Prayer For Engagement Ring
Find the Perfect Wedding Ring to Match Your Engagement Ring
In this article, let’s chat about how to find the perfect wedding ring to match your engagement ring. Hint: Blue Nile has the perfect tool that I recommend you check out – More about that down below.
He finally proposed and you’re engaged! After a gasp, happy tears, and a massive smooch, you managed to say, “YES!”
The anticipation and buildup to the moment that you get to slip that lovely rock onto your finger for the first time is over. The wait may have been a long one, but who cares. You’re part of the recently engaged club, and a brilliant ring is proof of that!
“I can’t wait to see what my wedding band looks ,” you proclaim to your fiance. A look of panic washes over his face. He asks hesitantly, “Was that something I was supposed to buy too?”
In reality, many guys may not realize that a woman actually gets two rings, not just the big rock engagement ring that we all fantasize over.
Once you firmly affix your engagement ring on your finger, don’t forget to plan the purchase of matching wedding bands.
Searching for a Matching Wedding Band
It can be an arduous task to find a matching wedding band for your engagement ring. You scour the mall meandering among jewelry stores, sliding rings on and off your finger in hopes that your wedding band will magically appear.
In frustration and annoyance, you manage to finally just choose one. You could keep trying on rings all day, but you have to get home to plan the rest of your wedding. And, you aren’t the type that s to take too much of the sales staff time at the jewelry store.
Similar to buying an engagement ring, don’t rush the decision to purchase a matching wedding band. These two rings will be your staple jewellery to wear, admire, and reminisce over for many years to come — you’ll want to love your wedding ring set for a long time! With that in mind, here are some tips for finding the perfect wedding band.
Before Buying The Perfect Wedding Band
- Set a Budget: It is tempting to enter a jewelry store and be enticed by all the diamonds shining back at you, that you just look past the price tag.
Our suggestion is to set a budget long before stepping into the shop, or even work with the jeweler to show you what is in your price range before the other rings start calling you over sirens of the sea. Just remember that the more karats the higher the price, and any extras diamonds, detailing, or engraving will add even more.
- Buy the Bridal Set Together: Some jewelry stores offer matching bridal sets, which include the engagement ring and wedding band together. And just as you were both made for each other, so where these two rings. Bridal sets make choosing matching wedding rings very easy.
- Matchy-Matchy Traditions: In the past, many couples chose matching metal band sets as an expression that they had become one and that they belonged together. Well, I am all about out with the old and in with the new! There is no rule saying you need to choose matching metals for your wedding bands, and you are no less married if you do.
It is totally a personal preference, and many couples today are choosing the non-traditional route – selecting a wedding band they each love that suits their individual style.
- Your Lifestyle and Appropriate Settings: When my husband and I bought my matching engagement ring and wedding band at the jewlery store, I admit I was completely swayed by the lovely multi-diamond bands. Tip for you all: they are not so great for upkeep.
Last year, I was coming around a corner in our house and I went one way and my arm somehow decided to not make the turn completely and I ended up smacking my ring pretty hard against the wall. I immediately looked at my ring with sheer horror as I had visions that the diamond would be chipped.
Thank goodness everything looked in order, until I got in bed later that night and saw what looked a black hole. Turns out I did knock one of the smaller diamonds out, (never to be found again, might I add). My lesson to you, especially if you the multi-diamond band look, if you use your hands a lot, or you are rough with your jewelry, this bands may not be a great option.When I took it back to my jewelry to fix it and clean it, my lovely jeweler proceeded to tell me that the process they use to clean jewelry is a machine that shakes the jewelry up, something this Ultrasonic jewelry cleaning, and there would be a risk that it might loosen the smaller diamonds. Sshe advised that I not have the ring cleaned professionally.
I wasn’t thrilled to find out that she opted to leave that little tid-bit of info out when we were buying the ring. Anyways, lots of diamonds are beautiful, but they are not necessarily practical for everyday wear and tear. Definitely know your lifestyle and know your ring settings before you buy.
- Try it on: You may the idea of buying a ring online, but do go to a jewelry store to try different styles on and get a feel first. You may end up surprising yourself and liking a style you never thought you would.
- Maintenance Matters: Just a car, the maintenance of fine jewelry is required.
