I have to pick my own engagement ring and I've got no idea

posted 2 years ago in Rings
Post # 2
1262 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2015 - Mount Hermon

becca89:  Start here: Run away from Blue Nile.  Far away. 

Go somewhere that shows you the exact diamond you will be recieving, either in person or online.  My FI and I had an awesome experience with ShaneCo.  James Allen also has high res pics online of the exact stone you recieve.

You’ve picked your budget, so start looking at stone shapes and decide what you like. Here’s a good page.  They are about diamonds, but the shapes are generally the same for sapphires.  Get an idea what you like, then go into a store and try some on your finger.


Good luck!

Post # 3
4655 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I personally would go to an independent jeweler, I’ve just found they have better service (others have had great service at chain stores). But try on allllll different styles and shapes to see what you like. I don’t think this is something you should be looking for at first over the internet if you don’t know what you want. 

Post # 4
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

becca89:  where are you located? The best thing to do is go and try different rings on. You will quickly get a feel of what you like vs don’t like. Everyone on here is going to tell you what THEY like for THEIR finger. You have to love it and wear it.

Post # 5
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

gelaine22:  this is really true. Different cuts and sizes look different on every finger. becca89:  Good luck finding ‘the one”!

Post # 6
711 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I agree the first step is to go to a store and try some rings on. It’s just like a dress until you see it on it has a different feel. This is both for the kind of setting and stones 

i would say don’t go with your FI, that way there is not sales pressure, just say your FI sent you to get an idea what you like and to let him know. 

But buying on line will give you the best value, pick a GIA or AGS stone. Knowing you don’t were much jewelry or are into this normal don’t stress about it just pick one of they two. 

Next pick the shape stone you like

no matter the shape get an excellent cut one.  That’s what gives a diamond the rainbow of colors and fire: how well it’s cut. 

Now that you have the shape and cut you need to pick color, carat and clarity. The thing is is that this is where a lot of cost is changed. 

Decide what is most important to you and start there, if you decide carat: leave that option open and move the search down in color and clarity To show any size in your price range. 


My personal diamond criteria was a RB 3 ex that is  over 6mm (opposed to a carat weight, as stones can be cut differently at the ame weight) and no lower then an SI1 Clarity as I felt they were a good value and still 99% eye clean. 

I could have cared less about color but that’s me, and because I have a YG solitaire a lower color diamond wouldn’t have been an issue.  



Good luck and have fun!

Post # 7
852 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

becca89:  Have a think about what kind of person you are and how you would like to wear the ring. I.e. everyday all day all night never taken off or special occasions, what do you do, lots of work with your hands or are you gentle on them.

You may want to choose a ring purely for how it looks, or you may want one for its practicality.

I’m practicality. I chose diamond as it’s a hard stone and I chose to have it low set because it would be more practical, I tried on loads to get a style that looked good on my hand (I have short stumpy fingers!). By building something that looks like me and is practical for my everyday use I love it and have never been tempted to take it off.

Have fun.

Post # 8
479 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I agree with PPs.  Take some time to browse online and just get a sense of what the options could be.  Then go to an independent jeweler (or two, or three!) and try stuff on!  All different styles, maybe even different metals if you aren’t sure.  Someone mentioned going alone to alleviate some of the pressure, which might be a good idea although I went with my FI and we explained that we were just looking and that he ultimately wanted to surprise me so there would be no purchase that day.  Everyone was very understanding.  After we shopped I made him a Google Doc with desriptions and pictures/links of what it was that I liked and didn’t like.  For example, I definitely wanted a cushion cut diamond in a halo.  But there are so many variations on that, so I also mentioned that I don’t like when there is a big gap between the stone and the halo and that I wanted a setting that is raised enough to fit the wedding band underneath with no gap (apparently I just don’t like gaps!).  By including pictures he could also see I liked rings that were more vintage/antique in style than super modern.  He went from there and found the perfect ring…one that I never ever came across in all my research.  Good luck 🙂

Post # 9
2062 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1987

Browse online and see what kind of rings are available.

Then spend a day or two going to jewellers and find out what looks good on your hand.  It is slightly embarassing but worth it. You might be quite surprised.  I quite fancied a pear or an oval but the only thing I felt looked right was a round brilliant.  I thought I would like 4 prongs but found that on my hand a six prong setting looked better. I thought I would like something fancy but ended up choosing something plain and classical.

