Engagement Ring Frequently Asked Questions

Buying an engagement ring is a challenging yet rewarding adventure. There are several details involved in ring ownership that go beyond the proposal and the ring swap, in spite of what the stories may make it seem like. As a result, we at Lenox Jewelers receive many questions about engagement rings. Here are some of the most common questions prospective customers ask our professional team as they search for the engagement ring of your dreams. If your question is not listed below, please do not hesitate to call us or visit our showroom.

What's the Difference between Sterling Silver, White Gold, and Platinum?

These precious metals may have a similar hue, but every material has unique properties that distinguish them. Sterling silver is a common material for high-end accessories, as it has an iconic and luxurious shine. It is an alloy of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. These other metals are added to reinforce the silver - naturally brittle and soft - and make it usable for jewelry. However, sterling silver tarnishes and dulls in color over time. It is the most affordable precious metal at fine jewelry stores like ours. It is rarely used in engagement rings.

White gold is typically used in high-end jewelry, such as engagement rings and wedding bands. It has a slightly lighter color than sterling silver, as well as a brighter shine. This precious metal doesn't occur naturally and is made by adding metals like palladium to gold. White gold is often plated with rhodium, further enlivening its radiance. However, due to this plating, white gold must be brought to a jeweler twice a year for a "redipping."

Platinum is the most valuable precious metal available at most jewelry stores. It is even brighter than white gold. Unlike other precious metals, platinum is naturally strong. Platinum jewelry is typically 95-98% pure, with the rest being cobalt for more strength and workability. Unlike white gold, it doesn’t need to be redipped by a jeweler and unlike sterling silver, platinum never tarnishes. Note that while platinum is undoubtedly tough, it can still scratch.

How Do I Clean My Engagement Ring?

Jewelry needs to be cleaned often to retain its beauty, glamor, and value. Dust, dirt, salt, and sweat can and will gather on the piece which can corrode or tarnish it. The environment is always harsh on jewelry, even if it's made of solid materials. Luckily, it is easy to keep jewelry in tip-top condition if care is taken to clean it. To best take care of your jewelry, bring it to us twice a year for a cleaning. We use advanced techniques and equipment to ensure your jewelry is spotless.

In addition to this, you should also clean it at home weekly. It doesn't take long, nor is it expensive. All you need to do is soap, warm water, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and a microfiber cloth. Mix the soap and water in a bowl and let your jewelry sit in the solution for forty minutes. Afterward, give it a gentle and deep scrub with a soft toothbrush. Lastly, dab it dry with the microfiber cloth.

What Diamond is Right for Me?

When choosing a diamond, you should consult with an expert. Beforehand, set a budget and stick to it. Round cut diamonds - the most popular center stone - cost about $6,000 per carat. Many characteristics affect a diamond's cost, so meditate on the four C's and what matters most. The four C's are the parameters that gemologists use to grade diamonds - clarity, carat, color, and cut.

Clarity refers to the number of inclusions or blemishes on a diamond. Note that some cuts showcase these inclusions more than others. Carat indicates the diamond's size; larger diamonds are always more valuable. Color relates to a diamond's lack of color. While most people imagine diamonds to be colorless gemstones, they actually have a yellow-brown tint and can vary significantly in hue. Many adore the unique color of yellow diamonds, however.

There are several diamond cuts available, each with their own qualities. We have an extensive diamond shape guide that can help explain their nuanced differences.

How Much Should I Spend?

There's a saying that grooms should spend three months' salary on an engagement ring. This was actually a tactic developed by a diamond company's marketing campaign in the 1950s. You can spend as much as you want on an engagement ring. If you can't afford your dream ring initially but want to propose, you can always upgrade to a nicer diamond or setting later, or consider financing.

When budgeting, we recommend creating an overall budget and dividing it into how much will be allocated to the center stone versus the setting. Settings and diamonds come in all shapes, sizes, and prices, so having a budget in mind can make the search easier.

How Do I Wear My Engagement Ring?

Ultimately, it depends on you. Most choose to abide by tradition. In America, most people wear the engagement ring on their left hand's ring finger, before and after the wedding. This can change once the vows are exchanged. Some people like to wear the wedding band and the engagement ring simultaneously, with the former slipped underneath the latter. A few opt to wear the wedding band alone, saving the engagement ring for special occasions.

However, this varies depending on the country. For example, people in Brazil switch their rings to the other hand after the wedding. In some places in Eastern Europe, couples wear their bridal jewelry on the right hand instead of the left.

What's My Ring Size?

It's crucial to ensure the ring fits properly. Rings that are too tight simply can't be worn (or cut off circulation) while rings that are too loose can slip off easily. To figure out your size, you've got two options: get measurements from a professional jeweler in-store or figure it out at home. The former will be guaranteed accurate, while the latter is more convenient.

To do it at home, grab a measuring tape and a marker. Wrap the tape around the ring finger you intend to wear the ring on and mark where the ends meet. Match the measurement to a ring size chart for one of the brand's you are considering, or one of the standard ring size charts that are available to get a reasonably accurate ring size measurement. However, for a precise measurement, trust one of our jewelers at Lenox to measure your ring finger and help you find the ring that feels comfortable.

Find Engagement Rings at Lenox Jewelers

We at Lenox Jewelers devote ourselves to keeping Connecticut couples in love and style. Our Fairfield jewelry store offers a wide variety of marvelous engagement rings to our fantastic community. Reserve an appointment with us today to see all the jewelry we have in stock. Give us a call at (203) 374-6157 for more information.