Buying an Engagement Ring? Here are 16 Pieces of Advice

December 19th, 2022

What is one piece of advice for buying an engagement ring?

To help you go about buying an engagement ring without much hassle, we asked married professionals and jewelers this question for their best advice. From visiting a small local jeweler to including close friends in the decision, there are several pieces of advice that should serve you well when buying an engagement ring for your soon-to-be life partner.

Here 16 pieces of advice these leaders followed and offer for buying an engagement ring:

Visit a Small Local Jeweler

I got married in 2021 and had no idea about rings and diamonds before my hunt for an engagement ring. My now wife and I first started ring shopping at larger chain jewelers. While everyone was extremely helpful and friendly, I just felt like I was being overcharged. We discovered what style of ring we preferred and got recommended to contact a smaller local jeweler without a fancy storefront. He priced exactly the same ring with the same certified diamond for way less than the big jewelers were offering. Since the small jeweler had all his rings custom-made, we were able to tweak the ring and make it exactly what we wanted. My wife was happy since the local jeweler’s price was so much less we were able to upgrade the size of the diamond. I would recommend everyone contact a small jeweler to see what they can offer over the large jewelry shops.

Evan McCarthy, President CEO, SportingSmiles

Consider Cubic Zirconia

For some, giving/receiving a cubic zirconia engagement ring may not seem ideal, but if you cannot afford the diamond engagement ring that you would like (or if she could care less about jewelry), then, by all means, opt for a high-quality cubic zirconia engagement ring that fits the size/criteria that she is looking for. Some people may be nervous that others would know it’s fake, but with updates in technology in creating cubic zirconia rings, you’d be surprised how much more difficult it is to distinguish from a real diamond. Unless your friends and family are jewelers and intend on inspecting your ring under the loupe, then you can enjoy having a glamorous cubic zirconia wedding ring until you are ready to upgrade to the real thing (or, save the money and buy yourself a better investment, like the down payment on a house!)

Kristine Thorndyke, Founder, Test Prep Nerds

Buying an Engagement Ring?

Figure Out the Exact Size by Using Other Rings

A friend of mine once proposed to his partner and got the size of the finger (and therefore ring) completely wrong. For this reason, someone planning to propose should make sure they have access to another of their partner’s index finger rings so as to know the exact size. If you think your partner will notice the ring is missing, just draw its diameter on a piece of paper and bring it to the place where you plan to buy the ring.

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager, PhotoAiD

Look for Something That is Timeless Over Being Trendy

Think about how you will feel about the ring 10, 20, 30 years from now. An engagement ring is forever. While it can be tempting to go with a trendy design that you love now, it’s important to think about how you’ll feel about it in the future. Will it seem out of date a few years from now? If so, it may make sense to go with a design that is more timeless.

Melanie Edwards, Sr. E-commerce and Digital Product Manager, Olipop

Be Practical in Choosing the Size and Nature of the Ring

When I was shopping for an engagement ring for my now-wife, I wanted to get her a massive ring. After 8 years of dating, and considering she was the love of my life, I wanted her to know how much she meant to me. Thus, I wanted to get her a big showy ring that evidenced my affection. However, one thing I didn’t consider was that big rings can have practical, everyday consequences. For example, my wife is a nurse. The first time she went to put on rubber gloves at work, the ring tore through them in a matter of moments. In fact, she tore through 14 pairs of gloves in her shift because the ring sat so high off her finger. As a result, she now has to take it off before every shift. My point is that while bigger is often better, that doesn’t necessarily hold true with engagement rings. Getting a smaller, low profile ring can offer practical benefits.

John Ross,  Chief Executive Officer, Test Prep Insight

Discuss as a Couple to Determine the Right Choice 

The most important thing when buying an engagement ring is to communicate as a couple about expectations, budgets, and personal style choices. Purchasing an engagement ring is a significant expense and an item you hope to wear for the rest of your life. You want to do your due diligence to ensure that the ring you select is something that both parties feel comfortable with and is timeless for that individual. Communication is crucial with an important life choice, and an engagement ring is no exception.

Sumeer Kaur, Founder & CEO, Lashkaraa

Ask for Referrals

When you’re ready to buy an engagement ring, ask for referrals from your friends. Try to find someone who has sold rings to several people in your social circles, and buy from them. You can shop other stores first, to get a feel for what your fiancée will like, how the pricing works, and how to measure quality. Then, make your final purchase from a referral. When I bought a ring for my now-wife, I followed this exact methodology. After visiting a number of stores, I went to a fraternity brother to purchase the ring. He sold rings to dozens of people in my social circles, and everyone trusted and respected him. The ring turned out to be exactly what I asked for. It made my wife happy, and it was among the best purchases I’ve made in a very long time.

Dennis Consorte, Host, Snackable Solutions

Never Be Afraid to Negotiate

Just because you’re purchasing from a premium luxury brand, it does not mean that you should pay whatever the price on the shelf. It’s always best to negotiate before pulling the trigger. The markup on those rings is often so high – in fact, higher than any accessory product out there. They make fat profits out of each piece. But make sure you’re not negotiating to throw a low-baller offer or to try your chance. If you really love a ring, and you know you want it, negotiate with confidence. Say the price you’re comfortable paying, and stick to your ground. If they see interest in your eyes, they will find a way to make you smile.

