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Engaging in the Engagement

Updated: May 4, 2021

The concept of an engagement ring dates back to ancient Rome (1686) where it was thought that your ring finger contained a vein that was directly tied to your heart. The ring is a symbol of capturing your heartthrob’s passion.

I have the pleasure of designing custom engagement rings for a living and I get questions all the time, mostly from nervous young gentlemen who have no idea where to start. I thought it would be useful to start sharing information in our blog to help educate you on the ring buying process. If you are asking someone to marry you, you may be nervous enough already! My goal is help you feel supported, educated and knowledgeable so you are extremely happy with your decision. Here are the top five questions I think anyone should ask themselves before purchasing the perfect ring.

Question #1 – What is your budget?

Please rest assured that most women aren’t interested in having you blow all of your savings on a ring just so they can show it off. Sure, bigger is a common request (more on that later). You are entering into a life partnership, one that you should start with a responsible outlook on finances. I’ve made rings from $1,000 to over $100,000; the difference is in the materials, tourmaline instead of diamonds for instance, not the design. So put your heart into the design and a little thought into the budget, I’ll be sure to take care of the rest.

It may sound a bit cheesy, but any love story is worth a lot more than diamonds. I strongly suggest being somewhat practical about what you choose to put on your beloved’s finger. When people ask me what they should spend, I simply ask them what makes them feel comfortable. See the chart below for a breakdown of pricing for a wide range of sizes.

Question #2 – Do you know what they like?

At this point you know they’re the one! They make you laugh, supports you, and you are your best self with them. I’ve watched some people get stuck on how to choose a ring, as they are terrified of disappointing their future fiancé; all they want to do is make them happy. But there are some easy ways to take the guesswork out of the design. A lot of brides-to-be are often smart about leaving hints! If not, I suggest taking time to chat with their mother, sister, or best friend (someone you can trust to keep the big secret). This will help you understand if they are more partial to a certain shape of stone or color of metal. Another idea is becoming a bit of a spy and looking through your loved one’s social media posts and boards. Some women keep Pinterest boards of their fine jewelry favs and you can see what they’ve shared or commented on.

Question #3 – Do you know her ring size?

Do you know the size of her ring finger (finger on the left hand between the pinky and middle)? This sometimes can get tricky as it’s not something usually discussed. It’s an important detail that is necessary before we begin the design process. If you don’t know, you could “borrow” one of her other rings and bring it to us to measure. You could also ask their best friends or their mother (again, if you trust them to keep the big secret). Beware of this option though as people sometimes have no idea their true size, even if they know a number. Or you could even take a picture of their hand, while holding something. This can then be used to guess at scale. Because I have over 11 years of experience crafting rings I can usually take a sharp guess just by looking at a picture.

Whatever your method, err on the side of too large rather than too small. It’s going to be easier to size the ring down than to make it larger.

Question #4 – What do you want her to feel?

Think not only about that moment when you first slide the ring onto their finger, but how you want them to feel. The feeling they will get every time they glance down and see it sparkling. It’s a question I always ask my clients and just so you know, their answers make me melt. One said he wanted his love to have the cultural and personal connection to the Fleur de Lis incorporated in his design. We designed this engagement ring with subtle designs of Fleur de Lis' built in underneath the diamond. When his fiancé saw the ring (and the Fleur de Lis') she was overcome with emotion. She was able to carry a very meaningful emotional connection to the Fluer de Lis' with her everyday and now, on a very meaningful gift from her future husband.

It can be hard for some at first, but try to open up to me as much as you possibly can about your romance. Incorporating these details into the custom design makes your loved one feel cherished and adored. It brings even more richness to such a heartfelt moment in your life.

Question #5 – How much faith do you have?

Asking someone to share the rest of your life with you is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. Do you have faith in your relationship? Do you know to the deepest, darkest parts of your soul that this is your ride or die? It’s important to use the ring as a symbol of celebration, not something to be used to shift the tide.

But more importantly, do you have faith in me and in the process? The more you’re able to trust in our combined 30 years of experience at Dubin’s, the better. That is truly when we shine the most. It’s never lost on us what a monumental moment this is in your life and we are always honored to be involved. Family is at the cornerstone of our success and it feels rewarding to help you start yours.


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