How to Choose a Temporary Proposal Ring: 5 Essential Tips

how to choose a temporary proposal ring article

Asking the love of your life to marry you should be one of the happiest moments you’ll share together as a couple. So why marr the moment by presenting her with an expensive engagement ring she doesn’t like?

That’s why so many men are opting to buy a proposal ring. This temporary engagement ring, also known as a placeholder ring, is an inexpensive piece of jewelry that provides you with the bling you need for a surprise proposal while still giving your finacée the chance to choose her own engagement ring.

A trend that has been growing in popularity over the last few years, the placeholder ring may not be expensive, but it’s still an important purchase. If you want to know how to choose a temporary proposal ring that she’ll love, read on!

three signs a temporary ring is right for you

Three Signs a Temporary Proposal Ring is Right for You

If you’re undecided if buying a placeholder ring is right for you, you’re not alone. Many men struggle with deciding what will make the best impression on their future spouse. If any of these three points apply to you, then a temporary proposal ring could be a good choice.

1. You’re stressed about choosing the right ring

If you’re not confident in your choice of an engagement ring for your future spouse, opting for a proposal ring could be a smart move. Why stress out shopping for a ring that costs more than you make in a month if you don’t have to?

By choosing a proposal ring, you can still surprise your fiancée and give her the chance to pick out the ring of her dreams.

2. You want to surprise her, but you also want to shop together

Most men and women want the proposal to be a surprise. After all, nothing beats the reaction of a surprise romantic proposal. But many women also don’t trust their partner to choose a ring that they’ll be sure to love.

A placeholder ring is a good way to keep your special moment a surprise without running the risk of your sweetheart being disappointed. It also saves you money, because there is no guarantee a jeweler will take the ring back at its full value.

3. You can’t afford the ring she loves

A temporary engagement ring is also a good solution if you don’t want to wait until you have enough money to buy the ring your girlfriend wants.

If you aren’t in a position to fork out several thousand dollars, then spending a few hundred on a placeholder ring will allow you to get engaged and continue saving for the “perfect” ring. A proposal ring can be worn for a few weeks, months, or even years before it is upgraded for a better version.

how to choose a temporary ring she will love 5 tips

How to Choose a Temporary Proposal Ring She’ll Love: 5 Tips

Even if it’s not her forever ring, the placeholder ring you choose should still be special. It will, after all, be the symbol of a defining moment in her life and will be part of a memory she will cherish throughout your future marriage.

To help you on your mission of finding the perfect placeholder, here are five essential tips to keep in mind.

1. Pay attention to her jewelry

While it’s true that a placeholder ring won’t be the ring she wears everyday long-term, she should still love it. 

Even if you don’t consider shopping for jewelry your strong suit, it is possible to impress your sweetheart. Before choosing a temporary ring, you’ll simply need to do a little bit of reconnaissance work.

  • What color is her jewelry? Does she wear yellow gold, white gold, rose gold or silver?
  • Does she like modern jewelry or prefer classic pieces?
  • Does she like diamonds or does she love a particular gemstone?

By being observant you should be able to choose a ring she will enjoy wearing, even after she has her real engagement ring. Here are some lovely selections worth considering.

vintage oval morganite engagement ring 14k rose gold lstudioc etsy
oval moissanite bridal ring denvor studio etsy
classic simple solitaire engagement ring blue nile
oval created blue sapphire and created white sapphire sterling silver ring reeds

2. Size matters

A placeholder ring shouldn’t be super expensive, but that also doesn’t mean you should choose something so miniscule you can barely see the diamond. To get the most bang for your buck, you can forgo diamonds altogether in favor of an imitation diamond or a gemstone.

Need some inspiration? Here are three of our favorite placeholder rings that come in at $100 or less.

lab created white sapphire ring sterling silver jared
halo engagement ring cushion cut simulated diamond trovecompany etsy
vintage emerald engagement ring jynice etsy

3. It Should Look Real

While size does matter, it also should look like the real McCoy. If you buy a super cheap ring for $20 at Wal-Mart, chances are, she’ll know right away and that will rob her of at least some of the excitement your proposal will evoke.

When selecting a placeholder ring, opt for a band that won’t warp or tarnish. Sterling silver is a fantastic choice, not only is it more durable than gold, it doesn’t tarnish easily. If your future bride prefers gold, however, you can get a gold-plated ring for a reasonable price as well.

When it comes to choosing a diamond substitute, moissanite is a great diamond alternative. It is harder than all other diamond simulants making it a great choice for a proposal ring. White or blue sapphires or rubies are also good choices because of their durability and beauty.

Here are three great options.

oval lab created ceylon and white sapphire frame five stone ring in sterling silver zales
ruby gemstone ring crafted in 14k gold filled holy and jewerly etsy
round moissanite ring vintage engagement ring by will work etsy

4. Avoid cubic zirconia 

Cubic zirconia may look like a diamond at first glance, but it’s not the best choice as a substitute. While cubic zirconia is often used for fashion jewelry, that’s more because of its affordability rather than its durability.

