How to Shop for an Engagement Ring

Find out methods to make sure you find the right one.

Ahead are tips for shopping for the perfect engagement ring.

Photo: Petula Pea Photography

Though the proposal may seem like the start of the engagement, planning starts long before that. Whether you and your partner discuss the next steps together or popping the question will be a total surprise, chances are someone will be shopping for an engagement ring at some point. Aside from a home, this may be one of the most important purchases you make. Sure, a ring can be upgraded or exchanged, but it’s usually preferable to get it right the first time.

how to shop for an engagement ring, tips for buying an engagement ring 
Photo by Vue Photography

Below are tips for shopping for the perfect engagement ring:

Shop Around
Much like with wedding dresses, sometimes the style you think you love doesn’t end up working once you try it on. Modern couples will often shop together to find the right ring, but hopeful brides-to-be could also go browsing alone or with a gal pal and make sure her beloved knows which designs she prefers. This is especially helpful in finding out what shape you love. Maybe images of emerald-cut diamonds make you swoon but you don’t find it flattering on your own finger.

Find Your Colors
Choosing yellow, white, or rose gold (or platinum) can make a big difference in the look of a ring. If you’re shopping without knowing a preference, the silver tone of white gold or platinum can be the safest bet. Rose gold is currently having a moment and yellow gold is often popular among women who want a classic look. It’s not just the metal setting that makes color a consideration; more and more brides are embracing hues for their center stone. While fancy-colored diamonds are a particularly luxurious option, gemstones are becoming increasingly popular among millennial brides. With that said, the variety of shades make this option a matter of specific personal taste. If your sweetheart hasn’t expressed a clear interest in a non-traditional stone or color, it’s safest to stick with a diamond. 

Know Your Four Cs
Another reason shopping around comes in handy is it gives you an opportunity to test your color sensitivity. Some people can’t detect the difference between a J or a D on the color scale, which means they can get a warmer ring and use the saved money to improve the stats on an aspect that’s more important. The preferred carat size may also depend on the width and length of your finger. The cut is underrated as one of the most important qualities, but it greatly affects how much the diamond sparkles. As for clarity, unless you’re regularly going to look at the stone with a magnifying glass, something that is eye-clean should suffice. 

Discover the pros and cons of picking out your own engagement ring and what you need to know about resizing your ring.