7 Things to Consider When Shopping for an Engagement Ring

Shopping for engagement rings can be a daunting task. With so many options, styles, and price ranges out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Whether you’re picking out a ring with or without your soon-to-be fiancé, there are some basic guidelines you must follow to ensure you make a good choice. 

Before pulling the trigger, every engagement ring shopper needs to do the following:

  1. Set a ring budget

The first step is to set a budget. This is an easy way to quickly narrow down your choices. After all, why bother looking at rings way above your price range?

When setting your ring budget, it’s important to be realistic. Don’t worry about outdated rules of thumb that say you need to spend one, two, or three months worth of your salary on an engagement ring. Every person’s financial situation is different. 

The most important thing is that you’re honest with yourself and your significant other about what you can afford.

Sit down with them to go over your income and expenses, including any major expenses coming up in the near future, like the wedding, honeymoon, or new home. Your future spouse probably doesn’t want to start off the marriage struggling financially. So it’s important to manage expectations. 

  1. Know the four Cs of diamonds

Before you start looking at rings, you must learn the four Cs of diamonds—cut, color, clarity, and carat. Here’s an explanation of what each means:

  • Cut refers to the diamond’s shape. Round is the most popular but also the most expensive. Other shapes include oval, square, rectangle, heart, pear, and marquise. Choose one that your spouse will like, and never sacrifice on the quality of the diamond cut. You can always adjust other variables to bring down the ring’s final price.
  • Carat refers to the size of the diamond measured by weight. The bigger the stone, the more expensive it will be. Diamonds tend to sell in whole and half carat sizes. But if you find one in an in-between size (like 0.6 or 1.1), you can usually get it at a relatively low price. 
  • Clarity refers to the absence of internal features (aka inclusions) and blemishes in a diamond. This is usually measured on a scale from 0 (flawless) to 10 (included). The clearer a diamond is, the more expensive it will be.
  • Color measures how light a diamond is. Colorless diamonds are the most rare and thus also the most expensive, while yellower diamonds tend to cost less. Diamond color is graded on a scale of D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). 

Consider your loved one’s preferences on each of the metrics above. If she’s shopping with you, have her try on different rings to narrow down what she wants. Keep in mind that slight changes in any of the four Cs can dramatically alter the value of the diamond.

  1. Choose the metal for the band

Once you’ve settled on a stone, it’s time to choose a band to go with it. Bands come in five main types of metal: yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, silver, and platinum.

Yellow gold is the most classic color, but rose gold has also become more popular in recent years. The key is to choose a band metal that will complement the diamond you’ve chosen.

  1. Choose the ring setting

Next, you need to decide on a setting. The setting is what holds the diamond in place and protects it from damage. It also frames the diamond just like a picture frame does for a painting. 

There are many different setting styles to choose from, but the most popular are the prong and the bezel settings. The prong style holds the diamond with four to six prongs. It’s a minimal look that gives the ring an elegant appearance. 

In contrast, the bezel style is one of the most protective styles. It has a metal strip that surrounds the diamond from all sides. This makes it hard to view the diamond from the side, but it also prevents you from snagging your ring on things since there are no prongs.

  1. Measure her ring size

Before you get too far along in your ring shopping, be sure to get your significant other’s ring size. If they are shopping with you, it’s easy enough to do this at a ring shop. The store will happily do it for free. If the ring is a surprise, however, ask family or friends to do some digging.

You don’t want the ring to be so tight it cuts off her circulation, and you don’t want it to be so loose it could fall off her finger (and potentially get lost). You want it to be snug.

Fortunately, if you end up slightly off on the ring size, most rings can be easily resized by a size or two. But if you’re way off, you may be out of luck.

  1. Verify the diamond certification

When you’ve narrowed your choice down to one ring, you’ll want to verify that the diamond is as advertised. There are a few different accredited institutions that provide diamond certifications, including the American Gem Society (AGS), the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), or the International Gemological Institute (IGI). Any of them will be able to give you a diamond grading report and ensure the ring you’re buying is legitimate. 

If you skip this step, you risk overpaying for a ring that isn’t as valuable as you think.

Once you have the certificate, verify that it matches the diamond by having the laser inscription on its girdle checked with a jeweler’s loupe. That way, you can be sure you’re not looking at the wrong certificate.

  1. Negotiate for the best price

Finally, don’t be afraid to negotiate the price of the ring. Many jewelers are willing to work with you on the price since it’s a big purchase and they want to keep your business.

Final thoughts

Getting engaged is a big deal. You want to have the perfect ring to wow your other half. After all, she’ll be wearing it for the rest of her life. So it pays to do your due diligence until you find the right one.

Remember, never travel without travel insurance! And never overpay for travel insurance!

I use HeyMondo. You get INSTANT quotes. Super cheap, they actually pay out, AND they cover almost everywhere, where most insurance companies don't (even places like Central African Republic etc!). You can sign-up here. PS You even get 5% off if you use MY LINK! You can even sign up if you're already overseas and traveling, pretty cool.

Also, if you want to start a blog...I CAN HELP YOU!

Also, if you want to start a blog, and start to change your life, I'd love to help you! Email me on johnny@onestep4ward.com. In the meantime, check out my super easy blog post on how to start a travel blog in under 30 minutes, here! And if you just want to get cracking, use BlueHost at a discount, through me.

Also, (if you're like me, and awful with tech-stuff) email me and my team can get a blog up and running for you, designed and everything, for $699 - email johnny@onestep4ward.com to get started.

Do you work remotely? Are you a digital nomad/blogger etc? You need to be insured too.

I use SafetyWing for my digital nomad insurance. It covers me while I live overseas. It's just $10 a week, and it's amazing! No upfront fees, you just pay week by week, and you can sign up just for a week if you want, then switch it off and on whenever. You can read my review here, and you can sign-up here!


So if you’re ready to…..

1) Change your life
2) Travel the world
3) Get paid to travel
4) Create a positive influence on others
5) Be free of offices and ‘real world’ rubbish

Then Sign Up Below and Let’s Get Started!

Follow me on Instagram @onestep4ward