Choosing an Engagement Ring 2011-02-09T14:18:32+00:00


What ring is she dreaming of?

What ring will knock her over, cause her eyes to bug out her head? What ring will make her drop in worship of you? What size, shape, and setting will be exactly what she’s been dreaming of? Here are some ideas on how to find out.

In this day of just about anything goes, many couples discuss the bride-to-be’s preference in a diamond engagement ring or even visit jewelry stores or online sites together to try on different shapes and settings (I have put together this page with some great selections to browse through – its useful even just for brainstorming). However, many of us traditional type guys still want the proposal and presentation of the diamond to be a wonderful surprise to our ladies. So here are some simple steps each of you can take either together or secretly on your own.

Step One: Think about the various shapes and settings

The choices in diamond shapes and settings may seem overwhelming at first, but there are ways to narrow the field immediately. A diamond that catches your eye at first may not be flattering on her hand. For example, on a small, delicate hand, a round diamond may look more beautiful than a marquise that covers more of her finger. If the size of the diamond makes a difference, then you may prefer a shape that reveals more surface area than depth to maximize the appearance of size, such as an emerald cut. For help visualizing the diamond on her hand try using this great 3D tool at James Allen.

Step Two: Consider her other jewelry

Every woman wants her diamond ring to stand out and also to complement her other jewelry. Does she prefer contemporary pieces or is her jewelry more traditional in style? Round diamonds are the most traditional choice, emerald cuts are considered very elegant; whereas princess, pear and marquise have a more modern look to them. It’s best to ask a jeweler to point out the more classic settings versus those that are contemporary. If you’re feeling creative, you can also design a setting of your own and search online for a diamond that would look great in that setting.

When you’re choosing a setting ask yourself this: Does she usually wear silver jewelry (in which case she’d probably prefer a white gold or platinum setting) or is yellow gold the precious metal of her choice? Trying on various diamonds in different settings is, of course the best way to see what appeals most and looks most beautiful on her hand, but if that’s not your desire, listen for hints. Does she ever comment on diamonds she sees in magazines or engagement rings her friends wear? If not, you might ask her close friends or family members (if they can keep a secret) to help you make the choice.

Know her ring size. Ask her family or friends. Another trick is to make an imprint in a bar of soap using one of her rings. Then take the soap to the jeweler, who can measure it and determine what size you should buy. This is why it’s so important to buy your ring from a reputable jeweler or a web site that provides fere ring sizing. Here is an online ring sizing tool or if you want a more exact measurement  you can have a free ring sizer sent to you by mail.

Step Three: Learn what to look for in the diamond itself

Once you have narrowed your choices down to a certain diamond shape or a particular style of setting, to make a wise purchase, you need to know somethings about diamonds. The measure of a diamond’s quality and value are determined by the 4 Cs – color, clarity, cut and carat weight. The brilliance of your diamond is the key to its beauty, and brilliance has everything to do with color, clarity and cut. A skilled artisan can maximize the fire, sparkle and brilliance of a diamond by how he or she cuts the rough stone. The precision with which each facet is cut and placed is critical.

Here are some additional questions you should be thinking about:

Which of the 4Cs and which is most important?

How much should you spend on a diamond?

Where’s the best place to buy a diamond?