Diamond prongs wear down / bend, meaning diamonds will become loose and need regular visits to the jeweler for a ring inspection. Experts suggest 2-3 times a year. Whereas some metals will need to be professionally polished to keep scratches at bay, other metals white gold will need to be regularly re-plated to keep the beautiful white gold finish.
- Don’t Wait Until the Last Moment: It can take some time to find the complimentary band to go with your engagement ring. You are best to start your search early (at least 2-3 months in advance of the big day), so that you will have plenty of time to research, browse, and sleep on it for a night or two. This time frame is especially accurate if you decide to go the custom route and engrave any of your rings. Then, most certainly give yourself at least a month to have this service done.
Choosing Your Wedding Band Style
Finding the perfect wedding band can feel daunting, especially when there are the options of adding gemstones, diamonds, and choosing between all the available metals types. We think the best thing to do is take it step by step, starting with the style.
- Are you drawn to a simplistic band or one with some extra bling?
- Do you want the metal to match your partners?
- Do you want the wedding band metal to match your engagement ring?
After answering some of these questions, you will have eliminated a great deal right of the bat, making your wedding band hunt a little easier.
There are a few different styles and things to keep in mind when selecting your wedding bands:
- Metals: If your engagement ring is yellow gold, choosing the complimentary matching metal for your wedding band is a good rule to follow. You will sometimes find rings that incorporate both yellow gold and white gold in the design, which is beautiful and perfect for someone who does tend to accessorize by wearing a variety of different jewelry types.
- Stone Shapes: Most things in life look better with uniformity. If you’re looking for a wedding band that incorporates stones, I recommend pairing similar cut stone to that found in the engagement ring. For example, if your engagement ring is a round solitaire and you would some more bling in the wedding band, an eternity band with round diamonds would suit your engagement ring beautifully.
- Stone Colors: If your engagement ring features a colored gemstone, try finding a wedding band that incorporates the same stone color for a good match. Be cognizant of the center stone, as you don’t want the wedding band to take away from or compete with it. Another option is to alternate diamonds with colored gemstones to balance the ring out.
- Perfect Match: Perfect matching engagement rings and wedding bands are just that because they were designed together. However, if you choose a band that has the same shape (and in the same metal type), even though they weren’t designed together they still pair well.
- Complimentary Match: Choose a wedding band that compliments the engagement ring and makes it a set, even though they weren’t made together. Just make sure you choose something that doesn’t take the attention away from the main center diamond.
- Old vs New: If you have your heart set on your grandmothers engagement ring, it is best to try and find a matching vintage wedding band to go with it. Where as if you are choosing to go with a modern style engagement ring, best stick with a complementary contemporary wedding band.
Design style number three from above really caught my eye. When shopping for your band, check out a style that is all diamonds with an engagement band that is made from metal. This creates a very unique look that is becoming more and more popular with brides-to-be.
Choosing the Man’s Wedding Band
The hunt for your man’s wedding band can be a lot of fun, especially if you leave an element of surprise whereby you make the final selection and choose his ring among a few that he s. This is exactly what I did for my husband!
Read More: Unique Men’s Wedding Bands
Engraving his ring with a special message is a great idea – an added touch he’ll love. I engraved my husband’s ring with a special (and quirky) message – a bit of an inside joke for the two of us.
Helpful Wedding Band Matching Tool
My husband and I were fortunate that when we bought my engagement ring it had the matching wedding band. No need to drag him to the mall for hours on end to find a matching band.
If you are not as fortunate and your engagement ring doesn’t come with a matching wedding band, that is okay. My contacts at Blue Nile alerted me to a great online tool that they developed, which allows you to find the perfect wedding ring to match your engagement ring — even if you didn’t purchase your engagement ring from them.
How cool is that!
I played with the online tool to choose a similar style engagement ring to my own. I received a few wedding band suggestions to match. You could spend hours playing around with this tool from the comfort of your own home. Plus, don’t worry about feeling you are wasting sales staff time.
Blue Nile’s online tool has me wishing I was in need of another wedding band. Then I could swoon over another pretty wedding ring!
20 Diamond-Alternative Gemstones for Engagement Rings
Planning to pop the question soon? Read our Ultimate Guide to Proposing.
Diamonds may be some girls’ best friend, but they’re not for everyone.
Yes they’re beautiful, durable, sparkly and timeless, but they’re also rather expensive and perhaps a little too classic, if you’re the kind of lady who wants to wear something different on your ring finger.
