A Sparkling Proposal: The Ins and Outs of Buying the Perfect Engagement Ring

Popping the question to your significant other can be nerve-wracking. For the average groom-to-be, buying the perfect diamond ring seems like a daunting task. The variety of shapes, bands, cuts, and sizes of rings available can make the process both confusing and stressful. Fortunately, by educating yourself on the basics of how to shop for engagement rings and wedding bands, you can easily find the one that is right for her. Here are five things to consider on your quest for buying the perfect ring and creating a memorable proposal.



A ring’s shape is one of the most important things to consider when evaluating engagement rings and diamond bands. The round shape is an excellent choice, as this diamond is not only the most popular, but also the most researched. Diamond cutters use years of research and experience to produce round diamonds with light and brilliance. Another popular choice is the princess shape, which is generally rectangular or square with pointed edges. When choosing the best shape, also consider your significant other’shand and finger size. For example, an oval shapedring tends to compliment long, slender fingers, while a princess cut is ideal for elongating shorter fingers.


The setting of a ring refers to the way the diamond is held in place. The prong setting is the most popular and contains two or more prongs or “claws” which secure the diamond. Using prongs is a great way to minimize the amount of metal around the diamond, allowing more light to pass through. If your significant other has an active lifestyle, consider using four or more prongs, or try a channel setting. With the channel setting, the diamonds lay side by side and are held by two strips of metal. This is a secure setting and protects the edges of the diamond from being caught on clothing or hair. The invisible setting is another option for those who want a clear view of the diamond. With the invisible setting, the stones sit close together, and the metal settings are hidden underneath them.

The Four C’s

As you begin researching the perfect ring, become familiar with the four C’s of diamond rings: cut, color, carat, and clarity. According to The American Gem Society, cut is the most important of the four C’s, as it has the greatest influence on a diamond’s appearance.Also consider the color you want in your diamond, keeping in mind almost all diamonds have some color. Colorless diamonds are rare;however, the tint of yellow or light brown in most diamonds is not highly visible. This is why your money is better spent on a quality cut rather than a colorless diamond. You may also consider going for the more rare colors such as red or pink. The third C, carat, is an objective measurement of the diamond’s physical weight in carats. Keep in mind that the number of carats is only one factor among many, and it is not worth sacrificing quality for more carats. Clarity is the final C and refers to the quality of the diamond, which is measured by the number and visibility of inclusions or blemishes that lie in the diamond or on its surface. Clarity is graded based on how the diamond looks when evaluated under intense magnification.

Types of Metal

Choose a metal for the ring band that is both high in quality and conducive to your significant other’s lifestyle. Platinum, for example, is durable and can withstand years of wear and tear without compromising the ring’s appearance. This is a good choice for someone with a moreactive lifestyle. Yellow or white gold is another popular choice, particularly for those shopping on a tight budget. This metal is more widely available than many other metal types, making it a less expensive option. If your future spouse is environmentally conscious, consider using recycled metals. These come from a variety of sources and take on the appearance of the most dominant metal.

Diamond-Grading Reports

Before making a purchase, ask the jeweler for a diamond-grading report, which details the diamond’s weight, measurements and overall quality. Pay close attention to which organization provided the report. The most reliable reports will come from organizations with high standards, such as the Gemological Institute of America or the American Gem Society. You will also want to see an appraisal on the diamond. According to The Diamond Buying Guide, while a certificate provides the details of a diamond’s quality, an appraisal provides information on the stone’s monetary value.

Finding the right ring for your bride-to-be may seem overwhelming, but by following these tips, you can find the perfect ring and create a memorable proposal.


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