Within a few months, a cubic zirconia ring will begin showing some wear and tear such as scratches and chips. It will also become discolored over time.

Even if your fiancée will only be wearing it daily for a few months until you get her real ring, choosing a ring with more durability will allow her to wear it as she chooses for years to come. Even if she doesn’t wear it again, she will likely keep it as a memento or will choose to pass it on to your future daughter one day. Either way, you’ll want a ring that can stand the test of time. 

Moissanite or white sapphire rings like these are good quality options.

pear shaped and oval cut white lab created sapphire vacation ring sterling silver
round cut moissanite ring anu club store amazon
pear cut moissanite engagement ring munjanijewels etsy

5. Know her ring size

Your proposal will be a lot more special if the ring you slip on her finger actually fits. So, if you don’t know her ring size, it’s time to find out. Enlist the help of her mom or sister and have them find out her size for you.

If that’s not possible, look in her jewelry box for a ring she already has and use that as a guide. If she doesn’t have any other rings, use the old string trick. Wrap the string around her finger while she’s sleeping and mark the point where the ends meet with a pen. Measure the string in millimeters with a ruler then divide by 3.14 (or Pi) to get the diameter of the ring. If, for instance, the string measured 22 millimeters, dividing it by Pi would give her a ring size of seven. 

5 best gemstones for everyday wear

The 5 Best Gemstones for Everyday Wear

If your girlfriend prefers gemstones over diamonds, then choosing a placeholder ring with her birthstone or favorite color can be a really good idea — as long as the stone is durable enough to withstand regular wear.

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is always the best indicator of a gem’s suitability. Diamonds, for instance, are the hardest stone and score a perfect 10 out of 10. They are not the only hard stone available for jewelry, however.

Here are the five best gemstones for a proposal ring:

1. Moissanite

Mohs scale rating: 9.5

Second only to diamonds in their hardness, a moissanite ring is a fantastic choice for daily wear.

Although naturally occurring moissanite is usually colorless, lab-grown moissanite comes in various shades including green, gold, brown, blue, purple, pink and yellow.

Here are three gorgeous moissanite rings in various hues:

purple moissanite ring fira movses etsy
green moissanite ring zoy treezoy etsy
radiant cut canary yellow moissanite three stone engagement ring diamondspro etsy

2. Sapphires

Mohs scale rating: 9

Other than diamonds, sapphires are one of the toughest gemstones out there and are safe for everyday wear. Sapphires also come in a variety of colors. Aside from the traditional blue, you can choose from white, pink, violet, blue-green, green, yellow and orange.

Here are three of our favorite sapphire rings

dazzlingrock collection oval and round cut blue sapphire and round diamond engagement ring
lab created sapphire ring sterling silver jared
vintage unique blue sapphire engagement ring set 14k rose gold three strone moissanite ring

3. Rubies

Mohs scale rating: 9

Known for its bright red color, rubies are a great choice for rings thanks to their hardness and durability. While the hue of this stone varies between orangey red and reddish purple, it always has red overtones.

ruby ring with white sapphire halo 18k white gold sterling silver etsy
lab created ruby ring sapphires 10k white gold jared
three stone lab created ruby and white lab created sapphire ring sterling silver kay

4. Aquamarine

Mohs scale rating: 7.5-8

Aquamarine is a pale-blue to light-green gemstone with a fairly high resistance to scratches and abrasions. As long as an aquamarine ring is treated with care, it’s a durable choice for daily wear.

gem stone king 2 tone 10k yellow gold and 925 sterling silver sky blue aquamarine white lab grown diamond ring
aquamarine silver half eternity ring round cut genuine natural aquamarine giacobostudio etsy
aquamarine white labcreated sapphire ring sterling silver kay

5. Emeralds

Mohs scale rating: 7.5-8

This beautiful green gemstone’s hardness is ranked at 7.5 to 8 depending on how pure it is. While emeralds are quite hard, inclusions in the stone can lead to chipping if your sweetie is hard on her jewelry. As long as the ring isn’t worn during manual labor, emeralds are a very good gemstone for daily wear.

emerald ring gemstone band enegagement ring holyandjewelry
nature inspired leaf emerald wedding ring set unique twig val cut emerald engagement ring yri design etsy
pear cut emerald engagement ring vintage dainty sterling emerald wedding ring joojewel etsy

Where to Find an Antique Placeholder Ring

If your girlfriend prefers antique or classic jewelry, ring shopping could be a bit more difficult. Chain jewelry stores tend to stock modern rings and don’t always have a ton of selection for those who prefer a vintage vibe.

If you’ve struck out at your local jewelry shops, Etsy might be your best bet. Not only does it have a lot of shops with retro rings, but it offers buyer protection, so you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off.

Here are a few of our favorite antique-style proposal rings.

edwardian ring vintage art deco ring oval cut stimulant ring goldjewel us etsy
dainty small emerald engagement ring 14k rose gold lstudio etsy
art deco pear cut ruby engagement ring set vintage by kcpara etsy
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