If you’re on the hunt for a unique engagement ring, you’ve come to the right place!
Many grooms do feel they have to splash out on the traditional sparkler when it comes to popping the question, but the modern custom for diamond rings that cost three months’ salary was actually only introduced as a marketing campaign by acclaimed jeweller, De Beers back in the 1930s. And it stuck!
But you don’t have to follow suit.
Whether it’s a clear stone that looks almost as sparkly as the real thing (no one has to know!), or a coloured stone that will set your ring apart, we’ve come up with 20 gorgeous alternative gems that will look just as precious as a diamond engagement ring, when you say “Yes!”.
Ring by Liz Phillips via Catbird
This pretty purple stone does tend to be seen in a raw state, but if it’s well cut, it can look truly beautiful in fine jewellery.
At 7 on the Mohs scale (diamonds are 10), Amethysts may not be quite as hard, but they’re still very durable and a fraction of the price. Pair the lavender hue with silver or rose gold for a gorgeous, romantic setting or set with other colours for something a little quirkier.
Ring by Mociun
Turquoise has become a really trendy stone over the last few years with leading alternative jewellery brands Azlee and Mociun using it across their collections.
Turquoise ranges from 5 to 7 on the Mohs scale and with a composition of copper and aluminium, it can range from a pure bright blue, to a pale hue with flecks of metal. Pair with small diamonds in the setting for a luxe finish to a matte stone.
Ring by Kristin Coffin on Etsy
Sapphires are typically a blue precious stone, but they do also come in other hues peach, pink, yellow, green and white.
At 9 on the Mohs scale, sapphires are the third hardest mineral, and at about a third of the price, they make the perfect diamond substitute. While a white sapphire engagement ring won’t capture quite the same sparkle as a diamond, if it’s well cut, it can look almost as good, giving more bling for your buck if you’re looking for a larger stone.
Ring by Ferguson’s Fine Jewellery on Etsy
Emerald, with their distinct rich green tone, are beautiful, luxe, and precious, which makes them a popular stone for engagement rings.
While they have fallen style over recent years, added to a modern setting, they can look both chic and timeless, and at 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, emeralds can be forever too!
Ring by Astley Clarke
Romantic, feminine and oh-so-pretty, morganite (set in a diamond halo) is perhaps one of the most popular choices for engagement rings at the moment.
As a beryl, morganite is from the same family of stones as emeralds, siting 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale. The price of morganites can vary wildly, so do your research and talk to your jeweller about the cut and quality of your stone.
Ring by Maejean Vintage on Etsy
Garnets come in all manner of colours but are most typically this rich pinky-red hue. Often found in antique settings, these stones look really pretty paired with pearls or stones of other colours.
At 6.5 to 7.5, they’re not quite as hard as their ruby counterparts, but this is reflected in the price. A gorgeous choice for a less expensive engagement ring.
Ring by Melanie Georgacopoulos via Matches
Pearls are beautiful and iconic, whether they are in a luxe antique setting or a chic modern ring. The bad news is though, that pearls are made from calcium carbonate, which means at 2.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale, they will scratch and tarnish easily.
Select a pearl engagement ring if you plan to wear it only occasionally, or if you choose smaller pearls, set into surround of hardier gemstones.
Rings by Rare Earth on Etsy
If you’re looking for the glamour and hardiness of a diamond, without the epic price tag, a moissanite might be the stone for you.
When they were first discovered 120 years ago, these beautiful clear (or sometimes green or yellow) stones were mistaken for diamonds. At 9.5 on the Mohs scale, they are just behind diamonds as the second hardest mineral in the world, making them a more than adequate substitute when well-cut. Pair with a diamond halo for added sparkle.
9. Lapis Lazuli
Ring by Collyer’s Mansion
These deep matte blue semi-precious stones are often overlooked for very fine jewellery but with the most captivating colours and beautiful gold flecks they can add a really opulent touch to a gold setting.
It hasn’t been used in many engagement rings before now, but we reckon it’s following turquoise’s steps and is set to be popular in the coming years.
Relatively inexpensive, lapis can range from $1 to $150 dollars per carat, but the very finest stones are an even, intense blue with a light dusting of gold and no cracks. The lapis pigment is renowned for its lasting quality but at 5 to 5.5 on the Mohs scale your stone may scratch and perhaps need replacing every few years.
