There are some key rules of thumb to take not when picking a wedding.

Know your budget
Ladies, be nice to your man. There is a popular Chinese saying that a wedding band should be worth approximately 3x your husband’s monthly salary. But with rising costs for homes in Singapore, your money is probably better spent elsewhere. Before deciding on the size/colour etc, discuss this with your husband and set aside a sum that you are comfortable with, be it $500 or $10,000. Typically, engagement bands are more fancy with a larger rock and wedding bands can be plainer, more practical for everyday use.

Go simple
A wedding band or engagement band should last a lifetime. And as such, do not go for fancy new age designs or overly elaborate rings. This is simply because things that are too trendy, tend to go out of fashion equally quick too. Like bubble tea for instance, everyone was drinking it 10 years ago, but now only a handful of stalls remain. But people are still drinking Tea’O.

When you are buying a ring, you pay for (Design + marketing + cost of raw materials + shop overheads). With designed bands like single solitaire rings, you are also paying more for material rather than design. Buying online from websites like bluenile.com is also increasingly popular.

Be creative
Being creative does not need to be expensive. Everyone these days have solitaries for rings. Being creative means taking the extra effort to make a ring that is special, like this guy (http://gizmodo.com/5585944/a-nerdy-wedding-ring-full-of-memories) If her favourite colour is yellow, then maybe an amber ring or a fancy yellow diamond ring. Think out of the box! It may actually save you money! Even a simple engraving of your initials on the ring would be great.

Research, Research, Research
Always do your research. The market is full of jewellery companies with confusing nomenclature. Do not be fooled by diamonds touted by marketers with fancy names like “Desi**e” or He**ts and Ar**ws” Etc. A diamond is a diamond. Check out our Diamond guide for a full guide. Companies that also offer gifts like free pendants etc are also over rated. Remember if it a free gift, it is probably worthless. I remember an offer once that promised a 3-diamond pendant free with every diamond solitaire ring purchased. It seemed like a good deal but the diamonds on the pendant were poor quality. A good discount would make much more sense.

Choosing the diamond
A diamond is basically judged by its colour, clarity, cut, size. For single solitaires, it is important that the diamond has a good rating for all the above. For example, if you get a huge 1 carat diamond with spectacular cut, is totally clear of inclusions but is cloudy as the Singapore sky before the monsoon season, it will not shine. Get at least a good or very good cut, with a colour rating of at least G or F, with a clarity of at least a VVS1. Cut is the most important, followed by colour then clarity. Size. that depends on your budget!

Do not be afraid to bargain
Prices at jewellers are always flexible. Do not be afraid to negotiate the price down. Avoid freebees and such, they are worthless. Just go for pure discounts. 20-40% is easy. Just be polite but firm. If start your search for a ring early, you have more time to hunt around for a discount.

Be Practical
There’s no point in buying a beautiful ring that doesn’t feel good on your finger or one that you’re going to feel you need to remove constantly. A skinny single solitaire ring with a huge diamond dangling precariously on your finger is a recipe for disaster if you work in a factory. Get something you can slip on comfortably and you can forget about for the rest of the day.

The perfect fit
In Singapore, we do not have extreme winters or summers but we do have blazing weather and super cold air con offices. So think about that when buying a ring. Our body and fingers do contract and expand with changes in temperature. Not to mention eating too many big macs.. So the best time to measure for a ring is when you are a little hot and bothered with the sun, your body and fingers are at its maximum swollenness.

Types of settings
There are many different ways that different companies employ to set your rings. Even with single solitaries, some companies do it better than others. Some settings make your rock look bigger, while others are more secure and robust. Choose something that suits your lifestyle.