Engagement Ring Shopping: A Guide

By Melissa Barreiros

So it’s time to go engagement ring shopping, congrats!

Whether you hit the jewelers together or he braves the challenge on his own—choosing the symbol that will represent your lives together is a fun and exciting time. However, there’s a lot to know about rings, such as the cut, carat size, clarity and color all of which, can make a trip to the jewelers a daunting task if you don’t know what to look for.

I reached out to local engagement ring experts, O.C. Tanner Jewelers, to put together a this useful guide about things keep in mind to simplify your ring shopping experience.

1. Set Your Budget

Determining your budget is essential to know before heading to the jewelers. However, this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your idea of a perfect engagement ring. For example, you can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars by selecting an emerald shaped diamond versus a round shape.

Click to see more of this real wedding: Megan and Jeffrey. PC: Alicia Ann Photography

2. Decide On The Shape And Cut

From round to square and everything in between, understanding the shape of the diamond goes a long way at making your trip to the jewelers easier. Keep in mind that the shape of the diamond does not reflect the cut of the diamond. The ideal cut reflects light creating the most brilliance, while a diamond that is cut too deep or shallow will lose light and brilliance.

3. Choose The Metal For Your Band

Traditionally, engagement rings were primarily yellow-gold or silver. Today, there are a variety of metals used for engagement rings, such as rose-gold and even platinum bands.

Click to see more of this engagement ring idea: Mountain High. Credit: Brushfire Photography

4. Consider The Carat

Carat refers to the overall weight of diamond. Carat size is a personal preference and our friends at O.C. Tanners take great care in sourcing diamonds that have exceptional cut, clarity and color so their diamonds are beautiful, no matter the size.

5. Color And Clarity

All diamonds have some degree of color. The near colorless and diamonds with the least imperfections are the highest clarity.

Click to see more of this engagement ring idea: Make A Statement with Mountain High Fashion. Credit: Brushfire Photography

6. Choose A Setting

Choosing the setting of an engagement ring is crucial to showing off the diamond you’ve chosen. Solitaire or a single diamond settings are the most popular setting right now because of their simplicity and ability to easily change out the center stone.

7. Buy certified

How important is buying certified? According to Dominique Anderson, Marketing Manager at O.C. Tanners, it’s very important.

“Buying certified is the only way to guarantee the quality and value of the diamond. With it, you have the assurance that the diamond being represented to you has been graded by an independent third party,” she says.

Click to see more of this real wedding: Tessa and Cole. Credit: Jessica Janae Photography

8. Have fun with it

There’s a lot to know about diamonds and it is easy to stress about understanding all the intricacies that go into picking the perfect engagement ring. An experienced jeweler is there to guide you through the engagement ring purchasing process—have fun with it!

Featured engagement ring above: Make A Statement with Mountain High Fashion. Credit: Brushfire Photography

For more wedding planning inspiration, check out our magazine!

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