Ring by Polly Wales via Catbird
Tourmaline is a mineral that comes often forms as a mix of two or three colours, but for fine jewellery, its green variety has become increasingly popular.
At 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, tourmaline is still quite hardy, and with a cloudier look than an emerald, scratches won’t be quite so obvious. Tourmaline looks beautiful in a bohemian or baroque style setting, especially mixed with different colour gem stones.
Ring by Ippolita via Bergdorf GoodmanTopaz, with its dazzling array of colours and luxe clarity, is a natural choice for engagement rings. While they can differ in their mineral content, topaz gemstones tend to be an 8 on the Mohs scale.
A pure topaz is actually colourless, and the blue, orange, red, green and pink hues are actually created by imperfections in the stone. We think that beautiful quirk makes them a sweet stone to give your other half on your engagement!
Ring by Erica Weiner
Opals make the most beautifully unique clusters, and while they were seen as old-fashioned, over the last few years, they’ve been making a comeback. Opals come in black, white and crystal and depending on their vibrancy, they reflect the entire rainbow as they move and dazzle – because of this, no two opals are ever the same.
Avoid choosing a dull stone and look for gems with pretty patterns and antique settings. At 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, opals are not as hardy as other gems, but do make beautiful engagement ring stones if you don’t mind a little tarnish or if you plan to wear your ring only occasionally.
Ring by Crystal Casman Jewellery on Etsy
emeralds and sapphires, rubies are one of the four precious stones, making them an extremely popular choice for engagement rings with their rich, luxurious blood-red tone.
At 9 on the Mohs scale, rubies will survive on even the busiest hands, this is reflected in the price though, with the finest rubies often fetching more that their diamond counterparts. If you’re shopping for a ruby, look for the same four Cs as diamonds (with a rich colour being the most important) but also ask about the origin – Burmese rubies tend to be the most expensive.
Ring by Mociun
Onyx is a beautiful mineral that comes in a variety of colours but it most commonly found in its black form for fine jewellery.
A dense, yet silky stone, (at 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale) Onyx would make a unique and utterly stylish addition to your engagement ring – plus as a black stone, will be timeless and chic. Pair with black diamonds, or even clear ones for a really opulent look.
Ring by Studio 1980 on Etsy
Peridots are one of the few gemstones in the world that only appear in one colour, a beautiful, olive-green. While sometimes mistaken for emeralds, peridots tend to be brighter in colour, thought not as hard at 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale.
Peridots are often considered a token of love (Napoleon famously gifted his first wife Josephine with one with that symbolism of his admiration) making them a rather romantic engagement ring gemstone.
Ring by Irene Neuwirth via Barneys
Labradorite has become increasingly stylish in fine cocktail rings and earrings over the last few years, so it was only a matter of time before it made it into engagement rings as well. This mineral can range from black to brown to blue, (though its grey-brown hue is most common in luxury jewellery) and ranges from 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale.
The mineral is regarded for its strengthening and shielding properties and legend has it that Inuits saw Labradorite falling from Aurora Borealis in the sky, making this a rather magical and special stone for your engagement ring.
Ring by Alex Monroe
Aquamarine is a beautiful pale blue semi precious gemstone that’s found its footing as a stylish choice for engagement rings. The beryl stone is quite hardy at 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, and as a cousin of the emerald, it can appear particularly dazzling when well-cut.
Aquamarines have beautiful clarity, making them look expensive, they are also known as a “lucky stone”, the perfect charm as you enter married life.
Ring by Mociun
Sunstones are an under-the-radar gemstone, often overshadowed by the more popular moonstones, but stylish designers Mociun are pairing them with more precious stones to make beautiful cluster combinations.
These peachy (but often red, pink, orange or even green) coloured crystals are most commonly found in Norway and the US (they’re the official gemstone of Oregon!) and are 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Closely linked to Labradorite, sunstones are seen as an abundance mineral, bringing prosperity, vitality and fearlessness to the wearer.
