If you have no idea where to start, the most traditional look for an engagement ring is a single diamond set in a silver or gold band. If your fiance-to-be is more unconventional, you might consider adding more diamonds, choosing different colored stones like emeralds or sapphires, or finding a band design that’s as unique as your partner is! Once you have a look in mind, check out your partner’s current jewelry to get a sense of their ring size, and set a budget for your ring purchase. For tips on how to buy vintage, or choose the right online jeweler, read on!
Planning to Buy the Best Ring
1 Peek through her current jewelry to determine her general preferences. Choosing a ring is a tricky proposition -- you want to get something she loves, but also keep it a surprise. The best way to do this is to see what other rings and jewelry she loves to wear. You don't have to be an expert in jewelry. Instead, keep your eye out for the following trends:
Style: Does he prefer colorful, vibrant pieces or understated, austere, and traditional styles?
Color: What color stones does she seem to gravitate towards? Does she lean towards color, or does she generally keep things simple in whites, silvers, and golds?
Bands: The band is the metal holding stones in place. Does she aim for silver, gold, or white? Or is she interested in funkier, more out-there designs and materials?
Size: How big are the stones or pieces on most of her jewelry? Does she like smaller, more inconspicuous jewels or big and flashy rings?
2 Use hints, family, and friends to tease out ideas for potential engagement rings.Even if you take good notes on her current jewelry, many women have particular ideas about their perfect engagement rings. As you get closer to the big question, consider:
Making a comment about a friend's engagement ring and to ask her preferences at the same time. You can say something like, "I think Mary's engagement ring was a bit flashy. What do you think?"
Asking her family and friends for ideas. Has she talked to them about rings or jewels that she likes?
Determining her stance on diamonds. Is she an impassioned supporter of Fair Trade and human rights? Be sure to look for recycled gold and conflict-free diamonds as part of your choosing process.
3 Talk to her about alternative stones if you don't think she is interested in diamonds. Diamonds account for almost 90% of all engagement rings sold, but they aren't your only option. Many people, put off by illegal "blood diamonds," the low intrinsic value of diamonds, (which companies artificially inflate), and the relative commonness of a diamond ring have decided on alternative stones. You could consider:
Sapphire: The bright blue stone is the second most common for engagement rings.
Emeralds: Bright green, you want to probably make sure she's into the color before buying.
Colored Diamonds: Yes, it is still a diamond, but yellow, black, and rose-tinted diamonds give a unique flair to the ring while still staying somewhat traditional
4 Consider shopping for the "real ring" together, getting engaged first. When you're spending so much money on a ring, you want to make sure she'll like it. More and more frequently, men are proposing without a ring, or with a simple engagement band, and then shopping for the actual ring as a couple. This ensures that she gets the ring she wants without all the pressure of picking something so expensive by yourself. Guys don't normally buy jewelry and are generally less equipped to tell a woman's taste. So work together!