Andrew Priobrazhenskyi, CEO and Director, Discount Reactor

Make Sure the Ring is High Set

Make sure the ring is high set. This means that the ring sits above your finger and it’s elevated.  With a low set, it’s nearly impossible to shop for a wedding band since there’s no room for it. Save yourself a trip to the jeweler’s and the hassle of shopping for wedding bands. You’ll thank yourself later.

Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer, Paradigm Peptides

Use a Family Stone and Commission a New Setting

Use a stone with family value. My one piece of advice for buying an engagement ring is to (secretly) ask your family (and your family-to-be) if you can use a stone with family value and then commission a ring around that stone. For instance, if you use a stone that belonged to their great-grandmother, commission a unique setting for it and propose the story of past and present coming together to create a long and beautiful future that’s going to be memorable and meaningful. Instead of buying a stone with an unknown origin or history, use a family stone and commission a new setting and you’ll be creating a unique and deeply meaningful engagement ring.

Jimmy Minhas, Founder & CEO, GerdLi

Go Ring Shopping With Your Partner for Fun

I may ruffle feathers saying this, but ask! Whether you’re asking your partner for some ideas you can go on, or asking their best friend, getting some advice and opinions on this major undertaking is a must. For instance, make a fun day of it and go ring shopping with your partner. Don’t put pressure on it, treat them to a great day out and take copious notes in your mind! You don’t want to ask the big question with a ring you took your best guess at. No, this should be a ring they guided you towards. Making a fun day out of ring shopping with your partner is a great way to secretly ask them what kind of ring they want (and what size!).

Susan Shaffer, President, Pneuma Nitric Oxide

Know the 4 Cs

Knowing the four Cs is imperative when you are buying an engagement ring. The four C’s are: cut, color, carat, and clarity. When you are buying a ring, you should prioritize which of these are most important to you. For example, if you want your ring to have maximum sparkle, you will want to reserve part of your budget for a diamond with great clarity and cut. Knowing these four components of the ring you are buying will help you narrow your search down quickly and efficiently.

Lionel Mora, CEO, Neoplants

Buying an Engagement Ring?

Don’t Forget Insurance

My one piece of advice for anyone buying an engagement ring, is to make absolutely certain you are fully insured. The ring needs to be insured from the moment you buy it. Ideally, before you walk out of the shop, and certainly before you ask that all important question. A friend of mine learned this the hard way. He had bought his intended fiancée a beautiful, very expensive ring. As he wanted to keep his proposal a secret, he’d struggled to get the exact size. The ring was a little too big. The good news is, she said yes. The bad news is, one day she got home and realized she was no longer wearing it. He thought it was covered under the house insurance. However, his particular policy would only pay out if the ring was specified as an ‘item of value taken out of the home’. It wasn’t. They were both devastated, and their newfound happiness was destroyed. Luckily, the ring turned up in the footwell of their car, but not before a lot of stress and suffering. Don’t make the same mistake.

Mario Cacciottolo, PR & Branding Manager , SBO

Shop With a Reputable Dealer

One piece of advice for buying an engagement ring is to shop with a reputable dealer. Word of mouth and recommendations are the best ways to find a trusted and reliable jeweler. If the jeweler can back their work with many happy customers, they are legitimate. An engaged couple should shop for jewelry a few times before purchasing a ring for their future spouse. Doing so helps the couple find the perfect ring for their upcoming vows.”

Kurt Uhlir, Chief Marketing Officer, kurtuhlir

Do Research About the Ring

When you are ready to purchase an engagement ring, the number one piece of advice is to do your research. With so many different styles and metals to choose from, it can be overwhelming. However, there are a few key things to keep in mind that will help you find the perfect ring. First, consider what type of diamond and metal you prefer. Do you want a lab-grown diamond? They are exactly the same chemically and optically as mined diamonds yet more ethical and affordable, so you may want to go this route. Do you prefer the look of yellow gold or white gold? Or would you prefer a more unique metal like rose gold or platinum? Second, think about the style of the ring. Do you prefer a simple band or something with more embellishments? Would you like a solitaire diamond or a cluster of stones? Lastly, pay attention to the 4 Cs: carat weight, cut, clarity, and color. These factors will affect both the appearance and the value of the ring.

Jordan Cullen, Founder & Director, Cullen Jewellery

Buying an Engagement Ring?

Involve Close Friends

Proposing to your significant other is an important event. The engagement ring is one of the vital elements of a proposal. The task of finding the perfect ring for your partner is stressful. So, do not go by yourself. Include your friends, or better yet theirs. Friends can advise better what kind of ring your partner will like. You may know your partner the best, but it is always better to get a second opinion. Your future spouse may have expressed their choice of rings to their friend. Also, remember to ask people who have been engaged. They can offer recommendations for jewelers, designs, price ranges, and more. Having the support of close friends can help with the nervous feeling too. Make sure to ask the ones who can keep it a secret.

Tali Ditye, Co Founder, DITYE LLC

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About the Author

Dustin Lemick is the Founder and CEO of BriteCo and a third-generation jeweler with over thirteen years of retail jewelry experience. He holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has in-depth knowledge and expertise in appraisal systems, diamond and gemstone markets, retail pricing models, insurance replacement models, and jewelry quotation pricing systems.
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