The engagement ring is the one item she will most likely wear everyday for the rest of her life. How do you know if you are buying the right ring? Follow these simple tips before heading out to your local jeweler to ensure you get her the ring of her dreams: Tip #1: Determine a budget. How much to spend on an engagement ring is a personal matter. The commonly accepted guideline of two months’ salary was developed to be a directional tool to help establish a budget. Once a budget is established, it is important to select the finest quality stone available at that price.

Tip #2: Understand the 4C’s. One of the most wonderful lures of diamonds is that no two diamonds can ever be exactly alike, even though they may sometimes look identical. Determining the quality of every diamond is the 4 C’s: cut, color, clarity and carat weight.

Tip #3: Look at her existing jewelry wardrobe. It will give you a lot of hints about her personal style. If she has a lot of sterling silver or white gold, then she is a cool metal person, making a white gold, platinum, or palladium ring an ideal choice. If she has more yellow metals that she is a warm metal woman so stick to yellow gold or rose gold.

Tip #4: Take note if she is traditional or non-traditional? If she has jewelry that is bold and funky, then she most likely wants a ring that is different from all of her friends.

Tip #5: Pay attention. Note her reaction to other women’s engagement rings. The best clues can be found this way. When in doubt, ask a friend. Find a trustworthy friend who knows her style. They will be able to get a lot of information that you might be able to obtain without being suspicious.

Tip #6: Shop with her. More and more couples are shopping together for their engagement rings and wedding bands. Want to surprise her? Narrow down the choice between two or three rings so she won’t know exactly which one she will be receiving. Then, plan the date, location and a memorable style.

Tip #7: Get the size right. If you can, sneak a ring that you know fits her ring finger, take it to a jeweler and have them check the size. If you only have a few minutes with the ring before she notices that it is gone, press the ring into a soft bar of soap. The ring will leave an indent that the jeweler should be able to determine a size from.

Tip #8: Shop with a reputable jeweler. At the end of the day, where you shop is the most important factor. Shop with a jeweler you trust. Either ask for a referral from your friends or look for a well-established jeweler who has an excellent reputation for integrity and service (like Johannes Hunter Jewelers in Colorado Springs!)

Tip #9: Make note of the exchange or return policy. If she would still prefer a different ring, you will need to make sure you can exchange it.

Tip #10: Get it insured. After you find the right ring, make sure you get it insured properly. Look into getting a rider on your homeowner’s insurance or a standalone policy such as the one offered by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company.