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BUYING GUIDE - How to Choose an Engagement Ring
Browse Engagement Rings

Congratulations on finding that special person you want by your side for a lifetime! We understand that finding the best engagement ring that symbolizes your love can be a difficult task. No worries - we compiled a list of what to look for to help you find THE ideal engagement ring.

Figure Out Who Will Make the Decision
More and more couples are choosing their engagement rings together instead of just the proposer. If you both are already talking about marriage plans, you can ask her if she wanted to take part in the decision-making process. Otherwise, if you want to keep the proposal a complete surprise, ask her family and close friends to help you decide.

Create a Budget
Many people use the common belief that your ring should cost about two months of your salary, so you can start with this budget. Compare this number with the following:

  • How much money you have left after you paid out your monthly expenses plus your savings
  • Overall estimated wedding budget
  • How long you would like to pay for the ring
Then decide on a figure that you are comfortable with to spend on the ring. Knowing your budget will help you find the best engagement ring more easily.

Choose the Gemstone and How it Will Look
Typically, an engagement ring will have at least one center diamond or another gemstone. Now, figure out how that precious stone should look.

Carat Weight Guide

Gemstone Size
A popular gemstone size runs from 0.75 to 1 carat. If you are considering a bigger stone, note that the price of the ring grows exponentially. See image on the left for reference.

Type of Gemstone
Any kind of gemstone can be used for an engagement ring. The most popular gemstone is the white diamond. However, in the past, blue sapphire was considered the engagement ring gemstone. If you are considering gemstones other than a diamond, make sure to find out it's hardness (mohs scale), which will determine if the ring can be worn everyday or on special occasions. Any gemstone with a hardness of 8.5 mohs and higher, such as diamonds and sapphires, can be worn every day. Gemstones with a hardness of less than 8 mohs, such as rubies and emeralds, should be worn less because they can get scratched or chipped more easily. Note: Any gemstone, even a diamond, can scratch or chip, so treat them with care.

If you are interested in diamond engagement rings, go to our Diamond Buying Guide to learn more about choosing quality diamonds.

Shape
The typical gemstone shapes are the following: round, square or rectangle, oval, marquise, pear, and heart. The most popular shapes are round and square (i.e. princess cut engagement rings) due to their high brilliance and classic shape, and the most expensive type is the heart-shape diamond because it is more difficult to cut.

Cut
Diamond cut is different from the diamond shape, as mentioned above. The diamond cut refers to how light shines through the stone, overall design of the stone, symmetry, and proportion. Princess cut, brilliant cut, asscher cut, and emerald cut diamonds are examples. To learn more about diamond cuts, go to our Diamond Cut Styles Guide.

Decide Which Metal and Ring Setting the Ring Should Have

Metal
The most popular metal choices are 14k and 18k yellow or white gold, followed by platinum. You can find out which metal she likes by paying attention to what she types of jewelry she tends to wear. For example, if she has a lot of white silver jewelry, choose a white gold or platinum ring. Also, find out if she has any allergies to gold, and if so, choose platinum.


Ring Setting
Once you considered how your precious stone will look, determine how the ring will look with the center gemstone. Popular engagement ring settings include the following: solitaire (only one gemstone), with side stones (center stone with smaller gemstones along the side of the ring), and three stone, a.k.a. past-present-future rings (a center stone with a small stone on both sides).

princess cut engagement ring

Go Out and Search
Now that you have an idea of what your engagement ring should look like, visit trusted jewelers in person and online. Compare prices and quality. Since buying an engagement ring is a big purchase, avoid buying the first ring you see, so you can be sure that you are getting the best value, quality, and a ring that she will adore. Also, bring a family member or best friend to help you with the purchase.

Picking out that stunning engagement ring can be time-consuming and confusing. Use this guideline to make it easier to visualize what ring to propose with on that special day. Determine who will help pick out the ring, the budget, type of gemstone, design of the gemstone and ring, and then search for and compare engagement rings at multiple jewelers. Most importantly, have fun and keep that special person in mind when purchasing the ideal engagement ring.

***
If you have any jewelry questions, call our Customer Service toll free. We are open from Monday - Friday, 9am - 5:30pm PT. We'll be glad to help.


Related Jewelry Buying Guides:

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