Try different types of setting and different colours, sizes and shapes of stone.  Look at the rings in different lights, ie natural lighting as well as spot lighting.

Try wedding rings too.  People forget to do this and then end up struggling to find the perfect wedding ring.  

Once you’ve done this look at the reputable online sites: Whiteflash, Brian Gavin, James allan, Good Old Gold, and Diamonds from Lauren.  Look at their advice on buying diamonds (assuming you want one).

Get an excellent cut stone. Cut is 90% or more of the beauty.  You can compromise on everything else.

If you want to buy from a jeweller get them to source GIA or AGS certificated stones for you to choose from.

Avoid colour D clarity IF stones.  You’ll pay for what you cannot see.  Try colour H or I if you are setting the stone in white metal.  You can go as low as K if you are setting the stone in yellow metal.  Try VS2 clarity or SI1 if designated ‘eye clean’.  Get the biggest diamond you can within your budget.

If you prefer a different stone, sapphires are beautiful, hardwearing and come in a wide range of colours (not all blue).

 You may find that you cannot decide between two or three rings.  If this is the case let your FI decide.

Post # 10
1106 posts
Bumble bee

I would def recommend shane co they literally have hundreds of different empty settings you can try on and see what you like then they teach you about diamonds and will show you all different kinds and shapes to put In the empty settings you’ve picked out. I really like Shane co bc there was no pressure and they really work with you to find the perfect ring. I also loved how huge there selection was you won’t find a selection like that at Kay’s or zales, much better prices & quality than chain jewelers. Good luck!

Post # 11
4649 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

becca89:  I didn’t know what I wanted either, but the more I kept looking at rings, the more I noticed that I kept coming back to the vintage look. Just keep looking at them and FOR SURE go try some on. No pressure, don’t let them talk you into buying anything. You may hate a solitaire, but love a halo and not know it til you try it on!

Post # 12
820 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception / Courtyard Marriott Legacy Ballroom

becca89:  I definitely agree with PPs that you should look online and at local jewelry stores to figure out what you like and what looks good on your finger. After you figure that out, then you can decide where you want to purchase your ring. My FI also wanted me to pick out my own ring since it’s something I’m going to be wearing for the rest of my life – after looking around online and at a handful of jewelry stores, I found out I wasn’t into really blingy bands or large stones, but I did like the more vintage designs and princess diamonds. We ended buying my ring online from James Allen – I actually used the Ring Concierge on their website, and the option they gave me was the exact ring we ended up getting! It was the best deal for our budget, which was under $1K. I would have liked to buy from one of the local independent jewelers, but the rings I liked from them were all well over $3K.

Post # 13
75 posts
Worker bee

I got my ring from blue nile. I love love LOVE them. I spoke to Fahm (and a ton of other people but she was the best). I wanted large but didn’t want to sacrfice the quality. I told her my must haves and she picked a few. Then she sent me pictures of them. Keep in mind these pictures are magnified 50x I saw the inclusions but I went with it because I loves the price and the size. I got a fantastic ring! It appraised for $6,500 more than what I paid. not that I plan to sell it. i have been to local jewelers and I have yet to find a diamond that sparkles like mine for this size and price. they are also blown away. Don’t be scared of blue nile. I’ll post my ring just becauas I can’t get enough.

Post # 14
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

becca89:  Whether you end up getting something online or not, I highly recommend going to a number of different jewelry stores and trying the rings on!! I was set on an emerald cut and we were pretty close to buying one online. We ended up going to a jewely store and I HATED it and eventually ended up liking round solitaires the best when I initially disliked them! 

Post # 15
560 posts
Busy bee

becca89:  That’s very tasteful ! I would start with color which then leads to choosing the stone.

Re:the photo – Do you want a blue centre piece or a diamond etc? Have you chosen to incorporate both because you can’t choose between the two? Do you like the alternate two tone effect?

I would go to a jeweller and he will show you all the different cuts and settings. You can say you like the cut on that jewel and the setting on another ring and he will tell you their names and give you a price to make it. If it’s too expensive, at least you will leave knowing what you like as there is no obligation to buy after a consultation.

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