Making a Success of Engagement Ring Shopping

In the past, finding the perfect engagement ring was something that preoccupied the proposing party, with the process often taking months and involving stealth-like operations to discover the receiver’s ring size and preferred style. Things have changed dramatically over the past decade or so, with a recent study by OnePoll showing that around 63% of couples choose their jewelry together. This may wrest from the surprise factor” of the big moment, but it makes sense considering the fact that an engagement ring is a piece of jewelry the recipient will most likely wear frequently (if not every day). To make your engagement ring shopping experience a success, the following strategies may help.

Designing Your Perfect Ring

When you start looking for the perfect sparkler, you may find that there are many pre-made rings in traditional styles. However, one of the latest trends in engagement ring design involves personalization. Go online (either alone or with your future fiancée) and check out the array of engagement ring styles—including solitaries, halos, and vintage styles. Don’t just consider the setting, but also the diamond shape. Instead of automatically going for a round diamond, for instance, look into emerald, pear, oval, and other shapes to see if they suit your partner’s personality more. Look at their lifestyle and fashion sense as well. Are they more into classical, romantic, or modern fashion? A halo design, for instance, suits a wearer with classical, traditional tastes, while someone with a penchant for original designs may love a ring with a twisted band, an X-shaped band, or more than one gemstone. Mixed metals are also popular, with some brides choosing designs that blend white, yellow, and rose gold.

Thinking Out of the Box

If celebrities and influencers have proven one thing, it is that many brides and grooms are going beyond expected styles, opting for unique gemstones (such as yellow or pink diamonds, emeralds, and Tanzanites) instead of the traditional transparent diamond. Celebrities to check out include Emma Stone (whose engagement ring featured a solitary pearl surrounded by accent diamonds), Kate Middleton (who dons Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring), and Scarlett Johansson (whose unique ring features a light brown diamond set on a black band.

Calculating Your Preferred Carat Size

Prior to shopping, conduct research into the approximate price of different diamond carats. In the US, the average carat size for an engagement ring is around one carat, but in many countries in the UK it hovers at around half a carat. A 2019 survey by The Knot shows that the average couple spends around $5,900 on an engagement ring. If a one-carat sparkler is beyond your budget, there are many ways to cut on costs without losing an ounce of sophistication. You can either opt for a more reasonably priced central stone (think a tanzanite instead of a sapphire, a tsavorite instead of an emerald, or a white sapphire instead of a diamond. You can also look into moissanites or lab-grown diamonds instead. The latter can be anywhere from 10% to 40% less expensive than a similarly sized diamond.

To ace your engagement shopping experience, aim to purchase a ring that suits your partner’s personality and sense of style. Consider designing a bespoke ring that features your preferred setting and stone. Don’t be afraid to play with color, taking your inspiration from iconic rings of current and past celebrities.

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