Ring by Crystal Casman Jewelry on Etsy
Tsavorite is a beautiful bright green stone from the garnet family that makes a striking addition to any piece of jewellery. At 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, it’s a hardy stone, that can look really dazzling when well cut, and set among gold and diamonds.
its counterpart Tanzanite (below) this stone was discovered in Tanzania in the sixties and had its profile raised by Tiffany & Co. While not quite as rare or expensive as Tanzanite, if you’re looking for a green stone for your engagement ring, Tsavorite is a beautiful alternative.
Ring by Tiffany & Co
Tanzanite is a rare and beautiful gemstone that was only discovered in the sixties. It ranges from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Tanzanite’s name was actually given to it by Tiffany & Co (who are big fans of this blueish purplish stone) after its place of origin, in Northern Tanzania.
1000 times rarer than diamonds, Tanzanite is a fitting stone to give your one in a million, and with only an estimated 30-year supply left in the world, this is a particularly precious choice for an engagement ring.
Photo by Sara Lynn via Bridal Musings
So, there you have it, our favourite alternative gemstones for your all important engagement ring!
Did you shun the traditional diamond? We’d love to hear about your unique engagement rings in the comments below.
– Planning to pop the question soon? Check out these awesome proposal stories for inspiration!
– Got questions about diamonds? Check out these top tips!
– Get gorgeous ideas for engagement rings for men.
– Swoon over our favourite engagement rings on Etsy.
– Newly engaged but don’t love your ring? We hear ya! Here’s what to do…
WEDDING AND ENGAGEMENT RING ORDER?
Does the order in which you Wear your Wedding Band and Engagement Ring on your Wedding Ring Finger really matter?
Are there any real reasons why the Wedding Rings have a particular stacking order to them?
Let’s Find Out…
It’s a really crazy thing, because the order of the Wedding Rings doesn’t make any sense at all… But we’ll get to this in a minute. First, we’ll get the answer: The Correct Order that the Rings go on your Finger is this…
The Wedding Ring goes on the Finger FIRST!
Wedding Ring First on the Ring Finger…
Then the Engagement Ring second.
But the whole order of things doesn’t hold water.
Why? Because of what happens at the Altar! That’s right! The Altar.
Let me Explain!
You wear an Engagement Ring the entire time you’re Engaged. It could be days, it could be years. You wear it by itself on the Wedding Ring Finger. (Which is the 4th finger on the Left hand!) Then comes the Wedding Day! Your Wedding Ring is placed on your Ring Finger during the Ceremony at the Altar.
But there’s a Problem to doing this…
Because the Engagement Ring is already there! This adds confusion.
Do you Remove the Engagement Ring, put the Wedding Ring on, then Replace the Engagement Ring with hundreds of people watching? Lots of couples don’t know. Or, do you slip the Wedding Band on, leaving the Engagement Ring where it’s at, and have her switch the order later, after the Wedding?
I’ll tell you the best two things to do, so you don’t make the transition any more confusing than it really is!
Here are your Choices:
1) Have her start the Wedding without Rings on her finger, and slip them BOTH on at the same time during the Ceremony. Or…
2) I already said, just Slide the Wedding Ring on behind the Engagement Ring and have her swap their places later.
You may have problems with the latter if the Wedding Ring is an Insert. (An Insert or Jacket, is where the Engagement Ring slips inside of two Rings…
That’s why they call it an “Insert!”)
Those will have to be done in Advance!
If the Rings don’t fit well, or easy. If they Interlock or Hook, or are just Soldered together, then by all means, have the two Rings already together, then put the two Rings on at the same time during the Wedding.
If the Wedding Band is just a Channel Set Diamond Band, or a Plain Gold Band, then it’s fine to have her wear her Engagement Ring during the Ceremony and slip the Band on at the Altar.It all depends on the Style of Rings you have. They will either fit flush and easy, or they’ll be Difficult and a Pain to get right. If it’s a pain, do it ahead of time!
What’s interesting about this whole Tradition of putting a Wedding Ring on next to the Engagement Ring, is that times are changing rapidly!
Change is Good?
A lot of Rings that you find in the Jewelry Stores Today are sold as a One-Piece Ring.
That means it stands for everything!
It’s both the Engagement Ring AND the Wedding Band! It’s the Entire Package. This way, she has one Ring to begin with, she gets that Ring put on her during the Wedding, and that’s all she gets! One ring to rule them all! (Most of the time, these Rings are a little bit wider than a normal Ring!)
One-Piece Wedding Rings makes the crazy time at the Altar, Smooth, Effortless, and a Piece of Cake. (Mmmmm, I Love Wedding Cake!)
