Buying an engagement ring is one of the most exciting purchases you will ever make! It can also be one of the more confusing. In previous years you might have just had two questions: Princess or emerald cut for the diamond? White or yellow gold for the ring? However, today there are a wide variety of acceptable choices, and couples are empowered to go beyond the traditional mold and find a ring that speaks to them on a personal level.
Use this engagement ring guide to think through your choices step by step, and don’t hesitate to chat with one of our specialists to discuss styles, traditions, and budgets.
1. Set a budget
Ignore old guidelines – such as the rule of thumb created by the diamond industry that an engagement ring should cost three months’ salary. Also ignore national averages ($6,000 in 2021, with one-third of all couples spending between $1,000 and $4,000).
Pick a budget that makes sense for you and that is within your comfort level for your salary and lifestyle. Your engagement ring should be something that sparks joy every time you look at it – not something that makes you anxious about finances. You can also get what is best for you now and upgrade later should the time comes.
And please do invest in a high-quality design, one that you or your partner will love to look at every day and wear every day for the rest of your life.
Setting your budget is a great first step that will focus the search down on realistic choices. If you feel stuck, please text one of our specialists, who can help you prioritize between gemstone size, gemstone clarity, and the size of the setting. We can also suggest diamond alternatives, such as lab-created diamonds, moissanite, that can get you the best product that is within your budget.
The Lord of Gem Rings family takes pride in delivering the absolute best quality you can get anywhere on the planet for your specific budget. Regardless of the size or type, we can find you an absolutely beautiful stone and a setting that will complement it perfectly!
2. Choose a ring style
An engagement ring is an enduring symbol of your love that will last forever. So don’t get caught up in any passing trend and choose a piece that your intended will be comfortable wearing every day.
Pay attention to what would match your intended’s color and style. Do they accessorize with gold or with platinum? Do they wear bold statement jewelry – or do they opt for minimal, modern pieces? Are their other pieces of jewelry classic, nature-inspired, vintage? Have they been dropping hints? Do they have a Pinterest board with preferences saved? Perhaps they have showed you an Instagram photos of a model and asked, “Do you think that ring is too big for her hand?” Of course, the question really isn’t about the hand, it’s about the style of the ring!
It will help to start from our gallery of engagement rings to see if there is a style that resonates with you. But remember we can change any aspect of a ring to suit you and your betrothed. We can even make you a completely custom ring if you desire something completely unique.
- Solitaire – A solitaire is a classic choice and showcases the center stone without distractions. For added glamour, consider accent diamonds in the band or a three-stone engagement ring.
- Halo – Halo settings add a circle of diamonds of pavé set around the center stone to add sparkle and make the center stone appear larger. If your partner has a glamourous side, this may be the choice for you. We got sing halo, double halo and hidden halo styles.
- Nature-inspired. Is your partner a nature lover? Leaves, flowers and vines in the ring design may suit them well.
- Vintage. Does your significant other love romantic and vintage things? If so, an antique inspired ring may be just the thing.
- Modern. Does your partner have a modern, fashion-forward sense of taste? Then consider a modern sculptural design with flowing and non-traditional forms that may express their personality the absolute best.
3. Choose a shape for your center stone
You will build your ring around the center stone. Choose one that expresses your partner’s personality.
- Round – a timeless, elegant choice that symbolizes purity and eternity
- Oval – is similar to round but for well-suite for those that wish to express their uniqueness and creativity
- Cushion – gives the ring a vintage elegance with a shape that symbolizes femininity and gentleness
- Emerald – is a straightforward, sophisticated style that symbolizes openness and clarity
- Marquise – a glamorous, opulent and theatrical cut that symbolizes strength and opulence
- Pear – a symbol of calm and devotion that symbolizes the freshness of nature
- Heart – a romantic shape that represents love and passion and symbolizes innocence and sentiment
4. Choose a center stone
Engagement rings traditionally have a large center stone. But you don’t need to limit yourself to diamonds.
Colored Stones. If your partner loves color, consider sapphire, emerald, or ruby. An aquamarine or a pinkish-peach-colored morganite stone can give you a wonderfully sized center stone, leaving you plenty of budget for an outstanding design.
Diamonds. You can’t go wrong with the classic choice of a diamond. However, it’s easy to get too caught up in the details of the “Four C’s” – color, cut, clarity and carat size and the objective grading from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). You don’t need a flawless “D” grade stone to create a beautiful ring. Judge the stone by the feeling it gives you rather than by the rating.
Worry about finding a large stone only if you think it’s the most important thing to your significant other. In that case, you might wish to have a lower grade diamond in turns of color and clarity to get a larger stone for the same budget. Let us know your preferences, and Lord of the Gem Rings can source a conflict-free diamond, complete with a certificate from an accepted independent lab (GIA, AGS, IGI, EGL, GSI, and HRD).
Moissanites. Another great choice is moissanite, a brilliant lab-created stone that has much of the same look and durability as diamonds for a much lower price. Side by side in bright sunlight moissanite will have slightly flatter brilliance, while a diamond will both reflect and refract light into a rainbow of colors that make up its sparkle. In certain lights, moissanite will appear to have just a tinge of yellow or grey.
That said, a Premium moissanite is nearly colorless and can be considered to be a G or H in color on the GIA scale. Super Premium moissanites are colorless, and fall within the D-F range. If you prefer, Lord of the Gem Rings can source for you a moissanite with any brand of your choice, they all come with a Certificate of Authenticity. And since they are lab-created and not mined, moissanites are a responsible, earth-friendly choice.
Again, don’t hesitate to email us or chat with us. Let us know what qualities you prefer in a center stone, and we will suggest options within your budget.
5. Choose a metal
As a final step, choose a metal for the ring.
Platinum. With its natural, silver-white luster and hypoallergenic properties, platinum is a popular choice. It requires little maintenance and does not tarnish. It is, however, the most expensive metal choice for an engagement ring. Our platinum is high grade (pt950) and yet less expensive than competitors.
14K vs 18K. 14K and 18K gold are both commonly used for engagement rings and highly popular options for engagement ring settings. Both make it durable in everyday use. 18K yellow gold is 75% gold and 25% alloys while 14K yellow gold is 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloys, both make it durable in everyday use. 14K is more affordable and 18K has warmer and more vibrant tone. If you are on tight budget, you can consider 10K gold.
Yellow Gold. Yellow gold has a rich, beautiful luster. Yellow gold is less expensive than platinum, but cost is still a factor as gold has risen in price recently. Choosing finer, thinner settings that use less metal can save you some budget.
White Gold. White gold has a silver-white look very similar to platinum and is a fantastic choice. It is not suggested for people with a nickel allergy. White gold features rhodium plating, and it must be re-plated over its lifetime to maintain its color. For this reason, white gold less expensive than platinum, but may incur more cost over its lifetime.
Rose Gold. Rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper that has a lovely, romantic blush-pink tone. The copper in the alloy gives the metal strength so it is a durable choice that does not require extra maintenance. Rose gold is romantic and unexpected and complementary to nearly all skin types. Rose gold enhances the color of morganite stone, thus make it a perfect ring setting for Morganite rings.
Ready to get started?
Browse our gallery of engagement rings to see what styles, shapes, stones and metal appeal to your own personal tastes. And once again, never hesitate to reach out to our specialists at any stage. We would love to work with you to create a ring you and your partner will cherish for a lifetime!