Engagement Rings Buying Guide

Shop Around

You can't just pop into any old jewelers, pick out a ring, and pay for it. You wouldn't buy a car or a computer that way; you'd shop around, compare prices and ask for specs, right? Large jewelry purchases, especially Design Elements '''The Stone''' * If you're going traditional, the diamond is the most important part of her ring. Generally, you should keep an eye out for the '''The 4 C's''': ** '''Cut''': This indicates not the shape of the diamond, but the polish and symmetry of the stone, and how it was processed from its original, rough form. Round brilliant is the most popular diamond cut. ** '''Color''': Anything less than clear is impure, but some women may prefer the charm of something in a white diamonds are still preferred for engagement rings. ** '''Clarity''': Diamond clarity refers to both interior and surface flaws. Flawed or cloudy diamonds are less sparkly and worth less than flawless stones. Consult the GIA site for more information on diamond clarity. ** '''Carat''': The mass of the diamond. The bigger the stone, the more carats, and the higher the cost. * '''Shape''': Not one of the 4 C's, but still vital. It's an aesthetic choice that the presumed bridebe will probably want to make herself. That said, the most common diamond shapes are as follows. * There are lots of other choices to consider when picking out a ring.  You might want to eschew the diamond altogether and go with colorful emeralds; these are becoming more popular. **Kate Middleton's engagement ring, setting the trend. ** Alternatives to diamonds can be seen as a way around the controversy concerning diamond mining practices. **pearls are usually avoided because they are softer stones that can scratch relatively easily. '''Metal''' There are only a few metals widely available for jewelry: '''Setting''' There's no right or wrong when it comes to choosing the ring settings below.

The Size

Jokes aside, size matters to a lady. While the stone's size is up to your judgment, taste, and budget, the ring has to fit her finger or it's no good. In other words, '''make sure you know her ring size'''. If you're not going to take her shopping with you, you might have to be a little sneaky when figuring this out.

The Matched Set

Related Guides

* Diamond Buying Guide * Wedding Rings * Gemstones * Women's Jewelry  * Buying Jewelry and Watches 

International Resources

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