How to Window Shop for a Diamond Engagement Ring

Buying an engagement ring can be an overwhelming experience, especially for those who don’t know a lot about diamonds. Before making a final decision, it’s important to learn about the 4 C’s of diamonds; that is, cut, color, carat, and clarity. These determine the quality of the stone purchased.

However, the quality of the stone isn’t the only thing to consider when purchasing an engagement ring.  Before getting to that stage, it’s necessary to have a few ideas about the general appearance of the ring. The best way to do this is to window shop with the recipient and gather some knowledge about her tastes. Pay attention to what she’s drawn to; particularly the ring style, the metal choice, and the shape of the diamond.

Ring Style

The most classic and common style is a solitaire diamond ring, which is a single stone set in a slender band. However, this isn’t the only option.

Some women prefer more stylized jewelry, like the three-stone ring. These tend to have a larger diamond in the middle, with a smaller stone on either side. Though the smaller stones are usually diamonds, there is the option of using a different precious stone instead.

Another common choice is to have pavé-set or channel-set diamonds in the ring. In these styles small diamonds are set along with the band, creating a lot of sparkles.

While these three-ring styles are not the only options, they are a great starting point. By seeing which general style a woman is drawn to, it will be easier to choose a specific ring well-suited to her personal tastes.

Metal Choice

This includes both the color of the metal and the type of precious metal the stone is set in. White gold, yellow gold, and platinum are the most common choices, and most women have a strong preference for either white or yellow gold. Platinum is a more expensive option, similar in color to white gold. It is hypoallergenic, which may be an important consideration for a woman with very sensitive skin. It is also a more durable material than gold, and it maintains its color indefinitely.  Read our article on platinum purity and pricing here.

Diamond Shape

Brilliant-cut stones are the most popular, but some women prefer something a bit different. That’s where fancy-cut stones come in. A very romantic woman might love the idea of a heart-shaped stone, for example, while someone who is modern or contemporary might be drawn to marquise-cut. This is a matter of personal taste, and it’s probably best not to veer too far from the standard shapes (round, princess and cushion) unless a woman voices a strong opinion otherwise.

You can read our in-depth article on diamond shapes and cuts here.

If the proposal is to be a complete surprise, going window shopping together might not be an option. That will make picking out the perfect ring a bit trickier, but not impossible. Another idea is to snoop through her jewelry box, and pay attention to the pieces she already has. Is her jewelry primarily yellow or white gold? Single stone or clusters? The inspiration gained from her jewelry box will make it easier to find rings that fit her taste when shopping independently.

This article was contributed by Frank Fisher.

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learn everything you need to know before you buy a diamond in this detailed book!

learn everything you need to know before you buy a diamond in this detailed book!