A guy thinking about proposing has probably done some due diligence with the 4 Cs — but there are several other factors at play when it comes to choosing the perfect rock. We picked the brain of John Paradiso of John Paradiso Jewelry in New York City to get the scoop on what it's really like when a guy goes ring shopping.
Myth: The guy needs to know her exact ring size.
Truth: There's no need to go sneaking around in her jewelry box; finding out the size of her ring finger isn't not nearly as important as men think. "Jewelers go by the girl's height and weight — and we get it right 90 percent of the time," Paradiso says. "It's not a big deal. The only time it's important is if you're shopping for an eternity ring [where the diamonds go around the entire band]."
Myth: The girl shouldn't know that ring shopping is happening.
Truth: Some girls will say they want a certain size and style, and then a guy goes off to shop in secret — innocently attempting to make his wallet work with her vision. Paradiso understands the romance of this, but often suggests his potential customers think about bringing the girl in to see what's possible. "Tell her you want to do it the right way and take her with you," he recommends. "That way, she can see in person if she'd rather have a better stone or something that's more showy."
Myth: The guy should expect to spend more than he planned.
Truth: A man should start the process with a budget — but the actual shopping process doesn't necessarily begin that way. "My first question isn't, 'How much do you want to spend?'" Paradiso reveals. "Instead, I ask what shape and size of diamond he wants to see. Then I show him, I share the prices, I ask, 'Up or down?' and we go from there. If a girl wants a 15 thousand dollar ring and he's only budgeted for five, we figure out his options. I tell the guys all the time: 'Don't be a hero.'"
Myth: The guy might make a clueless mistake.
Truth: Paradiso is adamant that most men are doing their best with the information they've been given, whether it's about ideas for what the girl wants to diamond entail. "I have to defend the guys out there who worry that they might make a mistake," Paradiso says. "The most important thing a man should do is to be open to being educated. That's the only time I'll see men make mistakes — when he does the opposite of the information he's been given. But most men looking for a ring, especially the nervous ones, come in with at least a little bit of education."