That’s a Wrap…
Some couples have the ever popular Classic Engagement Ring, which is a standard Tiffany-Style Solitaire Ring. ( the Pear-Shaped Diamond in the Picture)
One of the choices you can use as a Wedding Ring with Solitaires are what they call Wraps! Wraps are Rings that “Wrap” around the center Diamond. (See Picture for a Wrap!)
Sometimes they go all the way around the Solitaire, other times they just fit on either side of the Diamond.
What’s funny about these, is that people don’t know which side is the Wedding Band side, since it’s wrapped around your Engagement Ring, it’s hard to tell. Each Wrap is different, so you’ll have to look good to see which Band is actually the Wedding Band.
The Side that has the Wedding Band goes on the Finger First!
But that still leaves one Big Question…
Why DOES the Wedding Ring go on the Finger First?
We know HOW, but what about the WHY?
People always want to know who made up this madness and why? Here we go… The Wedding Ring is put on the Ring Finger First, because myth says, that the Wedding Ring is always worn CLOSEST to the Heart! Aww! How Special!
Why the 4th Finger?
And why are the Wedding Rings put on the 4th Finger of the Left Hand? You’re going to love this one as well…
Myth states that the Wedding Ring Finger was the Finger used, because that was the Finger that had a vein in it, that ran directly to the Heart! WOW! You see, it’s all about Love and Romance. (And Gold and Diamonds… and Veins!) This wonderful myth or legend may not be correct, but somehow, the tradition still lives on Today!
Last Word on the Wedding Rings…
Make sure the rings fit together properly, and make sure they fit together on Her!
People don’t know this, but normally when you add the Wedding Ring to the Engagement Ring, you’ll have to get them sized up at least 1/4 size larger to fit.
That’s correct! At least a 1/4 size, if not more! (Don’t wait until the big day to realize this!) But it’s the truth, 2 Rings take up more space on your finger than one Ring. Taking up more space means, they’ll fit snugger! Make sure you have it checked out ahead of time. (It could be embarrassing at the altar trying to force the Rings on!)
Speaking of Weddings…
Don’t Forget This:
Get both Rings Polished and Cleaned BEFORE your Wedding Day!
You don’t want Wedding Photos taken of a Dirty Ring!
Get them Professionally Cleaned and Polished. (And Soldered together if necessary!) (Read my blog about: Should you get your Rings Soldered Together Before the Wedding?) And remember… Make sure you wear the Wedding Band closest to your Heart!
Tradition or not… You can’t Fool the Heart!
How to Purchase the Perfect Diamond Engagement Ring
November 24, 2015
Diamond engagement ring shopping should be a joyous occasion. Our tips will help you make sure she loves her ring.
It should be one of the most memorable moments in your life. You pull an engagement ring your pocket and ask the love of your life to be your wife. You desperately want her to say yes and fall in love with her ring too, right?
You can make sure that happens if you follow these tips to pick out the perfect engagement ring:
Decide How Much You Want To Spend
You will be confronted with a dizzying array of choices when it comes to engagement rings. Have a price range in mind before you start to shop. Going in with fairly specific parameters will help your jeweler find the right engagement ring to fit your budget.
Do Your Homework
There’s a lot you can learn about diamonds before you even set foot in a jewelry store. Start with the 4Cs – Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight – so you understand how each influences the value of the diamond and adds to the overall appearance of the stone. You’ll learn what is most important to you and where you might want to compromise to fit your price range.
Understand her taste in jewelry
Pay attention to the kind of jewelry she already wears. Is she more classic or modern? Does she wear more white metals or yellow gold? Do her pieces tend to be more delicate or chunky? Sleek or ornate? Have these preferences in mind when you set out to shop. If you buy something similar to what she already s, you can't go wrong.
Know her ring size
If she wears rings, borrow one she already owns. Trace the inner circle on a piece of paper, or press the ring into a bar of soap for an impression. You can also slide it down one of your own fingers and draw a line where it stops. A jeweler can use these measurements to identify her approximate ring size.
If she doesn't wear rings, estimate in the following manner: The average ring size in the U.S. is 6 ( the 'average' U.S. female being 5'4″ tall and weighing 140 lbs.
) If she's more slender, or fine-boned, her ring size is probably in the 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 range. If she is heavier, larger-boned or taller, her ring size is probably in the 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 range.
It's always better to buy a ring a bit bigger than you think she'll need, because sizing a ring down is much easier than increasing its size.
Know her favorite shape and cutting style
If she hasn't made it easy for you by already voicing an opinion on the subject (or admiring someone else's engagement ring), keep these thoughts in mind when considering shape: She will be wearing this ring every day of your married life.
It will need to go with everything from jeans to evening wear. If you're uncertain about her diamond shape preference, it's sensible to stick to the classics, such as a round or square shape.
They became classics because they appeal to most people most of the time.
Certain shapes pair more successfully with other shapes in multi-stone rings. Round, oval and marquise shapes work well sitting side-by-side. Pear and heart shapes are more challenging.
These diamonds feature a range of shapes and cutting styles. From left: cushion cut, Ascher cut, emerald cut, princess cut, oval shape, marquise shape, pear shape. Courtesy of Lazare Kaplan Diamonds. Preference in shape may be reflected in other aspects. If she prefers clean, modern lines in furniture, for example, it's ly she'll react well to the same aesthetic in rectangular or square shapes. If she tends towards the traditional, a round shape rarely misses. Are her tastes eclectic or bohemian? She may favor more unusual shapes, a triangular or marquise shape.
A diamond’s cutting style refers to its facet arrangement, rather than its shape.
Round-shaped diamonds, for example, are cut in the brilliant style − an arrangement of 57 or 58 facets designed to maximize the diamond’s sparkle and minimize the appearance of inclusions.
The fewer the facets, the more visible any inclusions will be, so a cutting style such as a step cut (a.k.a. emerald cut), for example, requires higher clarity in the diamond.
Decide on a setting
Consider her lifestyle and how well a certain setting design will fit into it. If she's more active or outdoorsy, look for lower profile, less ornate or more secure mountings, which are less ly to get knocked against or caught on things. If she's more of a glamour girl, look for statement settings, with a higher stone profile, more intricate ring detailing or a unique motif.
While there are endless design choices you can make for her ring, there are some basic setting types you are ly to encounter:
A single stone and still the most popular style choice in engagement rings. If prong set, the head secures the diamond and the prongs allow the diamond to catch the most light. A six-prong setting is more secure than four prongs. A bezel setting is even more secure and protects the girdle of the stone, but allows the diamond to catch less light than a prong setting.
Smaller diamonds or other gemstones that flank the larger center stone for additional sparkle or color. Popular sidestone settings include prong, channel (which protects stones by keeping them flush), and bar-channel (which allows more light to enter the sidestones).
Typically, the diamonds are the same shape with the center diamond larger than the two sidestones.
Designed by Michael Russo.
The center stone is surrounded by tiny gemstones in a pave (pah-vey) setting, usually diamonds, to add sparkle and to give the appearance of a larger center stone.
Decide on a metal
A diamond engagement ring is meant to last a lifetime so it is often made of gold or platinum – highly durable metals that can withstand many decades of daily wear.
Metal color is a matter of personal preference with gold providing more color options: white, yellow or rose. Metal color is also a consideration since the appearance of a diamond’s color is affected by its surroundings.
Once you’ve selected your diamond, ask your jeweler to show you how it would look with different colored metals.
Find a jeweler
You don’t have to go it alone. A good jeweler will ensure that your engagement ring buying process is stress-free. He or she will educate you about the 4Cs of diamond quality, answer your questions in detail, and help you narrow your choices to those that fit your intended’s tastes and your budget.
Look for a jeweler with professional training and a good reputation – asking friends or relatives for recommendations or seeking a referral from a jewelry association is a good place to start. Learn about the store’s return policy.
And be sure to ask for an independent grading report, those provided by GIA, prior to purchasing a diamond to validate the quality of your purchase. GIA’s Retailer Lookup can help locate a jeweler in your area who carries GIA graded diamonds and has GIA trained associates on staff.
Buying an engagement ring can be easier than you think, if you educate yourself about diamonds and the 4Cs, know her tastes and find a good jeweler to work with. Enjoy the process and imagine the look of awe, surprise and love you’ll get when you put that perfect ring on her finger!
If you’re wondering why you’re buying a ring in the first place, check out our timeline that charts the long history of the engagement ring.